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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


Want to see what all the fuss is about ? eVolve's new view and sheet creator is now available in the latest version of eVolve. It allows you to set up spools using phases, worksets, or a .txt file. For detailed instructions view the link below. Let us know what you think. Please download link here. View and Sheet Creator  

Revit - Housekeeping pad (Part 1 of 3) This question usually comes up in training or support on a regular basis, so I decided to show you a couple of different ways to create a basic housekeeping pad. In MEP, you might have the need to create a pad for your equipment. You can use a couple of different methods to create a pad in Revit. You create an In-place family for a specific single instance. You can also make a simple foundation and offset your equipment after placement. Alternatively, you can make a simple foundation pad family that will flex on an instance basis. In the following video I will go through each option: Part 1 -- Structural Foundation Pad

Simplify the conversion for inline Revit equipment to Fabrication content by utilizing the Fabrication Design Line Node concept and applying it to Families in Revit.

In 2016 Autodesk released updates to Parameters in Revit. I created this video with basic examples of how you can use these types of parameters to your advantage. Use these basic examples and discuss and plan other usages to compliment your current in-house workflows. Keep in mind that over constraining a model can be detrimental or have a negative effect on your projects. Coordinate with everyone on the team or on the project how these work and when you should apply them to your projects. Parameters 2.0 - (part 1) Reporting parameters are values driven by dimensions or geometric conditions. (Part 2 coming soon):  Global parameters are specific to a single project file but are not assigned to categories like a project parameter. 

So I am doing my first AU class this year on eVolve. It's not to late to get in and get a look a look at the offering that is flipping the lid on the electrical fabricator's process. I will be speaking and as well will have Aaron Thompson as a co-speaker for this class giving a brief history on why we took the journey. Come check us out this year at Autodesk University.   Class Info: MEP21690 - eVolve Your Electrical Models to Fabrication Come see the eVolve Revit software add-in from the end user’s perspective. The eVolve add-in facilitates in electrical design and detailing the automation of numerous manual tasks in detailing/installation drawings needed for fabrication, all via the Revit software platform. Corbins Electric, developer of this add-on, has taken Revit software for electrical to the next level. Revit software users now have highly intelligent custom family components, modeling tools, drawing creation tools, and visual-graphics tools. These tools improve productivity, efficiency, and accuracy—all to reduce waste and cost on the design and fabrication processes. Come hear Corbins explain why it was ...

eVolve’s 3D Move tool One of the best tools for Revit you aren’t using   The 3D move tool takes a family selection and places it to another point. This works much like a snapping tool and gets you right where you want to be. In this example I will take a strut and place 2 families at the very top of the strut using this tool. The strut is at a different elevation than the other 2 families. In a 3D vie lets snap these two items in place. Run the 3D move by selecting it or using the shortcut. Select a point on the wire-way. Next select a location on the strut. The wire-way will now snap to that location. It will snap just like the picture below placing it on the top of the strut. Now we will do the same for the conduit and place it on the top of the strut. Begin by start by selecting 3D Move, and then the base of the conduit.  Be sure to be aligned with the outside edge and the red centerline.    Then select the face of ...

Learn about new features and enhancements in the Revit 2017.1 Update. Attention: These features are available only to students and Autodesk subscribers for Revit 2017 software releases. FOR MEP ENIGEERING: Revit 2017.1 Updates Space naming: Formerly an add-in, the Space Naming tool is now incorporated into the software. Use this tool to rename spaces in the MEP model using space names from a linked architectural model. 

How to Mix System family conduit with eVolve<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   We get asked the question sometimes. “Can I mix the two together”.  While I don’t suggest it, it can be done. There are a few things to consider. Have a good knowledgebase on Schedules and parameters. With this information you can bring together most items in with eVolve content and have it look good in a schedule. Let’s take a look at three runs in a project. One of the system type, one of eVolve content and one with a mixed bag.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> Below we have sheet and some variations of scheduling for the out of the box system conduit. <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p>   Take notice of the 4 types of Schedules that Conduit run schedule has the most to offer, Length, Type, and a Diameter. The problem lies in that you have to make the conduit schedules exclusive from the rest of your fittings and whatever else you want to buy.  In Conduit Fittings you can count the elbows but no real data. So you will wind up make a bunch of different schedules and crossing your fingers ...

Create Family clearances that will can be controlled in Navis and Revit<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> In some projects you are asked to show clearances for equipment. So you may think fine I will draw a box to represent the clearance and it will grow with the component etc. Before doing so think about a few things. Do you need to be able to segregate or turn off this Clearance in Navis Works or produce Views that can control it in Revit. Here are some options for you.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> First Create a Sub category in the Family level that you will use throughout the project as the Norm or create this name at the company level so that in any project this is a recognizable name. If you have variables of this name, it will be case sensitive and you will gain additional instances in the Project.<data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> <data-blogger-escaped-o:p></data-blogger-escaped-o:p> Now create the standard definitions of line type and color to signify your clearances. You can also define a custom material at this level. The Next step is to draw the shape for clearances. Assign the constraints to the shape ...

Getting a question mark on a tag placement? It could be a couple of things but this avenue will be related to nested families. First off if you are tracking nested families in a schedule make sure to mark them as shared before nesting them. Otherwise you will have a physical representation but it will be hidden otherwise from tags and data. Once in a file the host family will result in a tag. If the parameter, you are tracking in the tag does not exist you will get a question mark. To tag through the host family you just need to activate the tag and tab over the item you want to tag. sometimes as group assortments of child families into a host you will want this feature to get down to nuts and bolts. 

In 2016 Autodesk release updates to Parameters in Revit. I created this video with basic examples of how you can use these types of parameters to your advantage. Use these basic examples and discuss and plan other usages to compliment your current in-house workflows. Keep in mind that over constraining a model can be detrimental or have a negative effect on your projects. Coordinate with everyone on the team or on the project how these work and when you should apply them to your projects. Parameters 2.0 - (part 2) Reporting parameters are values driven by dimensions or geometric conditions. Global parameters are specific to a single project file but are not assigned to categories like a project parameter.   

How did our predictions seven years ago for Building Information Modeling fair? Let’s take a look back seven years to 2009, when the concept BIM had become common parlance in the AEC community, and see if and where we’ve fallen short of, met, or exceeded expectations for our beloved BIM. How you define the acronym BIM depends on when the one claims BIM came into being. According to WikipediA, BIM was first used in papers in the mid-1980s, and the term 'Building Information Model' first appeared in a 1992 paper by G.A. van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman.[7] However, the terms 'Building Information Model' and 'Building Information Modeling' (including the acronym "BIM") did not become popularly used until some 10 years later. In 2002, Autodesk released a white paper entitled "Building Information Modeling,"[8] and other software vendors also started to assert their involvement in the field.[9] [1] For the purposes of this essay, I will pick it up in June 2007 which is when I started working at Autodesk as an MEP Technical Specialist. In 2007, BIM was the buzzword at ...

Configuring Revit to use your company database is an essential part of making the transition from "Design Build to Pre-Fabrication". Autodesk provides basic Imperial and Metric databases to use as a generic exchange. If you have already made an investment in a ITM Parts database you can make your exchanges between Revit and CADmep look exactly like your current ITM content models.  What is ITM Content? First the location of the Database folder for Revit 2017 and beyond. (C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Fabrication 2017) Next the sample path for ITM content parts. (C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Fabrication 2017\Imperial Content\V3.04\Items\Imperial Content\*--*)

How do you archive, share, backup, copy, models at your office?  If you did not say "eTransmit" then you definitely need to install, and run tests in your environment. Your BIM coordinator and consultants will love you for it. Most of our consultants issues are surrounded by model updates. Some do not detach from central or copy/monitor levels and grids. issues can occur during the upgrading process. Some models with massive amounts of links and custom families have been known to crash. These can cause quite a mess, and corrupt a model to the point of having to restore a usable backup. Did you even backup?  Here is a solution to review and implement. eTransmits can do the following in your workflow and assist with your extended team. (consultants) Copy and detach a Revit model and associated files to a single folder for internet transmission. This removes the typical error messages when you copy central files using the operating system. Locate dependent files automatically and include them in the transmittal folder, helping to reduce the possibility of error. All ...

