The form creation engine in Revit does not really know about flat vertical zero thickness surfaces. However, with DirectShape, we can make almost any type of mesh geometry. One interesting idea coming out of the RTC ANZ event this year was creating these flat surfaces to display grids in 3D. This lets us do things like dimension easily in Navisworks or Revizto. I wanted to use them to add some flat datum lines to a construction setout point family.

Here is the Dynamo Script that I used (Download Make Flat DirectShape From Line):

Basically, you select a Detail (Symbolic) Line and run the script. In action:

Playing around with the lines a bit, I built this geometry for use in the project:

Wow.

This is one of the best workarounds I have seen for years in Revit! Did you know that you can rotate a Revit Floor Plan view in 3 dimensions?

Try it now:

  1. Go to a Floor Plan view and make sure the Crop Region is turned on
  2. Now open a Section or Elevation View
  3. Tile the windows in Revit so you can see both views
  4. Select the Crop Region in the Floor Plan view
  5. Switch to the Section or Elevation view (the Crop Region is still selected)
  6. Start the Rotate command in the Section or Elevation view
  7. Rotate the Floor Plan away from the horizontal plane. Try 20 degrees.
  8. Experiment with the above process until you have created a sort of forced orthographic view… but Revit thinks it is a Floor Plan! You may have to switch between some sections running perpendicular to each other and keep rotating the Floor Plan crop region until you capture the view you want.

This means you can have Rooms showing. Which means you can have a Room Color Scheme showing up in a ‘kind of’ 3D view in Revit. This is awesome!

It is also a nice way to see how View Range works. As you experiment with the View Range of this special Floor Plan, you will see more or less of the elements (a bit like a 3D section box).

Not sure of the limitations or problems yet, but I had to share 🙂

Thanks to pepar for sharing on slack, and cadconsulting for making the video.

If you have used Copy / Monitor to copy some elements from a Revit Link file, and those elements change, you will get a “Instance of link needs Coordination Review” message. How do you adopt or ignore those changes?

In the example below, grids were copied from a Revit control file. The control file has been updated, and one grid has moved. Revit detects this change, and using the process below, you can update your elements to match the changed element. Here is how…

Upon opening your Revit file you will get this message:

Go to a view where you can see the Link that needs to be reviewed:

Then, start the Coordination Review process:

After picking the link, you will get a list of items and the potential actions:

Choose Modify if you want the element in your model to be modified to match the Link. Then press Apply.

 

You should now see a clear dialog box. Your Coordination Review is complete:

There is a big difference between a Revit user, and someone who has really mastered the software. The more you learn, the faster you get, the more you can learn! In this blog series, we will cover topics like:

  • Productivity Improvement through User interface tips and Keyboard shortcuts
  • View filters and View templates
  • Free addins
  • Some Dynamo
  • And More…

There are plenty of ways to do things in Revit… but we are looking for the fastest and best way. We want to maximise productivity and quality.

Targeting ‘Expert’ users so we will move quickly in general.

A lot of productivity gains come from user interface and shortcuts. Save 2 seconds every time, it all adds up quickly.

Try to take a few things away with you from this series that will save you time each and every day.

We will separate our tips and workflows into these major categories:

  • Productivity – faster ways of doing things
  • Workflows – better or alternative ways of doing things
  • Management – ways to better manage the Revit model

 

These tips were put together for a recent lab session using Revit 2018, and they are basically in note form along with steps to take in Revit.

The first post in this series is focused on setting up the Revit UI.

Setting Up Revit UI for Maximum Productivity

Note:

Please open Revit, and open the rac_advanced_sample_project.rvt

 

Please download and import the supplied KeyboardShortcuts.xml

KeyboardShortcuts

Productivity -> Double-click

In Revit Options, change default for Family to Edit Type:

Try double-clicking on a Door now.

 

Double clicking a Wall will automatically start the Edit Profile command

 

Productivity ->UI – QAT

Showing below the ribbon will allow you to add more tools.

