Navisworks works really well with Point Clouds, particularly in association with Recap. It will usually create ‘voxels’ – groups of points that you can hide or change colour or use in other Navisworks workflows.

However, sometimes the ‘point size’ seems too fine. To modify this, just open up Navisworks Options to Interface – Display, and change the Primitive size for Points to something that looks better. You can choose any size from 1-9.

Also, there are additional settings under File Readers – ReCap:

You can set an ‘interactive point size’ here, which is going to override the point display when you are zooming around or navigating the model.

The excellent and open-source IFC extension for Revit (previously known as IFC Exporter) has been updated. Please see below for download links and update details.

Download links:
16.6 for Revit 2016

17.3 for Revit 2017

Readme details for the latest release:


– Minor improvements to the Importer class to make it easier for developers to create a custom Importer.
– We now support the IFC4 Addendum 2 schema.  Specific improvements based on that will be listed below.  For this update, you will have to manually add the IFC4_Add2.exp file (included with this package), to the EDM subfolder of your Revit Program folder.  We will automate this in a future update.

New Export Functionality:

– Allow overriding material names on export by using IfcName shared parameter.
– Expand the use of types for many elements that didn’t export types before, including beams (IfcBeamType), curtain walls (IfcCurtainWallType, and types for mullions and panels), and footings (IfcFootingType).
– Improved ability to export some geometry as IfcSweptSolid.
– Try to use axis information, if it exists, when exporting beams and members in addition to columns.
– (IFC4) Better support beam, column, and member base quantities, including weight.
– (IFC4) Collect material information for profiles for beams and columns.
– (IFC4) Expand use of FootPrint representations to columns and slabs.
– (IFC4) Expand use of IfcMaterialLayerSetUsage if the entity has a compound structure in Revit, as allowed by IFC.
– (IFC4) No longer create StandardCase IFC entities, as these have been deprecated (including IfcWallStandardCase).
– (IFC4) Support IfcMaterialConstituent and IfcMaterialProfileSet for a number of elements.
– (IFC4) Use Built-in parameter “Structural_Bend_Dir_Angle” to get “Roll” property for PSet_BeamCommon and PSet_ColumnCommon.
– (IFCAdd2) Support IfcPolygonalFaceSet.

Export Bug Fixes:
– Allow exporting to IFC while using Collaboration for Revit where the default directory isn’t local.
– Better support for MEP type entities, that didn’t always export correctly.
– Correct the parameters of the directrix of some IfcSweptSolids.
– Fix correct mapping of IfcBurnerType/IfcGasTerminalType and IfcElectricHeaterType/IfcSpaceHeaterType.
– Fix creation of types for sub-entities of IfcDistributionControlElement.
– Fix offset problem when using the “Export Linked Files as Separate IFCs” option in locales where the decimal mark is not a point.
– (IFC4) Correct names of IFC4 entity quantity sets.
– (IFC4) Fix the name of IfcCommunicationsApplianceType.

New Import Functionality:

– Add support for IfcDerivedProfileDef.
– Support IfcRelClassification.
– (IFC4) Support IfcMaterialProfile, IfcMaterialProfileSet, and IfcMaterialProfileSetUsage.
– (IFC4) Support IfcMaterialConstituent and IfcMaterialConstituentSet.
– (IFC4) Support IfcTessellatedFaceSet and IfcPolygonalFaceSet.
– (IFC4) Improve mapping from Roll parameter to structural bend direction angle.
– (API only) Allow for two new options, CreateDuplicateZoneGeometry and CreateDuplicateContainerGeometry, that disable the duplication of geometry for zone elements and containers, respectively.

Import Bug Fixes:
– Better reporting when importing an IFC file with invalid rectangular or circular profiles (e.g., a 0 radius profile).
– Don’t show the void geometry when subtracting a void from an empty solid as a result of an IfcBooleanResult calculation.
– Ensure that IFC2x schema files can still be imported.
– Fix import of some IfcSurfaceCurveSweptAreaSolids.

Parts allow some extremely powerful workflows in Revit. Did you know that you can take an in-place family, and when you Divide Parts, Revit will make an individual Part for each geometric element?

