Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick update

Time is flying past again, Revit Technology Conference - Gold Coast fast approaching in a few short weeks, only one talk for myself this year with an in-depth look at the settings and options of Structural Families. My content is mostly complete, with just some new 2012 features to add into the class. Really looking forward to a number of longer LAB sessions this year, which should really add some value to the event

With the new job in the past 2 months an entry for the competition was looking tough, but just last week a very interesting bid submission has come up which in a few short days has produced some exciting stuff which hopefully I may be able to present, depending on approval from the other parties involved

Which brings me to this cool video by Zach over at Buildz, if you are not checking out Zach's blog then you better add it to your list

The video is a great overview of what is possible when working with conceptual design and prototyping straight to a 3D printer

Seriously cool stuff!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Navisworks 2012

There doesn't seem to be as much information out there on the new features of Navisworks 2012, Revit is on every blog but Navisworks doesn't seem to have much of the spotlight.  Autodesk has currently been running their ADSKAEC event which is otherwise known as Media Day/s where they give more in depth information on all their upcoming products, and a few interesting Navisworks features caught my attention

I have been using Navisworks quite a bit lately, and something that has really annoyed me is the clumsiness of setting up timeliner animations. Particularly for preliminary presentations, setting and altering the dates can be time consuming. But all along there is a Gaant chart sitting there on one of the panels which is read only and cant be edited...

Inage from Autodesk (Gaant chart on the right)
Well 2012 will now let us interactively alter the timeline through the Gaant chart, this should really make editing timeline animations a lot more interactive. Cant wait to test out how this functions.

The other item that sparked my interest was the introduction of Navisworks being compatible with multi-sheet DWFx files. Currently you need to switch back to Design Review if you want to review a multi sheet set of documents, well now everything can be done straight in Navisworks. I am yet to test the functionality, but it looks like Navisworks will have the full review capabilities to markup drawings as well, which should be great to keep all in piece of software

There are quite a few other new features as well, check out more info here

Friday, April 1, 2011

Structural Trusses with the Revit Truss Tool - Simple Truss

So the Revit Truss tool universally gets a pretty bad wrap, I would agree that it isn't living up to its expectation. But like a lot of tools in Revit if you are not using it you are missing out. But for some reason people are happy to miss out..

I have spent a lot of hours with the truss family, and here are some of the things I have learnt

Firstly make sure you understand what you want, and how you want to flex it
  • What is the geometry of this truss
  • Will the truss be a one off
  • If not, will it need to flex and adjust geometry as multiple instances
  • How do you want the truss to display in the project, are you going to detail the truss to a high level with 3D isometrics at connections etc.
The answer to these initial questions will generally send me down 3 paths
  1. A simple non-parametric truss which is prebuilt to approximate dimensions in the truss family
  2. A parametric truss family with in-built parameters and arrays
  3. A framing family which acts like a truss, but is actually a parametric beam/frame
 Path 1 - Non-Parametric Truss

This is the easiest option, and will be suitable for most trusses that dont require the ability to flex and update number of verticals

Truss Example
 So lets consider an example, in the situation above, we could use a parametric family, but if we dont need to flex the bays, there is no point wrestling with formulas and arrays

The first thing to remember with trusses in Revit, is we don't need to build the angle into the truss, Revit already allows us to sketch the angle in the project, and even lets us attach the top chord to the roof plane

I have made a quick video of the steps required to model a truss like this

Finished truss

But the key points for this are
  • No need to constrain the truss linework in the family, the lines will follow the built in reference planes and each other
  • Set the truss length and truss height to approximately the dimensions you require in the project, there is no point building this thing to 20m long if your project actually needs a truss 4m long and 0.6m high
  • Use equalized dimensions to your advantage, you could also easily add an additional reference plane at a third point for example to create an additional setout point with equalised bays in between
  • Once you load the family into the project, make sure you add member types in the type properties first before placing the truss. Revit does funny things if you try and change it afterwards
  • Think about the best way to place this truss in the project, in the example of created a reference plane to setout the bottom chord, and then attached the top chord to the roof. You can also attach trusses to floors, you cannnot attach them to ref. planes, but you can sketch the top chord by editing the profile as well

Well that is a simple non-parametric truss family, next post I will go through a simple parametric truss family