I was recently working on a multi-vector dataset comparison in Deep Space. We had received Revit, Navisworks and tabular data, and I was comparing 3 different data drops of that information, particularly for changes in the quantities of specific types of elements. A ‘data drop’ is a set of data or files that you receive at a given point in time.

In the course of exporting the Navisworks data through to CSV, I came across a specific problem – the number of rows in imported CSV did not match the number of elements processed. Why?

As you may know, you can store line breaks inside parameters in Revit. There are very few good reasons to do this, but it still does happen. Once this happens, those line breaks need to be processed by tools down stream. I spent a lot of time in the early days of Deep Space figuring out how to ‘clean’ bad Revit data so we could still bring it into the platform for analysis. Usually, if the CSV writer or reader are smart enough, they should be able to deal with this problem. However, I discovered a bit of a gap in the available tools this time. What was the problem?

It turns out that the CSV was malformed, it was actually dirty or bad data. While it did have the line breaks, it did not consistently use double quotes to contain fields. So we had the situations where there would be line breaks that were inside the CSV fields or columns, but not inside double quotes. I tried a lot of different CSV readers, including Excel, LibreOffice, Google Sheets and PowerBI / PowerQuery, but they all tripped up at this data. Because they were using the rule ‘new line = new row of data’, the imported CSV information was coming in mangled.

How can we clean this data? We generally know there should be 17 fields or 16 commas per row of data. But we also know there can be line breaks inside fields… so it is a challenge to map a data row to CSV lines. In some cases 2 or 3 lines of CSV data might still just be one row of actual data.

After trying to use various out of the box solutions, I decided to build some Python code to try and solve this. I used Dynamo Sandbox 1.3 to do this, primarily out of habit, not because it is the best Python IDE out there 🙂 I ended up with a kind of line-merging iterator, here is some of the Python code below:

biglist = IN[0]

commact=[]
for ctr in range(len(biglist)):
    astr=biglist[ctr]
    strct=astr.count(',')
    commact.append(strct)

counted=range(len(biglist))
fixedstr=[]
bad=[]
skips=[]
incr=0

for ctrx in range(len(biglist)):
    if ctrx==skips:
        pass
    elif commact[ctrx]==16:
        fixedstr.append(biglist[ctrx])
    elif commact[ctrx]>16:
        fixedstr.append(biglist[ctrx])
    elif commact[ctrx]+commact[ctrx+1]==16:
        jnr=[]
        jns=biglist[ctrx]+biglist[ctrx+1]
        fixedstr.append(jns)
        skips=ctrx+1
    else:
        bad.append(ctrx) 
        
OUT = bad, fixedstr, commact, counted

What does it do? Essentially, it counts the number of delimeters (commas) on one line, then it processes or merges lines based on that information.

This actually got me around 90% of the way there. Then I still had to do some manual fixes of things like ‘double double quotes’ that were also tripping up the CSV readers.

Above is a snapshot of the Dynamo script. And here is the script for download:

CSV Line Merge for Malformed CSV

What the the lessons here?

  1. Try and fix the source or native data if you can. Dealing with messy data downstream can be a real pain.
  2. If you need to solve this problem, you can pick up my code or work above and advance it a bit further to build a more robust ‘malformed CSV reader’
  3. Don’t let problems like this distract you during the holidays 🙂

I have recently developed a few Material and Object Procurement and Tracking solutions, primarily using Deep Space and Revizto together. These workflows also involved IFCs converted into Revit, so we could automatically set tracking parameters from Deep Space data back into Revit, and colourise the models. When converting Revit to IFC, I usually use IFC Link functionality, primarily for speed and geometric integrity.

