Archive for September, 2011


Revit – Specialty Equipment Category Issue

September 29, 2011

In Revit the Specialty Equipment category is hardcoded as a family category which can not be cut through in an elevation view.  The elevation view tag will highlite the cutting plane by clicking on the directional arrow.  As typical in Revit you can adjust the limits with the blue end dot drag points and move the plane closer to or further from the elevation tag.  The image below depicts the activated cut plane with the elevation directly above.

As you move the cut plane to cut through the first partition you’ll notice the elevation view of the right  partition remains unchanged.

Push the cut plane further and the standard partitions remain unchanged.  The hcap partition ends where the standard partition corner begins so we loose the hcap partition in the elevation view but we are outside the limits of that family so this is to be expected.

Of course you could assign the partitions to another family category that does permit cutting through but that could create issues with your Specialy Equipment schedule that you will need to somehow address.  The other option is to go back to the original position where all partitions are visible in the elevation, then right mouse click on one of the partitions and select “Override Graphics in View ” then “Element”.  At the control window select “Transparent” then with the Linework tool select a hidden line and mouse over the partition till one of the lines highlites then key “tab” to force the entire family to highlite and click to assign the line type.

This will allow any wall fixtures or tile patterns on the rear wall to be exposed.  You may also want to do a fill pattern at the dividing partitions to simulate a cut situation since any toilet accessories, like TP dispensers, will appear solid and floating on the hidden partition.

A special thanks goes out to David Metcalf at CADsoft who joined me on this Revit Journey of Discovery.



3D PDF’s from Revit?

September 27, 2011

One of our Project Architects waved an RFP in front of me today and asked can we do this?  He pointed to the highlighted verbage which read deliver interactive 3D PDF’s.  I said of course as I quickly did a web search to back up my hasty response.  Well the consensus out there seem to also be yes.

I’ve included some of the links I discovered for your reference.  I’ll test the freebie method tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

A special thanks goes out to Luke Johnson at “What Revit Wants” who posted the most informative links / info.


9-27-2011 Update

Thanks Kirk for the additional link, which you will find in the comment for this topic.

Here are the results of the Revit-2-Bentley-2-PDF conversion process. The following image shows the final pdf on the left and the original Open GL Revit 3D view in Revit that was screen captured.  The Bentley capture process takes about 1-2 minutes.  Aspects of color, shadows and ambient occlusion are not captured.  Only basic geometry.  Visually the results are disappointing. It’s a time consuming process to download and install the Bentley products.

Double Click Image to Enlarge

Adobe Acrobat Pro as it’s now called (not Acrobat Extended 9 or 10) may give better results but our version of Pro doesn’t have the 3d Capture attribute so I’m unable to check the quality. We did find out that the upgrade path is around $200.

Scott Davis over on the AUGI forum (via the Link Kirk provided in the comment) recommended the export to DWFx in Revit.  The resuts were much better, see below.  If you have Design Review, double clicking the resulting DWFx file you create from your 3D view will prompt Design Review to open (shown in the image to the right).  But you can force the file to open in IE by right clicking on the file and selecting “Open With” and selecting IE which is shown in the image on the left.  The familar navigation cube works in IE which is nice.

Export to DWFx has my vote right now.

I need to go and uninstall the Bentley products, maybe the Corp should do the same 😉



Revit Hatch Patterns

September 24, 2011

This seems to be a hot topic as the majority of the hits on this blog regularly access the one post we have on hatch patterns that Kirk posted in 2010.

(update 08-17-13)

“Revit Masters,

Below is a nice hatch creation tool for Revit that I was able to use to accurately draw an abnormal brick pattern.

Download the 3 files and place in your C:/ProgramData/Autodesk/Revit/Addins folder and it’ll show up in your Addins ribbon.
Follow the instructions below and its pretty self explanatory. ” Tim K.

Much Thanks to Tim Kauffman (Architect at GLHN) for providing the link to this handy tool.

(end update)

Here’s a methodolgy descriptive I posted back in 2008 on AUGI that involves creating a ceiling demolition pattern.

The text file that needs to be edited to receive the code below is found at:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

It has a “PAT” icon and is titled “revit” and is a “DWG TrueView Hatch Pattern Definition” file type.

In explorer go to the file but don’t’ open it. You need to change it’s properties to turn off the ‘read only’ protection by right clicking on the ‘revit’ file, go to properties, and uncheck ‘ read only’

Then open the file and paste the following code into it. I revised the initial name to get it to order itself next to the ceiling patterns and added the 24 x 48 Tiles text to match the other entries. Not sure if it was necessary but I wanted to cover all the bases just to be sure. So the text reads as follows:

*Ceiling-Demo 24×48, 24 x 48 Tiles
0, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2
90, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2

Save out this file once you are done.  I save my patterns to a Master Library File under a folder structure called Support>Patterns this creates a location where all updates are located and prevents the updates from being associated with a particular Revit install, which may get removed or you may make updates to later Revit version pat files and wind up having your patterns spread across various version installs.

