Laser scanned data is a valuable input to Revit models. For example, laser scans can capture important aspects of building conditions, such as walls that aren’t plumb or door openings that may be slightly smaller at the bottom than at the top. Point clouds also capture three dimensional building elements, such as pipes, ducts, and other infrastructure.
As noted in a prior blog post, getting point clouds into an intelligent Revit model isn’t easy. Firms appreciate IMAGINiT Technologies’ Scan to BIM product because it provides advanced tools for extracting geometry from point clouds, such as architecture, MEP, and more.
These tools are especially helpful when trying to understand where (and how much) models deviate from the reality represented by the point cloud. For example, you may have modeled elements in Revit that are nominally perfect. The walls are straight, pipes don’t sag, and the floors are perfectly level. Yet, you need the ability to document how closely the model matches reality. This is where Scan to BIM can help.
Scan to BIM offers three tools for documenting deviations between Revit elements and faces, and the point cloud:
The benefits of Scan to BIM are numerous. Firms see significant cost savings when creating intelligent Revit models from laser scanned data. Scan to BIM gives users the tools they need to produce professional documentation quickly. This means they can deliver models to clients faster. As a result, customers have more time to review designs and make informed decisions before site work begins. More accurate building information models also enable building owners to make smart downstream decisions regarding ongoing maintenance.
With Scan to BIM, design teams enjoy the advantages of laser scanned point clouds, as well as the power of Revit models. The solution combines the best of both technologies, while automating the manual steps that teams used to have to take.
Laser scanning is a great way for architects, facility owners, and contractors to obtain precise information about the size, shape, and design conditions of buildings. Laser scanned data alone, however, has limited value from a design perspective.
While many project teams want to convert laser scanned information into a 3D Revit model, they find that this process is time consuming. A typical workflow is to review the scan in a tool such as Autodesk Recap, then link the point cloud into a Revit model. Revit provides very basic tools to trace walls in two dimensions, but that’s all. Since modelers’ time is often costly, a better solution is needed to address the wide variety of modeling needs.
IMAGINiT Technologies’ Scan to BIM product provides more advanced mechanisms to extract geometry from point clouds, such as architectural elements, MEP elements, construction geometry, and more. With Scan to BIM, users create these elements directly in Revit. In our next post, we will discuss why firms are adopting Scan to BIM and the benefits they are seeing.
By Jordan Mussett, IMAGINiT Building Solutions
There are several different methods to use when creating duct systems. You can create all the duct and let the systems create themselves, which is never really a good idea. Each time you create a piece of duct that is not connected or copied from an existing piece, Revit will make you a new System Name. Example - Mechanical Supply Air 1 (referenced as MSA 1 later), Mechanical Supply Air 2, etc. If you connect them in the correct order, they will consolidate, but not always.
The next method is to create the duct system from the VAV, then add the Air Terminals. The last method we will discuss is when you create the duct system from the Air Terminal, then add the VAV and AHU to the equation, working your way back upstream. It feels backwards because it isn’t typically how systems are designed, or how the designer is logically thinking out the system.
What I am chiefly concerned about is the organization of the systems in the System Browser, and the ability of the software to provide you with the most information possible.
Here is the basic layout I will be working with. The main AHU is in the lower left, there is one VAV in the hall, and supply air terminals spread throughout the other rooms.
I will start with the first method. Not creating any systems and kind of let them create themselves.
The Systems Browser ends up looking kind of like this:
One of the main negatives is the organization obviously. The other downside is that if you wanted the supply air systems to be named or numbered differently, you would need to get into the system editor and change them.
With the second method, I created the supply air systems from the AHU to the air terminals. In the graphic, lower left to upper right.
The System Browser ends up looking a little something like this:
Here is the graphic on the last setup:
For this, I would select the air terminals, then select create duct system. I would finish off that system by clicking on the VAV as my source for that system. I would do the same process at the VAV level and select the AHU as the source.
Then the System Browser looks like this:
Notice MSA 1 falls under MSA 2, and that’s what I want. Additionally, when I create ducts to connect all these devices, they will automatically be in the correct system. Finally, the software is able to calculate the flow of all the systems for you.
It might take a little time to set your systems up properly but it will be worth it. Duct drawn from the equipment in the system have the correct System Name.
By Nicholas Bowley, IMAGINiT Building Solutions
Modelling pipes in Revit at a 45 degree angle is necessary for a variety of situations. Lucky for us the trick to be able to do this is easy.
Here are a few examples of when you may need to do this:
Steps to add a slope for 45˚
3. When modelling piping, toggle the 12”/12” slope as necessary.
Now you will have the new slope to choose from while modeling pipe. In addition to ease of use, adding a new angle helps reduce the risk that the pipe will be drawn on an angle slightly less or more than intended.
It’s an unfortunate reality that design teams often spend significant amounts of time on necessary, but non-value-added tasks. A recent survey we conducted found, for example, that over 50% of designers, engineers, and construction professionals always or very often print PDFs to check the design process. Printing sheet sets is compute intensive and can tie up computers for hours. Other manual, labor intensive tasks include the time BIM Coordinators spend cleaning up and exchanging Revit models with partners, as well as creating room and equipment data sheets.
Inefficiency doesn’t have to be the norm, however. Companies that are using IMAGINiT Clarity find that task automation frees valuable time for teams. Architecture firm RLF, for instance, automatically generates PDF files nightly and each evening over 40 tasks are run. Data aggregated from Clarity users shows that IMAGINiT Clarity saves teams on average 205 hours per project. That translates into 25 work days per project.
If your team could save that amount of time on every project, how would you deploy resources in more productive ways? The possibilities are endless, but popular options are taking on additional project work, spending more time on new business development, and differentiating the firm from the competition by delivering results to clients faster.
By Jordan Mussett, IMAGINiT Building Solutions
Happy New Year! In the spirit of starting a new year, here is an important tip for starting your Revit projects.
There is now an option for Revit projects to choose the worksets coming in from your other linked files you would like to work with. This is the perk of opening up a Revit file that you receive from a consultant and check it out before you link it to yours and use it. You can explore the worksets and see if there is any way you can use them. Personally, I always always maintain the worksets of files I receive when I open it because I want to see how other companies are utilizing their worksets and I want to see if there is anything I can leverage. Some projects may benefit from the reassignment of MEP shared categories being added to a specific workset during model clean up. But you don’t necessarily need to make a bunch of changes in a consultant file to leverage workset data in it.
This project's architectural file has a significant amount of entourage in it. Entourage that the MEP disciplines are not interested in at all. There are quite a few trees at the very least.
I will start a new project from my company’s mechanical template, skipping worksharing for the sake of being brief, and go straight to Link Revit. Navigate to the file and drop down the open options to specify which worksets you want.
The information from the linked Revit project comes through, minus the workset that was closed.
By Nicholas Bowley, IMAGINiT Building Solutions
There are several methods or Appending a Revit model into Navisworks. The method that is most efficient is debatable and often a compromise between performance and manual effort, unless you have IMAGINiT Clarity which can export .nwc (Navisworks Cache) automatically by schedule or on demand.
Navisworks has the ability to link in a Revit model directly by “appending” the .rvt file. The advantage to this method is that as you resolve clashes or make changes you can save the Revit file and click Refresh in Navisworks. It also eliminates much of the manual effort of exporting NWC files repeatedly.
If you have tried this method you have likely had the problem when linking Revit into Navisworks, Revit elements are missing. To solve or avoid this problem you need to understand and check the settings in Navisworks.
4. To resolve the problem of missing Revit Elements, check the Convert settings. There are three options; Navisworks View, First 3D View, and Entire Project.
a. By using Navisworks View the program will only import views that contain the word “Navis” in the name and it will only import Elements contained in those views.
b. Entire Project will bring in all of the Elements and 3D Views in the Revit Project you wish to Append.
Leveraging the Navisworks View by setting up named views in the Revit model or changing the setting to Entire Project should resolve the problem of Missing Elements when Appending/Linking Revit into Navisworks.
When we asked last year, most AEC firms were not providing models or model data to owners, even though most were actively using BIM. Many noted that owners simply don't know BIM or ask for the entire model, rather than just the information that would be relevant to a building's operation and management.
We recently worked with Cadalyst magazine to create a whitepaper "Help Building Owners get the BIM Data they Really Need". It walks through how AEC firms can help owners make the most of BIM data. As you work with developers and provide them greater understanding it aids not only the process but also the long-term relationship of both organizations.
By Heather Alley, IMAGINiT Building Solutions
I was attempting to make an embedded schedule this week. Much to my surprise the tab was missing!
The simple answer is that embedded schedules were initially created back when Revit was separated by discipline and this functionality was only available to Revit MEP, and not Revit Architecture. Even though I currently have Revit One Box (All three disciplines; Architectural, MEP, & Structural) installed, I forgot that last week I hid the ‘Systems’ tab on my ribbon.