Sunday, April 30, 2006

My Arm Hurts

I do alot of drafting and mousing as most CAD operators do and my right arm, elbow and shoulder are killing me after many years of abuse. So after some experimenting I have currently settled on a Logitech tracker ball type mouse. It's definitely weird at first and takes some time to get used to but I really like it and I can sleep on my right side again. It's been a couple months and I expected my thumb to get tired but it doesn't. So there you go. Maybe give one a try.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Autodesk Revit survey about 'Unit Plans'

How do you approach the task of creating Unit Plans ? We do this for Condo / Apartment / Hotel layouts. Most architectural drafters have been faced with it. It's a pain to manage and annotate. Unit 'A'... Unit 'Ax'(mirrored) Unit 'B'... Unit 'Bx'(mirrored)... It's been a challenge for anyone trying to get it right and save time....or do you save time : ) It's nice to see Autodesk surveying the people on this topic. Here's the link below. Make sure you add your comments at the end. My comment was 'There's how I do it and how I'd like to do it" Link to Autodesk 'Unit Plans Survey' This post scooped from Steve Stafford's blog. REVIT OpEd

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Why do all my Wall Heights default to 20'-0" ?

Thanks to CADDIGEST for posting this tutorial ! Wall heights actually don't always default to 20'-0" but they do default to the last height used if the Top of the wall was unconstrained. Always check the options fields at the top of the screen before you draw the wall. Note the Height fields. Here you can constrain the wall height (top) to a Level - or you can make the wall unconnnected (unconstrained) and set an unconnected height. The default is 20'-0". Once you set this, it will default to that height until you change it. It will also remember the last height you used even if you save the file and re-open it later. If you constrain the top of the wall to a Level, the field that says 20'-0" will be greyed out. After you start the wall tool but before you draw the wall, click the 'Properties' button and have a look. You have a wall 'Base Constraint' and wall 'Top Constraint'. The Base Constraint must be to a level and defaults to the level of the plan you are currently in. The Top Constraint can be to a Level or Unconnected. (check the pick list) If you set it to Unconnected (which is the default) it uses the last wall unconstrained height that you used. ie: 20'-0". Both constraining methods for Base and Top have the option to have an Offest from that Level. This can be a Positive number (above) or a Negative number (below). For example, this comes in very handy when you want to draw a wall that goes from 1'-2" below the level to 2'-6" above a certain level. The Unconnected Height shown in the wall Properties dialog box (13'-8" greyed out) is the total distance from Top to Bottom including offsets . I hope this helps clarify what determins the wall heights.

Making you First Wall Type !

This post should be titled - Making Your First Wall Type Thanks to CADDIGEST for posting this tutorial ! Making compound walls is one small step for REVIT, one BIG step on your way to Building Information Modelling (BIM). Ahhhhh, it's been a while but I do remember learning how to make my first wall type. It is the first significant step where you say, 'This is pretty cool' and not hard to learn either. Then the escalator starts to move......and the creative thinking kicks in. Even better news is once you learn how to make a wall type, (and you will) floors and roofs follow the same basic rules ! Here's a CADCLIP to get you going. Making your First Wall Type Right click the link above and 'save target as..' to download the CADCLIP. * I should also point out the 'Sample Height' field at the upper right of the Edit Assembly dialog box is for the wall 'Preview' within this dialog box. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

'AUGI Training Program' announces new FAST TRACK

The 'ATP' has announced it's new 'Fast Track' online training program for the busy worker. One topic, one week...One happy camper. Just learn it. ATP Fast Track

REVIT in Project Collaboration - Sign up !

Revit Inside has a list of firms using Autodesk Revit products interested in collaborating with other firms doing the same.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

High Schools are teaching REVIT

Have you wondered if high school drafting programs are using REVIT yet ? The answer is, YES they are, and it's alot easier (and way more fun) than learning other CAD software. I have a feeling they're going to pick it up fast if they get the right training. Are you involved with REVIT at a High School or College Level ? I would be interested to know. Perhaps I can help?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Steve Stafford's Blog added to sidebar

Steve Stafford is a seasoned consultant and REVIT blogger. He has tons of valuable information at his site. REVIT OpEd . Bookmark it.


I have added a new permanent link to the sidebar for REVIT Job postings. The need for experienced REVITeer's is growing every day !

Moving wall family types from project to project

Thanks to CADDIGEST for listing this blog post. Jay Polding posted a quick blog on how to move wall styles from project to project using 'Transfer Project Standards'. Importing Wall Styles This can be applied to more than just walls. To add to that I did some testing myself. I verified that you can cut and paste (ctrl+c, ctrl+v) a wall from project to project just like any other application and it will bring in the wall family type. TIP: You have to do this in the editing window because wall families (and text families) do not show up in the families section of the Project Browser. Other family types CAN be cut and pasted from Project to Project from the project browser. (Did you know that?) When pasting, if the wall family name does not exist in the receiving file the wall family is created and the wall is placed when you paste. When pasting, if the wall family name already exists in the receiving file and there is no difference in the wall structure the wall comes in and you are done. When pasting, if the wall family name already exists but the structure of the wall is different the file that is being inserted into will govern. You will see a warning. TIP: I also discovered that if you have more than one session of REVIT open that each REVIT session has it's own independent clipboard. That might explain a few anomalies I have stumbled across in the past.