Do this now.

 

Certain Revit tools should always live on the QAT. Add them now:

  • The Revit built in auto section box tool (since 2016)
  • Save and Load Selection
  • Set and Show Workplane – for quick 3D modelling
  • Manage Links
  • Dynamo
  • Dynamo Player

 

If you have a reasonable size screen, you could add somewhere around 20 buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar.

 

Some other easy productivity gains:

  • Filter
  • Align (but should really be a keyboard shortcut)
  • External Tools – NWC Export
  • Revitlookup,

 

My main workstation (2016):

 

Type Selector can be added to QAT:

Workset Chooser can also be added to QAT:

Productivity ->UI – Ribbon

Ribbon

Re arranging ribbon menus…

Hold down Ctrl and set it up like this:

Panels:

  • Undocking
  • Possible to set up tool palette on other monitor?
  • Re-docking back in place

 

Management -> Content Locations

Changing the home of your Revit content with NotePad++ and revit.ini

Management-> Renaming Places List in Open / Save Dialog

You need to find the PlacesOrderxDisplay value for a given entry…

In this Registry key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2016\Profiles\AllAnavDialogs]

Easiest way is to export that AllAnavDialogs to .reg file, edit in Notepad, then Merge back.

Effect will be immediate in Revit.

Link

 

Note:

Please close and re-open Revit to commit the changes to UI (in case of a crash later)

 

Open the rac_advanced_sample_project.rvt

Navigate to 01 – Entry Level – Furniture Layout

Place some Furniture in the Lounge

UI Shortcuts -> Productivity

Right-click- Repeat

Right-click- Recent Commands !

Recent commands will also help ‘teach’ you the Keyboard Shortcuts:

 

Right-click Create Similar

I use this a lot – you usually have a similar object floating around and it makes sense to start the creation tool directly from that element

 

 

Right-click to get to Properties and Browsers – You can turn System and Project Browsers on and off quickly

  • Try turning PB and Properties on and off with right-click
  • Even inside the PB, you can switch Properties on and off
  • Good for minimal screen real estate

Sometimes you will want to duplicate a Revizto project, perhaps for archive or testing purposes, or to re-share it with a new team. This post shows you how to do it quickly and properly.

Here’s how:

  1. Start Revizto
  2. Load Full Cache by clicking Edit, then the yellow hamburger:
  3. Double-click to Open the Project
  4. Click Project and Save As
  5. Give it a new name
  6. If you want it to be a cloud project, you now need to Sync it to the cloud now. Currently it is just stored on your machine and the issue ids will not have populated. Just press Share, and then hit the Upload button at the bottom of that screen

That’s it, you now have a full copy of all 2D, 3D and issue information from the original Revizto project. You will have to invite new users to this project if you want them to be able to collaborate. Your existing project and users will be unaffected.

Way back in 2008, I was super excited about all things Revit and started What Revit Wants. I’m still super excited about Revit and BIM, and this is just a quick note to say thank you for all of your recent and ongoing support (like your replies here and here). What Revit Wants is not going away! We have had an interesting couple of weeks but we are back with more features than ever on a new web hosting platform.

Over on the previous host, What Revit Wants had received over 6.7 million page views! I’m really motivated to continue sharing with such a huge audience. I look forward to engaging with you on social media and via your comments too.

A little bit of housekeeping…

  • The main URL for What Revit Wants is now http://wrw.is/  If you have your own blog or site and you have linked to What Revit Wants, please update those links to the new site. Thank you so much!
  • While the Feedburner feed is currently still alive, if you do use RSS I recommend that you update your subscription to the official feed at http://wrw.is/feed/
  • You can follow me on Twitter @lukeyjohnson
  • We also have a Facebook page here.
  • Have a Suggestion about how we can improve What Revit Wants. Head over to this page and add a comment. Thanks!