Now open Revit. You will need to create a new material “Ceiling Demo 24 x 48” and then edit its surface pattern.

1.  Select the model component in the RCP, in this case it would be a ceiling.

2.  Then in the properties dialog select “Edit Type” then for the row entitled “Finish”

3.  Under the material column select that cell and you’ll see a drop down button appear to the right.

4.  Select it to open the materials dialog.

5.  Then go to the material entitled “Finishes-Interior-Acoustic Ceiling 24×48”

6.  Select duplicate in the lower left corner and amend the offered title to add “Demolished” (note 48 changes to 49)

7.  At the Surface Pattern  to the right select the drop down button to the right.

8.  The “Fill Patterns” interface should then appear.

9.  Select “new” then ‘custom’ then ‘import’ then import the file at this path
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data
(Note this will change if you relocated the file to a master library or as you receive Revit upgrades Revit will want to point to the PAT file of the latest version you are using.)

You will then have a number of patterns to select from, one of which will contain the new demolished ceiling pattern.

Select it and you are done.

There is a descriptive at the beginning of the PAT file which tells you how each of your numerical inputs in the pattern code influence the pattern.

If you are into coding you’ll feel right at home here.  Not a place I like to go though.


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


September SARUG Meeting

September 21, 2011

Hello and I wanted to thank John Tocci for coming down from Phoenix and giving a great presentation from a Contractor’s/Project Manager’s point of view!   It was extremely informative and educational!

Also, a special thanks to Carl for setting it up and for EEC for providing great food & drink!

And, it was great seeing some of the students from Carmen’s Pima College class at the meeting.   You all are most welcome!

Thank you and look forward to our next meeting….Any suggestions for presentation topics or speakers…..let us know.




Blog Inquiry – Referencing Details With — Linked Buildings

September 14, 2011

We had an inquiry from Glenn as follows:

“Message: When working on a project that has multiple buildings on one site (each building is its own file), how do you reference details to each building if you have standard details that each building will reference? Do you have to use symbols and “draft” the detail call outs?”

I would create the details in the site project or import them into the site project from my library where I have various master detail .rvt files.

Then create the desired section cut or area call out via the View Tab.   

 Click on Image to Enhance Resolution

After selecting the task note the Options bar gives you a check box for “Reference Other View” Once you check this box you’ll note a drop down to the right which will let you access all your drafting views as well as some other view references.  Once you select the appropriate detail the call out will make the appropriate associative link to the detail # and sheet # where it’s placed.


If you need to build the details in the specific building project file because of unique geometry, go ahead and construct it there.  You can then import the detail into the site project and follow the procedure above to reference it.

To import the detail from the building project file (while in your Site Project file) just go to the Insert tab then select “Insert from File” and at the drop down “Insert Views from File”  this will open a browser window.  Navigate to the building project file or your master detail .rvt file, wherever the detail(s) reside that you want to import.

Once you open the .rvt file you’ll get a detail selection list as follows,  Immediately check the “Check None” box to avoid getting the initial checked item.  Then navigate to the details you want and check them all.  You’ll notice each detail becomes visible to the right as you click on it to highlight it. 

That’s it.  The details will populate into your Site Project file and you can then reference them.
Hope that answers your question Glenn.



Interrupting a Wall Sweep

September 2, 2011

Ever wanted a wall sweep to break to let another wall pattern to continue through?  My first thought was to select the wall sweep and use the split tool.  The problem with that approach was that it split the wall not the sweep and caused the wall pattern to break.  While this may be the intuitive approach you may remember a previous post where I indicated Revit was anything but intuitive.  So here’s the non-intuitive long way around this procedure.

Once you’ve placed your sweep, which runs the entire length of the wall, select the sweep and you will see the blue drag points.  Adjust the sweep to the desired length.

Now you have to copy the sweep.  Select the sweep and depress/hold the CTRL key then drag the new sweep.  You’ll notice that Revit wants to place the new sweep above or below the old one and the sweep has to be within the same wall plane.

Next you will use the blue drag dots to adjust the sweep over the adjacent opening.  Notice that when you get a dot over a vertical plane the plane highlights indicating your relative position in the 3D view.

Now look at your properties dialog for the new sweep.  In my case my sweeps were set to a specific level I had created in my project which resulted in a 0′-0″ level reference.  The image below shows the sweep is 1′-11″ and some above that level.

By typing the 0′-0″ height into this field I can drive the new sweep into perfect position.

Beware the day Revit becomes SELF AWARE!

(Still waiting to become self aware)