Vote for AU 2017 Class Proposals – Vote Now!

Looking for ways to automate your installations and customization within Revit or AutoCAD products? Wish you could control the project launch process?  Need to maintain Revit project versions without accidental upgrades?  Want to customize Revit deployments by studio, delivery group, or Office?  Wish you could ensure that all project team members were on the same build and or service pack?  Perhaps you just need to master Revit Roofs and would like to explore more than 35 different roof types and how to create them in Revit? I’ve submitted a few classes that will interest you. Vote Now, then attend in November!

  • AutoCAD Architecture Automation Anywhere!
  • Automating and Customizing Revit Deployments for the DIY Enthusiast
  • Revit Project Launch Scripting to Standardize All Studios
  • Conquer Revit Roofs Like a Ninja



I’m bringing some more standards tools to you today. A quick copy and adjust of the original text tools graph resulted in three tools for dimension styles. The first allows the user to select a dimension type and then selects all elements in the current project that use that style. The elements are selected in Revit, so the user can use the type selector to change the type.

3 tools image
3 tools in One Graph

The second tool reports all dimension types and writes them to the chosen excel file in a worksheet named dimensions after the category chosen.

Dimension report image
Reporting Dims to Excel

The third tool allows the user to choose a dimension type and change the elements selected by the “type” filter and change their family type to the desired type within Dynamo.

Here is a the complete screen capture of the 3 tool graph.

3 tools image 2
3 Dimension Tools for Dynamo

and a download BTC_DIM_STYLE_FIX

Condensed Version of Project Standards Graph

In my last post, I mentioned a simpler graph to complete the same workflow.

Categories based image
Categories Method to Export

This workflow starts with the category and achieves the same result, in a lot fewer nodes.  Grab a copy here:


Lumion3d 7.3 Released!

New exporters released to enable a live sync between your Revit model and the lumion project in real time! Now you can see the changes in Lumion as you modify Revit. In addition, the exporter and LiveSync now automatically export and map the following: Ceramic, Concrete, Generic, Glazing, Masonry, Metal, Metallic Paint, Mirror, Plastic, Solid Glass, Stone, Wall Paint, Water, and Wood material types.  Also, glass is now automatically converted.  That will be a huge timesaver!

Find out all about the new exporters and LiveSync functionality here.

Download the exporters here.

Tutorials and FAQ are found here.

You simply must upgrade to this version.  I’m downloading now!

Macro: Create Isolated 3DView based on Workset

Macro: Create Isolated 3DView based on Workset

Finally got around to adding the code to modify a great routine published by Harry Mattison back in 2015.  I’ve been using the routine to generate the isolated 3D views, but from the first time I ran it, I wanted a way to do workset isolation rather than element level temporary isolation.  Using the Harry’s original code, I added a dictionary and the SetWorksetVisibility code segments.  The code published below will set the workset visiblity for the view in addition to the element.

Harry’s original post

My modified code shown below (Application Macro):

public void CreateIsolatedWorksetView()
Document doc = this.ActiveUIDocument.Document;
int max = 100;
if (!doc.IsWorkshared)

// get the 3d view type which is needed when creating 3d views
ViewFamilyType vft = new FilteredElementCollector(doc)
.FirstOrDefault(q => q.ViewFamily == ViewFamily.ThreeDimensional);

using (Transaction t = new Transaction(doc, “workset view isolation”))
// create a dictionary to hold the worksetid and workset name
Dictionary<string, Autodesk.Revit.DB.WorksetId> dict =
new Dictionary<string, Autodesk.Revit.DB.WorksetId>();
// loop through all worksets (but only User worksets)
foreach (Workset wset in new FilteredWorksetCollector(doc).WherePasses(new WorksetKindFilter(WorksetKind.UserWorkset)))
dict.Add(wset.Name, wset.Id);
foreach (Workset wset in new FilteredWorksetCollector(doc).WherePasses(new WorksetKindFilter(WorksetKind.UserWorkset)))
// create a 3d view
View3D view = View3D.CreateIsometric(doc, vft.Id);

// set the name of the view to match the name of the workset
view.Name = “WORKSET – ” + wset.Name;

// isolate elements in the view, using a filter to find elements only in this workset
view.IsolateElementsTemporary(new FilteredElementCollector(doc).WherePasses(new ElementWorksetFilter(wset.Id)).Select(q => q.Id).ToList());
view.SetWorksetVisibility(wset.Id, Autodesk.Revit.DB.WorksetVisibility.Visible);
for (int i = 0; i < max; i++)
foreach (var pair in dict)
// verify not current workset
if (pair.Key != wset.Name)
view.SetWorksetVisibility(pair.Value, Autodesk.Revit.DB.WorksetVisibility.Hidden);

Workstation Settings
Create 3D Isolated Views by Workstation


Dynamo Checkerboard Curtain Wall Panel Tutorial

Dynamo Checkerboard Curtain Wall Panel Tutorial


Rowlock Brick Checkerboard
Architect’s Sketch

This post will describe a fairly simple graph for offsetting alternating curtain panels in a curtain wall.  The idea was generated by a request for a checkerboard rowlock brick wall accent.  I’ll break down the dynamo graph for you in pieces.

