How to use:

  1. Install the update to AutoCAD 2016
  2. Open a DWG file
  4.  Choose NWC or NWD to Attach (this lets you view the Navisworks file in your AutoCAD drawing).
  5. Untick Insertion point (so it uses 0,0,0) and tick Show current drawing geometry
  6. Switch your VISUALSTYLE to Realistic
  7. Confirm CMOSNAP is set to 1
  8. Try using measure or make a dimension
  9. Try modelling – you can snap to geometry in the attached NWD / NWC file. One of the easiest things to draw is a 3DPOLY (3d polyline). It will snap freely to vertexes in your model.
  10. You may have to do a ‘refresher’ course on UCS in AutoCAD, but one easy way to quickly start modelling is switch to a view using ViewCube (such as Right), then type UCS, then type V for View. You can now model on the plane of these view to make new AutoCAD geometry.

 This Feature Update provides a way to specify precise locations on an attached coordination model using the standard 2D endpoint and center object snaps. If Endpoint or Center are set as running object snaps, a marker and a tooltip display when you move the cursor over these locations on an attached coordination model.
You can also use these object snaps any time you are prompted for a location and you want to specify a precise location on an attached coordination model. Hold down Shift and right-click in the drawing area to display the Object Snap shortcut menu. Select Endpoint or Center to snap to precise locations on the attached coordination model.

The following system variable has been added.
CMOSNAP (System Variable)
Controls object snapping for coordination models.

Type: Integer
Saved in: Registry
Initial value: 1

0 – Object snapping is disabled for geometry in all coordination model attachments in the drawing.
1 – Object snapping is enabled for geometry in all coordination model attachments in the drawing.


Direct link:


This update resolves some issues with using Merged Models and the new Navisworks Manage 2016 Glue Integration features.

Direct download links here:

Autodesk_Navisworks_2016_Service_Pack_1_Multilingual_Freedom_64bit.msp (msp – 200Mb)
Autodesk_Navisworks_2016_Service_Pack_1_Multilingual_Manage_64bit.msp (msp – 266Mb)
Autodesk_Navisworks_2016_Service_Pack_1_Multilingual_Simulate_64bit.msp (msp – 266Mb)

Autodesk Navisworks 2016 Service Pack 1 Feature readme.pdf (pdf – 177Kb)
Autodesk Navisworks 2016 Service Pack 1 Installation readme.pdf (pdf – 120Kb)


I guess I need to have a Revit 2016 new features post, even if I don’t have a lot to say right now… I have started putting together a list of Revit 2016 videos at the end of this post too. I have to say, I miss the days when there was just one good, long post about new features and everyone just linked to that one 🙂

My top feature for Revit 2016? I suppose its the MEP fabrication integration. Even if its not one-click, design to fabrication solution yet, I personally think that any effort made to make fabrication from Revit easier or more predictable is definitely a step in the right direction.

There is a good list of links over at  What’s New in Revit 2016 | The BIMsider

List of resources, posts and articles:
Inside the Factory: Revit 2016 | Project Performance – Part 1
Inside the Factory: Revit 2016 | Project Performance – Part 2
Inside the Factory: Revit 2016 | Project Performance – Part 3

Revit 2016 New Features – Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements | CADLearning

RevitCat – RevitCat: What’s New in Revit 2016

Revittize – Revittize: Revit 2016 What’s new
(Mathew mentions the Place Rooms Automatically feature…)

Autodesk – Revit 2016 List of new Features ,
Autodesk Unveils 2016 Suites for Building and Civil Infrastructure Industries, 
BIM & BEAM: Rebar Constraints Improvements in Autodesk Revit 2016

Revit Kid – Revit 2016 Available Now: For Students and Professional

Revit OpEd – That Time of Year Again – Revit 2016, Revit 2016 – Place Rooms Automatically, Revit 2016 – Open Sheet, 2016 – Multiline Text Parameter Type, 2016 – Multiline Text Follow Up, Revit 2016 – New Door Content

AECbytes – Revit 2016’s New Physical-Realistic Rendering Engine

cadline – What’s new in Revit 2016?

Revit Rants – Revit 2016 What’s New? – A Commentary

BIMopedia blog – What’s New in Revit 2016?

CADLearning – Revit 2016 New Features – A First Look

imaginit – Revit 2016 New Features – IMAGINiT Building Solutions Blog

BIM Toolbox – What’s new in Revit 2016

Revit beyond BIM – Gravity Analysis for Revit 2016

TenLinks – Autodesk Ships 2016 Design Suites

Autodesk Revit Structure – Revit Structure 2016 – New features

BIM Jedi – Revit 2016 and the new Energy Analysis Features

the Revit Geek – Revit 2016 Content

Massive playlist:

32 minutes about Revit 2016 API:

Rendering in Revit can be a somewhat fiddly process. André Aksetøy shared some great Revit rendering advice via the autodesk360rendering blog recently.

