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Posts by rkitect

Revit TotD – 1.26.10 | Quick Access Menu and Worksets

Oh my, two new tips in one week!? This may become a new routine! Here’s one for those of you that use worksets a lot. Those of you that have used worksets on a project after recently converting from AutoCAD probably note a similarity in layers and worksets. Right down to loosing track of which workset you are currently working in! Up until now, there was not an easy way to see which workset you are currently working in. You have to open up the workset dialogue, and set the workset. Now, however, through the magic of the Ribbon, there is a much easier method!

Cut and dry, very simple. Go to the Collaborate Ribbon and look to the left in the Worksets section (note this requires a project that actually has worksets).

Right click the workset selection drop down, and select “Add to Quick Access Menu.”

Done… yup, now look up at your Quick Access bar (did you even know you could do this? ūüôā )

You can now not only see which workset you are currently working in, but easily switch without opening up the workset dialogue! Maybe that new fangled ribbon isn’t as bad as you thought it was!

Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope this has been helpful to you. As always, I look forward to seeing you on another Revit TotD!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 1.25.10 | Profile Origins and Wall Openings

So yeah, it’s been really busy around here, what with finally getting a new job, moving my family halfway across the country, settling in, making sure the new mom is doing good… well, I could go on with the excuses but the truth is I just missed you guys and gals! ¬†So here I am, finally back with a new TotD. ¬†I’m going to try to keep updating it at least a few times a week. ¬†By the by, thanks to everyone that kept requesting more TotDs; it really is what got me inspired to start doing these again! ¬†Without any further delay, here is yet another, Revit TotD!

So this is one from my past. ¬†I had a particular project where a wall sweep would not allow me to line up with the absolute bottom of a window family I had made. ¬†Every time the sweep touched the window family, it would split! ¬†That wouldn’t do. ¬†So after a little exploration, I arrived to the following little tip for you peeps.

The Wall Sweep is system family that uses a profile family to create a sweep along a wall surface.  Note that this applies to sweeps that are built-in to wall assemblies as well. However, you will not be able to see the origin of a built-in sweep by selecting it as demonstrated here.


Probably the most important thing you can take from the properties of the profile that is used for these sweeps is where the origin of the profile is.  If you select a wall sweep, you can see that the profile origin is shown just like the location line of a wall.  The two circle grips show the line that the profile lies on.


Why is this important? ¬†Let’s look at what happens when this “origin line” crosses an opening in our host wall.


Origin Line not intersecting opening.


Origin Line intersecting opening

So let’s take a quick look at how this applies to our custom profiles. ¬†Where do we actually define this origin?!??


As you can see here, the two reference planes that are selected have a property “Defines Origin.” ¬†You can define origins as you wish in your profile families, but I would suggest just leaving them as they are and work around them. ¬†A quick demonstration of how this custom profile behaves on a wall opening:



So there we have it. ¬†I’ll leave it to you to do what you want with the information! ¬†So thanks again for stopping by, I hope you have learned something new that you can use to impress your boss(es), and as always I hope to see you again for another Revit TotD!

-Carl Gibson


Revit TotD – 10.19.09 | Working with Profiles in Project

Every ¬†now and again you’ll run across an object that you want to change, but don’t want to have to figure out what nested family it’s using, stop working on the project, find the profile family, open the family, change it, save it, load it into the project, yada, yada, yada… who wants to do that? ¬†So let’s take a look at how to deal with nested family objects like wall hosted sweeps and specifically in this case floor slab edges.

These objects are unique because they are System Families (handled specifically within the project by Revit) but they rely on Standard Families (user created content).  The Floor Slab Edge relies on a profile that is loaded into the project.  Assuming that the profile family is created properly and is parametric in a sense that we need it to be, we can make changes to the profile without even leaving the project.

