Archive for the ‘Standards’ Category


Revit Dimensions Explained

December 31, 2010

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

Strung Out


To model or not to model: That is the question.

November 17, 2010

There was much talk at last night’s meeting about how much modeling should be done in a BIM project.  Revit will let you model everything. That can become a pitfall for most new users. That type of creation consumes a vast amount of time and ultimately slows down your model.

The AEC (UK) BIM Standard for Revit, on page 27, Section 7.2.1, offers some good advice and a visual to help with this particular issue.

At the outset of the project, consideration shall be given to the maximum level of detail to be included in the BIM. Too little and the information will not be fit for purpose; too much and the model may become unmanageable and inefficient.

  • The BIM Co-ordinator shall dictate the point at which 3D geometry ceases and 2D detailing is utilised to prepare the published output.
  • Intelligent 2D linework shall be developed to accompany the geometry and enhance the required views without undue strain on the hardware. 2D linework is not exclusive to detailed/fabrication information.
  • Detailing and enhancement techniques shall be used whenever possible to reduce model complexity, but without compromising the integrity of the model.

3D modelling is carried out to an accuracy of approximately 1:50

…so imagine the level of detail needed for a physical 1/4 inch scale model.

As discussed last night, the different disciplines have different needs. Sometimes that level of modelling detail must be there in order to reap the benefits of using BIM.

Using BIM demands an open line of  communication. So  before going into the modeling portion of the project, have the team discuss what families are needed. If they are needed, to what level of detail do they need to communicate design intent. Do they need a lot of fancy parameters? There needs to be a ‘stay on task’ conversation to make sure the project is focused on the end result.

I’m sure as more usable family content becomes available, the hardware gets beefier and the sharing of models becomes more routine, this issue may go away. Until then…To model or not to model: That is the question.


Creating Custom Surface Patterns in Revit

November 2, 2010

Metal Roofs, Block, Tile, Brick, etc. Revit comes with a number of built-in surface patterns but inevitably you will run across the need to customize your pattern file.

Revit’s pattern files are stored in the ” revit.pat ” file located at:

   C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

Path varies depending upon your current working version.

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.pat’  file, go to properties, and uncheck ‘ read only’  This can be a pain in Vista so if you run into a problem with being able to over-write the file here’s the work around.

  1. Control ‘X’ on the file and Control ‘V’ it to a temporary location.
  2. Then save your file to the original location.

Then open the file (with notepad) and edit the code per the instructions at the beginning of the file.

Below is a code sample for a demolition lay-in ceiling.

*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.

Now open Revit. You will need to create a new material, in this case a demolition ceiling pattern “Ceiling Demo 24 x 48″ and then edit its surface pattern.

Select ‘Model’ then ‘new’ then ‘custom’ then ‘import’ then import the ” revit.pat ” file at this path
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

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

I believe the pattern generator code is not unlike AutoCAD.  We save our Revit Pattern file to our main library so its accessible throughout the office.  Frequently used patterns should be established in your template as just saving the revit.pat file to the library does not automatically make this pattern available to all your stations.  Another approach would be to load an object with the pattern attribute already assign on an as need basis for each project.


SARUG Similar Link 001
SARUG Similar Link 002


Keyboard Shortcuts – Revit Architecture 2011

October 27, 2010

Keyboard Shortcuts can really boost your efficiency and reduce the need to navigate the interface for a commonly used command.

You can directly access the Keyboard Shortcuts through the Revit interface by navigating to the ‘View’ tab at the top of the window then off to the right is the ‘User Interface’.  Click on the drop down to get the access window to the Keyboard Shortcuts.

You can then alphabetically order the columns by just clicking on the column heading. This is convenient for searching the list.

To remove a Shortcut <click on the shortcut abbreviation> and the ‘Remove’ button will activate.

To assign a Shortcut just click on the Command and the ‘Press New Keys’ field will activate.

Note: you can assign multiple key commands which is great for developing left handed and right handed versions. 

In an office with multiple stations I would recommend standardizing the Keyboard Shortcut Commands for all workstations so if another user has to temporarily use a station their efficiency is not compromised due to a different keyboard command layout.

Note: you can Import and Export this list.  Great for standardization.  Export you final list to you server library and just Import it for all your workstations.

Here are a few of my favorite KSC’s (as a righty most of these are left handed operations)

VV : Visibility Graphics
SV : Select All Instances – Visible in View
SS : Split Element
SF : Split Face
SA : Select All Instances – In the Entire Project
RR : Rotate
RE : Restart Wall Sweep / Reveal
RD : Radial Dimension
RC : Repeat Last Command
MM : Mirror
DD : Aligned Dimension
DA : Angular Dimension
CC : Copy
AA: Align

Enjoy Carl


Prepare Your Revit Model for FM

July 28, 2010

There is an excellent presentation on preparing your Revit model for Facilities Management available through your Autodesk Subscription.  Entitled “FM318-1 Get your Autodesk Revit Model Ready for FM” this presentation was given at the 2009 AU and covers preparing your model for COBie a common spreadsheet interface typically required by government entities and Archibus a Facilities Management Software Developer.  This presentation also covers the use of Assembly Codes and Omniformat Numbers starting at the 00.54.16 time code setting.

1.  Log into your Subscription Service
2.  Select “Training” from the left menus.
3.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and select
      “Autodesk University Course Material”
4.  In the new window select the “On-Line Classes” tab top left of the page
5.  In the Keywords search to the far right insert “FM318-1”


National Guidelines for Digital Modeling

July 27, 2010

I found this one on the Revit ST blog.

Its a National Guidelines for Digital Modeling, but not for or by the US.  It was developed by our friends down under.

From Revit ST:

This reminds me of a set of guidelines / standards that were developed for the Australasian Region last year as a result of discussions at the Revit Technology Conference . The National Guidelines for Digital Modelling were developed by representatives from some of the largest Engineering and Construction companies in Australia and the world.

Download the guidelines here .

It looks like an interesting well thought out publication.  Enjoy!


AEC (UK) BIM Standard for Revit

July 20, 2010

Do you need to establish Revit standards and create a top-notch template for your office? Check out this document published by a group of AEC professionals in the UK. Even though the document has some mispellings, like “colour” and “utilisation”, not to mention the use of metric units, the document covers most everything you’d need to get your Revit “programme” running on all cylinders.

Download the AEC (UK) BIM Standard For Revit v1.0 now

Visit their site for information.

PS: Is there a Yankee version of this document out there?