Can’t post without mentioning Revitlookup – I know its free, but you’ll be surprised what you can do with it.
I had the opportunity this week to spend a bit of time with Unifi. What is it? Well, in simple terms it is a way to store all of your Revit families in a secure location online. You just batch upload all of your current family library, and Unifi then goes ahead and indexes all of the important family related data. Then, you can do fast and intelligent searches of your entire content library whenever you want to find and load specific families into your Revit projects (using the Unifi addin for Revit).
However, it does a lot more than just ‘store’ stuff. It handles users and permissions in an efficient yet elegant manner, and guess what… because your cloud family library is now globally accessible, you can share it with project team members inside and outside of your domain or organization. You can set up different “libraries” based on their purpose (for example, the standard Revit Imperial/ Metric content can live in one library, while your “Essential” company content may be another, Healthcare families in another library and so forth). Tags can be applied to families, and the search function actually has learning algorithms, so it gets smarter as your team uses it.
What about different Revit versions, you say? Well, after you upload a Revit family from a given version (say 2012), the Unifi servers will automatically create 2013 and 2014 versions for you (automatic upgrading). In this way, there is a single point-of-truth for each family – you don’t get file folders full of different family versions with different functionality (a problem that BIM managers have been dealing with for years).
How many family professionals are in your team or company? Usually there are one or two users who are really at the top of the family tree, and they do your family development, content creation and the like. How can you quickly connect these highly skilled users with the actual day-to-day BIM technicians in your office? Unifi handles that too. Any user can “request” a new family if one doesn’t exist for a particular purpose, and this request is automatically passed onto the family creation people (by Unifi). When they login, they see a list of content requests, and can then handle them in a logical and methodical way. They make the family, upload it, and then the entire team has access to the new content.
Unifi is what Revit content management has needed for some time, in my opinion. You can easily download the trial, upload your content and see if you like it. Many Revit teams are struggling with a core set of challenges when it comes to content; Unifi provides solid answers to many of these questions.
I spent some time with Steve Germano (Director of Product Development) this week, and I was excited to hear about the plans to expand and upgrade the already-compelling feature set of Unifi (including branching out into the Sketchup realm). The development team over there clearly has a good view of what Revit users need, and they are already well on track to provide a solution that could easily become a key part of the Revit content management system in your organization. Additionally, they are listening to the current user base, and continuing to build the feature set with each new update.
If it sounds like these Unifi folk know what they are doing, it might because INVIEW labs is behind Unifi. And INVIEW labs does lots of Revit content development for Autodesk Seek. Are you getting the picture? (This is one of those times that you probably could just stop reading and go get the trial… or) Read on for a brief summary:
Unique, powerful features of Unifi:
Latest release notes are at https://www.discoverunifi.com/release-notes.html
A few thoughts on the UX:
You may be interested in this:
Case study link
Some final points of a somewhat geeky nature:
Some people have expressed concern with having to download their families from the web to insert them into projects. Consider the following points:
If you want to clear your upload queue for Unifi, go to:
Close the Unifi Pane, then delete all of the files in this folder. After restarting Unifi, your upload queue should be clear.
Download Unifi admin tutorial here:
Some of the old-school Revit users may already be familiar with this process, but here it is…
… you want to make your own RPC, perhaps to signify an existing tree to be retained, and you would like it to show in a render.
These are actually very useful in Realistic views too, because (as you probably already know) Revit shows the RPC image when a view is set to Realistic.
In simple terms:
I used an old version of the RPC Creator installer that I had, but you can download the ‘current’ free version at:
One key thing – you need to enter size units in cm when using the RPC Creator. For a full tutorial, check out:
Creator Pro Tutorials
Also, to help size the ‘width’ of your tree, you might want to measure the aerial image on Google Earth (using the Google Earth measure tool). At least then you know that the image will be in the right ballpark for size. The size can be easily modified in the Family Type Properties once you have the RPC installed in the right folder.
RPC location for XP 64 bit:
C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesAutodesk SharedMaterials2013assetlibrary_base.fbmRPCs
You need to exit and restart the Revit program each time you add or modify an RPC file in that folder
If you want to activate RPC creator (this should be free), use the ID number submit tool at:
I actually posted about RPC Creator way back in 2009.