Archive | July, 2012

2013 Views: Templates and Types

29 Jul

My top-rated new addition to Revit 2013 is the ability to create different view types, assign a view template and be able to make them dependent on it.

View Types

The great thing is that you get better control of your office standards and their usage. And who doesn’t like having drawing sets comply with well-established standards without having to waste time policing them? I know I do!

Recently I discovered a little issue. When design options are created in a project, these are checked controlled by all the view templates, so the users are not able to go to the Design Options tab in Visibility/Graphics and make changes to their views as necessary.

And without design options actually existing in the template, you cannot uncheck them from the View Template settings as they are not available. Of course users can go and make changes to the View Templates themselves, but that’s something I’d rather not broadcast too much.

Turns out the fix is simple: add an option set and the Design Options become available in the View Templates dialog. Uncheck them so they’re not controlled by the View Templates and delete the option set when done. Now if users add design options to their project, this setting is remembered and there won’t be any issues with setting their visibility on a view by view basis.

via Do U Revit?: 2013 Views: Templates and Types.


Ten Ways to Keep Your Revit Model Speedy

26 Jul

Ten Ways to Keep Your Revit Model Speedy

Tweet2012 JAN 93 COMMENTS

When working full steam for a deadline, it is easy to overlook some of the warnings Revit produces. If left unchecked for too long, you can amass 700, 800 or even 1000 warnings—which can make your model slow and cumbersome, because it keeps looking to see if the “problems” have been fixed. Take a moment to check how many you have in the model and the “quality” of those warnings. The most common, benign and easiest to fix are warnings about rooms separation lines overlapping each other or walls and warnings saying that two items have the same type mark. More complicated warnings like ramp slope and stair riser warnings should get reviewed right away, because they require more complex calculations and can have a bigger impact on performance.

Revit is capable of modeling many complicated things AND make them parametric (changeable). Yes, you can model every widget in that complicated piece of equipment, but should you? The answer is most likely no. If you keep the mantra of  “Keep It Simple” and only model what you need/when you need it, you will wind up with a smaller, easier to use model. Beware of items that come from RevitCity or manufacturers, as they typically are modeled with a lot of detail.

Revit is amazing when it comes to creating views. You can create sections, elevations and 3D views with the blink of an eye. This is great, however, an excessive amount of views—especially 3D perspective or isometric views—can weigh a model down. Once you’re done using the section you cut to quickly check something, make sure to delete it. Try keeping the philosophy of“name it or delete it” when it comes to views to keep your model in check as you go.

This means roofs, floors, ceilings, filled regions, ramps, stairs and any other item that put you into pink lined sketch mode. Complicated sketches using a lot of splines require Revit to process more information. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t design wild curvy ceilings, it just means we should keep an eye on how that ceiling is impacting the file.

Don’t be a hoarder when it comes to Revit families in your model. Keeping a small collection of items you are sure you’ll need in the future is ok, but keeping every piece of casework you loaded just in case you need it someday is not. If a component you need accidentally gets purged, it can always be loaded back in.


When you create important things like grids or levels, the tendency is to want to lock them. Locking components to other components causes Revit to review the locked relationship every time you modify one of the items you’ve locked. When you have a lot of items locked, Revit has a lot of reviewing to do. Also, if one of your grids or special items gets moved out of position, you run the risk of moving all of your grids if they’re locked together, catastrophically damaging your model instead of just having one grid out of place. Try using locks only when you’re building families in the family editor.

Groups always seem like a great idea at first, but they wind up functioning differently than you expect them to. Use groups sparingly and with good reason. If it seems like your group could be made into a static family, it probably should be. Also, be wary of the types of components you’re grouping together. Wall hosted items like sinks or doors can have issues when they’re grouped away from their host (the wall), or in with non-wall hosted items like sinks or casework.

This is a huge source of file size and model performance problems in Revit. If you absolutely must bring CAD into a Revit model, always save a copy of the file first and clean out the riff raff. Delete any elements that somehow snuck off into no man’s land, purge the file, run the “overkill” command and audit it. Make sure when you type in “Z E” for zoom extents that your drawing is centered on the screen.

When you bring the CAD in, always link it instead of embedding it. That way, you can find the file when you need to modify it, reload it or remove it. Embedded CAD has the knack of getting lost in your views. Sometimes it can get hidden and become difficult to find.

Images are almost a separate issue. When imported into the model, an image will maintain its original size even if you scale it down in the view. If you find yourself scaling the view down quite a bit, unlink it and cut down the image size prior to loading it into the model. Keep only the images you really need in the model and delete the rest using the manage images tab.

These should be used very sparingly, if at all. Modeling in an outside family is actually easier than using the family editor. Also, when you copy an in-place family, it makes another family. Before you know it you could have Special Casework 1 ,2, 3, … 25…. Only use an in-place family if it’s something you can’t model outside of the project in the family editor.

Once you are done using a design option, delete it. When there are a large amount of design options in the model, Revit has to think about how each option influences the objects around it. The more you have, the more thinking that occurs and the slower your model.


