Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fencing in Revit - Continuous Chain Link

Based on the following comment

Nice post! A similar approach I take is to do the chain link itself with a railing instead of a baluster panel family. Since the panel family is "fixed", it becomes a bit limiting when you place it. For example if you were sketching fencing over 60 feet with posts at 6'-0" O.C., everything would fit nice and dandy, but what if you have a section at 57'-3"? So by doing the chainlink as a railing (continuous; just a thin rectangular profile of the correct height), I have the freedom to set the posts to fit based on a maximum spacing instead, which would not require a unique family for every unique length (plus the unique type-driven baluster panel families). Hope I was clear!

found at the end of the Fencing in Revit blog post by John Tocci jr, I created the following continuous chain link railing family.

Visit John's original post and read it (try firefox if IE doesn't display the post). Then download the pattern file he created. We'll reuse the pattern since their is no reason to re-create the wheel and since it is available. Nice work John! Okay, back now? Good lets get started.

Here is how I did it:

Create a suitable material in your Project

1.) Download the pattern file or recreate it using the settings in John's post.

2.) Create a new material, by duplicating glass and then adding John's pattern as a model based custom pattern with a scale of 3.

Create the Fence Fabric Profile (Railing Profile)

1.) Create a New Family using the Profile - Railing template. You can set it up with reference planes for the sides and bottom of the sketch lines. What are the chances that you'll have to adjust the size later? Right? Do it! I set mine up as shown in the image below: 1/8" width and 5'6" height. Save this profile family as Chainlink Continuous.rfa or grab the one I created.

2.) Load the profile into your project.

Create the Railing Style

1.) Duplicate Guardrail - Pipe railing style and rename it: Chain Link Fence

2.) Assign the correct Assembly Code from the Building Site category: G2040100

3.) Lets set up the Horizontal Railings: Edit the Type Properties and access the Rail Structure settings. Leave rail 1 and rail 9, delete all the rest.

4.) Set the height of Rail 1 to 6'-0" and assign a material, I chose Metal - Steel.

5.) Set the height of Rail 9 to 0'-6" and assign the same material as before.

6.) Now Select Rail 9 and click the insert button to add a new railing. Rename it to Chain Link Continuous and select the profile you created earlier. Set the height to 6'-0", match the offset from the other rails (keeps it centered and hides the pattern at posts...you could offset so that the fencing wraps around the exterior of the posts if you wish.) Set the material to the chainlink material we created earlier.

That's all there is to it...of course you can change the post spacing if you wish, the original style has it set to 4'-0" O.C.

Hope that was helpful!

Here are the links to my example:

Chainlink Continuous.rfa

Continuous Chain Link Fence.rvt

For those of you who can't see John's original post, here are the direct links:

Revitized chain link pattern file (kudos to www.dotsoft.com for the original AutoCAD PAT file)

Chain Link Baluster Panel

Final Product (chain link fence RVT File)

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Revit Keyboard ShortCuts 2011 - Missing Isolate Element returns!

You'll be happy to know that the shortcut for Isolate Element has returned in 2011. This shortcut was present in 2010 until the Subscription Service Pack (#3) was installed.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Navisworks 2011 is here!

I just got the notification that Navisworks 2011 is available.

Autodesk NavisWorks Manage 2011 EGJCR Commercial Product Upgrade Windows From Previous Version(s) is now available for download!

Donwloading now!

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Revit 2011 Build Checker Application #4 Released

I've updated the Revit Build checker for the 2011 products. Looks like I get to wait until April 8th to try it out, so if anyone would like to test and report back, I would welcome it. Here is a new build updated for Revit 2011 products.

Download a copy here: RevitBuildChecker-4.zip

Note: I'll probably revisit this app in the near future, with the following improvements in mind.

Network Version: - Check across all pc's or select pc's on a domain.
Logging Feature: - Write to a csv file for review.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Revit 2009 UI revisited - for those with tough firewalls

I was working with a client today who was struggling with the move from Revit Architecture 2009 to 2010. With the imminent release of Revit 2011, I recommended that they download the zip file Gregory Arkin had made available at Revit3d.com. This way they could happily avoid the 2010 Ribbon and learn the Ribbon when they moved to the improved 2011 version.

