EDIT The merging of DesignScript and Dynamo was confirmed by Ian Keough:

There is some interesting “fluidity” of language in discussing DesignScript, Dynamo, Revit and Vasari in the following two class descriptions of AB2551…  I guess all will be revealed at the AU class on Thursday, Dec 5, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM.

From this:
snapshot of the page as it appeared on 22 Oct 2013 12:40:35 GMT

To this:
1 Nov 2013

Enhanced Parametric Design with Dynamo Visual Programming for Autodesk® Revit® and Autodesk® Vasari™.

“Official” links have now appeared.  Enhancements Lists are finally here:
RVT enhancements
RAC enhancements
RST enhancements
RME enhancements

Original direct links are below the first line.

Another Autodesk post describes how UR2 improves building analysis, including:

  • improved handling of sandwiched materials (mm…mmmm)
  • improvement to Analytical Surface precision of around 10-20%

Read more:

Onebox – Direct link for RVT version:

Revit Architecture – Direct link for RAC version:

Revit Structure – Direct link for RST version:

Revit MEP – Direct link for MEP version:



Official pages:
Revit 2014 (One Box) Update 2
RAC 2014 Update 2
RST 2014 Update 2
RME 2014 Update 2

Main Autodesk page for RAC
Note: After Update Release is applied correctly the build number specified on the Help>About dialog will be 20131024_2115.

Readme (select language version):

English (htm – 30Kb)
Enhancements Documentation (select language version):

English (pdf – 208Kb)

To make the swappable profile, use a Generic Model Adaptive template, but don’t add any Adaptive points.  Set the 2 reference planes in the template to “Defines Origin”.  You can parametrize this as much as you like (just don’t use Reference Lines – you need a closed profile of Model Lines as per any Profile).  Then, load this into another new Generic Model Adaptive family.  Host the Profile component on a hosted point (that is, one that has been placed on a line).  You will need one of these nested Profiles at each end of a line to control the form properly.

I am in the habit of using hosted points to host Profiles now.  For example, in a 2pt Adaptive with a Reference Line, I will add 2 hosted points to the Reference Line to carry the Profile instances.  These hosted points will be forced to the end points by using a parameter for zero, and another one for one, and forcing these values by putting 0 and 1 in the Formula box of the Family Types dialog (see image).

If you are using hosted points (make a new point, and drop it on a Reference Line – it will be come a small dot if it is hosted on the line), you can actually adjust the rotation Angle using a parameter – this makes it easy to rotate the profile around the hosting line.

Here is the really cool part – you can apply a Label parameter to the Profile instance in the host family, and then directly swap Profile shapes (different nested RFAs or types in the same RFA, both work).  This even works from the Project Environment.

If you want to drive the profiles parametrically via the host family, you will have to make them un-Shared (otherwise you can’t map parameters from Type to Host).  You can swap between un-Shared and Shared profiles using the Label parameter.

Finally, to create the form, select the Profile families (the ones at each end of the Reference Line) and click Create Form.  Unlike other form creation scenarios, you do not want to select the “lines” by Tabbing through – you actually want to select the family itself.  The Label parameter will allow you to swap these families, which will drive the Form.

In the image below, all of these are one Adaptive family – with profiles swapped, and parameters adjusted, including rotation about the axis.

Download the above example here

Credit:  I’m fairly sure I read about this general idea somewhere… it was a while ago.

Basically, you overlay a 3D view over an image placed on a Sheet to allow you to see the photo background while you match the view.


  1. Make a new 3D view from approximate eye location to approximate eye target (centre of photo)
  2. New Sheet
  3. Drop the photo (image file) be matched on the sheet and size it to suit
  4. Add the 3D view on the sheet on top of the photo – Turn off Background and Set to Hidden Line, Transparency 40%, Edges Off.
  5. Roughly scale 3D view using the view border Size Crop in the X dimension (Width) to match some known points in the middle photo
  6. Drag the crop edges of the view to match the photo (this accounts for some of the “warping” / perspective)
  7. Use Focal Length on the Steering Wheel to try to match vanishing lines, somewhere in the middle of the photo
  8. Zoom and Pan a bit – use Temporary Hide/Isolate to select a couple of objects and use these to do most of the View orientation adjustments
  9. Use Orbit for final fine tuning – you can drop the Centre point, then Rewind and it will remember that as the Orbit centroid.  Drop it on a known point and Orbit.  You can turn off Keep Scene Upright in Steering Wheel settings.  With a SpacePilot, just turn on all your axis and slowly and carefully match the view.

From here, you can use Render Settings and set the image as a background with “Stretch”.

Also, for each camera position you can have one 3D view set for “camera matching”, and one set up for rendering, and to align one to the other use ViewCube “Orient to View”.

Overall, it can still be a tricky process. The 3D mouse makes it much easier – you can basically just rotate, zoom, pan until it looks about right.  Remember to select a couple of “known” objects in the model, this will allow better control when using the 3D mouse…

There are other more geometric methods available for Camera Matching too:
What Revit Wants: How to match a Revit 3D view to a real life Camera Photo

Credit to Doug Bowers:
In the Project Browser, expand the Families category, then expand the Profiles portion.  Locate the desired profile and expand it.  When you see the types displayed under that profile, right click on the desired type name and select “Type Properties…” from the menu.

This process is different for profile families from other families in that with other families you can simply highlight the nested family and pick on the Type Properties button in the Properties palette to access the parameters.  That process does not work with Profile families.

