By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD
Let’s talk about Revit families. Are your Revit users pulling families from manufacturer websites, then having to spend project time individually reconciling the differences between the parameters used without destroying existing data?
Downloaded Revit family content introduces shared parameters into a project that are often times different from the parameters used in the company’s schedule. These differences often cause schedules to display incomplete or inaccurate data requiring tedious, individual fixes.
BIM Project Suite 2020’s Parameter Jammer uses a two-step process to swap the parameters in the family to reconcile the differences between the parameters without destroying your existing data, saving users time and headaches. The first step swaps parameters that can be safely identified as a match, while the second allows users to map, add or omit parameters that do not need to be swapped.
Parameter Jammer is user friendly, and was designed so that Revit users who are unfamiliar with the family editor can successfully prepare a family to be scheduled; it also:
• Uses the schedule to derive parameter needs; and
• Allows the end user to push parameters into a non-standard family.
Maximize your Revit project team’s time with Parameter Jammer and the entire BIM Project Suite 2020 by downloading a free software trial and scheduling a demo today.
By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD
Find improperly displayed elements in Revit with Invisibility Advisor. Part of the BIM Project Suite, this tool can also identify the cause of invisibilty as well as offer useful information and links to relevant knowledgeable articles for each issue.
Revit users may spend 2-4 hours a week on average resolving object visibility issues
Revit has various ways of finding objects, and users rarely check all
Often invisibility can be controlled by multiple factors and multiple users
Solution – Invisibility Advisor
Invisibility Advisor searches through almost 60 different factors affecting an object’s invisibility
Advice is offered to assist with understanding why the object(s) were not visible
In many cases, an instant ‘Fix’ option is available to resolve the visibility issue automagically
The Invisibility Advisor can remain on screen while you work, so visibility solutions are available at your fingertips
At even 1 hour per week time savings, Invisibility Advisor can save an average firm $3400/year/Revit user
By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD
My friend and customer, Ben Cartmell from Koers & Associates in Parksville, has brought to my attention a method, of which you may not be aware, for working around a limitation within Civil 3D.
The limitation is when a drawing containing Civil 3D structures is XREF’d. The image below shows two viewports in paper space with pipes and structures that have been XREF’d in model space. The structures are annotative and they should be the same size within the viewports, but they are not.
There is an easy workaround for this problem. The file being XREF’d in the example above was saved in model space.
- Open the file.
- Switch to paper space.
Reload the XREF and those structures now appear the same size in paper space.
Feel free to experiment by downloading these two drawing files.
By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD
Additionally, users may take more time to navigate through this extra information to find the correct view, sheet, content or other relevant data. Some processes exist to alleviate these issues inside of Revit, however they are time consuming, tedious, and incomplete.
Describing the issue
The development of Revit project files comes with a lot of work to maintain a healthy file for continued, efficient user workflows. BIM Managers must keep going through the files, cleaning up all the unneeded information. Deleting views, view templates, filters, unused sheets, link & imported elements from the file. Additionally, reviewing all views, trying to find non-standard elements that users might have created in the file. Finally, checking the model to make sure the users are following best practice of modeling correctly. These tasks and more all take time and must be done regularly to ensure that models do not break minutes before major submittals. The breaking of models, file corruption, or file slowdown may require the stopping of work for repair of a problematic model has cost that is not frequently quantified. Fortunately, there are project maintenance tools available in the CTC Software’s BIM Manager Suite that makes this entire process easy to execute, and significantly reduces model downtime, and stoppages of work.
The use of Project Cleaner makes efficient use of time in cleaning up garbage views from the project. Leveraging the Import/Link Manager can rapidly allow identification and repair of the imports in the model. Intelligently running Type Swapper can save hours of model maintenance and cleanup of rogue types. Finally, Dimension Checker makes it possible to identify areas in a model where information has been faked to ‘just get it done’, but could be a liability issue, or a model fidelity issue later in the project.
By Vicky Browne, Marketing at SolidCAD
Add the one-touch Real Skies to cast a new light on your scene and instantly create a beautiful, unique setting for your designs. Let realistic rain communicate cozy spaces, which you can now decorate with furry rugs and fluffy blankets. For the true-to-life garden shot, apply the new Customizable 3D Grass materials and you’ll almost feel the freshly cut lawn beneath your feet.