Since I knew them to have a restrictive firewall, I renamed the zip file to a text file and emailed it on over. In response, I received a warning email regarding viruses based on a zero tolerance email sniffer attached to their firewall. Since I knew all the file renameing was going to be a problem, I came up with the following solution.


This text file can be downloaded, renamed as a zip file and then extracted to the correct location ("c:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2010\Program"). Once the files have been extracted to this folder do the following:

1. Rename the file "_Rename_and_Run_Me.txt" to Rename.bat
2. Double click on Rename.bat to automatically rename all the files to their original names.
3. Now follow the original instructions regarding copying the shortcuts to your desktop.

Thanks Gregory for the files, hopes this helps someone else.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Revit Blogger Day - Revit 2011 PDF Download

Too much in-for-ma-tion...run-ning through my brain....too much in-for-ma-tion. Feel free to learn more about the new features in the 2011 products.





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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Enhancements to Revit Architecture 2011

Autodesk Revit Architecture helps architects and designers work naturally, design freely, and deliver projects efficiently. Purpose-built for building information modeling (BIM), Revit Architecture helps explore design concepts and forms, and better maintain design data through documentation and construction. With parametric change technology, any change made is automatically updated throughout your model, keeping design and documentation coordinated and more reliable.

Key new features include:
Large team workflow
Enhanced visualization
Enhanced documentation

Revit 2011 - Revit / BIM Marketshare Tipping Point

There is a lot to learn and embrace in Revit 2011. If you've been waiting to move from a CAD platform to a true BIM modeling solution, now is the time. Plan to upgrade your hardware to really embrace the productivity enhancements. No sense driving a race car without the horsepower to make it respond.

Gregory Arkin has been posting like mad about 2011 - get the skinny here. Register through his link to watch the Live Webcast and help him get a free Autodesk pen.

Steve Stafford has a link to an article that is worth reading - here.

David Light should have some youtube videos linked up soon - here

Monday, March 01, 2010

Detecting 32bit or 64bit OS in VBscript

As part of the process of updating some machines to 64bit this week, I realized that I'll have to adjust existing code to automate updates and service packs on the affected machines. I wrote previously about a similar function in lisp here.

Here is the VBScript version:

On Error Resume Next

Dim WshShell
Dim OsType

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

OsType = WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment\PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE")

If OsType = "x86" then
wscript.echo "Windows 32bit system detected"
elseif OsType = "AMD64" then
wscript.echo "Windows 64bit system detected"
end if

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Revit Flip Controls are ALWAYS Exterior

Remember, flip controls on objects in Revit are always on the Exterior side of the object.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Revit Experienced Architects - Job in ATL

I just heard about a local firm looking to add some Revit positions in the ATL... anyone with Real revit project experience looking for work? Contact me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Buy Popcorn for the Cubscouts and help the troops too!

Trevor just created this message to help him earn a free camping trip this year. It would feel so good to buy some popcorn from this clever boy!

Did you know you can help me earn my own way in Scouting? Just click here and place an order on my behalf. There are new products offered online, like flavored almonds and a limited edition BSA tote.

70% of your purchase will be returned to me, my unit and my council. Online purchases help us fund fun, educational activities and help more kids experience all the things that make Scouting great.

Thanks for your support,

If you cannot click on the link above, please copy and paste this full URL into your Internet browser address bar:


Monday, August 31, 2009

Revit Swept Blends - Chimney WIP

Thought I'd share a work in progress.
Custom Home with Corkscrew Chimney.
This was accomplished using Revit 2009 using the swept blend tool and arrays.
corkscrew Chimney

Click on the image to download the family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

AUGI Career Center - It's NEW!

Get a Job, Get Noticed, Get your career advice at careers.augi.com. Check out the latest offering from your friends at AUGI.com - It is a Web-based career center that connects job seekers with prospective employers in our industry. AUGI's job board was made possible by connecting with Job services leader, Jobtarget. The new job board is available at careers.augi.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fixing Missing Hatch Problems - Error Reading Hatch pattern

From time to time you might run into this problem with files you receive from others.
  • You receive an autocad drawing. You open the file and attempt to change or match a hatch pattern. You receive an error reading hatch pattern.


  • List the hatch to find out name of the missing pattern.
  • Search for this pattern. In the example in the video below, I was able to find the pattern in a modified acad.pat file on a designers computer (c:drive).
  • Create a text file with the name that is the same as the missing pattern (case sensitive).
  • Paste the missing pattern into this file and save to a folder within the AutoCAD Support file search path.

Watch the video to see it in action - http://screenr.com/UKs using the "twitterized" screen capture software screenr. or check out the embedded blogger version below:


New Screencaster Video Twitter tool - Screenr.com

I thought I'd share this tool with you. I have found it very useful for doing a quick screen capture and then tweeting the video link directly inside twitter.

The tool is web based, it records high def video and audio. When it is done, you'll get a preview and the ability to tweet it directly, download the mp4 file, post it to Youtube, copy paste the embed link and or copy the url and send it via email using your own client. It is easy to use and free! What can be better than that!

How to create video using Screenr

Watch the video above to learn how easy it is use. I recorded myself recording a screenr video using Camtasia so you could see the entire process. I will, of course, continue to utilize camtasia for the videos I wish to edit, but when I need a quick video to post for someone, expect to see a screenr.com version. Want to see the output from screenr? Click the hyperlink below.

How to Video Created using Screenr

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Removing Portions of a Continuous Dimension in Revit

Want to remove portions of a continuous dimension string within Revit but don't want to delete and re-create the string? Use the grip and your Right Mouse Button (RMC). Delete Witness Lines is the command. Watch the video to learn how.


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Content Browser Hotfix - Confiming the fix for ADT 2007

Although there is no official hotfix release yet, for the content browser drag and drop issue, I can confirm that the "unofficial" hotfix does indeed restore the missing functionality for all releases going as far back as ADT 2007. Those of you who know what I am talking about will find the files made available by Odin Cary on Archidigm.

Fellow blogger, David Koch, of The Architects Desktop also discussed the issue in a blog post. There is a thread in the Autodesk Discussion Group alluding to this fix, unfortunately, none of the resources linked to above mentioned Architectural Desktop 2007 which is still the bread and butter for many firms.

Without a method of repairing my workstation, I was near "re-imaging" the pc in order to update some company standard tool palettes. To make a long story short, the hot fix mentioned in some of the above links does indeed work for ADT 2007. I have confirmed that. Those that wish to read about the ordeal can continue below...

After installing Revit Architecture Suite 2010, I was suprised to find out that my install of Architectural Desktop 2007 would no longer allow me to drag and drop palettes from the content browser to the application. Since the "AutoCAD" native import and export of tool palettes is disabled in the vertical products, I was left with attempting to rebuild tool palettes one tool at a time. This is unacceptable and left me without a means to re-build or extend some standard palettes in use by a large number of users. It also was an ALL Stop issue related to pushing out Revit Architecture 2010 to others in the firm.

After failing to uncover a hotfix, service pack, or mention of the problem related to ADT 2007 I resorted to standard processes. I attempted the fix on my own by doing the repair option. When this failed I resorted to the standard uninstall/reinstall dance. When that too I attempted a more vigorous repair option, this time by uninstalling all Autodesk products, purging the known hideouts and registry entries and then reinstalling in order of release.

Since none of these steps worked, I submitted a trouble call to Autodesk Web Support. While I waited for a response, I prepped my machine for a clean wipe and re-image for the hard drive. I was pleasantly surprised when Autodesk responded with an "as yet" unpublished Hotfix (see the Archidigm link). This am, I applied the Hotfix and was once again able to drag and drop palettes into ADT2007.

content browser animation

This fix is easy to apply, simply rename the offending file in the Autodesk Shared folder and copy in the new dll. You can get them at Archidigm or wait for Autodesk to post them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Change your habits to speed up your Revit Model Response

Are you one member of a team who is working in a Revit Model? Wish you could speed up your file access? You can, but you must enlist the help of your team mates. Create a new text based legend and always set it active when you STC. (See image below)

My teams use a legend with the following title: *****Open and Save*****
On this legend you'll find a project "ToDo List", "User Coordination Notes", and more.

We've got three special text styles for use on our ToDo List. A grey version that indicates the item is complete, a black version that indicates a current item, and a red style that identifies something as "Hot" or "Important".

Each open and save operation is much quicker when performed with this view active.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Revit Tip - Clearing overlapping walls and room separation lines.

Keep your model performing optimally by eliminating conditions that result in overlapping room separation lines and walls. As an aid to assist you in finding these conditions, create a view template with these conditions:
  • A graphic override for room separation lines where lines are red and heavy
  • Model graphics style: set to wireframe.

Now whenever you need to clean up these conditions, you can apply the view template (see example image below) temporarily and you'll be able to see graphically where the "coincident" conditions exist.

Room Seperation Example

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Autodesk University 2009 - Have you Registered yet?

Did you know that AU registration is open? If you haven't yet registered, you'll want to hurry up and get registered. Do it now, before all the good classes are gone!

See you at Autodesk University 2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adding Attributes to Dynamic Blocks - Don't forget ATTSYNC

I received a request to update some dynamic blocks this morning. The blocks were originally set up with a text entity that was allowed to be relocated much like an attribute, but was hardcoded to display a single value. Now that value had to be more "dynamic". Lets edit it and replace the text with an attribute.

The image shown displays two blocks, the one on the left has already been updated with an attribute. Notice that there is no text displayed. Remember this when you go to modify yours... You'll need to sync the attributes before the text will display appropriately. We'll cover that at the end of this post.

How to Add Attributes to Dynamic Blocks

  1. Open the drawing containing your dynamic block

  2. Select your block and right click choosing "Block Editor" from the context menu as shown here.

  3. Delete your text and click the define attribute tool within the block editor.
    Note: Your previously assigned actions will become disconnected as shown in the image below. This is not a cause for concern, we will fix that by double clicking and selecting our new attribute.

  4. Enter the values for your new attribute and ensure that you LOCK the attribute position as indicated in this image.

  5. Place your attribute and double click any "disconnected" actions then select your new attribute definition.

  6. Close the block editor and update the block.

  7. Type "ATTSYNC" and select your updated Dynamic Block.

  8. Your edits are complete, now start using it.

  9. You might have noticed that in practice your attribute will update upon changing the attribute value...no need to wait and click the "Apply" button to see the new value as shown in this image.

For more info and help with Dynamic Blocks, visit the Dynamic Blocks forums at AUGI.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Find the cure for MS - Help team Autodesk achieve their goal

I received the following message from AUGI friend Roopinder Tara.

I'll be doing a charity ride for MS this weekend with Team Autodesk. We are
trying to raise money but are well short of our goal. Would you mind helping
spread the word on your blog? Any help from you to spread the word would be much
appreciated. I've included an ad in case you can use it, feel free to modify it
to fit your site.
BTW, if you know someone who is affected by MS, pls send me
the name. I will wear names of people on my back.

Thanks very much in advance.

Roopinder Tara
Editor TenLinks

More information on the Team Autodesk page:
You can also refer to the press release by TenLinks:http://www.tenlinks.com/About/News/071309_ms_ride.htm

Good Luck to you Roopinder and Team Autodesk!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Impression - Hand Rendered or Stylized? BOTH are possible

I held another Brown Bag Lunch yesterday with the focus on Autodesk Impression. As part of the discussion, I prepared some examples of entourage for review. One of the images below is a stylized tree created with Impression linework. The other is a hand rendered tree that was digitally remastered by scanning into Gimp, removing the background, and then converting into a block inside Impression. I added the same drop shadow style to both images.

You can download a copy of the the impression file containing both blocks by clicking on the below.


For more info on Revit, read Brian Benton's articles in the latest issue of AUGIWorld Magazine.