Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Workflows - Tag all not tagged - Structural Columns

One of the more useful workflows is the Tag option - "Tag all not tagged"

Particularly for structural columns, however on a general arrangement plan you will mostly likely only want the column over tagged. Even if the column under is the same mark, you certainly dont want two identical tags in the same spot

Here is a short video of the workflow I would suggest

To confirm the steps
1. Select the desired objects to be tagged in 3D view (much easier to see what you are selecting)
2. Switch back the plan view maintaining the selection
3. Tag all not tagged, making sure you choose the current selection option
4. Done!

Too easy...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Phasing for Structure - Hidden Lines

Early on with my Revit learning I discovered phasing, initially with topographys & site pads which then proved to open another entire host of learning and questions, and then I quickly found the power of phasing for modeling and representing existing structure

A great number of structural people I talk to know little about phasing, and this leads me to believe not many structural people are taking advantage of the feature.

With RTC 2011 abstract submissions coming up I am seriously thinking about submitting a talk on Phasing for Revit Structure

But in the mean time here is a tip which should help a few structural people

Straight out of the box, Revit's phasing setup is not all that helpful and descriptive with a confusing amount of information presented at first in the phasing settings

One of the problems you will run into with phasing for structural elements is the representation of hidden lines for existing structure when displaying the existing elements with graphic overrides with phasing

To get around this the you need to change the Graphic override for existing projection lines circled in red in the image below

Phasing settings dialog under mange panel

By default the setting will override your linetypes for all existing lines to "Solid" meaning  no hidden lines will show for structure under

You will need to change the linetype to" No Override"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cant add cloud to an Issued Revision

I have lost count long ago the number of times I have been asked about this error dialog

The error is a bug really, and was present up until the 2011 release. It is essentially Revit not automatically ticking over to the next available Revision when the previous Revisions have been checked as "Issued"

Revisions Dialog
Once the last created revision cloud has been "Issued" you would typically create a new revision, if you then go to create your revision cloud on a sheet you would receive the error. This led a number of people to just not using the issued check box. But anyone who has used revisions on projects with a long and complicated revision history would know that it can become complicated very quickly and hard to keep track of what has been issued and what is currently in progress

To avoid the error the following steps should be followed;

1.  Add your new revision in the revisions dialog under the view panel

2.  Goto any sheet you wish to place a revision and start the cloud

3.  While still in the Revision command goto the Revision Cloud properties
Revision Cloud Properties

 4.  Set the desired revision

5. Go back to the revisions dialog under the view panel and issue the previous revisions

And keep in mind if this process hasnt been used on the project, you may have to go back and uncheck all the previous revision to make the new revision current

 Setting the revision in the cloud sketch mode (steps 3 & 4) is the key step, it does not seem to set the default revision otherwise and will not work if you simply change the revision after finishing the step as the next time you start the cloud it will just use the last cloud set within the cloud sketch mode

The bug is all fixed in 2011, and even if you issue all revisions checked as issued you now get a straightforward and obvious error warning

2011 Revision Warning
Now my only wish is that we could start clouds without already assigning a revision which would be great for highlighting areas and having a sheet ready for issue before we know when it will be issued

Happy Reviting

Thursday, September 9, 2010

3D in 3D!

I received an interesting package today from my software reseller, a set of 3D glasses reminiscent of the 80's. Cardboard frame, one red one blue lense

Ever since the huge success of Avatar earlier in the year, 3D has been a huge marketing point for everything from movies to sport broadcasts

Earlier in the year we were asked to submit some project images for a client showreel our reseller puts together, these things tend to take some time to develop to a point you are happy with so I submitted one project along with the original model to the reseller

They ended up creating a interesting little showreel of flythroughs which are actually in 3D when viewed with the supplied glasses

Screenshot of our Project Submission
Interesting concept and I definatly got some strange looks in the office while wearing the glasses watching a 3D showreel in 3D!

Checkout the website here for more details

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Current challenges

Back again with my first actual post

Things are currently pretty busy with a number of challenging projects on the go

One Particular project has been particularly challenging with a very interesting transfer structure which is dictated by the existing building below which we are building over, requiring us to transfer our perimeter columns from quite a few levels above!

Here is a image of the current transfer option which is being proposed

Transfer Structure

The current scheme will have an exposed steelwork finish, the issue with this has been fire rating the support of the columns. To achieve this we have box girders which are formed by two 800mm deep girder beams with a concrete beam between the two beams at each column line.

Box Girder Section

Fairly easy to model, but with the repetitive nature of the beam and the fact that the design is constantly being refined an adaptable family was the way to go. With the main problem having the layout reflected on plan accurately but clearly

Example of plan representation
After a few attempts at different approaches, I ended up with a standard structural framing family with each of the elements as a line-based generic model component set to structural framing. The benefit of this approach let me have the concrete infill element the coarse display outline and the steel members either side only show in medium and above (and 3D) Having them as lined based families really gives you much better control of the extent of the elements particularly when working with nested families.

Box Girder Beam Family

Both families were nested as shared allowing individual scheduling as required. Having them nested also allowed me to set each family to its appropriate material type under family category and parameters in the original family settings ensuring they show correctly on plan. The steelwork beams once nested also cut back nicely at support ends. For the concrete element I extended to ensure no cutback which ensures the ends trim nicely at supports and it also allowed me to cut by face where required at the curved column locations without affecting the steelwork

Example at support location
Once setup it has been very easy to modify the size with a type catalog linked for adjusting the steelwork and parameters to adjust the overall spacing of the beams. Each beam location seems to require a different geometry at this stage so the parametric family has been crucial

Another interesting aspect of the transfer structure has been the inclined wishbone columns. I have always approached inclined columns with specific families as even with 2010 I found the slanted system family columns hard to maintain, although 2011 is quite a bit better

Inclined Wishbone Column
The main challenge with this column is that the actual proposed split location on the column needed to be adjustable above the base level

Adding parameters for this one is fairly easy

Wishbone Column Family
The main key to creating this type of column family is to get the constraints to the reference line family which will be used to host the sweep for the column.

With a little research and setup things are going smoothly and having the ability to quickly adjust layout and geometry has been invaluable while still maintaining the accurate &  readable linework plan

It has certainly be fun to work on! Let me know if you would like any more details



Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome to my New Blog

After many thoughts of starting my own Revit blog finally I took the step

If you dont know me, I am currently working for a large Consulting Engineering firm in Melbourne, Australia. Managing an established team of 15 Revit Structural technicians working with a team of 30 design engineers on every project type imaginable including our first baby a $900million hospital which is now fully completed onsite. I am also spending some time helping out our MEP guys who are entering the next phase of their implementation process of Revit which is exciting times finally having a fully integrated building model to work with.

Some exciting things happening, new projects new experiences which I hope to share here on this blog

So back soon with some info on what is happening at the moment