Prior to getting started, make sure you have installed Dynamo Version 1.2.0 or higher.  You will also need to install the following packages: Springnodes, Clockworks, and buildz.  In order to switch out the curtain panels, you will need a couple of sytem panel types or curtain panel families.  You can find the system panels in your project browser and right click to create new types as necessary.

CW Panel Type Image
Create New Panel Type

Once you’ve created the new types, right click the type and set the appropriate properties to create the offset surfaces or alternating patterns to be used.

Duplicate, Duplicate, Duplicate
Right Click to Duplicate the panel type once created.

In this example, I’ve created two new system panel types: Brick_Flush, and Brick_Offset.  I also edited the type properties and added a brick rowlock material.  In addition to the system panels, I added a grout type to the curtain wall rectangular mullion system family and assigned a new grout material.

Resulting Checkerboard Offset Rowlock Brick wall

The above image is the result of the graph shown below which collected all the curtain panels from the user selected curtain wall.  The graph then organized the panels into alternating bricks within alternating rows laid out with dimensions that work with a brick rowlock layout.

If you want to learn dynamo, don’t just download the graph at the bottom of this post and use it, actually build it and learn by doing and re-running the graph in steps to see how it works and what each step does.  Ready to learn? Here we go.

Launch Revit and draw a curtain wall.  To replicate the brick rowlock checkerboard curtain wall, adjust the properties of the curtain wall to match these settings:


Revit Curtain Wall as Brick Rowlock
Element Properties of the Base Curtain Wall
CW Rowlock in Revit
The initial “Rowlock Brick Curtain Wall” shown above.

Note: I have already created the Rectangular Mullion Type to represent the 3/8” thick grout between the bricks.  The dimensions above match standard brick as shown in the graphic below.

Brick image
Standard Brick Rowlock with dimensions.

Launch Revit Dynamo from the Addins tab and using the node search function, add the following nodes and connect them together as shown in the image below: Select Model Elements, CurtainPanel.ByElement, and CurtainPanel.Sort.  Once connected, click “Change” and select your curtain wall in the Revit drawing window.

Revit Dynamo Curtain Panels
Collection of Curtain Panel elements in Revit Dynamo

Once you’ve connected the nodes together and selected a curtain wall, click Run, then hover over the lower right corner of the sort node to see if you’ve gotten any panels in the data list.  The CurtainPanel.Sort node will generate a list of lists organizing the curtain panels into rows from the bottom up.

To see the results of our work, lets add the “FirstItem” node and the “Element.Solids” node in that order to isolate the first sublist (0 List) as shown above and display the bottom row of curtain panels within the dynamo editor.  Click Run, your dynamo window should resemble the following image:

First Row of Curtain Panels
First row of curtain panels isolated by List.FirstItem

Using List.FirstItem and Element.Solids gives us visual feedback within the dynamo editor. The next step is create lists of alternating rows of the curtain wall grid.  Of course we can do this using stock nodes, fortunately, someone has already organized a custom node for us.  Add the Springs.List.GetEvenOdd and connect it to the CurtainPanel.Sort node.  Now click the Odd output connector and connect it to the “List.Firstitem” input connector.  Lets run the graph again and look at the results. Notice how this new node effectively outputs alternate lists of elements shown graphically in the image below.  Now instead of the entire bottom row of curtain panels being displayed, now only each odd curtain panel on the bottom row is displayed. Switch the output to even and re-run it to see the other panels.

Curtain Panels
Alternating Curtain Panels in bottom row (List 0)

If you bypass the “List.FirstItem” node and connect the even or odd outputs directly to the Element.Solids node, you’ll see exactly what the GetEvenOdd node is doing.  It is creating lists of the alternating columns. Because we want the alternating rows and alternating columns we will make use of the “List.Transpose” node along with two more …GetEvenOdd nodes.

Alt Curtain Panels rows and columns
Alternating Curtain Panels in rows and columns

In order to generate our checkerboard pattern, we are going to have to build lists of alternate rows as well as lists of alternating panels within each row. Let’s adjust our graph a little further. Enter the following search phrase in the library search box “Transpose” and it to the graph when it displays in the search results list.

List Transpose node
Use this node to swap rows for columns in your list collection

Select the List.Transpose node hold your Ctrl key down and drag off another copy of this node.