 

However, some DirectShape objects created by IFC Link cannot be overridden in Revit using traditional methods. Even after setting Revit parameters from Deep Space, and using Visibility/Graphics Filters, the elements simply will not allow their colours to be overridden using a Shaded Surface pattern. So, we have to find another way…

 

It turns out that Phase Filters are really the only way to solve this problem, as they override the elements at the Material level. There are a few pieces to the puzzle:

  1. Set up the necessary Phase Filter, with each item set to Overridden (this allows for basically 4 status overrides in total)
  2. Set Graphic Overrides – Material definitions to have the colours you want (by changing Phase – Exist material etc to the desired colour / material)
  3. Set the Revit view to the correct Phase and Phase Filter, and Realistic view mode

Here are some screenshots of the above steps:

1 - Create Phase filter for visual Overrides
1 – Create Phase filter for visual Overrides

Next…

2 - Edit Revit Material to match desired visual Overrides
2 – Edit Revit Material to match desired visual Overrides

Then…

3 - Set the View Settings
3 – Set the View Settings

 

Also…

Keep in mind if you are using Container Files you will need to Transfer Project Settings and bring across your

 

Finally…

Make sure your View is set to Realistic in Revit, if you truly want to see the Material Phase override in the Revit view.

As you know, Revizto is the best Integrated Collaboration Platform on the market today, especially if we are talking about AEC and BIM Coordination and Management. However, some people and companies still do things ‘the old way’. For example, some companies still create Viewpoints in Navisworks, share those Viewpoints as actions, and call that ‘coordination’ or ‘collaboration’ (which it really isn’t). Instead, with the Revizto ribbon in Navisworks, you can simply click Create Issue, Apply a Stamp, and immediately start collaborating with your team in the cloud.

But, we generally still have to sometimes work with people who do things ‘the old way’. So, if we still want to mainly work in Revizto, but we are receiving Navisworks Saved Viewpoints as a kind of action list, what then?

Years ago, there was a cool BIM and Technology company called CASE that got bought out by WeWork. CASE built and released some really nice free software, including addins and plugins for Revit and Navisworks. Those plugins were ultimately released as open source in dead link here, and partly maintained in a fork here.

Revizto allows us to import BCF files. So all we need is a Navisworks addin that converts Saved Viewpoints to BCF files … and CASE built one of those back in the day! I previously posted about the CASE BCF Exporter here.

I spent some time over the last day or so downloading the repos, setting references, and fixing the Build problems. I have now built the Case BCF Exporter ( CASE.Navis2BCF ) for Navisworks 2018 and Navisworks 2021:

you can download compiled 64-bit BCF Exporter plugins from here

How do we use this?

  1. Install the plugins. In the downloaded package, there is a ReadMe file. Depending on version, it says:
    Copy CASE.Navis2BCF folder into:
    %APPDATA%Autodesk Navisworks Manage 2021Plugins
    
    Restart Navisworks
    
    Open View - Windows and enable "Case BCF Exporter"
    
    
  2. Open your Navisworks model that includes Saved Viewpoints. Sometimes you may be sent a Viewpoint XML file and you need to import it to Navisworks.
  3. Now, with the BCF Exporter panel open, click “Refresh List”. You should see clearly the Viewpoints that you want to Export as BCF. You may need use Shift+select to select and Remove any Viewpoints from the BCF Exporter list that you DON’T want in the BCF.

  4. With your shorter list showing, click Export Issues

  5. Save the .bcfzip file when prompted. A descriptive name will be useful later, as the issues will be tagged with the filename.

  6. Open Revizto Viewer and open the Issue Tracker
  7. Click down arrow to Import issues from BCF

  8. Select the BCFzip file you saved, then click Open
  9. Now, the issues (including Camera location and Markup image) are all imported to Revizto from Navisworks Saved Viewpoints!
  10. To quickly view these, open the Filters, Custom Filter, go to Tags, and choose the relevant BCF filename from here:

I would love to go ahead and build the plugin for Navisworks 2019 and 2020, so I will update the post here when that is done.

Hope this helps some of you to keep using Revizto to maximum efficiency, even if some people around you are still doing things ‘the old way’ 🙂

Revizto is known for listening to its clients and responding rapidly. We received lots of feedback from Revizto customers who wanted to manage the Company, Department and Location of users. In the past, you had to manage users in Revizto with only one piece of metadata – User Tags. But now we have released an update to user management that adds these fields:

  • Company,
  • Department, and
  • Location

How do you use these features?

