Archive for April, 2011


SARUG – April 2011 Meeting Followup

April 30, 2011

I just wanted to extend a thanks to Carmen and Steve Grede at Pima College for hosting our April meeting and providing food and beverages. 

A very impressive series of presentations by the students who have gone well beyond the traditional realm of a CAD class and into the utilization of Revit and other software packages for energy analysis, design and presentation.

The class was separated into four teams that were tasked with developing four different sites on the downtown campus for the expansion of one of the departments related to the building trades curriculum.   The projects were to develop a building that integrated energy savings features and strive to achieve compliance with LEED criteria.  The teams had diverse levels of experience and the projects showed thoughtful consideration of a multitude of issues.

This comprehensive integration of B.I.M. related software technology with Design indicates a major shift in the direction of the CAD department at Pima College and aligns the curriculum well with industry trends.  Ultimately raising the skill sets of the Pima College graduates and preparing them well for positions in the A.E.C. industry.

Congratulations to the students who have responded very well to the challenges of their respective projects and to Carmen, Steve and the other faculty members who are instrumental in implementing the changes in the CAD curriculum.   Also I would like to recognize those members of the curriculum  advisory council(Andrew Abernathy and Dan Russell of Sundt), two members of our SARUG group, who have given their time to get involved and offer recommendations.

Well done everyone.  I hope we get the opportunity to attend future presentations from this class.



Point Clouds in Revit 2012

April 29, 2011

” With the advent of the Autodesk Revit 2012 platform, you can now view point clouds directly inside Revit. Scan to BIM™ 2012 takes this one step further, enabling you to not only visualize point clouds in Revit, but also to interact with them, assisting with automated recognition and placement of architectural elements such as walls, as well as MEP elements such as pipes and ducts.”

Imaginit Technologies website:

There’s a brief web video on this page describing the usage of this add-on.


Callout References with Dependent Views

April 27, 2011

Today I was confronted with an association problem in Revit 2011 with respect to a callout tag improperly referencing the sheet the callout was associated with.

The problem arose with four dependent views of a single composite plan.  Each quarter of the composite plan was placed on 4 separate sheets.  Let’s call them A1.1, A1.2, A1.3 and A1.4.  As soon as the first plan was placed on sheet A1.1 the callout assigned the referencing plan in the callout tag to A1.1, even though the quarter plan where the callout was visible was on sheet A1.3.

You would think that if the callout was hidden Revit would not see the reference and look for the next visible instance of the call out.  Well that is exactly what Revit does but crop regions are not deemed as visibility controls, so Revit thinks the callout is still there.  At least that’s my (non-developer) interpretation of what Revit is doing.

To resolve the problem I had to go to the plan on sheet A1.1, activate the view, turn off the crop region, right mouse click, then “hide in view” the offending callout and back out of the command structure.  So I expected the tag to reset the reference sheet but it didn’t, that is until I clicked on the call out and slightly moved one of the boundary control (blue dots) of the callout.  It immediately changed the referencing sheet to A1.2._____  A1.2?____  What?  I want sheet A1.3.

Well apparently the second dependent view to be dropped on a sheet was on A1.2 so Revit defaulted to the next active instance of the callout tag, which was on the quarter plan on sheet A1.2.  Consequently I had to repeat the procedure above for sheet A1.2.  Once I retouched the boundary control of the callout it updated to A1.3.  Finally!

This points to the fact that having the crop region in Revit act as the activator/deactivator based on visibility would be a nice upgrade as well as the fact that callout references don’t automatically update and require a re-initialization for the callout to rescan for the next visible instance of the referencing sheet.

Dependent Views, Gotta Lovem, Gonna Hatem!

05-14-12 Update:

Nothing like running into a problem again and thinking your previous solution would save the day.  So here’s an update to the original findings.  Section/Detail references will not update just by extending the section line.  I found you need to rotate them.  As little as one degree will trigger the update, then rotate it back and the proper sheet reference will stay.  That is provided you’ve “Cleared the Other References” see below.

If you are referencing a detail that you have placed on one of your dependent view sheets you are S.O.L. (sh@!*t out of luck).  Nothing will update this reference to the proper sheet where your dependent view is located.  It always points to the first dependent sheet location.  Just put an opaque text field over the improper sheet reference with the correct number.