Here is a sample of it:
“I also like it when the crop region aligns with lines in the scene (fig 6).
Fig. 6 – Crop alignments
Figure 6
When it comes to lighting I always render with both sun and artificial lighting to get some contrast, I try however to avoid direct sunlight through the windows to avoid too much contrast. 

Fig.7 – lighting scheme

Figure 7
I take several test renders to make sure I’m on the right track.

Fig.8 - Test renders

I think the ability to adjust exposure online is a great feature. Usually I enhance the contrast and reduce the colors before I bring the picture into photoshop for post-processing. In fig.9 you see the raw render and in fig.10 the same picture after the adjustments.

Fig.9 - raw render

Read more at the original post:

Copy and paste files from here into C:ProgramDataAutodeskRevitAddins2016

Files from:

Thanks to original post by Troy Gates at:
Revit Coaster: RevitLookup for Revit 2016

Any issues? You may have to right-click the dll and Unblock

Note: the most up to date version can always be downloaded and compiled from:

More 2016 API stuff:
The Building Coder: Revit 2016 API News and DevDays Online Recording

Have you checked it out yet?
Autodesk Knowledge Network

By clicking Service Packs and Fixes, then Revit Products, I discovered this little gem:

Autodesk CAD- and BIM- Standard Tool for Revit | Revit Products | Autodesk Knowledge Network
The tool provides extended functionalities of DWG and DXF export in addition to Revit´s “out of the box” Export. Some examples are:

  • Define *.dwt template for export
  • Implement layer standard
  • Assign objects and components (e.g. wall layers) to AutoCAD layers
  • Include material information automatically to layer names
  • Assign categories, families and even types to AutoCAD layers
  • Create blocks with attributes from tags
  • Replace tags or symbols by pre-defined blocks with in the *.dwt template
  • Process doors and windows with ÖNORM tags to DWG

There is also the ability to convert polylines from DWG files linked to a Revit project to space boundaries and rooms.

Heads-up via Support | ATG

We often work with consultants using Tekla Structures, but we only recently came across the issue of trying to import point clouds into Tekla. The officially recommended workflow is:
Leica / Trimble scanner — Trimble Real Works — Landxml — Tekla Structures

But what if we don’t have Real Works? Basically, we want to create geometry from point cloud (which we can make into a massive list of XYZ values in a text file). Sounds like an easy job for Dynamo… and in a way, it is.

Here is what worked for me:

  1. Import the source point cloud to Recap, decimate to 100mm grids, and remove all values except X,Y,Z (screencast below). This took me from about 19 million points down to about half a million
  2. Export from Recap to PTS format.
  3. Remove first line in the PTS file using Notepad++ (if necessary). The output should look something like this:

    Here is the Screencast:

    Note: steps 1 to 3 should essentially create a 3 field space delimited XYZ text file with no Intensity, RGB or Normals (sometimes called NEZ by survey people)

  4. Load some family called PointCloud.rfa with a Type called Point (can be adaptive or not)
  5. Use a Dynamo definition to place a given family at each location.
    One of my main concerns was scalability.. How many points / instances can Dynamo and Revit handle here? Initially, I used a method where the definition itself threw away a lot of points in a totally arbitrary manner, using a series of DropItemAtIndex nodes. This got me from about 500000 to about 120000 points, and this worked ok. I ended up modifying the node to allow for a number of ‘drops’ (from 0 to 4). Each drop throws away every second point… Finally, as I was getting all the points anyway, I thought it would be nice to have a Topography creation option. The published package can either create families at each point, make a topography, or both.
  6. Once you have generated the geometry you want from the point cloud, then Export to DWG or DXF
  7. Transmit to consultant

Here is a little readme:
When you first load the package, you should set up the entry data types as per below:

If your text file is space-delimited (as mine was), make sure the delimiter string field actual has a Space in it.

Also, set the two booleans to False (meaning that no families or topos will be created) for the first Run, and set the drops to 4. The “Number of points” output node will give you an idea of how many points are in play at that particular drop level, like this:

If you are running on ‘normal’ system hardware, you probably should keep it to around 50000 geometry creation points if possible. On my Surface Pro 3, it could work with the 30000 points no worries, and my workstation could handle 120000 ok. So, once you have a reasonable number in that output box, you can set the go and place instances and / or make a Topo options to True. I think Revit may struggle with huge points on a Topo, but I was able to place the family instances (with a small crosshair or 3D sphere at the origin) and then export to DWG.