For example, let’s say you have a big sweep that represents a large part of a Building, and that Sweep is inside an in-place Generic Model family in the project.

Firstly, use some Voids to cut the sweep into the sections or pieces that you want…

and then select that Generic Model Family and click Create Parts. You will get a Part for each geometric piece, like this:

Then, if you edit the underlying Family and divide it with more Voids, Revit will automatically create and update the Part elements as needed. Very cool.

From here, you can export those Parts to Navisworks for animation or sequencing, if you so desire.

RTV Xporter Pro is one of those addins that I can safely recommend to every Revit user. If you ever need to print more than one sheet, or export a model multiple times, or to multiple formats, this tool is going to save you time. In fact, I think a large percentage of Revit users probably already have it! So, what’s the latest?

As you probably realise, Collaboration for Revit (C4R), Autodesk’s ‘Revit Server in the Cloud’ solution, is gaining popularity globally. It is genuinely a good way to get a team of people in different places to work together in real-time on a Revit project… provided you have good internet that is! So, it is great to see that RTV have now supported batch exporting from C4R projects using the local desktop application. Nice work!

Another interesting feature is that you can now reference additional Revit projects to the current Document Issue / Transmittal record, which is pretty cool.

The latest build for Revit 2017 is 1.0.740.

Oh, and one final thought… if you haven’t tried RTV Xporter in a while (perhaps you recall the days of working with SQL Server and so on), I recommend you give the latest version a try. On almost every project I do, we do not need to use a SQL server because the addin just integrates so well with the information you already have in you Revit model.

How to Batch Upgrade Any Revit File Type
A while back, I posted about an admittedly circuitous method to upgrade Revit files for free using eTransmit.

However, this is a much quicker and easier way, and its pretty affordable too… using RTV Xporter Pro. It supports batch upgrading of every Revit file type: rvt, rte, rfa, rft

To use it, just click the File Upgrader button and fill out the dialog. Easy!


Other related post:
What Revit Wants: Various methods to upgrade your office RFT files to 2013

RevitworX: Upgrading Files to 2016

Here is the full list of the latest updates, from the newsletter:

We have been busy working hard to integrate Collaborate for Revit (C4R) with our RTV Xporter PRO App for Revit. It is our pleasure that we are now able to provide C4R access via the desktop application (only). At this time our Remote Processing (Server) doesn’t support C4R but we are working hard to get this functionality added as soon as possible.

The updates are now available for download from our website and can be found here:
RTV Xporter Pro 2016 (Build 709) ;and
RTV Xporter Pro 2017 (Build 740)

The following is a list of new features, updates and fixes included in the above software updates.


1. Scanning for PDF printers will only be performed on Export start up, if no registry printer or xml printer list is empty;
2. Multi-line parameter used for the export filename, New Line replaced with a Space;
3. Separate group for Title block Revision schedules in Views list;

1. Fixed DWG layer mapping file selection dialog displaying twice and multiple mapping files added to drop-down list;
2. Fixed Remote GUI when the root shared folder is defined as the watch folder;

New Features:

1. Checkbox option to Reset Adobe PDF print queue prior to export;
2. Delete button added to Export Folder and Export Filename template drop-down lists;

3. Issue, Reference Projects option now added. Users now have the option to reference additional Revit projects to the current Document Issue/Transmittal record. User can browse to select the project or used an existing (loaded) linked Revit project;

Note: Issue Reference Projects support linked models including C4R and Revit Server.


Web Update
4. New registry key added to disable check for updates by the users (restricted to system administrators);

5. C4R Support added – limited to current model, not available with the Remote (Server) function;

Enscape is continuing to develop new and amazing ways to quickly visualise and present your Revit model… and now, your Sketchup models too. I will cover both of these below…

1) A quick look at the Enscape Sketchup Extension
Sketchup is still a solid workhorse in a lot of firms, as it is almost too easy to use. Some architects immediately feel comfortable using Sketchup, where Revit has a bit of a steeper learning curve. Personally, I hope to see more designers moving into Revit for early concept design with massing or adaptive components or Dynamo, but in the meantime there are plenty of people out there building really nice models in Sketchup. Which is why Enscape is releasing this Extension, I suppose!

After installing the Enscape extension for Sketchup (you can see some tips on how to do this at the end of the post), you will probably want to immediately start tweaking settings. As with Revit, you can have the Sketchup window, Enscape window, and Enscape settings all open and ‘live’ at the same time. For some reason, Enscape started with maximum bloom and extremely warm colour temperature, but after tweaking that a bit it started to look really nice as usual:

As Sketchup models are quite light compared to Revit, I was able to run on Ultra settings and the experience was smooth (helps to have a Metabox in this situation of course). Overall, the Experience of using the Extension for Sketchup is almost identical to the Revit plugin implementation, which is great.

You can achieve a really interesting result just by playing with the time of day and the sky orb brightness:

Which leads me to the new features..

2) Enscape 1.9 Platform Updates and Updates for Revit
One of the biggest updates in this latest version is that now Revit Decals are supported. As you probably know, a Revit Decal is basically a flat item that gets stuck onto a flat surface like a Wall. From there, you can pick an image and set the size. Now that Enscape supports this, it is much easier to do things like customised signage, and it can be done very quickly and photorealistically. Previously, I had a challenging workaround through custom RPC, but the support of Decals should make this process much easier for flat elements.

Enscape now also has Oculus Touch support, along with a handy heads-up display when you look at the controls in VR:

Further, more support for Glass and Glazing materials has been added. Essentially, Enscape is working to support every applicable material property from Revit, which is great.

A couple of other things:

  • you can set the frames per second on exported video
  • you can ‘move’ the clouds to really get your scene looking just right
  • you can modify the brightness of Sun, Moon and Stars. It is seriously impressive to set the time to night, and then boost the stars right up. It is quite beautiful 🙂

More details on the 1.9 release:

Preview releases for Revit and Sketchup addins are available at:

You can download Enscape at:

The extensions page is at:

Here is a video that summarises the updates in 1.9:

Check out this video of the Sketchup plugin in action:

Sketchup Installation 
Here is how you can manually the install Enscape Plugin for Sketchup:
1) Download the .rbz file (currently from the Preview / Alpha page). I’m currently using

2) Go to the Extension Manager in Sketchup

3) Choose Install Extension and pick the rbz file

4) Accept the prompts

5) You might have to restart Sketchup. Then you should be able to start Enscape from the Extensions menu:

You can read my previous detailed review of Enscape here:
Learn How To Completely Revolutionize Your Revit Presentation Capability In This Enscape Review

A few revealing hints from a recent BIM and Beam post:

  • the forthcoming Advance Steel 2018 release next month will now offer seamless consumption of LOD 350* Revit models
  • Autodesk’s Steel Connections for Revit 2018 release will include several major updates including over 130 parametric steel connections
  • Autodesk Steel Connections for Revit 2018 is expected to be available starting April 14, 2017

via this post:

BIM and Beam

Updated source code for RevitLookup available at:

Notes from The Building Coder:
In the last few weeks, it was significantly restructured to use Reflection and reduce code duplication:


Bye, bye Showcase! Here are a few notes on Autodesk 2018 product discontinuations. I will add to these as more information becomes available..

Autodesk® Advance Concrete software has been discontinued.
Now is the time transition to Autodesk® Revit® software 🙂 … it hopefully now includes the robust reinforcement detailing and shop drawing tools of Advance Concrete. For more information, review FAQs.
(source about Advance Concrete discontinuation)

AutoCAD® Utility Design (AUD) software has been discontinued.
You will no longer be able to download a newer version of AUD. See FAQs for more information.
(source about Utility Design discontinuation)

Mental ray® Standalone 3D rendering software is no longer available to download from the Autodesk Education Community site. Your existing installed software can still be used.
(source about Maya and Mental Ray plugin)

Effective ​March 21​, 2017​, Autodesk will discontinue Autodesk® Showcase® software. We will no longer sell new or additional subscriptions of Showcase. We recommend that our customers transition to Autodesk® 3ds Max® software for their visualization solution. For more information, review FAQs.