New streamlined scene-building tools help you create complex environments in minutes. Add to the improved workflow, Lumion’s jaw-dropping rendering speed and outstanding images and videos are within your reach, on all your projects. Use Lumion 9 to show the true beauty of your designs and form genuine connections with your clients.
Sky Light 2 and Real Skies(Real Skies are Pro only)
Instant, beautiful skies to take your breath away. With 39 Real Skies and their pre-configured Sky Light settings in Lumion 9, it takes a single click to give your design the perfect clear blue morning, stormy afternoon or unforgettable sunset.
Change the sky and your design’s entire lighting changes with it, putting you within reach of an awe-inspiring render in literally seconds.
3D visualization is an essential part of architectural illustration today. Renders allow you to communicate your vision and intent to clients and colleagues. This is why models or drawings are often sent out to be professionally rendered. This is an expensive but usually necessary process. However, it is possible to make high quality renders in-house using Revit or through the cloud.
What makes a beautiful render? Like many things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is in the nuance of the materials you select, the lighting, the details you choose to include, and any post-production editing.
Here are a few thoughts on how to start making more beautiful, detailed renders in Revit.
I’ve wrapped them all up in a short video at the bottom of this post.
By, AEC Technical Consultant at SolidCAD
In reality, engineers use Revit in conjunction with other third-party software. However, this disconnects the Revit model and calculations, lowers the level of accuracy and results in multiple recalculations.
In fact, Energy analysis is easier to perform in Revit than in any other program. Using Revit for heating/cooling calculations ensures that any changes that were made in the architectural model will be reflected in energy calculations. If you plan on performing energy analysis in Revit, you must define Energy settings, as well as spaces/zones at the beginning of the modeling. To do so you must verify that all spaces are set up with space elements (shafts, plenums, sliver spaces), spaces are added to zones other than the default zone and building/space settings are customized for the project.
Energy analysis runs on an Autodesk Insight subscription. To use it, you must be signed into Revit with a subscription-enabled Autodesk account. To use Energy Optimization for Revit, ensure that the user interface option for Energy analysis and tools is enabled. If not, icons will be greyed out.
Using the Analyze tab > Energy > Optimization pane, you can define Energy Settings, Location, Generate Energy Model, and Optimize Performance:
Panel schedules are an essential part of any electrical design and provide a level of coordination that ensures accurate design and documentation.
Panel schedules can be created before or after circuits are connected to the panel. Once a Panel is placed in a model, a panel schedule is listed in the Project Browser. Using the Analyze >Panel Schedule tool, you can create Panel Schedules using a default template. You can create one or multiple Panel schedules from the Panel Schedule dialog. You can also simply select a Panel in a model and the Panel Schedule tool will become available for this Panel. Keep in mind, you will need to associate each Panel with a Distribution system. This parameter is available in Instant Properties under the Electrical-Circuiting group. The Distribution System is defined under the Manage tab > Electrical settings.
Revit provides 3 main types of panel schedule templates: Branch panel, Data panel and Switchboard.
On the Manage tab, select Panel Schedule Templates and click Edit a Template.
If everybody is so proficient with the change to a BIM process, then why aren’t building projects embracing it more widely? Why aren’t those firms who have embraced it finding the efficiencies that it promises? Why are our buildings not being constructed with less problems? Most importantly, why are those people who build those buildings still not convinced that the move to BIM has improved the quality, capability, efficiency and functionality of their products?
BIM has been around for over 15 years and still many architectural firms are struggling with how to actually leverage its potential. Engineering firms are not utilizing the information in the data-rich models being created. Contractors are spending valuable time remodeling the digital information created by their design teams so that they can utilize them for their purposes. Finally, these models are not of much use to the owners and even more work needs to be done for them to get a true digital repository of the structures they have created.
What has gone wrong? Why can we not create a true digital model of a building that can be used for design; then passed onto production of construction documents; then passed onto the contractor him/herself to build and extract useful data from; and finally passed to the owner to utilize throughout the building’s life-cycle. Along the way, why isn’t this data-rich model used for a myriad of additional benefits? A true building information model should exist throughout the life of a building.
The answer is that WE CAN! The secret is that all of these participants have to want to work together to achieve a set of common goals. The only person who can define what these are is the person paying the participants; yet that person does not have the experience or knowledge to do what is necessary. Until we can get together as one team pulling for that elusive set of common goals, the building process and the resulting building will be a disparate set of activities producing a result that reflects that lack of cohesiveness.
It is time that we got together and came up with a better way to use BIM so that everybody in the process can benefit.