  1. Find out which profile is being used by the Floor Slab Edge you are placing
  2. Find the profile in the Project Browser under the Families > Profiles section
  3. Right click the profile you want to edit and select New Type from the context menu
  4. Name the new type accordingly
  5. Right Click the new type you just made and click Properties. Change the parameters of the profile to reflect the changes you want to make
  6. Click OK a few times to get back to the canvas
  7. Change your Slab Edge type to use the profile!

There you have it.  No leaving the project.  No opening family files.  None of that!  Stay in the project, stay productive!  Note that this procedure can be used to create new types of any family in the Project Browser.  Hope this helps you stay a bit more productive and I hope to see you again on another Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 10.16.09 | Varying Thickness Floor Layers

Continuing the topic of floors, I want to talk about a scenario that happens in a lot of projects; especially since this is something that happens in MANY commercial roofs. I speak of the one and only varying thickness in a layer of an assembly. Floors or roofs, this method can be used with either of them. So let’s do it!

  1. Create your Floor, making sure it has layers.
  2. Ensure that the layer that varies in thickness is set to “Variable” in the assembly editor.
  3. Add a Sub-Element Point to the floor surface.
  4. Offset the point.
  5. Verify the layer you wanted to vary is doing what you want.

Beautimous! ¬†See where this can be helpful when doing those flat roof systems?! ¬†I’m sure you’ll be using this one over, and over again in the future. ¬†Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you again soon for another Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 10.15.09 | Pancake Floors

So you just finished placing the existing structure of building you are remodeling into revit and start working on the floors… only to ask the question, “Should I really have made this a single floor type?” Well, today’s tip is less of a How-to and more of a How Carl Does It.

Typically, you would simply build the layers into the floor structure, but sometimes the situation calls for a different approach. In this case, we already have one flapjack down (the structural slab). Now we just need to stack our plate higher!

[VIDEO]Well unfortunately, this video did not get uploaded somehow and it is no longer available for me to recover. Sorry about that :([VIDEO]

This is something like what you would be dealing with in this situation. A simple slab with your interior partition walls in place on top of it.


Obviously, the floor finishes wouldn’t run under the partition wall (hopefully they weren’t that lazy when building the walls). So we want to place a new floor with each finish structure on each side of our wall.



Now this doesn’t finish our little fiasco here. You’ll notice that our floors are actually embedded in each other, so this is where we need to break the real parametrics part of the model. We’re going to manually offset the floors, each by it’s own total thickness in order to keep them from overlapping each other.


This is a little better!

So another nice easy one to help get me going again. Thanks again for stopping by and I hope to see you again for another, Revit TotD!


Revit TotD – 10.12.09: Revit’s “Center” Command

Oh, hello there! ¬†Thought I had completely forgotten about you, didn’t you? ¬†Well, no, not completely. ¬†I had to deal with some personal issues, namely the beginning of my family! ¬†You can all blame it on my new son when he’s old enough to understand what you’re all upset about. ¬†Till then, I’m going to ease my way back into the mix here, starting off with a nice simple TotD. ¬†Enjoy!

I will never forget when someone asked me where the “center” command is in Revit. ¬†I was actually stumped for about half a second, before I proudly and in a fashion my grand-dad would be proud of answered with the following:

The center between two objects (midpoint along a line stretching between two objects) can be found a couple of ways, the easiest is through the midpoint snap (‘SM’ on your keyboard).


But sometimes, you just have too many lines all bunched up on top of each other and you need to know that you have the right center point. ¬†The alternate, and slightly more accurate, method of finding a center between two objects is demonstrated by simply placing a Reference Plane (or a detail line if you’re dealing with sheets) between the two objects


Dimension between the two objects and the Reference Plane


And click the ‘EQ’ that appears above the dimension when it is selected.


This will place the Reference Plane an equal distance from both objects, and unless my geometry teacher was completely wrong, that is the midpoint between the two objects, also known as “Centering” an object (in this case a Reference Plane). ¬†You can also do this with other objects such as Doors and Windows.



Well, like I said; a nice easy one to ease my way back into the mix.  Stay tuned for the next Revit TotD!



I’m BAAaaaack….

