Friday, January 29, 2010

REVIT Wood Framing Walls Extension

Please see the CADclip Video Tutorial at the bottom of this post.

Also, a big REVIT Rocks 'Thank You' to these four sites for their generous exposure:

REVITCITY - (great discussion)

The REVIT KID (fairly new on the block but in a word ...'SMART')

Cadalot - REVIT Structure Learning Curve (a relentless hunt for learning)

CADDIGEST (oodles and oodles of links to free tutorials)
We'll start with the images : )

In this tutorial we are going to introduce you to the new and exciting REVIT Wood Framing Walls Extension available for free to all REVIT subscription members.
Thanks to > REVIT Learning Curve for bringing this app to my attention.
It's taken me a solid 15-20 hours of tinkering before I could get it to create what I wanted in a single attempt, however there were MANY failed attempts.
There are a few things that need to get 'fixed' with this REVIT extension before it's 100% ready for the market but it has amazing potential.
I went from being excited to being dissappointed no less than 5 times.

Review Summary:
This extension is not 100% ready for market use YET . . . but it has huge potential. It works . . . but it is cumbersome to use and has a few fundamental glitches that need to get fixed after you get it up and running. Make sure you have the wood material loaded and make all walls load bearing before you start (otherwise it will prompt you to make them load bearing).

Number 1 problem is the ability for this app. to differentiate between 'wall thickness' and 'core thickness'. It places the studs 'centered' in the wall thickness where we really want the studs centered in the 'core thickness'. This is pretty much a show stopped right there. However I have a feeling it's not a difficult fix. Once that gets done we're off to the races. This observation is readily visible in the app. dialog box.

Number 2 problem (as I discovered) is when you try to duplicate the O.T.B. structural framing member families to hard code dimensions to the framing cross section ie: 2 x 4 = 1 7/8" x 3 7/8" (38 x 89) etc. The app. seems to prefer using 'User defined framing parameterization' framing profiles rather than the 'revit project active families'. The actual naming of these two options is confusing to say the least because the user defined profiles are actually the ''revit project active families'' and not the one that says 'user defined'. Either way it causes down stream problems unless you just let the app. make the profiles automatically based on the wall thickness. (Tricky one to explain in words.)
Number 3 problem is the tedious process of applying the framing specifications to each and every wall and opening. There is no way to specify the framing (headers, sills, kings) to 'all selected door openings' or 'all selected window openings'. You have to go through each and every wall in the project. I soon discovered that with a simple 1200 sq ft bungalo it took me FOR EVER and you can see from the posted images I still missed some walls because the top plates are rotated the wrong way (or shall I say . . . the DEFAULT way). Who uses a top plate rotated vertically . . . . come on people . . . get with the building code).

Number 4 problem is the fact that you need to 'rotate' the opening headers and sills even though the image shows it oriented the right way. Seeing as the header has Profile 1 and profile 2 this can be very confusing as you try to bumble you're way through this learning process. The default profiles should at the very least get placed as seen in the dialog box.

Number 5 problem is Tee connections. These show up ramdomly where there is no Tee and don't get placed where there are Tee's.

Number 6 problem is wall corner connections. They just don't cleanup properly at the top and bottom plate consistantly. I tried playing with my wall corner joins with no better results.
Number 7 problem is 'units' . OMG The app. uses the Project Units and converts everything to the Units 'round off' of say /32 or /8 etc. AND you cannot enter units in decimal form as in 1.5". It simply will not allow you to vear from the project units. If you specify 1 7/8" it will convert that to say . . . 1 28/32". Weird but true.
What you end up doing is defining each wall framing configuration and then deleting all the framing it creates and then doing it again. . . .and again . . . and again . . . and yes again . . . until it FINALLY gives you what you want. In he mean time you may find it creates duplicate framing members occupying the same space or creating no framing at all, but thinks it is actually there. The thing is the framing configuration seems to be saved somewhere externally (and not as a property of the wall) and you can delete the framing entirely, save and close the file, open the file back up and the wall will remember how you wanted it framed.
It will allow you to tweak the framing by using the grips to stretch a single framing member but it causes problems too.
In the end this app. has SUPER potential but it's really only 75% complete at best. . . . in true Autodesk fashion (even though this is not their app. (which is another topic altogether) ) they'll let us test it out and then report back with the bugs (DOH!) .
(17.5 hrs @ $97.25/hr = $1701.87 . . . thank you Autodesk . . . you can contact me for my paypal address. : ) )
Gotta run . . . the kids are up . . . : ) . . . . have a look at the CADclip below for a more graphical explanation. Comments are always welcomed. 