1. Saving to Central using the “Open – Save Page”
This is a simple legend view that will help your model open faster. Synchronizing with a 3D view open, especially one that has shadows on, will take a long time to open next time you want to access the file. (NOTE: If you are using Revit 2012, it has a tool under the manage tab that allows you to designate which view you want Revit to open the file with. Your Open Save Pageor another small view should be selected for this task. While you’re there, make sure to check out the Revit Best Practices section that Jason Grant wrote. There is a lot of valuable information in there.)

2. Auditing once or twice a week
Checking this box will give you a warning that it will take a long time. However, I’ve never seen it take much longer than the usual load time. If you are ever having issues with your file crashing or behaving strangely, try auditing it and see if that helps. Often times it will.

3. Compacting the file at the end of the day
It really isn’t much slower than your normal save to central and can help keep your file trim and efficient.

4. Over writing the model with a fresh copy
This should be done by an experienced Revit user on an as needed basis. It will help clean up older back up and temp files, which will make the file size smaller.

5. Put linked models on their own workset
If linked models are on their own workset, you can choose not to load them. That will save you time opening and saving the model.

This post was inspired by Steve Stafford of Revit Op Ed’s Article “File Size – A Red Herring?” and recent sessions with MyCadd.

Ten Ways to Keep Your Revit Model Speedy.

Import or copy 3D views from one project to another?

18 Jul

Projects are not identical

create a model line drawn from the project base point to a known location in the model containing the 3D Views to be copied in case you have to move the cameras.

Copy that model line across the clipboard from project to project using “paste aligned current view”

Activate a 3D View in the source project, click the camera frame and right-click select “All instances in project” to quickly pick all cameras at once.

Double click on a plan view to activate it.

Copy selected cameras to clipboard.

Switch to other project and activate a plan view and paste aligned current view.

With cameras still selected in target project, use the move tool and your original model line end points to move the cameras in your new model if necessary.

via Import or copy 3D views from one project to another?.

Modelling Floor Finishes–The FAST way!

13 Jul

Modelling Floor Finishes–The FAST way!
Well, how we can model floor finishes within our projects efficiently. I say efficiently because this is something we have tried before but found it to be pretty labour intensive and a little too similar to polylining in AutoCAD for my liking.

Previous attempts of modelling floor finishes using thin floor types proved painfully slow and inflexible.. Whilst this approach did achieve its purpose of providing us modelled floor finishes it entailed endless updating when things changes such as wall build-ups.

When this happened we had to modify the sketch of the floors to match the new wall face and yet we could of locked it but i hate locking the model down too much. The alterative to this would be use the room parameters to provide floor finish information which is ok but only gets you so far.

As soon as a room contains more than one finish which they almost always do this method either becomes overly complicated or else breaks down completely.

So, the plan is to model the floor finishes in each room like the floor type method but this time using ceilings instead of floors…. Yes, that does sound a little daft i know but honestly, I think its going to work a treat and heres why.

When using the ceiling tool, Revit has the great feature called Automatic Ceiling.
This allows the user to simply click a room and the ceiling sketch will be applied to its perimeter. The best thing about this is the fact that these ceiling sketches are dynamically linked to the room’s bounding elements. For some unknown reason Autodesk have not yet included this feature in the flooring tools which is why using ceilings the ceiling toolset will save you hours!.

To use this method simply create yourself some new compound ceiling types making sure you move the finish from the underside to the topside. Adjust the makeup to suit your floor types. With the new ceiling floor type made jump to a floor plan and hit the Ceiling tool. Before you actually create the ceiling first check where you are placing it.
Make sure you set the offset from level to 0 and untick Room Bounding. One big advantage using a ceiling rather than a floor is that you dont have to worry about offsets. Ceilings are set by their underside whilst floors are set by their topside.


Now simply add the ceiling using the Automatic Ceiling function by selecting the room. This is a really quick way of modelling floors within rooms. If you need two finishes in room model the primary finish as above but then add the second type on top of the first ensuring the top surfaces are level. You can then user the Join Geometry tool to effectively cut the secondary finish from the primary. When doing this ensure you select the cutting object first.


Not only can you cut one finish out of another but you can also use the floor finishes ceilings to cut recesses into slabs where required. Barrier matting would be a good use of this.Barrier Matting & SlabSlab cut by


From Revit 2011 onwards you can also take advantage of the new Realistic View settings to give you real world material representations as well as traditional hatch based views.Hidden Line:RealisticAs well of all the plus points highlighted above perhaps one of the most important things about this method is the fact that we can now accurately schedule out floor materials by type, hopefully putting a bit more “I” back into BIM.Its important to note that the whilst the schedule does take account of elements cutting each other it does not account for the sections of finish within the door openings. I guess you could update the sketches to pick this up once the walls and door positions are frozen if you wanted to be super accurate..Finished product. including a schedulable rug!All in all, I’m thinking this is a pretty good workaround, now i just have to try and persuade people at work to give it a go.

via Revit Scratchpad: Modelling Floor Finishes–The FAST way!.