All REVITs Kitchen Families

You can get tons of REVIT video Training at

Hello, and welcome to REVIT ROCKS ! 

Thanks to CADDIGEST for listing this blog post and providing a great resource. 

Feel free to browse the resource links on the right after you're done. I was recently asked how many kitchen appliances etc. comes with REVIT and how flexible are the components. So I proceeded to insert all of REVITs kitchen type families into one drawing and play around with it. 


I have included an image of the objects I thought were applicable. Some of the families come from the 'Plumbing' folder and some from the 'Specialty Equipment' folder under the Library folder. 

To find these families you can click > Component (from the Basics Design Bar) then > Load > Imperial Library > (folder of choice) I was pleased to verify that most, if not all, of the families are quite flexible in size and materials. 

What some people don't realize is you can modify these family dimensions and materials etc. to suit your kitchen. But of course the proper procedure is to duplicate these objects and then modify the size or material etc. of the newly cloned objects. OR you can modify the actual family .rfa file at it's source location for future projects. (future blog) 


To simply modify the local copy of the family first insert the family, then click on it and then click the > Properties button > Edit > Duplicate > (provide the new name) and then make the changes to what ever is available. 

A counter top will have different properties from a cabinet. An 'L' shaped counter will have different properties from a straight counter. The duplicated versions of the family types ie: 42", 46", 48" etc. are all saved in the same family within the local project file. 

I will place a separate blog later explaining how to edit the family at it's source location. You can get more REVIT families at REVIT CITY Or you can learn how to make your own Families by going through the video tutorials at DG CAD Or perhaps you want to Suggest a tutorial?.. Suggest a Tutorial

CADclips REVIT Videos Here

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fly in Training - Stampede Special !

Well, I am currently talking with a group in CA to arrange a fly in REVIT training session and got to thinking....... I have completed many training sessions for various firms over the years and thought I would take a quick opportunity to let people know that I am available for fly in training, implementations and presentations. What can be explained and taught in a few hours can save you $$ and many hours of struggle. Then you are on the right track and functional right away. Email me and inquire if you are interested. Perhaps you will be in my neck of the woods and we could do something here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada ? The Calgary Stampede is July 7 - 16 ! Calgary Stampede Web Site

Friday, April 21, 2006

Suggest a REVIT Building Tutorial Topic

FYI - I am always open for suggestions on REVIT Building tutorial topics for this blog. Use the Comments link below or email me to place your suggestion. I cannot promise any advanced family tutorials etc. right away but I will do what I can or perhaps refer to you some other resource.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Where is my Zero, Zero ?