Now Click to select the “Springs.List.GetEvenOdd” node, hold the Ctrl key down as you drag off a copy of this node. (You can also use copy / paste within the dynamo editor). Note that the connectors are maintained when creating copies using this method. Click to unselect them.

Connect each transpose node to an output connector from the original …GetEvenOdd node, now connect the new …GetEvenOdd input connectors to the output connectors from the transpose nodes as shown in the image below

Organize Alternating data node
List.GetEvenOdd Node from Springworks

At this point, if you want to duplicate the solids node another 3 times you can connect them to the four even/odd output connectors to see what each output list contains individually (the download is organized this way for learning purposes).  Note, when you click on the Element.Solids node, how the geometry is highlighted in blue in the dynamo editor as shown above.

Since we are alternating only two types of panels in our curtain walls, we will use the List.Create node to recombine the output lists in an organized fashion.  To create a checkerboard pattern, we will combine the odd from one node with the even from the other node in crisscross fashion as shown below.

criss cross connectors
Collection across outputs is how we build the checkerboard pattern

Now that we’ve reorganized our curtain panel lists, its time to change the curtain panel type.  Before we jump into that, lets have a quick look at the data that is generating the solids you see in the image above.

Nested List of LIsts
Nested List of LIsts

As you can see in the image above, the result of our reorganizing has created some very deeply nested data.  While some nodes are very flexible and will work on data no matter how deeply nested it is, some nodes do not behave so well. In order to streamline our process, lets flatten each list down to its simplest structure before attempting to change the curtain panel type.  Add a “flatten node” for each output.  Use the Builtin version of the flatten node to reduce the 4 deep list of lists to a single list of panels as shown below:

flatten node at work
Flatten the lists of data for use downstream

Click in the Library search box and enter this keyword: “FamilyInstance”, choose the second one in the list displayed. “CurtainPanel.AsFamilyInstance”.  You’ll add two of these and connect them to each of the flatten outputs.  Enter “SetType” in the library search box and add two FamilyInstance.SetType nodes as shown in the image below:

Family Instance Set Type
Family Instance Node needs an element list and a type

Note that the FamilyInstance.SetType node also needs and input of the familyType to be set.  Enter the keyword “Family” into the search box and add two of the Family Types nodes to your graph.  Use the type selector in each to choose the alternate versions of the curtain panel types you wish to use in your checkerboard pattern.

Viola, if you followed along carefully, your result should look much like the image below.

Final result in Dynamo Graph
Swapped Types

I hope you were able to follow along and add this workflow to your Dynamo repertoire.

You can download the completed and formatted dynamo graph Here.

Note: this method also works for other curtain panel types:

Graph Output
The capture from the graph – the completed full size capture is in the zip file download.


Any size panel
Any size panels will work

Upgrading Application Macros for New Versions of Revit

This time of year requires a large number of upgrades. I recently wrote about upgrading the Revit library and templates, but there are many file types in the design ecosphere. Today we focus on upgrading application level macros inside Revit. Visit Wakefield Beasley’s blog here to read my latest blog post on upgrading Revit application macros.

Update: Using DOS and VBScript to Upgrade your Revit Library for Free

Minor update to scripts and addition of scripted upgrade for template (rte) files as well as automated cleanup of associated files. Please grab a copy of the updated zip file here:


Using DOS and VBScript to Upgrade your Revit Library for Free

Using DOS and VBScript to Upgrade your Revit Library for Free

Spring is here and its time to get ready for the next Autodesk product upgrades. If you are a Revit user like me, you probably don’t look forward to upgrading the library with each release.  In releases up to 2015, Autodesk always provided an upgrade families batch routine for Revit.  Since 2016, that utility folder is missing.  Have no fear, I have the solution for you.  Ready? Lets get started.

Set up a duplicate folder tree for your next version library. I use “Tree Copy” to generate a duplicate folder structure from my existing library. Create a folder that you can use as work area. I named mine “~PROCESSING”.

Processing Folder
Create a folder to process the upgrade files.

Select a handful of folders from last year’s version of Revit and copy them into your “~PROCESSING” folder. I use a “right click” drag and drop process to ensure that I am copying the files not moving them.

Screen cap for drag n drop
Drag and Drop Copy

Release your mouse when the cursor is over your destination folder and use the popup menu to choose “Copy Here”. Don’t worry that windows indicates “Move to ~PROCESSING” while you are dragging the files. If you right click drag, you’ll have the option to choose when you release the mouse button.

Choose copy
Release the Dragged Copies


Let Windows do the Copy
Let Windows do the Copy

Now that you have your old files ready to be upgraded, copy the provided scripts to the same location using the “right click” drag and drop method as shown in the image below.