First, you should enable the new metadata fields. Here’s how:

  1. Login at Revizto workspace, ws.revizto.com
  2. Select your License, then select ‘License info’ from the “Tools” drop down list

  3. Then, tick ‘Company‘, ‘Department‘ and ‘Office location‘ in the “Show additional user fields” area:

  4. Congratulations! You have enabled the additional fields.

Second, how do you set those fields? Here’s how:

  1. Login to Revizto web workspace, and choose ‘User directory‘ from the “Tools” drop down list

  2. To set 1 field – tick the box on the left, then to Set Company, choose ‘Set company’ from the drop down list under “More”

  3. Type the Company name, click ‘Create new’ and then Set

  4. To set fields in Batch or Multiple – filter the users first (you could use existing User Tags for this)

  5. Use the top tick box to select all, then immediately use the Set company fields as described above:

 

Third, how do you use those fields in Dashboards? Here’s how:

  1. Login to the web workspace, then go to Tools – ‘Cross Project Dashboards

  2. Make a new Dashboard and Chart
  3. Within the new Chart, you can use the new Grouping fields – “Assignee company”, “Assignee department”, “Assignee location”. Those fields are also available for Reporters of issues.

  4. Congratulations! You have now added fields, set data, and you can use that data in Dashboards

Fourth – when you export the User directory with “Export to Excel“, you will now see those additional fields as shown below:

Along with the above, you can now also batch import users from an Excel file. How?

  1. From the User directory, click + Add users
  2. Then choose ‘Import from file‘ and follow the steps to import and map data to Revizto user fields

Here is a list of all the new features released this week in the web workspace in Revizto:

  • Additional fields for users with the ability to filter and group by them (company, department, location)
  • Ability to add users from excel files
  • Displaying action logs in a license for client admins (you can understand who added a specific person to a license or project, who changed rights, who removed a person from a license or project)
  • Adding the ability for a cumulative graph in statistics
  • Fix the creation of RFI
  • Translation of workspace into other languages

Full credit to the awesome web development team at Revizto for these useful enhancements and new features!

Also, we are currently running a closed beta of Revizto v5.0 with some of our Revizto power users – you might start to see some of the version 5 features coming out now on social media, so keep your eyes open for that 🙂

You might receive a message like this when opening a model in Revit:

Missing Third Party Updaters
Missing Third Party Updaters

 

 

An Updater is a piece of code that basically works to continuously sync a Revit model with some external properties or logic. In this case, the updaters missing included:

  • REXExtension: DReinfFootingSpread
  • REXExtension: DReinfWall
  • REXExtension: DReinfColumn

This was in a Structural design model that I received in Revit 2017 format, and I then upgraded to Revit 2018.

I then tried to install the “Structural Precast Extension” for Revit 2018 – but the error still appeared.

After that, I installed the “Revit Extensions for Autodesk Revit 2018” package.

Which appears on this Extensions Ribbon:

This solved the problem – the “Missing Third Party Updater” message did not appear again when opening this model in Revit 2018.

You can download Revit Extensions from:

  • then Filter or Search for Extensions
  • and Download and Install

On this particular project, I’m acting in my usual Strategic BIM and VDC Implementation capacity, and we are rolling out our typical software stack to a large project team. This includes:

  1. Setting up BIM360 for Revit cloud worksharing, federating models in Revit and creating control model/s
  2. Syncing data to Deep Space – we will immediately use Deep Space for project quantification, compliance, and model compare between Tender dataset and current Revit dataset
  3. Exporting models to Revizto for team review and collaboration

Over the past few years we have been building and refining a data platform for AEC and Infrastructure projects – we call it Deep Space. It has allowed us to manage huge projects, develop powerful analytics, and increase productivity and efficiency with automations.

We just released a brand new version of our Revit addin, check out the first demonstration video here:

Feel free to check out the website at https://www.deepspacesync.com/

We hope to meet you in Deep Space soon!

You can get the Revit 2020.2.2 Hotfix direct download here.

Here are the Release Notes

Release notes (reproduced below):

The Revit 2020 updates and hotfixes are cumulative and include all changes from previously released Revit 2020 updates.