CADclips REVIT Videos Here

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

REVIT Good Bubble Bad Bubble

Good Bubble !
Bad Bubble !
By default REVIT uses View, Callout and Section tags (bubbles) that do not provide industry standard forward and backward referencing. I prefer the Good Bubble image.
Below is a sketch with a little more detail on the good bubble ingredients.
Below is a CADclips on how to swap the Bad Bubbles out for the Good Bubbles !

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Adding Cost and Currency to REVIT Schedules

Below is a CADclip on adding Currency ($$) and cost to REVIT Material Takeoffs and Schedules.

Most people can create a good material takeoff and or quantity schedule in REVIT and get totals and grand totals. But bridging the gap to costing and the almighty $ sign is tricky.

For many regualr 'schedules' all you have to do is add in a 'cost' as part of the instance or type parameters. But 'material takeoff's' are a little different.

If you create a foundation 'material takeoff' schedule that tells you that you have 1500 cubic feet (CF) of 'cast in place concrete' and you know your cost is $15 / CF then you should be able to formulate that overall cost. But you will run into a road block > error: Inconsistant Units

The problem occurs when you try to use the 'currency' unit (dollar) and the 'volume' unit (CF) together in the same REVIT schedule field formula. You will get an 'Inconsistant Units' error.

The answer is to create an intermitant variable that translates the volume unit to real number units. Then multiply that number by the cost / unit and Bob's your uncle.

For 30+ free REVIT Lab Exercises go to this post > CADclip Labs

Set the Pixel width to 720p for HD video quality.

Here's the CADclip.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

REVIT Architecture Lab Exercise Videos

Below you will find a series of free CADclip 'Lab Exercises' on how to model and document the drawings for a double car garage. This is a great training aid / resource for anyone who is teaching REVIT or learning to use REVIT (Architecture or Structure).

There are 31 videos included within the single playlist embedded below which walk you through the exercises step by step.
The playlist starts at Lesson 1 and moves on.
Remember, these are 'Lab Exercises' and not a Tutorial. They are best utilized after getting familiar with REVIT. For more detail tutorials visit CADclips.

We start with grid lines and levels, then walls, doors, windows, footings and a roof. Then a sloping slab and notched foundation wall at the overhead door. Then we put the plans, elevations, section on a sheet and annotate them for documentation. We create Schedules and Material Takeoffs that include Totals and Costs.

We also constrain and align the walls, grids, roof and slab to establish a nice neat parametric project. Move a grid line and the entire project updates right down to the sheets, schedules and costs.
Set the Pixel width to '720p' for HD video quality.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Group REVIT Schedule Headers

Did you know you can edit the 'header' information in REVIT Schedules and 'Group' (or ungroup) columns as indicated above?
It's easily demonstarted in the 1.5 minute CADclip below.
Set the Pixel width to '720p' for HD video quality.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

50% Off all REVIT Video Tutorials

CADclips is offering 50% off all REVIT Video Tutorials until the end of January 2010.
Enter the coupon code BIM then click the [Update Cart] button to see the discount as illustrated above.
Here is the CADclips Store link.
You can browse REVIT topics on the left hand side.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

REVIT Parametric House Magic

Below is a great CADclip demonstrating the power of REVIT, BIM and Conceptual Massing.
I navigate the entire demonstration from a single sheet view of a project.
The project contains one parametric conceptual mass setup to control the shape of a basic two storey house and attached garage.
Then within one project, using Phases and Scope boxing you can create unlimited versions of the same basic house shape but with different dimensions, floor levels, roof slopes and MATERIAL TAKE-OFFS !
You can even have different wall, window and door types per instance.
Control each version of the same model from the associated conceptual mass.
Click the conceptual mass and change the foundation depth, floor to ceiling height, floor thickness, garage width or length, house width, length or height and the entire model updates and so do all the views and the material take-offs !
With a little more work you could sit down with a client, change a few dimensions and print out unlimited versions of construction documents and corrisponding material take-offs. All with just a few clicks.
I think they call this B I M !!
Here is the process used to create what you see in the CADclip below: 1. Create a conceptual Mass Family with parametric constraints. 2. Load it into a project. 3. Use the building maker tools to skin the conceptual mass with walls etc.
4. Place and Constrain the doors and windows to the wall corners and intersections. 5. Make a copy of both the mass and the associated walls, roofs etc. 6. Create and assign phases to seperate the two models. 7. Schedule the material take offs based on phase and material type. 8. Make parametric changes to one of the masses aand then tell the walls, floors, roofs to update to the new mass faces. 9. Place the views on a sheet. 10. You now have multiple parametric models with associated material takeoffs.
Here's the CADclip !
Set the Pixel width to '720p' for HD video quality.