… well not really… not completely.¬† It’s been a bit hectic lately, and I’m hoping to get a few posts in before we welcome our first born into the family!¬† I’ve picked up a few good topics while I was in Tulsa on a consulting gig.¬† Just gotta get my notes together and we’ll start updating!

StairPorn.Revit – 7.5.09: Terrace Stairs by Suppose Design Office

Before I even got a chance to get my last StairPorn.Revit entry rendered (so many problems! but I’m also experimenting with render settings ūüôā ) I’ve completed another entry!¬† This stair comes to us from the Suppose Design Office in Japan.¬† The portion of the vertical circulation element that I modeled really emphasizes the whole idea of terracing.¬† Notice that the landing is split and steps up, becoming another riser in itself.



Anyone else see the difference in the shaded view and the render?… I have no clue what happened there…

There were a few challenges that I had (and have yet) to overcome.¬† For starters, I can’t do a normal landing here.¬† Notice in the images that I can not have any stringer between the landings.¬† This meant I had to separate the stairs into 2 separate objects.¬† Then I had to make the stringers at the bottom run straight into the floor instead of being cut off.¬† There are a couple ways to do this, but I found that just beginning with a riser and then lowering the riser into the floor worked well.¬† The upper half of the stairs had to be a different stair type that the bottom stairs to get the landing to work with the stringers.¬† Then there was the rail… I don’t even want to go there because we all know that aside from site tools, the railing tool lacks quite a bit.

Anyhow, despite that, here it is!  The Terrace stair by Suppose Design Office.

Revit TotD – 7.5.09: Let that Bump do the Work

How many times have you wanted the material look that Revit provides, just with a different color?¬† There’s a good chance that you’ve wanted this at some point before and after digging for the answer, you found that the answer isn’t quite as simple as you’d hoped.¬† Someone probably told you that you had to edit the image file used for render texture, then you had to find the image file and oh my goodness it got messy computer parts flying everywhere ensued… no?¬† Well, here’s a quick tip that should help ease the pain a little and it utilizes that little bump file that most Revit materials come with out of the box.

Changing Material Colors:

  1. With the material that you want to edit open, go to the Render Appearance tab.
  2. Check for a bump pattern being used in the material.  If the material does not have a bump file in use, this method will not work.
  3. For Color:, choose Solid color instead of Image file and select the desired color for the material.
  4. If you Update Preview, you will see that this may just wash out the pattern.
  5. Increase the amount of bump the bump image file provides to define the texture better.
  6. Update Preview again.  Repeat until the texture appears how you want it to appear.
  7. Hit OK and re-render the scene.

I like the short and sweet ones!  Means we can all go do other things! Till next time, thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you for another, Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 8.4.09: +++ [RAWR I’M THE REF PLANE] —

If you don’t get the title of the tip, that’s OK.¬† It’s easier just to say that it’s hard to explain if you don’t already understand, but at the same time it’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t.¬† Either way, I’m guessing that there’s a little tip that you didn’t know.¬† The one that tells you which side of a reference plane that extrusion is going to actually extrude from.¬† Ever heard of it?¬† No!?¬† Well here goes.¬† This is, in my humble opinion, another short but AWESOME little tip!

The +’s and -‘s of Reference Planes:


If you create an extrusion (for instance) on this reference plane that you just created, you know now which way the extrusion is going to go if you assign an extrusion start of 0 and end of 5′ (for example).¬† Any positive part of the extrusion will be ABOVE this reference plane and any negative part of the extrusion will be BELOW the reference plane.¬† Now you don’t have to guess which way the Extrusion is going to go and you can make sure that you don’t have to use negative calculations in your formulas to control certain extrusions now.¬† So from now on, you’ll be paying a bit more attention to how you draw your reference planes, eh!? The series of reference planes below were drawn in a clock-wise order and direction.



So there you have it; short, sweet and yet another incredibly powerful arsenal to your bag of tools.  Hope you enjoyed and hope to see you again for another, Revit TotD!



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