Archive | April, 2013

Symbol – Detail Component – Annotation Scale

28 Apr

It is very common that Detail components and Symbols are confused.

Detail Components are drawn at “model” scale so when the view changes scale they change proportionately.


Symbols are drawn at “print” scale.  So if you draw a symbol that is 1/8″ long, it will print at  1/8″ long regardless of the scale of view that its on.

All revit family files (which includes detail components and annotation symbols) have the file extension *.RFA.

Projects, groups and links all have the file extension .RVT.  Templates have the file extension .RTE

Most model type families you can switch what “family category” it is using in Settings–>Family Category & Parameters , Detail Components and Symbols you cannot


Revit Error: Element too small on screen

26 Apr

Revit Error: Element too small on screen | betterREVIT

Try selecting the element, dragging it in the direction that you want to move it (further than required), and then type in the required distance (temporary dimensions generally provide you with this measurement). This works for the smallest of measurements and is typically easier and faster, especially for those with keyboard short-cut tendencies.

Cut the Crap On BIM

20 Apr

Getting Real.

Nice.  I want to hear all about it.

Can you really summarize BIM with 5 bullet points to focus on… or 7 bullets not to focus on?  Not really, but blog posts are not novels and there were a couple of points I really liked.

Focus on desired outcomes.

I sat in a start up team meeting for a 9 digit dollar value project.  Almost the first words out of the Principal in Charge was “This project will be successful”. WOW!  That got my attention, so I looked up from my doodling and listened a little more attentively.  A smirk slowly started to form.  For the next few minutes there was no mention of any quantitative goals.  This was a chest bumping, morale boosting exercise – back to my doodling I went.

The few BIM start up meetings I’ve sat in, usually involve “these are the BIM uses we are going to do”.  Really?  Did you ask the project what it wants.  There is a reason why you sit down and figure out what are the goals of the project BEFORE selecting the BIM uses.  More specifically what are the quantitative goals for the project.  Reduced RFI’s is a nice goal but it’s very ambiguous.  Reduce the number of RFI’s by 10%… now we’re getting somewhere.  Determining quantitative goals also means you know what your baseline is.

Focus on process and protocols you have in place.

I nearly fell off my couch when I read this.  “Create a BIM execution plan and embed it within your wider PEP or Design Management plan.”  Did the author just crawl into my mind?  I’m sure I’m not the only who has thought of this but Project Management and BIM Management are… you ready for this… the same thing.  The BIM side is just a little more “techie”, but it shouldn’t be separate from Project Management.  The day when project management and BIM management merge, you will stop saying this is how we do BIM on our projects, to this is how we do our projects.

Skin those knees.

“Don’t worry about: making mistakes… otherwise you’ll never make anything.”  I love this.  This doesn’t mean go all out without a plan.  That’s just being stupid.  For me it means taking calculated risks and pushing the envelope further than you’ve ever done before.  Just don’t do things recklessly.

In case you want to read the rest, here is the link to the full blog post.

BIM Management: Am I the Only One Who Sees This? | AUGI

20 Apr

CAD Management: Am I the Only One Who Sees This? | AUGI.

Many of us think that others never get what they deserve.  They get away with sloppy work, errors, undercutting, having a ‘good enough’ attitude, or just plain not caring.  They go from one project to the next and nobody in management ever seems to find out that they are creating problems, ducking the blame, and avoiding the hard work.

You, on the other hand, put in your time. You work above and beyond and go the extra mile.  You rework other people’s below-grade efforts, you cover for their errors and generally never blow the whistle on the slouch in the next cubicle.

And then you think to yourself: Do others even see this?  How long can this go on?  How long until someone sees that others are causing problems?  And most importantly, will this person mess up our files again?

Most of us have had these thoughts from time to time.  People who create recurring problems appear everywhere, and it is annoying at the least and even more frustrating when you dwell on it.  Thinking like this may lead to frustration, cynicism, anger, and a very sour attitude.  If it is extended over the long haul, it might even sabotage your career or your health.  You can’t be grumpy all the time.

So what do you do when you see the same person make the same mistakes?  What do you do when you feel others have not seen a mistake that appears obvious to you?  What do you do when others seem to skate past the impact of their own errors and laziness?

Stay Cool
Keep your emotions in check.  Do not rail on the offenders to your friends and others.  Attacking the person is not going to win you any friends.  In fact, if you rant about others, it will make the person you are speaking with think “what is he saying about me when I am not around?”  So do not just ‘go off’ on uninvolved parties.

Work with the Person
No matter what the problem is – the first stop is directly with the person who might be causing you concern.  They may have caustic attitudes, get defensive, or deny the problem, but you should talk to them first.  Be very gentle and understanding as you seek to find out if they even see the problem.  By taking a direct route, you may find that they simply did not know or they had a valid reason for doing what they did.  Ask questions without accusing.  Probe a little and see what you get.  At worst, they get upset and respond negatively.  At the first hint of pushback, stop talking about it and come back to it later when they may have a better perspective.  Everyone has a bad day now and then.

