Archive | November, 2014

YET MORE TOILETS

27 Nov

Shades of Grey: YET MORE TOILETS.

YET MORE TOILETS

This post is no three of a series on sanitary ware familes.  Last time we modelled a Duravit toilet and bidet.  Here are 2 more of their bidets, which are available as 3d CAD downloads.  Nicely modelled, but as usual they contain seam lines that spoil our 3d shaded views, and of course you can’t apply material parameters without resorting to nasty workarounds.  The Puravida also has a missing face.

These two bidets are quite easy to model using the techniques described in the previous post.  The D code is intact, so we could CAD import it into a Revit family.  We would need to separate out the metal fittings so they can pick up a different material for rendering purposes.  (If you are specifying Duravit you probably want to be able to render)  We also need masking regions and symbolic lines in plan & elevation.

But once we’ve gone to that much trouble, why not go the extra mile and create native Revit geometry ?  It is possible to assign materials to the CAD layers via Object Styles, assuming the different materials are on different layers.  But really it would be so nice if we could just download well-made Revit families with all the metadata etc all nicely set up.

So here’s how I would make the Puravida.  Drop the CAD family into a GMA or massing family.  I find it useful to set Reference Lines to thick red under Object Styles.

Draw the base profile.  You need to change the scale of the views you are working in so the line weights are manageable.  I’m using 1:5.
In a side elevation, create some horizontal reference planes and name them (I just used 1,2,3,4)  Select the base profile and copy multiple.  You have to keep unchecking “constrain” for each new instance.

Now we need to adjust the shape of each profile.  I started by selecting the whole thing (6 segments)  Then I use shift-window to deselect that straight segment at the far left.  Now I can nudge the rest to the right and this will adjust the length without spoiling the smooth tangential curves.

Keep on like this until you have a series of profiles that hug the CAD object quite closely.  Now select them all and “create form”.  Looks pretty good.

The void inside the bowl is done in a similar way.  I call this “freehand” work because you are drawing profiles directly on ref planes instead of creating a separate parametric profile family.  I don’t have any fixed rules about which method to use, just treat each case on its merits.  This one was definitely much easier with the freehand method.  I don’t need the parametrics, just making one fixed shape

Now we can export as SAT and load into Autocad.  Sparing use of the solid fillet command to soften the sharp edges.  You will notice that we have very similar seams to those in the original CAD file, interestingly though most of them disappear later when you explode the geometry back in Revit.

The tap / faucet in the CAD download is quite an interesting shape so I accepted this as a modelling challenge.  The tricky part is in making a transition from a circle to a rectangle with rounded corners.  Ultimately I realised that the key to a smooth transition was having the same number of segments in each profile.  So I just broke the circle into 8 arcs.

The finished article has 3 parts: extrusion, loft and revolve.  Don’t try to make the body all as one loft, the cylindrical portion will never come out quite straight because you are telling Revit to create a continuous curve connecting all the profiles.

I usually use both material parameters and subcategories.  Most of the time the subcategory will control the materials for all the sanitary ware in the project, but just in case one fitting needs to be a different material (gold plated perhaps) … well you get the idea.

Introducing TIM, my Toilet Information Model.  Nice clean symbolic work in all 3 directions.  The 2d world of orthographic is very important in my view.  By all means let’s do away with hard copies, but the conceptual clarity of plans and sections is invaluable.  It helps us to think, to make decisions, to understand problems.  Don’t knock 2d.  Be inclusive.  It’s a free world.
Oh yes, nearly forgot.  Look how much cleaner my version is than the original CAD download.

Once you have that one made (floor standing) it’s relatively simple to backtrack a bit and adapt it to make the wall hung version.  Adjust the profiles, export to SAT again, round the corners, back into Revit, explode …

After that I went on to make the matching WC.  Same methodology.  Cut across with a sideways void extrusion (like we did in the last post)  Round the edges in Autocad once more.  I don’t bother cutting out the bowl for toilets.  Going to show them with the lids down, much simpler.