This quick REVIT Building 8.1 tutorial explains how to identify, where to locate and how to move the model 0,0 in a plan view. This tutorial does NOT apply to the family editor. The first thing this tutorial comes with is a warning!!. Do NOT arbitrarily start moving the 0,0 location in a project. Especially if it is a linked file. Use a test project until you get a handle on it. Also, these quick tips only involve locating and moving the 0,0 location of the project. We will not discuss at this time actually ‘relocating the project’. There is a difference between moving the 0,0 and moving the actual model to a new location. If you have the freedom to do so it is far easier to move the 0,0 to where you want rather than moving the Model to the 0,0. Make sense right ? Move the 0,0 to the mountain rather than moving the mountain to 0,0. If all you need to do is make a certain point in the project 0,0 then you can move the 0,0 to that point similarly to as if you move the UCS in AutoCAD. Sometimes this comes in handy when trying to coordinate the building position with the property lines etc. If the model is linked to other files you need to be careful of what you do and you need to understand a little more about 'shared coordinates' and 'project north'. Having said that it’s actually simple to locate and move the 0,0 origin. The 0,0 is where the N / S zero and the E / W zero intersect, right? TIP: I tend to place and use reference planes when doing this type of activity. TIP: Try naming a reference plane in it's properties. Then click on it and the name will show up. Lets start by looking under the ‘Tools’ pull down menu and go to ‘Shared Coordinates’ tool. We will use the ‘’Report Shared Coordinates’ and the ‘Specify Coordinates at a Point’ tools. Lets have a look. Start the ‘’Report Shared Coordinates’ tool and you are prompted to ‘select a shared reference to display it’s shared coordinates’. (Read the REVIT status bar on the lower left of the screen). Depending on what you selected and where you select it will depend on what is reported. Try hovering over different object geometry and then selecting. Try hovering over a reference plane or wall near the end point. There is a snap point at geometry end points. This will return the N / S and E / W and Elevation of the geometry. You can think of the East / West as X, North / South as Y and Elevation as Z. Note at the top of the screen the read only information. Also note that if the object or face of object you select runs E / W it will only return a N /S number and visa-versa. Think about it. It makes sense. So the ‘Report Shared Coordinates’ reports read only information. Next, start the ‘Specify Coordinates at a Point’ tool to both ‘report’ and ‘alter’ coordinates. Once again, ‘what you select’ and ‘where you select it’ will depend on how this dialog reports. Experiment with different object types and locations along that geometry. I have selected a diagonal reference plane to get the above information. TIP: As usual use the Tab key to toggle through adjacent geometry. We are only going to discuss the 'New Coordinates' section of this dialog box. You can click into the appropriate field and change the numbers if it allows you to. Be aware that all points are relative and will then report accordingly. If you change the N/S or E/W coordinates of an object do not expect anything to actually move when you are done. It simply makes that point the new coordinates and the rest of the model is all relative to that new point. If you are linking this model and using shared coordinates it will most likely move in that file so be aware !! TIP: Use the Esc key (or cancel button ) instead of clicking Ok to keep Looping back into this Reporting tool. Otherwise you have to go back to the pull down menu each time. Example scenario: I want the lower left corner of my building to be at 0,0. This is how you can do it. 1. Open the plan view and zoom into the corner wall geometry. 2. Start the ‘Specify Coordinates at a Point’ tool and select the Horizontal wall anywhere on the bottom face. 3. Set the North / South to be 0 and OK 4. Start the ‘Specify Coordinates at a Point’ tool and select the Vertical wall anywhere on the Left face. 5. Set the East / West to be 0 and OK 6. You are done. The lower left corner of the intersecting walls should be at 0,0. 7. Nothing will actually move but all the x,y points in the model have now changed. TIP: Try selecting a wall near an endpoint vs midspan. Notice the different info. reported. You may be able to change both the x and y in the same dialog if you get the right endpoint You could also do the same example scenerio as above but use Property Lines instead of Walls. Important The bottom of the ‘Specified Shared Coordinates’ dialog has a section labeled ‘Angle from Project North to True North’. Views can be oriented to ‘Project North’ or ‘True North’. This is a separate lesson all by itself. Please refer to the free CADCLIP titled True North – Project North at DG CAD for all the details on this process. Well, I hope this is of use to some of you. Practice...practice....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Creating a Roof with Varying Wall Plate Heights

Not all walls are created equal. Quite often wall heights around the perimeter of a building or house have different bearing heights for the roof system. This can be challenging when time to make the roof. In the tutorial link provided below the roof is broken up into parts and sketched over top of a rough 2D roof plan. This may be more of a residential design issue however all REVIT users will come across this problem at one time. Finished Roof 2D Roof Plan Below are links to a CADCLIP outlining at least one fool proof way of creating a semi-complex roof with varying wall heights around the perimeter as shown above. You can right click the links below and "save target as.." to download. Video CADCLIP Tutorial Hard copy PDF Tutorial

Saturday, April 15, 2006

REVIT User Map World Wide

Here's a cool site where you can place yourself on a map of REVIT users around the globe.

Enabling REVIT Worksets

Worksets are a CAD managers dream. (or nightmare I suppose if you go in unprepared). Worksets help organize your project and act as a security guard on who can edit what. You can see it all but you are only allowed to edit certain objects. Ussually things like Levels and Grids are off limits to the general user. The first rule of worksets is to get the project template file as fine tuned as possible. Then ONE user, usuualy the team captain, takes the project to as far as possible before enabling worksets. Then the team captain allows other users in to check out the 'central model' and save their own local copy that will then interact back with the central file. Autodesk document on setting up Workserts. For detailed Video demonstrations on Worksets go to lessons 15-18.

REVIT Structure White Papers

Here's a link to some detail information on REVIT Structure, REVIT Building Systems and BIM in general. (Building Information Modelling). I have been using REVIT Structure and was trained in Boston last year on the product by Autodesk's best. The product was very impressive and very much a structural solution to the CAD world. I am an old Structual CAD guy myself and went in with open eyes as to what people would expect. It's like having SFrame or PFrame built right in with all the normal REVIT ammenities. Outside of the general interoperabilty with REVIT Building etc. it would also create and maintain all the Column Schedules, Beam Schedules, Footing Schedules etc. for both Concrete and Steel. Impressed yet ! For a structural group this is a real breath of fresh air.

REVIT 9 - Q & A

Below is a PDF link to a new Q & A doc. on REVIT 9. I am anxious to try out the 'Material Take offs'. REVIT Q & A (pdf)

Friday, April 14, 2006

ATP - AUGI Training Program

Did you know you can get awesome free REVIT training from some of the best trainers out there ? Visit the ATP Site for more info >

Opening Day

Well this is my first blog and my first Posting in a blog. Yeah ! I hope it is a long and educational experience for everyone.