After this hotfix is applied successfully, the build number specified on the Help > About dialog will be:

  • 20.2.20.31
  • 20200426_1515(x64)
  • 2020.2.2
Software embedded in the update executable:
Revit 2020 – version 20.2.20.31
Autodesk Cloud Models for Revit 2020 – version 20.2.20.31
Personal Accelerator for Revit – version 21.0.11.0
OpenStudio – version 0.1.9

Issues Resolved

Annotation – Dimensions
Fixed an issue when upgrading a model with an incorrect dimension leader style.
Beams, Braces
Fixed an issue that structural framing elements might be incorrect for cloud rendering.
Fabrication – MEP
Fixed an issue that could lead to product instability when dragging to connect open ends of inline fittings.
Fixed an issue with the Optimized Straights feature which was occasionally incorrectly altering the length option from Auto to Value.
Family Editor
Improved stability when using Create Similar with certain families.
File Open/Save Internals
Improved stability when saving a family file from a cloud model after changing the Maximum backups in File Save Options dialog.
Floor
Improved stability when orbiting or editing elements in a 3D view.
gbXML
Fixed an issue that caused exterior wall surfaces to be assigned to a space without a spaceIdRef when exported to gbXML.
Import/Export Other
Updated Revit to use FBX Toolkit version 2020.0.
Licensing
Fixed an issue which caused Revit to become unresponsive.
Link Topography
Fixed an issue where coordinates were changed when the linked topography was reloaded.
MEP Other
Improved stability when editing a family that had been corrupted.
MEP Pipe
Fixed an issue that caused instability when switching views while editing a pipe’s diameter.
Reinforcement – Shape Driven Rebar
Improved stability when upgrading a Revit project containing rebar.
Improved stability when editing rebar constraints.
Revit Home
Fixed an issue where the name of the local copy instead central model was displayed on the Recent Files page.
Startup/Shutdown
Removed potential security vulnerability.
User Interface
When an unrecoverable error happens, a clear link from Revit to the self-service support page is provided.
View – Analysis Visualization
Improved the performance of the display of Analysis Visualization entities when more than one set of independent results is added to a view simultaneously.
ViewCube Navigation
Improved stability when click on the navigation bar.

Important Notes

Dynamo for Revit
In some cases Dynamo will not be visible within the Manage tab after 2020.2.2 Hotfix is applied. To restore Dynamo, replace DynamoRevitDS.sig and DynamoRevitVersionSelector.sig the following location: C:Program FilesAutodeskRevit 2020AddinsDynamoForRevitRevit
Content
Updated Content for Revit 2020.2 is not included in the patch deliverable and is provided on the Autodesk Knowledge Network, link.
Uninstall
Revit updates cannot be uninstalled to revert Autodesk Revit 2020 to its pre-update state. If you need to remove the update, please uninstall Autodesk Revit 2020 and then reinstall it.

Today I was trying to open a particularly stubborn DWFx file. In Autodesk Design Review 2013 it would stall completely. ADR 2018 would throw an error, crash or stall as well. I ended up using Autodesk 360 and Navisworks 2019/2020, and these were able to read the model.

 

However, in the process I found these links to install the very latest version of Autodesk Design Review:

 

Its also quite weird that the main Autodesk Design Review page still links to the 2013 version, not the 2018 version?

https://www.autodesk.com.au/products/design-review/download

In the old pre-BIM360 days, if you really had a problem where a Revit user didn’t relinquish elements in a workshared model, you could either

  1. Pretend to be that user and sync (yes just by changing your user name in Revit Options), or
  2. Detach that Central model and Save As.

Modern day BIM360 Revit Collaboration doesn’t allow either of those to happen easily…

So how do you relinquish elements in a BIM360 cloud Revit model?

Here’s how:

  • Open Revit and a model
  • Then go to Collaborate and Manage Cloud Models.
  • Browse to your BIM 360 Project and then the actual Model
  • Use the icon to view the model Actions menu and choose “Relinquish”
Screenshot from Revit 2018
Screenshot from Revit 2018

When prompted, choose “Force Relinquish”

Choose the User and then click Relinquish
Choose the User and then click Relinquish

and Continue

Confirm by pressing Continue
Confirm by pressing Continue

Then, wait for the process to complete.

Finally, it is probably a good idea to Sync with Central 🙂

 

Revit Help Links (note, the process is basically the same for all current versions):