Keep in mind this is a very arbitrary and lossy method – point clouds were never really meant to be wrestled into geometry like this. However, it may help you in certain situations. The Dynamo node has been published but it is very beta at the moment, so of course the usual disclaimer applies: “use at your own risk”.

Package is called Place Family Instances or Make Topography by Point Cloud.

Sample point family for download
A note on coordinates and rounding:
This tool currently uses project coordinates. A future revision may offer shared coordinate translation. In the meantime, you could use some reference geometry at project base point and run this tool in an new empty, linked file, then move it into place in project. Related discussion:

Also, it appears that rounding is occurring to 3 decimal places, which is not ideal. Again, this may be fixed in future.

I tried lots of other methods, including POINTSIN and IMPORTXYZ lisp routines in AutoCAD, but oftentimes the dataset was too big, or the input data was not what the routine was expecting.
Some other methods I attempted are below, but they weren’t too successful…
Also tried:

  1. Import points to Civil3D
  2. Convert Civil COGO points to vanilla AutoCAD blocks
  3. Use blocks to generate geometry

Using Civil3D to Convert Points to LandXML for Import to Tekla Structures
Another possibility:

  1. Points into Civil3D (as Drawing Objects in a Surface)
  2. Export Surface to LandXML

Note: you will need to login to Subscription to download …
Autodesk® Shared Reference Point 2015 provides functionality to export known points and elevation from AutoCAD® Civil 3D software to an external file, in which Autodesk® Revit® software can import and setup a “Shared Coordinate System.” This enables the collaboration of exported RVT, DWG and NWC files back to AutoCAD Civil 3D and to coordinate models in Autodesk® Navisworks® software.

Readme – English (pdf – 422Kb)


For AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015 64-bit – English (exe – 3634Kb)

For Autodesk Revit 2015 64-bit – English (exe – 3608Kb)

Autodesk Shared Reference Point 2015

When reviewing any Revit addin suite, I’m often interested in the unique tools that you just can’t get anywhere else. CGS Revit Tools has quite a few of these… and in this post I will describe just a couple of examples.

Also, in some very good news for What Revit Wants readers, for three months CGS are offering an exclusive, limited-time, 30% off of retail discount (yes!) offer if you email and specifically mention What Revit Wants. You can also just click on the CGS banner in the left sidebar. I think you will find that this is a very comprehensive suite, and with this generous discount it is very good value indeed.

Now, on with the review..

CGS Revit Tools comes with a built in spreadsheet editor called BIM Query. So, unlike some other Revit addins, you don’t actually need to open Excel and deal with input/output files – you can modify the data directly in a special editing canvas and then ‘Apply’ it directly to your model. It is quite fast at extracting the data to the spreadsheet (depending on size of model and number of categories selected).

Resize Section Box is a very useful addition to the suite, as it allows you to quickly match a Section Box to a Room, Space or View. This is a pretty powerful and unique implementation, as other Section box tools often only deal with model elements:

The BIM Manager panel provides a very comprehensive set of cleanup tools, very useful for detailed model review and audit:

There is also a tabular Type Editor, which allows quick and easy navigation, duplication and modification of family type information:

There are various tools provided to easily align text and labels. Here is a quick demo:

The Legend by Category tool helps automate the creation of Legends for an entire category at once!

And CGS Revit Tools offers a lot more, including:

  • ability to create finish floors based on rooms
  • automate assembly view creation
  • visibility automation / toggle switches
  • a ‘Zoom To…’ tool
  • Sheet view automation
  • Create views for rooms automatically
  • Tool to give your elevations that nice ‘depth’ effect

Additionally, a Content Admin Kit is included for free:

Among other things, this allows you to easily create a calculated value and then Execute to update that formula or relationship as needed. The Update Category tool will update a selected Category for a given folder to the current Revit version in a batch process.

As you can see, this suite covers a lot of ground and can save you time by automating repetitive tasks. Quick cost analysis: if it saves you 6min / day, that is one hour per fortnight, saving you almost 25 hours per working year. Let’s say you make about $25 / hr… The suite will have paid for itself at least 4 times over in the first year alone. So, yeah, it might be worth a look 🙂

Reviewer’s Note: I tested version 2015.2.250.0

Special pricing* (if you email in the next three months and specifically mention What Revit Wants, you can take an additional 5% off the already discounted web prices below, meaning the total discount is 30% off retail):

# of Licenses
 Current Web Pricing
What Revit Wants discounted price

*Note: For pricing in Australia and New Zealand, please contact Cadgroup.

Check out this blog for some real-world applications and workflows for using this suite:

Help can be viewed online at this link.

Some related screenshots: