Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Linking Revit Models: Origin to Origin

Revit has an origin point just like AutoCAD.  Revit calls this the "Project Base Point" and by default, it is hidden from us.  It's easy enough to find in a floor plan view by using the "Reveal Hidden Elements" tool. (the little light bulb in the view control bar)

The N/S, E/W, and Elevation coordinates of the project base point are relative to the "Survey Point".  By default these two points are coincident.  This project base point was moved 5 feet left and up for demonstration purposes.

When you link another Revit model into your "host" model, the "Import/Link RVT" dialog box has an option for "Positioning".  The default setting for this option is "Auto - Center to Center".  (I think it's the default simply due to alphabetical sorting.)  If you have ever used the rotate command in Revit with multiple items selected, you will understand how Revit calculates the "Center" of a selection set.  Using this option will apply that same center locating logic to an entire model.  Now, unless you are linking two identical models, it is very unlikely that the center points will align with the project base points.  Furthermore, your project "Center Point" will change as your model progresses and evolves.  Making it an ever moving target.  Not ideal for getting models to line up.

The more consistent and reliable option for positioning is to use the "Auto - Origin to Origin" option.

Using the "Origin to Origin" option will align the project base point of the linked model with the project base point in your "host" model.  Just like linking a CAD file at 0,0,0.  If you get in the habit of always using the "Origin to Origin" option you will avoid a vast majority of  issues with linked model alignment.

A common procedure would be a consultant linking the architectural model into their "host" model with the "Origin to Origin" positioning option before they begin modeling any geometry.  This allows all of their model elements to be properly aligned with all of the other disciplines.

Note:  This post ignores the scenario of "Shared Coordinates" which would necessitate the use of that positioning option if the project were set up using shared coordinates.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ready to ditch Land Desktop?? Accelerate Survey Workflows with AutoCAD Civil 3D

Accelerate Survey Workflows with AutoCAD Civil 3D
When: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Time: 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
The techniques for survey are easy to implement, and survey data can be seamlessly transferred from field data applications into virtual design and construction models for display, reduction, management, and design. In this presentation, civil engineering and survey professionals will learn how they can quickly and easily implement the survey specific functionality within the Autodesk infrastructure design solutions.
Learn how to accelerate your survey workflows to increase productivity and profitability. The webcast will cover:
Site Investigation
Leveraging GIS Resources
Data Collection
Importing into AutoCAD Civil 3D
Survey Tools
Collaborating with Others

Click here to Register:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Navisworks: Exporting Animation with Scripts

So, you’ve gone to all the work to create an animation with scripts showing motion on individual objects.  Now you‘re ready to export that animation to an external file that will be viewable by individuals who don’t have Navisworks.  

Unfortunately Navisworks does not currently allow this.  

The alternative for this is to create a simulation within “TimeLiner” that shows the objects moving as desired.  The guys over at the “Beyond Design” blog also have written a post  that explains linking animations to timeliner tasks.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Revit: Applying View Templates From Existing Views

You may already know about the ability to modify view settings and V/G Overrides in Revit with “View Templates”.  (It’s common to see these pre-defined in the Project Template.)  But did you know that you don’t even need to create a view template to transfer these settings from one view to another? It’s true!  Here’s how:

In the “Project Browser” find the view that you would like to apply the changes to and “Right-Click” on that view to activate the menu.  From the right-click menu, choose the “Apply View Template” tool.

This will open the “Apply View Template” dialog box.  By default, this dialog box will list all of the view templates that you have defined in the project.  However, (and this is where the magic happens) if you want to select an existing view without creating a view template at all, just check this inconspicuous little box that says “Show Views”.

Now you can select from any view in your project.  Select the view you want to copy your changes from and “Include” or “Exclude” in the far right column the categories that you do or don’t want copied.  As your model complexity progresses the “Parameter” column will grow here (i.e. “Design Options”, “Revit Links”, “Worksets”, etc.)

If you wanted to create a view template from the settings that are current in the view, but are likely to change.  You could also choose the “Create View Template From View…” option on the right-click menu.

We should also mention that you can assign a “Default View Template” to each view in the view properties. 

You can then select a single view, or multiple views from the “Project Browser” and right-click to select “Apply Default View Template” to force all of those views to their default view template settings all at once.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revit Architecture: Level Generator

Autodesk Labs have some pretty amazing products to help us do our jobs.  They even offer a free plug-in every month from the  Autodesk Developer Network (ADN).  From their website we read: 

"The plugins provided are free* and simple productivity enhancing tools that streamline the use of our design applications. The plugins are developed by Autodesk or by other ADN members.
All of the plugins we provide come with full source code to show what goes on inside and will have taken a relatively small amount of time to develop (from half a day up to about a week). The idea behind this is that nothing we deliver will be especially "out-of-reach" for someone wishing to invest in learning and using our Application Program Interfaces (APIs). Hopefully you are inspired to create your own plugins."

The February Plug-in is a level generator for Revit Architecture 2011 and 2012.  It generates multiple adjacent levels with one command.
Try it and let us know what you think.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Converting Survey Points to a Shapefile (SHP)

A lot of time you will have the need to convert your survey points in Shapefiles to share with other departments or outside users. There is actually a very quick way of doing that inside Civil 3D!! Here are the steps:

First, insert your survey points into Civil 3D (one of the 5 ways of doing it!!)

Second, go to the OUTPUT tab on your ribbon, go to the EXPORT panel and select "Export Civil Objects to SDF". The "Export to SDF" dialog box will appear, make sure everything here is correct and the location you choose to save it to is correct. Select OK.

Start a new drawing.

Type "MAPIMPORT" into your command line. This will bring up the Import dialog box, make sure your file type is set to Autodesk SDF. Browse to your SDF file you just created and double click it. The MAP Import dialog box appears, deselect any objects you do not want exported out (i.e. everything except Points). Select OK. Your Points should now be imported as SDF object.

Just one more step!!

Finally, type in "MAPEXPORT" into your command line. Make sure your file type is set to ESRI Shapefile and choose a file name and location to save this to. Select OK. This will bring up the MAP Export dialog box. Object type is point is this case so ensure that it is selected. Select OK. This will export out a SHP file and all associated files.

That's it!! Now you can import that shapefile or connect to it through the FDO just to make sure everything worked out.

Hope this helps!!