Ask Questions – but do not provide answers
Start by asking a few leading questions about the issue.  If someone is consistently making mistakes after they have been informed of their errors, then start asking others about the problem.  Example: if someone always puts things on the wrong layer, then ask the Project Manager “We have seen some data put on another layer from the standard, do you think the standard should be changed? Maybe the layer list needs to be reviewed”.  What you are looking for is a response that allows you to explain in depth.  If the PM does not seem to care, then your complaints may fall on deaf ears.

Don’t be a complainer/attacker
No one likes to see others attacked.  If you appear to be complaining about a person’s action, most people will take the defender role.  I have seen this process in action.  Someone defends the other person, even if they are in the wrong, because they feel you might be “out to get them”.  When you are perceived as attacking someone, the outcome may not be what you expect.  You may be seen as a crybaby or – worse – a spiteful employee.  Take care if you ever broach a problem when it may seem like you are attacking.

Remind yourself that the problem is not the person
Even if it is the person, the initial process will be to correct the problem via reminders, encouragement, adjustments, and possibly reassignment.  Management may not want to address the “people issues” at first or they may not see your concerns as being so critical.  Either way, give the person the benefit of the doubt – most are not out to sabotage the project.  The work ethic of others may not be as high as yours, but they are still trying to be productive.

Be ready to take on more work
The person who created the problem is not the best person to fix it.  If it was done by accident, you may see progress through educating them on the concern.  Usually you want someone else to fix the problem or at least back check it once it is fixed.  This may mean that you will have to get it done.  Those who point out errors are usually called on to fix the problem.  You may get more work that you did not bargain for, which may increase your frustration level (since you are cleaning up someone else’s mess).

Understand that others do see what you see
Most of the time, others have seen the same issues you have.  If you introduce the subject gently and get others to participate in the resolution, you will make progress.  Graciousness by coworkers is to be applauded.  When others overlook small errors or cover for one another, it is a good thing.  When they do it to the detriment of the project, then it becomes a concern.

Stay positive.  Do not get an overly critical spirit and work directly with the person who is the focus of your concerns first.

Solibri Introduces Solibri Model Checker

20 Apr

Emphasizing the Effectiveness and Ease of BIM QA/QC by Introducing the BIM Quality Wizard

Widespread adoption of BIM is targeting better buildings, more economic design solutions, more effective construction and sustainable development. These targets require meeting the requirements and needs of different stakeholders, and being able to verify the right quality in design and construction. The key for meeting the ever increasing requirements is the ability to perform Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC).

The key challenge has been that implementing practical and repeatable BIM QA/QC is difficult and requires expertise and experience. By introducing Solibri Model Checker v8 Solibri solves the challenge by introducing step-by-step QA/QC process support. It enables the AEC community, for the first time, to perform repeatable QA/QC and BIM analysis tasks with unsurpassed ease, and to implement a BIM Quality Assurance process, guided by clear and concise instructions.

Read more… Solibri Introduces Solibri Model Checker v8 – Solibri.

View Reference Tags

20 Apr

Revit Rants: Revit 2013 – View Reference Tags.

In 2013 Autodesk added the ability to allow a View Reference Tag to reference almost any view (not legends) from almost any view.  Previously View Reference Tags were exclusive to Dependent Views and Matchlines.

Some tricks I thought of immediately were placing a “smart” view reference tag in a string of text that references some standard details or alike.  Or how about showing where 3D views are taken in plan and being able to graphically print them and hyperlink to them?

  1. Create a new Generic Annotation
  2. Go to Family Category & Parameters and change the category to View Reference Tag
  3. Place labels for the detail number and sheet number and draw your desired symbology (note, I always make my tags parameter so I only ever have one tag type per family category, this is typically done through visibility parameters controlled by integer values to switch between them)
  4. Save the family and load it into your project
  5. Switch to the view you want to place it in
  6. Swith to the View tab and in Sheet Composition choose View Reference
  7. Edit Type, and select the view reference tag you wish to use from the drop down
  8. Now you can start placing in the view your require it!  NOTE: you can place them in 3D views also but you need to ensure you lock the view orientation.

Tag all with shared nested families

20 Apr

Due to the large number of repetition and relative unpredictability of groups we used some complex families for each room fit-out, which actually included every family nested into it, with some parametrics to adjust for varying room sizes.

Unfortunately, if you just select the host family and choose tag all it does not tag the nested sub-families.  No one wanted to go through the process of Control selecting all the invidiual families as that would have taken forever.

Creating a multi-category schedule sorted by Family & Type and filtered for elements that I don’t want to tag.

  • I could then select the elements in the schedule,
  • then switch back to the view I want to tag in and
  • choose tag all (using current selection).  This way I was able to quickly select all the nested families in a matter of seconds.  Revit is smart enough to automatically filter by what is actually visible in the current view.

You could tag all using multi-category tags, I thought tag all was only for by category…!

If you need to this in a lot of views using the same selection, why not save your selection to make it quicker and avoid having to constantly go back to the schedule… Remember though if you add new elements you will need to resave the selection…

Revit Rants: Tag all with shared nested families.