And for the first time, What Revit Wants will be set up to send newsletters to subscribers. Look out for the first one in your inbox soon…

You may have seen the “extents greater than 20 miles (33km)” warning in Revit before:

Geometry in the file dwg has extents greater than 20 miles (33km). This may reduce reliability and result in undesirable graphic behavior. Click OK to continue, Cancel to exit import.
Extents greater than 20 miles (33km)

I have previously posted about ways to clean up DWG files, best and worst practice, and also how Revit deals with accuracy and precision of big models. The short list of steps to take in AutoCAD to clean up a survey DWG is:

  1. PURGE
  2. SCALE all objects to mm instead of metres
  3. WB – write block to a new file
  4. AUDIT
  5. EXPORTTOAUTOCAD (from a vertical product)

What if, even after all of the usual steps, you still have the ‘extents’ problem? And what if you can’t find the problem in a plan or top view in AutoCAD? That means that you have large Z extents. And you can even have large Z extents from some wayward Text objects with a Z value of like 35000 metres, which will trigger the same message in Revit.

How do we fix these? We need to directly edit the Text Alignment Z in AutoCAD. Here’s how:

  1. Select All Text with Quick Select tool

  2. Then change the ‘Text alignment Z’ value to 0. This also sets the Position Z to zero.

  3. Then either Save As or use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD command to remove the proxy objects

Now the DWG should Link to Revit without error. Hope this helps some of you 🙂

If you want to Move Text to the Elevation corresponding with the text value, such as for a Civil elevation, you can use this command. With a Civil or other vertical product, start the special command:

  1. _AECCMOVETEXTTOELEVATION
  2. At the ‘Select text objects’ prompt, type All and hit Enter
  3. The text should have been moved automatically

Forum link

An interesting but sometimes blunt process that happens in firms is ‘ranking’ their Revit users by proficiency. There are various reasons to do this, and some of them make sense. In an ideal world, all of your Revit users are simply awesome and you have no skills problems. But yeah, real life ain’t that way is it?

So how do you go about it? And do you use those ratings primarily?

  1. To change how you run projects, or
  2. how you deliver training,
  3. or both?

I touched on the ‘Five Stages of a Revit User’ and the ‘6 Phases of a Revit User‘ in this post:
What Revit Wants: Revit users – Five Stages vs 6 Phases vs Hype Cycle

And KnowledgeSmart have shared a 3-tiered system here:
The KnowledgeSmart Blog: 3 Levels of Revit Proficiency

Personally, I think the success of Revit in your firm is likely more affected by culture and attitude. Are people being forced to implement something they don’t like or understand? That could be an uphill battle…

Check out this post for more on using Revit with the right attitude and mindset.

 

There have been different ways of accomplishing this over the years. Now, with Dynamo, I would use this simple two step process:

  1. Create a unique type for each Planting or Entourage element (as Height is a Type parameter)
  2. Randomize a list of values and write them into the Height parameter

It is super easy with Dynamo. Here is how you make the unique types (GUID from Bakery, Duplicate Type from Springs, SetType from Clockwork):

Then, just push the random values in, like this (the Set List node is in Bakery too):

My last attempt at this was here.

Under-slab insulation (fitted or fixed below a concrete slab) is a legitimate coordination item. Typically it is installed first on site, so other trades and services must fit in around it.

This means it needs to be modelled by someone, which can be a headache in Revit. The slab soffit (underside of slab) often moves up and with concrete beams and pads. If you have access to editing the structural model, you may look for a way to incorporate slab insulation into the floor items themselves. However, this still does not work well for the vertical faces of a slab setdown.

To solve these, I created two families:

  1. A line-based, face-based Generic Model family that can be simply placed and stretched
  2. A 4-point adaptive component for irregular shapes. After placement, the four corners can be selected and moved into place.

You can download them here:

Slab Insulation shapes

And this gif shows the rectangular version in action: