Looking at a quick way to use IMAGINiT Clarity to make your team and their time more efficiently used with Autodesk Revit? How about starting with Task Automation and Data Sheets. Watch this short video to find out more:
One of the features we're most excited about in the new release of IMAGINiT Clarity is the way that it can help automate the model exchange process.
While the first version of Clarity was built around Revit Server, ever since then we've supported both Revit Server and traditional Revit workshare projects. Whichever case - you probably spend a lot of time exchanging models with partners, and then cleaning them up and replacing the copies you already had.
I recently spent time with a firm that estimated that the three main BIM coordinators were spending 50 hours a month just on the mechanics of doing the model exchange process on their active projects (once every 4-5 days, or more often as milestones approached). This includes:
transferring the models
purging and auditing
stripping out views you don't need (which can reduce the file size by half!)
All of these things can now be automated using Clarity tasks. And the same thing can happen with "outgoing" models where you're publishing models out - you can deliver clean models, with little-to-no effort - making your partner's BIM coordinators' lives easier as well (for what that's worth :) ).
The Clarity tasks can be kicked off on-demand, or scheduled (every Friday night at 2:00am), and they execute in the background on a server or workstation.
Periodic exchange of models between partners is a fundamental reality in the Revit universe today, and we're excited that Clarity can make the process go smoothly, and remove it from your daily to-do list.
In today's post Heather Alley takes a closer look at the 2015 enhancements for Revit content, such as parameter sorting and tool tips!
Of all the new features in Revit 2015, we thought we would focus on a few that are specifically related to family creation. If you want the full list of new features for Platform, Architectural, Structural, & Mechanical check out this link: Revit 2015 new features
First, there is the new ability to sort your parameters. This is probably one of the most requested features of all! We can now automatically sort our parameters alphabetically from A-Z ascending or Z-A descending. In the Family Editor, in the Family Types dialog box you will notice new options:
In addition, we can custom sort with new Move Up or Move Down tools.
Secondly, we now have the ability in Family creation to create a small tooltip for clarification or instructions on how to use a given parameter. When you Add Parameter, you will notice the new addition on the bottom of the dialog box.
After clicking on Edit Tooltip, we can create instructions up to 250 characters to explain what each Parameter is all about.
When you load the Family (*.RFA) into the Project (*.RVT), you will get the following results as you roll your mouse over and hover on the parameter name (be sure to hover on the left Parameter column, not the right Value column to see the tooltips)
The Third major improvement for Revit Family creation is the new IMAGE parameters which have been added as both Instance and Type Parameters.
Here is the Instance Parameter dialog box:
To enter Images as an Instance Parameter, you simply click in the cell, and then use the "…" button to browse for your image. You can also add Instance Images in a schedule view by clicking in the cell and using the "…" button.
Images can also be added as a Type Parameter. However, In the Type Parameters Dialog box, the Type Image cell is greyed out. What is interesting about adding images to the Type Image Parameter is that you cannot add the images in Schedule, and you cannot add them under the Type Parameters dialog box. In order to add Type Images, you must hit Edit Family on your ribbon, and add the images in the Family Editor.
Inside of the Family Editor, in the Family Types Dialog box, you can click in the cell next to Type Image and you will see the "…" option to browse for your image file.
We hope that these new additions help in streamlining your family creation. Tell us your thoughts of the new features in the comments below.
Still printng PDF's the manual way and tired of waiting for your sheet sets to finish up so you can get back to work on the project? Yeah, me too. So let me show you a better way in this short video:
Having tasks automated allows you to focus on more pressing items within the project by generating exports, publishing and checking data standards automatically freeing your time to do more. Printing PDF's are good but there is so much more that can be automated. Here is a list of the Tasks available in the IMAGINiT Clarity 2015 Release with a small description next to each that can be automated:
PDF - Generate PDF files, can be a single PDF (all in one) or individual per view/sheet set
DGN - Generate Microstation DGN files
DWF - Generate DWF files from views/sheet set
DWG - Generate DWG exports, can be individual files or .zip of all files exported
FBX - Generate FBX
GBxml - Generate GBxml
IFC - Generate IFC
IFC Alternate - For use with the Open Source IFC Alternate Package (additional controls and options for generating IFC files)
Navisworks - Generate NWC files (for use in Revit 2014 and higher)
Revit View Images Export - Clarity Feature to extract View images (ex. 3D views)
Room Images Export - Clarity Feature to extract Room images (typically used in the Data Sheets)
Family Images Export - Clarity Feature to extract Family images (3D, typically used in the Data Sheets)
Publish/Transmit Models - For worksharing projects, includes options to clean the model and pathing before uploading/publishing (includes FTP and additional options).
Update From Incoming Models - For worksharing projects, includes options to clean the model and pathing before updating into your project.
Publish to Autodesk BIM 360 Glue - Option to automate publishing to Autodesk BIM 360 Glue (includes viewing options in the project, if enabled, of your Glue project).
Data and Standards Tasks:
ModelReview Standards Checking - Check against your office and project standards to ensure
Model Performance Advisor Report - 17 Checks that looks at your model and family geometry for items that may affect performance.
Revit Data Extract - Clarity Feature that provides a database export of Revit data
Backup Project - Make automated, regular backups of your projects.
DataSheet Batch PDF - Including this one because it is shown in the graphic below. If you have ever manually created a Room Data Sheet, this one is HUGE! Not only does Clarity automate and give up to date Data Sheets for Rooms and 17 other categories (furniture, equipment, etc...) you can also create your deliverables with a single task making this one a real time saver. Imagine 10,000 rooms all up to date with accurate Room Data Sheets and all you have to do is press a button to get it.
And if you are handy at programming, Clarity has a documented API so you can add your own additional tasks for even more automation.
Clarity works with Autodesk Revit (Onebox, Architecture, Structure & MEP) and the Clarity 2015 version supports Revit 2013, 2014 & 2015. Find out more here and start saving time on your projects.
In a recent WTH moment our own Heather Alley realized it is the little things in Revit that will trip you up. As you will see here she ran into an issue with Revit where you cannot select a filled region and after choosing to Edit Boundary the sketch lines do not show up?
Quite the mystery!
You can see the hatch fill pattern, but you cannot pick on the hatch or get to EDIT BOUNDARY.
Answer: The answer lies in VV (or VG) Visibility & Graphics. Open your Visibility/Graphics dialog box, and left click on the little plus symbol next to Lines to expand out its subcategories.
One of your line subcategories is checked off. In the image, mine happens to be "THIN LINES".
Check the box next to the line that is off, and Voila! The hatch fill pattern boundary will reappear.
If the Line type is turned off, it turns it off as a boundary line in the hatch pattern as well. Hope this helps!
I hear from many of our students & clients, that they are unable to cleanly cut & paste text from Microsoft Word into AutoCAD & Revit, or from AutoCAD & Revit back into Word. If you have ever tried to highlight text in Word, and then just PASTE it into AutoCAD or Revit, you have probably received some surprising results.
In AutoCAD, you will get non-editable raster text with a white background. In Revit, PASTE will do nothing, and it seems like the command does not work. The trick to getting vector text to PASTE correctly is to ACTIVATE A TEXT BOX before copying or pasting the text.
To Copy Text cleanly from Microsoft Word into AutoCAD or Revit:
Step One: Highlight the text in Word & COPY to Clipboard (CNTRL+C)
Step Two: In either AutoCAD or Revit begin the TEXT command
Step Three: Click out in the drawing area to begin the text box
Step Four: Paste the text into the text box (CNTRL+V)
To Copy Text cleanly from AutoCAD or Revit into Microsoft Word:
Step One: In AutoCAD or Revit, double click on the text box you want to copy from to activate it
Step Two: Highlight the text inside of the activated text box, and COPY to Clipboard (CNTRL+C)
I stumbled across this article / white paper / marketing piece today and it is an interesting read. It talks about the idea of "Big Data", how big of a problem it is, and some concepts that HP is looking at to try and help solve the problem of dealing with so much information.
If you tie this back into building design and construction, you can see a direct correlation - projects are producing more and more data (BIM), cloud computing is being used for project analysis due to the power that the cloud can bring to data-intensive calculations, and the use of document/data/project management systems is on the rise due to the volume of information we need to coordinate and manage.
There's no immediate, but the article provides some things to think about. Will we eventually see a workstation generated that is specifically manufactured for virtual design and construction - down to the features built into the processors, motherboard, and memory? How well will my kids be able to play Minecraft on that same computer? All worthwhile questions to ponder.
Brandon Anderson shares his first hand insights to update this blog post.
You can create custom property definitions for catalog part families using the Spec Editor, but these properties are not visible at the part size level within those families.
For example a part family for pipe may contain sizes from 1-12", but the Spec Editor interface will not display these custom properties in the sizes tab of the catalog editor.
** It is possible with the following workflow to populate unique property values to the part sizes at the catalog level.
When adding a custom property definition select "All Part Groups' for the add property to: option and you must fill in the default value field. Click the add button below the added properties column to include the property in all of the part families (groups) in the catalog. Click the OK button to apply the changes and then save the change to the catalog.
Here I have created a custom property "Custom1" with a default value of "Null" and a field size of 20.
Editing property definition fields after a property has been created does not save over the original rather it creates a duplicate. If changes to a current attribute is needed remove and recreate it.
Also keep in mind that removing and recreating a custom property removes any data you had populated under that definition.
Back in the Spec Editor tab we can then add part families to the specification that we are defining or add our custom property to an out of the box spec.
Double click the Long Description of the family name in the top half of the dialog and you will see the Edit Parts box pop up. Switch to the Edit Properties tab in the top left corner of the Edit Parts box to show the same Property Definition fields that we populated on the catalog side. Here we want to recreate the definition making sure that ALL name fields match what we put in before. Now if we switch over to the Parts List tab and scroll to the right we will see that the custom property "Custom1" has been added to each part size in the specification.
In the Catalog Editor tab we can import/export the catalog family and/or size data to an Excel file.
This is extremely helpful in populating information for the catalog part sizes once they have been created in the Spec Editor, but it also enables us to re-populate the default entries for the custom parameter "Custom1" for each size in the catalog.
Select the Full catalog data export option or the resulting Excel file will only contain a list of the defined families and not their individual sizes.
In the Excel file you will have to unprotect the sheet before you can make any changes.
It is important to remember that you cannot add columns (Parameters) or rows (Sizes) into the Excel file...this data will not import back into the catalog if you do.
Note: You can safely edit most of the field in the Excel file, but you should never edit the SIZERECORDID. You will also notice that you are not allowed the edit any of the Piping Component Properties that you see in the Catalog Editor.
When importing the modified data back into the catalog the Spec Editor it will identify and highlight those changes as seen here. This allows the user to accept or reject the changes individually or globally with the tool buttons located at the top left corner of the tabular list of properties and their values.
Once they have been accepted or rejected you can click OK to apply the changes and then save the catalog. If you Accept the changes but do not Apply the changes they will not be added to your catalog.
Note: If you Apply the changes means that the exported Excel file will always win. So if someone is making changes to your catalog in the Spec Editor application while someone is making changes in the exported Excel file it is possible to overwrite the exported changes if you are not managing this properly.
Back on the Spec Editor tab you can "Check for Catalog Updates".
Choose to update or discard the changes as required and then save the changes to the specification before closing the Spec Editor.
You will then need to add the custom property "Custom1" to the appropriate Plant 3D Class definition.
Right click on the project name to access its properties.
This parameter will cascade down through the tree to all sub-branches...so be sure to place the custom property at the highest level of the required class.
In a 3D drawing in the plant project you can now route pipe using the specification that you just created/updated.
The properties palette will show the part size values for "Custom1" under the section titled General.
How do you keep your Plant project healthy? Below are a few suggestions from Brandon Anderson to improve/maintain a healthy project.
Turn off Auto Save
Auto Save's job is pretty clear. It is a user defined time interval that automatically saves a drawing. The drawback is if you have your Auto Save interval set to 5, 10, 30 minutes it is going to save no matter what you are doing on that set time. When you are working in a project that is constantly writing to its database introducing an interference to this could be possibly hazardous. IMAGINiT recommends manually saving often to prevent a possible file corruption introduced by Auto Save.
How to turn off Auto Save: Type the command Options, go to Open and Save tab, and uncheck Automatic save box.
Don't use Drawing Recovery
Using drawing recovery when a project crashes is attractive when the popup comes up on your screen but IMAGINiT recommends closing the Drawing Recover dialogue box and recreating any information lost. Utilizing drawing recover inside of plant 3D has the possible tendency to create errors resulting in unusual part behavior like connection and routing.
I have been teaching AutoCAD update classes a lot lately. I think it is because of Autodesk's push towards Subscription licenses, that many companies have found themselves "current" for the first time in years. Now that you own the latest version of AutoCAD 2015, do you really know the great new tools that have been added in the last 5 years?
I have created a little quiz, for all those users who "know" AutoCAD, Enjoy!
Do you know there is an ALIGN command? It will rotate, move, & scale, all in one command!
Do you know how to convert single line text to multiline text? The command is TXT2MTXT.
Do you know that there are TWO different Spline commands? Do you know the difference between them? Spline Fit and Spline CV (Control Vertices)
Do you know that you can now use the command line to search for blocks in the project?
Do you know that TRIM & EXTEND are actually the same command?
For example, if you are TRIM-ing objects, hold down the SHIFT key to reverse the command, and EXTEND instead, and vice versa.
Do you know that you do not need to pick a cutting edge when using TRIM or EXTEND?
After starting either Trim or Extend, if you simply hit ENTER at the prompt to pick a cutting edge, ALL LINES become the cutting edge!
7. Do you send files to your consultants by dragging and dropping files into your email?
There is a better way! It is called Etransmit, and it will save down to earlier versions, purge the drawing, attach all xrefs and images, and create a transmittal package of files, AUTOMATICALLY!
Do you know that if you double click the mouse wheel, it ZOOM EXTENTS!
Do you know that the JOIN command is super powerful?
It has two tremendous uses. First, it will JOIN coincident lines that you may have split apart. Second, if you have multiple lines on top of each other, JOIN will clean them all up and merge them to become one line
10. Do you know that AutoCAD 2015 has a new TEXT ALIGN command?
It lines up individual pieces of Mtext. (Note: this does not work for Multileaders, as they have had their own MLEADERALIGN command for years)
Let us know how you did on our little quiz, and if we were able to stump you with any of our DO YOU KNOW questions.
Brandon Anderson has been exploring the Plant/Vault integration for 2015.
I have seen this on a few forums around the web and thought I would throw this up here to show a quick reference to those who are new to the Vault/Plant integration. To reference a drawing from another project that is stored in your Vault you must have the Vault plugin installed and be logged in. You can then attach an Xref from a Vault project either from the command VLTATTACH or through the External Reference Manager. A new option gets added the External Reference Manager with the plugin as you can see circled in red at top left corner of the attached picture.