Archive for October, 2011


RCP Info in your Plan Views

October 28, 2011

How do I get the reflected ceiling plan to show up on my floor plan?

Patrick over at CADSoft did the heavy lifting on this tutorial so I’m going to differ to him and point you to his Blog Post at CADSoft.

Thanks Patrick


Interesting Press Release, Thank you Tim

October 28, 2011

President’s Address

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Autodesk made a huge announcement last week; they acquired Micro Application Packages Limited (MAP Software).  MAP is a UK-based provider of CAD, CAM and estimating software that supports fabrication and construction for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing industry. The software is sold here in the USA by Technical Sales International (TSI).

The acquisition of MAP Software helps Autodesk to complete the workflows from design to fabrication with solutions that support detailing, estimating and manufacturing for MEP contractors and engineers.  By offering fabrication tools that support BIM-based workflows, Autodesk is closing the gap between design and construction.

CADsoft Consulting works with many of the Mechanical sub-contractors in the Southwest, most of who use MAP Software.  This acquisition will help make BIM valuable for fabrication, further advancing adoption in the MEP engineering industry.

As Autodesk integrates MAP Software’s solutions into their AEC portfolio, Autodesk will extend BIM across the building lifecycle beyond design to support building fabrication and construction for the MEP engineering industry.

This is a very exciting development as it continues to transition the industry to BIM, from design through to fabrication.

Tim Duncan, AIA
CADsoft Consulting


Symbolic Lines in Nested Families

October 27, 2011

I ran into an interesting glitch in Revit 2011 while I was creating a nested family.  The primary family was categorized as Specialty Equipment which was then nested into a Specialty Equipment Wall based family.  This piece of equipment typically is mounted above the plan cut  elevation so I wanted some symbolic lines to represent the family as hidden above.

For some reason none of the symbolic lines would show up in my project, so after some head scratching I decided to throw in some model lines.  All of a sudden I could see both model and symbolic lines.  I then took out the model lines and all the symbolic lines disappeared, go figure.  Consequently I had to leave a very small model line discretely hidden in the family to get my symbolics to activate.

Also if you are interested in how to develop a nested family, Patrick at CADsoft posted a nice how to at this link.



James Vandezande’s – Videos

October 21, 2011

James Vandezande has put together a number of Vimeo clips on Revit specifics, BIM, IPD, Collaboration and Third Party Applications you might want to wander over and view.  I’ve posted a permanent link on our blog page under the SARUG Links heading as JV’s Revit (+) Videos.

Thanks for posting those videos.  We hope to see this resource continue to grow.

Time to make some popcorn!



Images in Revit – Raster V.S. Vector

October 20, 2011

In Revit 2011 image files can give you some problems when used in viewports, such as details captured from a scan of an old project.  While the detail may look clean without edges you may experience ghosting of the image boundaries when producing pdf files.  I had this happen using both the Adobe and Cutepdf writers.  I suspect it has something to do with the way Revit communicates the outgoing file to the format writer, because the fix can be found in Revit.

In the print control interface.  Go to the “Setup” button in the lower right of the print control interface.  Here you will find two options for processing the file.  “Vector” and “Raster”.   Vector processing is faster and cleaner but will create ghosting of the image file edges in your pdf’s that will print in hard copy.  Raster takes about 2 to 3 times longer to process but eliminates the ghost edges.  The other down side with the output is that it is less crisp.  I would estimate a 10% reduction in print quality.

I suspect the image boundaries during vector processing in Revit are being interpreted by the pdf writer as lines.  What is even stranger is you don’t always get all edges as lines.  It appears to be an arbitrary assignment as to which edges are seen as lines.

David Metcalf at CADsoft also did a little trouble shooting on my pdf files and noted that the free pdf reader called Foxit did not show any lines in the Vector processed file, while Adobe did.  David also indicated the Foxit viewer is a lot crisper.

Looks like Revit and Adobe could use a little tune up to get this issue addressed.

It’s time to Slip out of the Office.

Until my next Revit speed bump.



Beyond Grid Guides – A Revit Layout Technique

October 15, 2011

At Breckenridge we use a grid system I developed many years ago in my private practice.  Essentially it is two grid systems.  One divides the sheet for details and enlarged plans and helps set schedule limits and note areas.  The other is a view title guide designed to help provide for a uniform placement of the view titles.

The first grid is in black and is broken into segments so you can hide individual segments and create rectangular or enlarged grid areas.  I group this grid and assign it a name unique to the sheet.

The view title grid is in red and is not segmented.  I typically have this grid grouped and hidden.  I use the reveal hidden light bulb at the bottom of the interface to highlight this grid and then register my view title while in this mode.

I find these to be great organizational tools.

One day all this sheet layout process will disappear but it will take a mobile heads-ups field display system that the contractors can utilize.

Paperless Society?  Still Waiting. 😦



Grid Guides – The Great Revit Cover up

October 15, 2011

Grid Guides are a nice sheet layout tool even if somewhat limited, since you can’t change the graphic attributes of individual lines.  They also have another annoying habit in 2011.  The grid guide will conceal shaded regions, raster images and detail lines in your viewports.  It doesn’t affect printing when the guides are on and you send a file to the printer or produce a pdf.  It just makes your sheets look like sh!!t.  Consequently you have to turn them off and on during production.  Big Pain!

Seeing things (NOT!)


Improve Efficiency – Model / Detail Elements Disconnect

October 5, 2011

Often when working in the interior elevations we are tempted to use region fills to represent complex tile patterns and symbolic lines for items like wall base heights.  There’s nothing wrong with this approach until you need to make adjustments in your finished floor elevation because the topography changes.  The model does not globally recognize these detail elements and as a result these items will not move vertically with the model.  This holds true for notes as well.

One way to compensate for this disconnect in the interior elevations is to group the symbolic lines, fill patterns and notes (if desired) and then dimension from the floor level line to a reference line in the group.  Lock the dimension and now the group will move with the model in elevation. Hide the dimension using the right mouse click Hide in View>Element if you don’t want to see the dimension string.  Or align and lock a horizontal line in the group to the model.  Locking to a surface pattern, like a horizontal tile grid, will also move the symbolics & annotations since the surface patterns maintain there relationship to the wall limits.

Also be aware that Modeled in Place components will have a similar disconnect if not dimensionally referenced to a component of a model (preferably a level) that controls global height.

btw: If you ever loose the finish group icon in the head ribbon just type ‘fg’ to finish the grouping command.

Revit Encounters