Finding inspiration in even the most mundane of tasks

Archive for the ‘Revit’ Category

Rent. That. Revit!

In AutoCAD Architecture, CAD / BIM Manager, Revit on September 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I’ve been waiting and hoping for this to happen for awhile now. For the past few months it’s been possible to do a monthly, quarterly, or annual rental of the AutoCAD Revit LT suite. I was looking at their site this morning, and see that now they offer a rental of the Building Design Suite as well! While this is not the ideal path long term (the break-even point compared to standard purchase plus subscription is about 19 months), this is a great solution for a small business trying to build capital or a company needing to do some temporary hiring to meet a staffing need for a large project.

I’ll post links below, but here are my takeaway points after reading through the FAQ:

  • Standalone Named User license only – no Network license.
  • Program is a local install, not the cloud version.
  • Cloud credits are provided, and more may be purchased.
  • There are no previous version rights, because no previous versions have been available on rental. The wording in the FAQ makes that sound like 2014 will be available as a previous version using rental plans once 2015 is released.

The main rental page:

Building Design Suite (Standard, Premium, and Ultimate available):

And of course, the FAQ:


Preview Your Leader

In Revit on October 4, 2012 at 5:35 am

I just realized I never shared this tip. It’s something that drove me nuts until I figured it out. Sometimes when adding a keynote, the keynote tag would be visible while placing, but not the leader. After placement, the leader and keynote both show up just fine. In my case, the reason was that my current workset was one that was hidden in the view. Changing the current workset to one that was visible brought back the leader visibility. Apparently keynotes (perhaps other annotation as well?) take on the internal workset of the view, not the user-defined workset that happens to be current. If anyone knows of other culprits that cause this visibility issue, feel free to comment and I’ll update this post.

P.S. I recognize the interesting timing on a post with this title. It’s just that I started this draft a long time ago and didn’t want to change it. If you came here expecting something else, sorry. I think #BigBird is still trending on Twitter.  .-)

Key? Not!

In Revit on March 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm

When using sheet keynotes, I’ve encountered the problem of an entry appearing in the list on the sheet, but not appearing in any view on the sheet. Even if the list and all views are removed from the sheet and replaced, the rogue entry still comes back.
The reason for this is that the keynote actually does exist in the view, it’s just not visible. The visibility of the keynote is dependent on the visibility of the item it is attached to. The trick is figuring out how to display the missing object. The most common culprits I’ve seen cause this particular problem are tagging linked models and keynoting before a view is finalized. If the view range or far clip are adjusted, items disappear. If a section is flipped, there could be even more. So be careful out there!

Also, for a bit of fun, add a dimension string along a wall, including windows. Then adjust the view range so the windows are not shown. The dimension string will no longer include them, but when you bring the view range back they will again be dimensioned. This is the same concept, and even though it can be frustrating and confusing coming from a CAD background, this ranks up there with one of the things I like the most about Revit.

Don’t Fall Off the Edge

In Revit on January 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm

One of the great things about Revit is the ability to begin conceptually, and refine the design over time. Walls are a great example of this workflow. When you don’t want to bother with finish materials, a generic single-material wall everywhere will work fine most of the time.

Depending on your office standard, this can create an issue to watch out for. I have always placed dimensions to the face of core (stud, CMU, etc.). If you place a dimension on a single-material wall (even if the location line is set to face of core) and then change the wall to a type that includes a finish material, the dimension will stick with the outer face of the wall, and you will have to adjust it back to the core.

So when starting a new project, there are two options to save the headache of adjusting all these lines later (true, all you have to do is click the little blue dot to toggle the location, but still…). Either begin with walls that have finish, or wait to dimension until after wall types have been decided. I advise the former. If you’ve worked in Revit for any length of time, you know how easy it is to drive the design by using placed dimensions. The old school may throw a fit that “we don’t know what that will be yet” – if that’s the case, then just rename the wall to ‘Generic’.  .-)

Default View Template

In Revit on September 27, 2011 at 7:49 am

I’m posting this here because the answer proved difficult to find. In Revit, when you apply a view template to a view, there is an option to make that the default view template for all subsequently created views of the same type. This is done by checking the box in the lower left corner of the Apply View Template dialog to ‘Apply automatically to new views of same type’. To change the default after it is set, just select a different view template and check the box.