Clearing the Other References : On this particular project I went to each of the other (3) dependent views including the originating plan and hid the duplicate detail references to make sure there were no cross-referencing issues and only left the detail ref. in the dependent view that was on the sheet I wanted the detail to reference. It successfully updated the references

I understand this is an issue that is on the developers list to correct. Hopefully Revit 2013 addresses this.  I was in 2012 when I posted this update.



Revit MEP electrical parameter output

April 25, 2011

If you’ve worked in Revit MEP and are learning the electrical side of things you will find that there are settings and parameters galore. You will want to review the settings prior to starting your project and you may even want to create an office template so you know certain things are pre-set for your project.

As a word of warning – If you want “analysis” parameters to display the live results of what you model you will want to make sure and check the “Run calculations for loads in spaces” box under the electrical settings on the Manage tab, MEP settings.  By default the electrical template has this un-checked.  If left un-checked all “analysis” parameters for the electrical side of Revit MEP will be frozen. In my case the parameter: Actual Lighting Load was not reporting the modeled design in a schedule.

Other items to lookout for will be misplaced families.  If the lights are placed on the top surface of a room bounding ceiling then their values will not be reported as it is technically out of the Space.    In a similar situation reference planes drawn incorrectly (Left to Right) will result in hosting the fixture upside down, and depending on the geometry in relation to a Space could cause a reporting error.

Good luck and make sure to double check all of your work until you are comfortable with how Revit MEP handles different aspects of your electrical designs.



Revit Pranks (AKA Functional Oddity)

April 14, 2011

Ever wanted to prank your fellow Revit operators in the office and drive them nuts?  Well here’s a functional oddity in Revit that will do just that.

Once you place a view on a sheet select the view port like you are going to move it.  Notice that the view title highlights, mouse over the view title then right mouse click and select Hide in View from the pop up menu.  The view title will disappear.  No big deal right!  Now go back to the view port and try to move it, nope can’t do, try to select it, nope can’t do, try to activate it, nope can’t do.  You’ve just locked out all access to the viewport on the sheet.

The only way to recover access / control is to go to the lightbulb at the bottom of the interface, select the view title which now appears in red and then right mouse click and select Unhide from the drop down menu.

Just remember One Good Prank Deserves Another so brace yourself for retaliation.


Excel & Revit (with a Workaround)

April 13, 2011

One of our A.I.T.’s asked me today if Revit could import an Excel file, and my response was of course, but I’ve never done it.  So I went on a little Revit/Excel quest and discovered this nice little add-on, that’s FREE (best part), for getting an Excel spreadsheet into Revit.

What I don’t know is the degree of functionality that transfers, if any.  In other words if you have formulas and conditionals within the cells do they come across as well and embed themselves as functional elements in Revit.  I would suspect not.  The resulting import gets placed into a drafting view.

Unfortunately this didn’t meet our needs since the spreadsheet our A.I.T. was looking to import was setup as a scheduler.  The work around she came up with was to print the Excel file to pdf, convert the pdf to a jpeg (a la Photoshop) and import the image.  The results looked great even as an image file.



Pima College CAD166 – Introduction to Revit

April 12, 2011

If you haven’t jumped into Revit yet there is a great opportunity to do so over the summer in what some of us are calling “An Extended Lunch hour”.  Pima Community College is holding CAD166 over the summer as an Introduction to Revit. The course which is typically held over 16 weeks will be condensed into 8 weeks and be taught by Jake Boen, RA.

For those who don’t know Jake, he is a Tucson architect who has over 14 years experience in the building industry. He has 9 years of experience working in Revit Architecture and has successfully implemented Revit in local architecture and mechanical engineering firms.  Jake has also co-presented at Autodesk University and is certified by Autodesk in Revit Architecture 2011.

The course is limited in size and as of this post is already over 50% filled. It is recommend that you sign up at your earliest convenience if you are interested.  One side benefit of becoming a student is your ability to download a fully functional student version of Revit which is licensed to you (as a student) for 3 years.

Click on the images to enlarge and see the official schedule at


Keynote Manager 10

April 4, 2011

Hello, my name is Steve Faust and I created Keynote Manager. 
Version 10.0 of Keynote Manager was just released.
You can find out more and download the latest at

Steve Faust

Posted thru by Carl
Great app Steve, one of my favorite.