QR Codes were first created to help in the manufacturing process. In 1994 Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, created a Lean Manufacturing Process which is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. So by Definition QR Codes (Quick Response Code) are LEAN and quite versatile, they are able to store many different types of data like Contact information, URLs, Email Address, Geo Locations or just plain text. Using them for retrieving the information is quite easy and inexpensive too.  In the recent years more and more construction companies are utilizing that technology by embedding the QR Codes into blueprints or printing them into labels. This expands the amount of information available for the field beyond the constrains of a printed piece of paper. For this blog post we are going to utilize the power of a cloud for the QR Code generation  and System.Net to retrieve that generated image from the cloud. In this example we are going to generate a QR code image with an embedded link that points to the material specs website page using the URL link that is located ...

This tutorial will cover how to utilize flex and conduit on a group. This is an approach that I have implemented at the workplace and it presents some creative work-arounds to the lack of content for MEP in Revit. This also is a means to consider when speeding up your modeling efforts. I believe you can use this method in numerous capacity no matter what your discipline.   For a base point I am starting with a family that is hosting 2 separate types of connectors. One of which is a "Conduit" connector as well as a "Piping" connector. This will allow for us to model flex from one end and conduit parts from the other. We are in fact building a transitional assembly.  I will begin in by making the flex fitting family. This is just a straight fitting for going from EMT to Steel flex.(FMC) very common in the electrical trade. We will just use a static part and model the geometry. You can R.E. one in house. Or pull content from the web. Start with a generic family template ...

This is part 2 of the newest Annotation features in Revit 2017 for Fabrication. They have provided a set of new Mechanical, Pipe, and Electrical containment tags to utilize or make your own. The Fabrication Hanger tag was not included with the Fabrication tags in this release but I will show you how to make it from scratch. https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencast/ee7364ff-04f1-4a1d-a7c2-d5cb42293219    

This will be a 2 part post on the newest Annotation features in Revit 2017 for Fabrication. They have provided a set of new Mechanical, Pipe, and Electrical containment tags to utilize or make your own.  Here are the newest tag families for each discipline. Keep your eye's open for (part 2) of Revit for Fabrication Annotation. I will be posting a instructional video of how to create your own Hanger Tag. This tag was not included with the Fabrication tags in this release but I will show you how to make it from scratch. Fabrication Duct Tags   Fabrication Pipe Tags   Fabrication Containment (Elec.) Tags

We’ve been getting a few phone calls where Revit users have been receiving this error when opening a file: This issue usually occurs when upgrading models. What I have done to help resolve this error is clean up the model in the version it was created in. Remove all non-essential links and imported CAD files. Update any  linked models and especially any custom families to the newest version. If this does not work then you’ll need to submit a case directly with Autodesk to see if they can help:  directly with Autodesk to see if they can help:  Submitting &Viewing Support Requests  

Sometimes you discover something and your first reaction is a bit of embarrassment because you didn't already know it, followed by amazement that nobody else has ever mentioned it to you before, because it's potentially a REALLY big deal. In today's previously unknown-to-me potentially REALLY big deal department: Did you know that you can accidentally delete multiple family types simply by opening and saving your Revit family? It's true. Here's how it happens: 1) In a Revit project, a conscientious BIM or Model manager performs a Purge Unused, purging unused Family Types, in an effort to keep file size down. This is good practice. 2) At some point in the future, from the same project, a user selects an instance of a family on which the above-mentioned purge was done, and selects "Edit Family" from the Ribbon (or double-clicks on the family instance to go to the Family Editor - who's boneheaded idea was THAT feature, anyway?).  3) The user makes a minor change to the family, then saves the file. *Poof* - all of those family types that were purged in the project are ...