Show Hidden Lines Tip

In Revit on August 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

The ‘Show Hidden Lines’ tool in Revit is great, but it currently has a frustrating flaw. You can only select objects to show as hidden if they are *partially* obscured. If they are fully obscured by the object you want them to show through, they cannot be selected as objects to show as hidden lines. The ‘good’ news is that once they are set to show, it’s ok to fully obscure them after the fact. So, to get around this limitation, you have two options that I can find. You can first move one of the objects so you can see part of the hidden one, use the tool, then move it back. If moving isn’t ideal (due to constraints, etc.) you can temporarily switch the view to wireframe and use the tool. Unfortunately wireframe can get a bit messy, but I guess we just do what we have to in this case.  #wedogreatworkaroundhere

Tip o’ the Mornin’ to Ya!

In Revit on June 9, 2011 at 7:40 am

When you are keynoting your project and find an element that has no keynote value associated with its type, don’t despair! And don’t resort to using a User Keynote. If you tag it with Element Keynote, the Revit keynote dialog box will appear. When you select the keynote from the list, it not only sets the keynote tag value, but it adds it to the element’s type as well. I really like this.  +5 points to Revit!

Missing Dialog Box

In AutoCAD Architecture, Revit, User Interface on April 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

I’m actually posting this as a simple timesaver for myself. This is a question that comes up all the time, so don’t feel bad that it’s happening to you.   .-)  Instead of typing it out each time, now I’ll be able to just link back to here.

A regular occurrence is that often times a dialog box, window, or palette will apparently fail to launch. Most often, this is because it actually opened, but is off the screen. This can happen a lot when alternating between single- and multi-monitor setups, though I’ve seen it happen in otherwise stable environments also. The most common victim of this, in my experience, is the AutoCAD Design Center. Without any further ado, here is the magic code to get it back on screen:

Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-B-A-[SELECT]-[START]    (Just kidding. But if you don’t know that one, you should.)

Here it is for real:

Hold the ALT keyboard button and tap the Spacebar. Then tap the ‘M’ key (for Move). Then tap a directional arrow key (doesn’t matter which one). Then move the mouse and the dialog box should snap to the mouse.

Topo in Section Cut – Bug?

In Revit on February 28, 2011 at 8:49 am

My standard when viewing a building section is to view *only* what the section line is cutting through – not the elements beyond. For this reason, after placing the section in plan view, I drag the bounding box line that represents the far clip offset really close (technical term) to the section line. I don’t see a way to set it to a distance of zero, so I just zoom in and eyeball it (technical term that comes from using Revit). The problem this causes is that where the section cuts through a toposurface the cut fill will not display.

When I increased the far clip offset to 1″ the cut pattern became visible. It turns invisible when the far clip offset is set to any value smaller than 0.89″ in fact. This seems to me to be a bug with the toposurface entity, since none of the other cut patterns in the model behave this way – they are consistently visible. Hopefully this tip will save somebody some time. I won’t say how much time it would have saved me because it’s just too darn embarrassing.

I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up!

In Revit on February 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

One of the goals of this blog is to document my journey through learning Revit, and one of this project’s exercises provided some good inspiration.  (We’re in CDs now, but this was from schematic – I’m just now getting around to posting.)

I needed to create a trellis, and I decided to make it parametric, and face based.  Since it was in fact my first shot at a parametric family, there was a decent learning curve.  It took some time to get all my reference planes placed, named and flexing properly.  I placed my geometry (even needed some nested families), and everything looked great.  It wasn’t until I tried to place it on a wall in my project that I realized my mistake:

Apparently that un-deletable object at the bottom of the Generic Model face based template *is* the face to which the family is oriented. My family would have worked fine if I were attaching it to a horizontal surface, but I wanted it to attach to walls so I decided to rotate what I could in the family and re-create the rest. The good news? Work always goes faster the second time around.  .-)