August 27, 2009

Revit - Add detail references to your door schedules*

*this works just as well for window schedules, too!

A typical office standard is to have head/jamb/sill details listed in the overall Door Schedule. Revit does a great job of tracking and coordinating those references throughout the views, but doesn't give the end user a way to automatically link them into a schedule.

As a workaround, a firm could always simply add/create a new field in the schedule for each of those details, but that requires a manual input for each one, and for each door. Commercial and institutional projects that contain hundreds of doors would have a LOT of input to manage - 100+ doors x 3-4 details each - ouch! Plus, a lot of these references would be repetitive as typical detail sets.

A more efficient way to accomplish this would be to utilize Revit Key Schedules.

Create a Door Detail Reference KEY:
1. Start a new schedule: View > Schedule/Quantities. Associate the schedule to the Doors category, and select the radio button for a Key Schedule. Name the schedule (i.e. Door Detail Reference KEY) and give it a Key Name (i.e. Door Assembly Type)

2. Select from the available fields to add to the Key Schedule (optional).

Create new fields to hold your detail reference information:
3. On the Fields tab, select the Add Parameter... button and create new fields for each of your head/jamb/sill details. (TIP: Select TEXT as the Type of Parameter, if you represent your details as 12/A4.5, so that the "/" is not rejected)

4. Select OK to create your Key Schedule.

Create the detail sets:
5. Create a row for each set you will need.

6. Name the numbered sets to list out the various door frame-to-wall groupings in your project. (ie: HM to FrameWall, HM to CMU (EXT), HM to CMU (INT), SF to FrameWall (EXT), etc.)

7. As the door details are created and located onto sheets, update the Key Schedule with their location by manually typing in the detail reference.

Link the Key Schedule into the Door Schedule:
8. Open the project Door Schedule. In View Properties, on the Fields tab, select the Key Schedule fields and add them to the Door Schedule fields list. Move them up/down on the list in the order you want them to appear from Left to Right in the schedule.

9. Select OK out of all dialogs to view your combined schedule.

10. Under the key name field (Door Assembly Type in the example), select the appropriate set from the pull-down list. This automatically brings in the data from the Key Schedule to update your reference details.

(TIP: I like to make the key name field a hidden field, as it's only a descriptor used by the designer to link in the Key Schedule data)

There you go! Detail references in your Door Schedule!

NOTE: as the project develops, and detail references are modified/relocated, the Key Schedule will need to be updated manually. Assigning the sets to each door in the Door Schedule automatically brings in the reference data, so manual input is greatly minimized.

Contributed by: Nancy McClure, AEC Application Specialist, Ideate Inc.

August 25, 2009

Study in Success: Revit Fashions a Cutting Edge Design

Ideate was pleased to welcome Wayne Leong to a recent San Francisco Revit User Group. The August meeting included more than 115 Bay Area architects and design professionals who gave Wayne rave reviews for his presentation about the 3.1 Phillip Lim fashion boutique in West Hollywood, California. As Ideate's Nancy McClure, LEED AP noted, the attendees appreciated "seeing a 'real project' using Revit in a deeply customized fashion, which really unlocks the imagination of the standard OOTB user!"

To learn more about the unique 3.1 Phillip Lim project:

To sign up for future Ideate community events:

August 9, 2009

Case Study: CKC Improves Communication & Increases Productivity

Washington-based structural engineering firm Cary Kopczynski & Company is fulfilling the promise of Building Information Modeling (BIM) with its adoption of Autodesk Revit Structure.

The company began its adoption of Revit Structure with one grand scale project in which it utilized about 30 percent Revit and 70 percent AutoCAD. With a subsequent project, CKC took the next step to achieve 100 percent integration of Revit for production documents. That transition helped CKC turn the corner to its next three large scale projects, where the company is employing 100 percent Revit-developed family templates and a fully developed Revit standard detail library.

August 5, 2009

From Inventor to Revit - Workflow analysis

Our Team recently watched this excellent video by Rob Cohee, Industry Solution Evangelist for Autodesk's Manufacturing Group, which shows a workflow from Revit to Inventor and back to Revit.

Of course, we had to try it out for ourselves...

As we took a part from Inventor to Revit, we made the following discoveries....

We exported the file from Inventor using the AEC exchange and made sure that the parameters we had chosen to export were coming through.

1. The 1st Problem: Getting a message when attempting to load the .adsk file in Revit
The Solution: Install this hotfix for Inventor -

2. The Good News: before exporting from Inventor, the user has great control over selecting individual parameters that can export to Revit

The Bad News: After loading the .adsk file in Revit all of the parameters are dumped in the same category and they are completely disconnected from the geometry. Some of the parameters kept their unit type (Volume, Density) and others didn’t (Length). The parameters that didn’t keep their units became text parameters. Looks like Autodesk will need to sync the unit types between Inventor and Revit before being able to make the part to remain parametric.

3. The Good News: After exporting to .adsk file all connectors will come across to Revit MEP and the users can use them to connect pipes and ducts
The Bad News: You can export parameters such as Voltage, Load, Pipe Diameter. They will be in the properties and the users may start manipulating them, but they don’t really affect the geometry and the connector data.

4. The Bad News: You can explode these “bad” guys.

The Good News: You can only explode them in Family Editor environment

5. The Good News: You can scale .adsk files from properties just like you can DWG files
The Bad News: When you do that it only scales the geometry. The connectors are left behind. Look at the image bellow. Notice that the connector is hosted on a separate geometry (box). You can scale that but the connector still doesn’t follow.

1. The Problem: The family that worked for Revit after installing the fix didn’t work for ACAD MEP. This is the message that you get when importing it.

The Solution: We don’t have one!

No matter what you choose, you get the following:

I hope this is helpful to all.

- Paul Hristov and Sachlene Singh, Ideate Inc