ArtCAM Discontinuations (actually occurred 2017)
ArtCAM Express is not part of the ArtCAM 2017 product range; ArtCAM Express 2015 R2 (Boxed) and ArtCAM Express 2015 R2 (Download Only) are discontinued.
No. ArtCAM Insignia is not part of the ArtCAM 2017 product range; ArtCAM Insignia 2015 R2 (Boxed) and ArtCAM Insignia 2015 R2 (Download Only) are discontinued.
ArtCAM Pro is not part of the ArtCAM 2017 product range; ArtCAM Pro 2015 R2 is discontinued.

Now that is a very Revit blog title, for sure 🙂

So I had a nice old Curtain Wall Panel Door family, which had a nested ‘container’ Generic Model family…

… in which I arrayed a shared, nested Door Panel Generic Model Family. Basically, it allowed for automatic stacking and sliding doors of varying numbers of panels living inside a Curtain Wall Panel Door, all working automatically. You could tag and edit the Comments and Mark of the nested Panel, but couldn’t change its visibility.

This means that things like slide direction arrows were a problem. I previously had some messy approach to arrows and offsets, but there were tied to the array so they were not flexible enough. As the only parameters that I could access for the shared, doubly-nested panel were Comments and Mark and Image, I couldn’t really use these in visibility parameters or formulas. I wanted to be able to turn off and on arrow annotation (for slide direction), and also set a Keynote or taggable text parameter for ‘FG’ (fixed glass)  or ‘SL’ (sliding) and so forth.

What’s the answer?

For one thing, I’m sorry but you probably have to ditch the array. It is simply too difficult to link through parameters to the elements inside an array, plus you probably really don’t want to.

So, save a backup of your ‘array’ family and rebuild it to use individually placed family instances with visibility parameters based on the ‘Array number’ you had before. You will have 2 panels that have their visibility set to a parameter with a formula like “Array number = 2”. You will have to duplicate all of your elements for each set, and constrain them all individually. This is a pain, but if you want to get the sub-element visibility control, you may think it is worth it. You will have to do this for as many array conditions as you want to cover (like 2, 3, 4 etc).

With this new ‘non array’ family, how do we set up the parameters?

We are going to drive all of it with a single integer value instance parameter in the shared panel family. Then we will tie that to element visibility parameters.

We will link that integer instance parameter through each level like so:

… until we get to our ‘container’ that used to hold an array, but now holds individual family instances that we turn on and off with the array number. From here, we make a new instance parameter for each placed family instance, so we can drive the nested family. So for a three panel sliding family, we might have 3 instance parameters in the ‘container’, like:

  • Left Panel vis type (used for 2 and 3 panels)
  • Centre Panel vis type (used in the 3 panel type only)
  • Right Panel vis type (used for 2 and 3 panels)

Link these three parameters through to the Curtain Wall Door family (they can be instance or type here at the parent family). They are now accessible in the project. Essentially, we can select our Curtain Wall Door family, modify the 3 integers, which drives through all the way to our most deeply nested Panel family.

In the deeply nested Panel family, we use the integer to drive other things, like:

  • turn Plan and Elevation arrows on and off, 
  • set a Shared text parameter to a certain value (with a nested IF statement). Note: Add the Shared text parameter to a Generic Model tag and you can tag and schedule it in the project. 
  •  show / hide model geometry

Note: You can’t use Keynote here because we are not allowed to drive a Type Parameter with our instance parameter.

Unfortunately, we can’t drive a Material parameter directly with the integer value. But, we can have multiple copies of geometry with different materials, and drive the Material visibility with the above process.

Finally, you can do this structure as many times as you like, but obviously the amount of integers you have to keep track of is going to get more and more difficult. You will also need some way of explaining to users what each integer actually does – like if I set the Left Panel to integer 1, what will show up and what will the tag value be? You will probably need some kind of explanatory schedule or document for this…

But there you have it, a framework for driving deeply nested shared family visibility. Congratulations if you made it to the end of the post 🙂