Turning now to some wash basins.  It turns out that the Happy D basin downloads are in SAT format and can be exploded in Revit.  Whoopee, no need for me to do lots of lofting, just remove the chrome bits and replace them with separate families for easier control.

I decided to use visibility controls to permit swapping of the half pedestal and full pedestal versions.  These are slightly heavyweight families (welterweight ?) so I figured that it was better to combine two in one.

Anyway that was a fun weekend, some time about a year ago I think.  It’s embarassing how long it takes to convert some of my work into a presentable format for sharing with the world.  But I do have a day job.  That being so, why am I spending my precious time fiddling with toilet families that should be available for download ?

The short answer is that … they aren’t.  The slightly longer answer ?  I enjoy making good quality content and somewhere deep inside I am kind of hoping that I might eventually motivate others to contribute.  Who knows, Duravit themselves might eventually come tho the party.

I’m going to put some of these families up for download.  I am appealing to the many experienced users out there who follow my blog to test them out and give feedback.  What improvements can you suggest ?  By all means make some changes and send them back.  And please lobby your contacts in the supply chain to make more BIM content available.  In the end it’s up to us.

TOILET TRAINING

27 Nov

Shades of Grey: TOILET TRAINING.

Point 1.  Please use symbolic representation in plan views.  This is an abstraction, like any other graphic symbol.  We need just enough detail to capture the spirit of the design and to look good at a variety of scales.  



Point 2 Please think carefully about the origin.  This is done by setting 3 reference planes to “defines origin”.  If the fitting is wall mounted, the “centre front/back” should be the face of the wall.  The “centre left/right” is usually straightforward.  The horizontal origin plane could be finished floor level, or it could be the rim in the case of a sink.  It should not be the underside of a sink where the waste connects.  When the family is placed in a project, it 



Point 3.  The 3d CAD inserts that occur in about half your current content can now be exploded to native Revit geometry.  This is a feature of Revit 2014.  I have tested this, and it so happens that it works really well with your existing families.  The advantage of this is that you can now assign a material parameter and subcategory directly to that geometry.  Also many end users object to embedded CAD objects within Revit, so you will make those people happy.



As an added bonus, exploding the geometry removes many unwanted edges & seams, giving a smoother appearance in shaded views.  Revit users will be now able to create very nice visuals for their clients.



Point 4.  Create collections.  You could load all your sinks into a single Revit project and make this available for download.  End users open the collection and select the product they want based on user-friendly visual information.  Copy-paste and you’re done.  Let people know when the collection has been updated and they can download the whole thing again to stay current.  Easy.



Point 5.  Set up sheets in your collections.  Make it easy for the end user to see what your families look like:  in plan, front elevation, side elevation, 3d shaded view, 3d rendered view.  By setting up these views you can also do some basic Quality Control.  Are you happy with the way they look ?  Maybe you can also provide some examples of how your fittings can be tagged and scheduled.  Make people aware of the wealth of information in your BIM content.  Check that this is coming out the way you want it to.


So that’s my open letter, ostensibly to American Standard, but potentially to any Sanitary Ware manufacturer/supplier in the whole wide world.  Some hits on how to “do better” on the BIM front.  

In the next post I’ll take a look at Duravit who don’t do BIM content, but do have some very tasty products up their sleeves.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Revit

26 Nov

BIM Troublemaker: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Revit.

Change Revit Wall Hosted family to a Face Hosted Family

24 Nov

  1. Save the wall-hosted family to a category thet can be copy/monitored.
  2. Open a new Temporary Project
  3. Draw a wall
  4. Host an instance of the wall based family to the wall
  5. Save and close the Temporary Project
  6. Link new Temporary project into the project where you need the wall based family to become face hosted
  7. Launch Copy/Monitor Tool and select linked (temporary) project
  8. Select newly copied element, an then create similar CS
  9. Use place in vertical face option and select architectural walls to place elements
  10. Remove temporary linked project

Thanks to Chad Close