Archive for December, 2010


Purge Unused – The Good the Bad and the Ugly

December 31, 2010

The Good: How the Purge Unused Works in Revit 
The Bad: What can go wrong, fortunately this was a training session.
The Ugly: What happens after the Boss finds out you did the My Bad above.

This operation will allow you to perform a surgical strike to remove unwanted Revit items that don’t utilize the typically operations for removing like dimension string types.

I would highly recommend leaving this operation to the Revit Manager.

Fair Warning


Revit Dimensions Explained

December 31, 2010

No need to reinvent the Revit Dimension here, get the full explanation.

Strung Out


Bad AutoCAD habits can Kill your Revit Project!!

December 31, 2010

You know that nasty habit of using an old or existing (in play) project as a basis for a new project.  The inevitable open the file and then Save-As.  If you do anything when you get back to the office, stop doing this.  That’s why we use templates!!   Here’s a Horror Story you don’t want to live through or be the cause of.

Holding Back the Urge to Strangle Someone!



December 30, 2010

Noteblocks are one way Revit lets you create tag dependent notes that will appear in a schedule on your sheet.  They can be used for construction notes or finish notes and unlike Keynotes are not tied to the Keynote table that Keynote Manager lets you access.

I ran across this nice webcast that gives a quick overview of how to set up the Noteblock tag as well as the  Noteblock schedule.

Unfortunately the Generic Annotation tag, which is used for this process, does not self generate the leader line like a keynote does.  Consequently you have to go through a few more click operations to get the leader in place. 



Keynote Manager

December 28, 2010

One of our remote SARUG members Steve Faust, who I believe is in Yuma, created this sweet little manager application for keynotes in Revit.  If you’ve ever tried to edit the text file that drives the keynote list you’ll understand what a God Send this application is.

To download the application (for free) go to

If you are interested in how Keynotes work and how to manipulate them in your project then I recommend viewing the following blog on Keynotes.



PROJECT PHOTOFLY: 3D models from photos.

December 28, 2010

AU2010 Premier:
“Capturing the reality as-built for various purposes (renovation, energy analysis, add-on design, etc.) is now becoming possible using your standard digital camera thanks to advanced computer vision technologies developed by Autodesk, called Camera Factory, and now made available through Project Photofly

Project Photofly is a technology preview of automatically converting photographs shot around an object or a scene into “Photo Scenes” using the power of cloud computing.

The Photo Scene Editor executable will operate until August 1, 2011.”

Dec 14, 2010: Future Project Photofly Features Mesh Instead of Point Cloud Data



41,000 Free Revit Details – OMG

December 16, 2010

Much Thanks to Jim Fields who put Mark Siever of ARCxl in contact with SARUG.

Mark’s company provides a central clearing house for manufacturer specific product details for use in your Revit projects.  These details are free to registered Architects and architectural firms in the U.S. and Canada only.  These details are free due to the sponsorship of the product manufacturers and with URL links embedded in the detail components it’s a simple process to connect to the product manufacturer for additional info.

For more info see:


“We love the mention but would only like to clarify that the details are not manufacturer specific. They are intentionally non-specific, generic, and common details for everyday use. The URL links go to our directory of many manufacturers of that component type. The sponsor link is subject to change but may give the impression of a proprietary arrangement.” 
Mark Siever / Arcxl


Project Vasari

December 16, 2010

According to Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers, mastery of anything can be accomplished in 10,000 hours.
10,000 hours = Magic Number to be an Expert at Anything.

That said Autodesk has released Project Vasari in their Labs and NOW is your chance to hit 10,000 hours before your peers do.

I’ll let the other blogs discuss what Vasari is and the finer points of the program.  But simply put Vasari is a stripped down version of Revit 2011 which is great for conceptual design and early energy analysis.  One great thing about the program is that it will run off a USB thumb drive.

So, the only question now is: Do you have Vasari on your thumb drive?  It’s on mine and has accrued hours of use!

Links not to miss:

– Jake Boen


Custom Revit Fill Patterns with AutoCAD & HatchMaker.lsp

December 3, 2010

I’ve been looking online for some help to create more custom fill patterns to add to my Revit library. There’s not much out there if you are willing to:

  • go cross-eyed figuring out how to type code (1, -1, 0, 7)  to create a  .pat file that Revit will read and display correctly (open the .pat file in Notepad and see)
  • hand over $125  for HatchKit

In your arsenal of tools, I’m sure you have an ancient 2D program called AutoCAD. Remember that one? In most cases it is probably installed on your machine because a) it is part of the AutoCAD-Revit Suite b) you still keep a Desktop shortcut of it to complete your documents. Well, blow the dust off  AutoCAD and prepare to use it for this step-by-step tutorial. We’re going to create a Split Face CMU model fill pattern. Don’t worry. I’ll get you in and out of AutoCAD in no time and displaying the nice new model pattern in Revit.

  1. Open AutoCAD
  2. File> New (using the default drawing template is fine)
  3. In the Command prompt type: APPLOAD
  4. Navigate to the HatchMaker.lsp file (you can download it here)
  5. Load & Close the dialogue box
  6. In the Command prompt type:  DRAWHATCH (note: the message of the 1×1 box, etc),  Click OK
  7. In the Command prompt type: L
  8. With the line tool, draw the 3 horizontal lines (red) and then the 3 short vertical lines (blue). This will make up the repeating module for the CMU block fill pattern.
  9. We need add a sand/dot poche to the block to make it stand out as a different type of block
  10. In the Command prompt type: H (this is the hatch command)
  11. Make your settings like this. You’ll also need to select the 1×1 polyline square to define the limits of the hatch. You can Preview or hit OK to accept the settings
  12. Select one of the dots of the poche to select the hatch itself
  13. We need to explode the hatch by typing X in the command prompt
  14. Now the poche is just a series of very small lines and not a bounded hatch
  15. In the Command prompt type: SAVEHATCH
  16. Read prompt, hit enter and window select everything
  17. Read the Command prompt and describe the hatch: splitfacecmu
  18. Name and save your .pat file
  19. Open your newly created .pat file in Notepad
  20. Replace the first line with*Split Face CMU,   Split Face CMU
  21. Save and Close Notepad
  1. Open Revit
  2. Go to Manage> Settings> Fill Patterns
  3. Under Pattern Type, click the radio button Model
  4. New> radio button Custom> Import
  5. Load the Split Face CMU .pat file
  6. Import Scale:  16 (Because the width of the module was one block wide, and typically one CMU block is 16 inches)
  7. Click OK
  8. Now you have a Split Face CMU Model pattern that can be used to differentiate different types of block

Things to Note:

  • If your sand/dot poche is too dense, printing your view can be timely, so choose your hatch scale wisely
  • The preloaded .pat file for Revit resides:
    C:\Program Files\Revit Architecture 20XX\Data
  • HatchMaker only accepts lines and dots. Polylines will not work. When in doubt Explode
  • It is neccessary to add those first couple lines of text in the .pat file via Notepad in order for Revit to read it correctly
  • Consult your Help file to learn more about custom fill patterns.

This is a graphical way to get what you need as a fill pattern instead of typing out code. Hope this helps.


SARUG Similar Link (Revit Addon)
SARUG Similar Link 001
SARUG Similar Link 002


Is IPD dead?

December 2, 2010

Here’s an interesting take on the IPD process from IDP still seems to be the Utopia of the profession. There’s a lot of ‘telling’ of IPD, but not as much ‘showing’.

Is IDP dead?