Oh No, My Section Marks in Revit Have Disappeared!?This particular dilemma crops up occasionally. Did some or all section view tags disappear when you changed the scale of the view? Fear not, it is probably not a problem with your view, project or Revit. It is a parameter associated with the section view. When you place a section in a view, it assumes the scale of the view. It also sets the “Hide at scales coarser than” parameter to the same scale. That means if you place sections in a view, then change the scale of that view to be greater than what was originally set to (i.e. your view was set to 1/8”=1’-0” and you change it to 3/32”=1’-0”), your section view tags will disappear. This is a default behavior of section views. To fix this you open the section view, go to the Properties PaletteèHide at scales coarser than parameter and change to allow the section view tags to show at larger scales. This setting is intended to help control the display of section view tags. Sometimes ...

Selection Sets:The capability to create Selection Set Filters has been a part of the Revit Structural for some time now.  With the release of RMEP 2013, the building engineers now have the same capability.  With this feature, a selection set of objects can have display settings applied in the Visibility Graphics just like we have done with Filters setup based on Filter Rules.  Have you ever needed to turn off several objects in a view, but didn’t want to turn off all the objects of the same category?  Have you ever wanted to color certain objects differently from the category?  Then Selection Sets may be your answer.In the view to the left, I have a water closet and a vanity sink unplumbed that I do not want to show.When I select the two fixtures, on the Modify ribbon panel, you will find now, the Selection Panel which contains the feature to Create and Edit Selection Sets.  (Yes, you are seeing that right, I use magenta as my selection highlight color.)I will give my selection set a name: MySelectionSetNext, we ...

I am very visually oriented.  I like to see what I am modelling.  However, when it comes to Spaces within RMEP, you couldn't see what you are really doing. While there is a model view of Spaces within the built-in analysis interface, I still had difficulty exploring to see where I may have missed placing Spaces or where Spaces were overlapping one another. Now, working between RMEP and Navisworks, the Space model can be visualized.  Start with the settings for Revit NW Exporter and/or NW Reader:Navisworks Option Editor for Revit File Reader  Findings as I was exploring this feature:  You do not need to check the box “Convert room geometry” which is to convert the Spaces to construction parts.  Either way, the Spaces show up.  If using the NW Exporter from Revit, I still needed to have a 3D view as the active view when I issued the command.  If you have a Plan View up, example Level 1, then I found that my Level 1 Spaces came in flat/2D while Spaces from other floors were 3D.  You do absolutely ...

For an overview of the new features and enhancements for Navisworks 2013, see the link: http://usa.autodesk.com/navisworks/features/My Favorite New FeatureGrids and Levels from RevitIn the past we had to do a lot of setup to get grids and levels to display in Navisworks, particularly difficult to acquire from Revit.  3D Grids were introduced as a Family that helped to go from Revit to Navisworks.  Now in the new 2013, standard Grids and Levels will pass over to Navisworks.  The only specific setup that I have found to have this feature work: The grid must be native to the project; you cannot just have the grid displayed from a link.  Also, to get the Level information, you need to have at least one grid line. Revit Grids and Levels show up now in Navisworks 2013My First Bug FindNavisworks Revit File ReaderWith 2013 you can now read a RVT file just like you can read an AutoCAD DWG file.  Fortunately, the folks at Autodesk did not take away the Revit Plugin so that we can export from Revit to NWC.  I write ...

Sorting the objects in Navisworks based on Properties such as System Classification or System Type as assigned by Revit MEP is a common practice.  The sorting is used in Clash resolution as well as Timeliner and for visualization.  However, at times even the System sorting is too ‘comprehensive’ and since the model was organized by Worksets, why not use Worksets then as our Filter property?  Be prepared to analyze your Workset data in Navisworks to determine what the appropriate value to filter will be.  The Navisworks exporter from Revit converts the Workset data to Integer values.  For an example, the default Workset1 “appears” to always come over as the integer (zero).  (NOTE:  I wrote ‘appears’ because, so far, every test I have done it has set the Workset1 to the integer zero.  But I don’t want to say it will do this each and every time, until such time that I am convinced it will.)For my examples below, I have an NWC written from RMEP with the standard worksets: Shared Levels and Grids –and- Workset1.  While in the ...