Read more
Passing Revit Parameters to Nested Profile Family | Applying Technology to Architecture

In a future post – swapping Profiles completely in Adaptive scenarios…

A while back, I mentioned the YourRibbon addin called Hotkey, which allows you to assign a HotKey to a specific component, not just a command.  There is another one called Color by the same dev.  Using this, you can override colors in your working environment in Revit, turn color on while working in Revit and back to black when it’s time to print.  Video below:

Free full version keys for Revit 2012
Do you have a few Revit 2012 projects still hanging around?  Enter the following activation keys into YourRibbon for a full free version of YourRibbon for Revit 2012.

HotKey 2012: 4463-3674-7375-3951

Color 2012: 4485-3674-4382-1336

From the download page:
Download — YourRibbon for Autodesk Revit

Can I transfer my settings for HotKey and Color?
Yes.  The the file hotkey.xml and color.xml stores your settings and can be copied from computer to computer.  This is a great way for one person to setup the firm-wide standard.

PDF is ubiquitous.  As great as DWF is, it just will never have the market saturation that PDF does.  That is why there is definitely a market for a good tool to make 3D PDFs from Revit.  As Revit users, we already have access to a nice looking 3D model with BIM data, but how do we transmit it or show it to key stakeholders (who may not be tech savvy)?  Sure, we can easily make a DWF, but then we have to educate people about using new viewing tools etc.  Let’s just make a 3D PDF and email it across for review 🙂

I have previously posted at least 4 ways to make a 3D PDF for free from Revit:

  1. Using the i-model plugin (also using Navisworks FBX to i-model)
  2. Converting a DWF
  3. Revit to OBJ to DAZ Studio to U3D to Adobe 3D PDF
  4. 3D PDF from Revit STL using Meshlab, MiKTeX and U3D-2-PDF

So here is the point of this post (in the words of 3DA Systems rep):
we’re hoping you can review 3D PDF Converter, particularly from the point of view of seeing how it exceeds the free options out there.

That is the question – does this paid tool exceed the free methods?  And if so, in what ways?

I’ll be the first to admit that the four free methods I have shown have various disadvantages, such as:

  • they require the use of a plethora of middle man tools
  • they may not include real BIM data from the model
  • in most cases, you don’t get realistic representation of materiality (perhaps just an approximation)
  • topography export is a bit unpredictable

In other words, they can be a pain to create, and don’t produce a great result.

After installation, I opened a project in Revit 2013.  Switching to the Add-ins Ribbon, I could see the following new commands:


I then switched to a perspective view, but guess what?  You can’t export from a perspective view.  This makes sense, because all my add-ins were greyed out in the Perspective view.  As I wanted to take all the view settings from that particular view (which was a render scene), I created a View Template from it and applied it to a orthogonal (Default) 3D View.  I also applied a Section Box.  Finally, I picked Create PDF

I was presented with dialog box that allows some very granular control of the resultant PDF.  Here is what it looks like:

I selected Shaded Illustration as the Visual Style, and then clicked OK.  Then – go and have a coffee… About 12 minutes later, I had my first 3D PDF.  A few things:

  • it did not respect the Section Box
  • it did not respect the Visibility show / hide settings of the source view

Basically, I had a 3D PDF (including BIM data) of “everything”.  It was highly detailed, but not visually appealing.  So, I figured I should try again – perhaps I missed something in the settings?

This time around, I noticed that I could export “selected” elements.  So I selected everything I could see in my Section Boxed view and triggered Create PDF again.  This time, I also tried CAD Optimized Lights.

The resulting file is lightweight and easily viewable.  However, you don’t get textured materiality – because 3D PDF itself doesn’t support that.

In short, you get what you pay for.  This is a mature, highly functional add-in that makes 3D PDF export simple and very easy to control.  It certainly exceeds the free methods, both in terms of ease-of-use and ability to customize the output.

So, how do you get it?  The download process is painless, just go to this link for a fully functional 30 day trial:

The main decision you will have to make is which version do you want to use?  What is the difference?

For the most current versions (2012/13 and 14), the only difference is the version of Revit they work with.

The difference between the 2014 release and the release from last year is that 2014 does not require Acrobat in order to create 3D models – it’s totally standalone (although you will still need Acrobat to create 2D models).
For me, this difference is a big deal.  I’m still happy to use CutePDF for 2D prints, so technically, I don’t need to purchase full Acrobat to use the 2014 version (that is, version 5).

For a comparison between the compression methods of DWF and 3D PDF, check out:
Comparison of VRML, DWF, U3D (used in 3D PDF), and Kaon Compression – Kaon Knowledge Base

Download from Autodesk Exchange

This app will generate a report of all keynotes in your Autodesk® Revit® model, with information about user, material, and element keynotes and which keynotes are orphaned.

More info:
Free Keynote Reporter now available on Revit App Store | Boost Your BIM – making Revit even better

Revit Add-Ons: Free Keynote Reporter Add-in for Autodesk Revit

There are a few interesting things there already, including:

  • The Building Coder samples
  • Export to CNC addin
  • Place Family instances based on Text file
  • updates to RevitLookup

To get Revitlookup 2014.0.0.5, do this –
Download the ZIP:

Add Reference to Revit Program folder, then Build.  Copy DLL etc as necessary (other steps here).

Read more:
The Building Coder: ExportCncFab on GitHub and RevitLookup Update

Revit Add-Ons: The Building Coder Repository on GitHub