Posts tagged Revit

Revit TotD – 2.19.10 | Dimension Formulas

Gonna finish up the week with a very easy tip, yet very powerful for those complicated designs that use all those mathematical formulas and what not…

Hopefully, by this point, you know that you can simply enter a length to determine a wall or line length, or really anywhere you can input a dimension.  Simply type 100′ and hit enter et voila! 100′ of whatever you were placing.  Did you know, however, that you can do the same thing but with formulas!?

It’s very simple.  Instead of typing the normal dimension in like this:

You instead begin it with an ‘=’ like this:

You can use any formula context that revit allows.  I would suggest searching in help for “formula” to find out the terms and syntax that you can use.

Like I said, simple and quick, just like we like it here at!  Hope you learned something, and thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 2.17.10 | Through the Linking Glass, part2

What’s this?  I’m keeping my word?  Two tips in one week?!  Well, don’t let it fool you.  I cheated.  I wrote these 2 days ago 🙂  So let us continue on and wrap up this little lesson on linked model visibility.

First I want to thank my Buddy Gerry Hogsed for letting me use his house design.  It is a project that he copmleted in school studio, and received VERY marks with!

So last time we talked about the easy ones, By Host and Custom.  If you need a recap, click the Previous post link.  So lets say you have a project where you have two sections of a building in one view.  The second floor level in your main model is at 10′ AFF and the second floor in your linked model is at 15’AFF.  How do you get them to look right in a single view?  This is where By Linked View comes in.  Essentially we set the view up IN THE LINKED MODEL before loading it in.  Let’s take a look at how this is done.


Part 2

So obviously, the first step is to set up your views in the linked model.  This includes VG, View Range, Plan regions, etc, etc.  Whatever you do in the view you are linking, is what is going to show up in the main model once you link it in.

Be sure you name your view accordingly, IE: Linked View – Second Floor.  You’ll see why in a minute.  Don’t rename the current views you are using.  Instead duplicate them (with detail if needed) and name them accordingly.

Once the link is loaded into your model, summon the View Graphics dialogue (‘VG’), and head to the Revit Links tab.

Change the Display Settings to By Linked View.

We now have an option to select from a drop down box.  If you drop that down, you’ll see that there are some views here to choose from that are in the Linked model.  See now why we named our view accordingly?  Can you imagine trying to guess which one it was in a large model?  Select the correct view, and click OK a couple of times.

We can now see that our linked model now behaves just like the view we set up in the link.

Why do this over Custom?  Well, Custom only allows you to set things such as category visibility and overrides.  By Linked View, as you can see, allows us to control View Ranges, Plan Regions, etc.  Everything that we can control in the view of the linked model, can be transferred to this view using By Linked View.

Yes, I can hear the gears turning now.  You see why I saved this gem for last?  I hope you have taken something from today’s Revit TotD, and hope that it brings you back for yet another.  Have a great day!

-Carl Gibson

Revit TotD – 2.15.10 | Through the Linking Glass, part1

I’m slowly but surely trying to recover from moving and settling into a new job.  I’m having to force myself to sit down and make time for RevitTotD, but I’m glad I do it every time that I do!  This week, I’m going to have 3 tips… that’s all there is to it!  Baby steps, baby steps!

Linking models is fairly straightforward.  It’s when you need to start customizing how the model needs to look in different views for consistency with the main model that you start to get deep in to those infamous nested Autodesk dialogues!  So how do we start customizing?  Like so…

There are three types of visibility graphics control for linked models: By Host, By Linked View and Custom.

You access these settings through the Visibility Graphics (‘VG’) dialogue > Revit Links tab

In this tip, I’m going to cover By Host View and Custom.  Part 2 of this tip will cover the By Linked View option.

By host view is by far the easiest way to control your graphics.  It’s as simple as turning categories in your main model on and off as you normally would in the VG dialogue.  If you want the walls in your model AND linked view to be hidden, simply turn them off the in VG dialogue.

What if you need the walls and floors in your link to be off, but you want to leave them on in your main model?  Ah, this starts to get slightly trickier, but is still accomplished with only a few clicks.  First, you need to set your link to Custom mode in the VG dialogue. NOTE: These settings are BY VIEW!  Setting this up in one WILL NOT affect other views, this is where view templates come in to play 🙂

Depending on the category you want to control, go to that respective tab (walls and floor = model categories, levels = annotation categories) and set those categories to Custom as well.

Click OK a couple of times and see the results.  Notice our main model walls are visible while our linked model walls are not.

Same concept applies to the Annotation Categories.  Let’s say you have redundant levels in your linked model and don’t want them showing up in your main model.  Same as above, but simply go to annotation categories and turn off levels.

Well, that was quite a mouthful for one tip!  So, mull around on that for a day or two, and then come back for part2 of this tip when we talk about the By Linked View options which REALLY let’s us customize every bit of the linked model.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again for yet 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!



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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