Here are direct links to the script files you’ll need:



Right Click Option
Right Click Option

To create the file list for your families upgrade, double click on the “Upgrade_RFA.bat” file inside your “~PROCESSING” folder.

Double Click to Run
Double Click to Run

When the batch file runs to completion, the famlist_rfa.txt file will appear as shown below. Note: the zip file download now contains two additional files a batch file to create a list of project files, and a journal file that will upgrade the project files.

Scripts for Family Upgrade
Scripts for Family Upgrade

We are now ready to process our upgrades.  We will allow Revit to run in automated fashion using a custom written journal file that we drag on top of the Revit 2016 desktop shortcut.

Launch the Upgrade
Launch the Upgrade

Let Revit run in Automatic mode upgrading your files.  If it errors out, it will present an “Entering Interactive Mode” warning like the image shown below.

Brings Upgrade to a Screeching Halt
Brings Upgrade to a Screeching Halt

Click Enter interactive mode, and click “OK” to accept any other message dialogs that appear. Exit out of Revit, saving the last file that it had successfully opened.  Navigate your folder and find the journal.0001.txt or the highest number journal file that has been created if this has happened on more than one file.

Find the last journal file
Find the last journal file

Double click to open this journal in Notepad.  Scroll to the bottom of the file and click at the end of the text found on the last row.  Click the edit menu and choose find and then enter  .rfa as the search term in the text box that displays.  Change the search direction to “Up” and click “Find Next” three times to advance to the last opened file.

Find the last opened rfa file
Find the last opened rfa file

Highlight and select the filename and extension (.rfa) as shown in the image below.  Copy this file name to your clipboard.

Copy the filename
Copy the filename

Close the text file and open the famlist_rfa.txt file in your ~PROCESSING folder using notepad.

Double Click to Open
Double Click to Open

Place your cursor at the very beginning of the file, click the edit menu and choose find.

Find the filename in the list
Find the filename in the list

Paste the filename from your clipboard to the search entry text area and click find next.  Select the row that contains that filename and all the preceding rows.  Delete them from the text file. Ensure that you delete the empty row at the top so the first row contains the next available file name and path.  Save and close the famlist_rfa.txt file.

Delete all processed files
Delete all processed files

Left Click and drag the Upgrade_RFA.txt file from your ~Processing folder onto the Revit 2016 desktop shortcut as shown in the next image to restart the process.

Restart the Process
Restart the Process

Watch the magic happen as the batch routine continues reading the filepaths from famlist_rfa.txt and opens them one by one inside Revit 2016, saving and upgrading each in turn as if by magic.  When the process is done, Revit will close itself.

At this stage, you have upgraded all your families, now it is time to move onto the Project files contained in your library.  This process is very similar to the last one.  Double click the Upgrade_RVT.bat batch file to generate a new Filelist_rvt.txt containing the names of all the project files in your library. Once that file is generated, Drag and drop the Upgrade_RVT.txt file onto your Revit 2016 desktop shortcut to start the automated process.  If the process stops at the “Enter Interactive Mode” message box, perform the file cleanup by locating the last successful upgraded filename using the journal files and remove it and the files above it from the Filelist_rvt.txt file.  Drag and drop the Upgrade_RVT.txt onto the shortcut to restart the process.

Final Cleanup

Double click the XDelete_RFA.bat file to perform final cleanup operations in your processing folder.


Delete all scripts and backups
Delete all scripts and backups


Cleanup in Process
Cleanup in Process

Once clean-up is done, move the folders out of ~Processing into your library and delete the ~Processing folder.

Remember, If Revit errors along the way with the “Entering Interactive Mode” message, search the journal to find the last file processed, remove the processed entries from the respective file list and continue processing the rest of the library.


V-Ray for Revit not finding a license?

V-Ray for Revit not finding a license?

After installing V-Ray for Revit public beta the other day, I rebooted my workstation and found that everytime I launched Revit, there was a delay and V-Ray would error out with a message indicating that no license was available.

Revit throws error when VRay seeks license server from existing install
Revit throws error when VRay seeks license server from existing install

Since I knew that I had successfully installed and had ample licenses available, the problem must be in a setting somewhere.  I checked the localhost:30304 server and found plenty of unused licenses on the online tab.  Since I have an install for Sketchup and 3DSMax, I thought that the new beta may be using an existing mechanism to find  the server.  I suspected that the 3DSMax license tool was telling Revit to look in the wrong place.  Once I reconfigured the original install to use localhost as primary and moved the network ip location to the “Alternate Server 1” slot, Revit was able to pull licenses when launched.

Steps to fix this issue:

Find the chaos group folder under your start menu.

Within the 3DSMax tools find the license administration folder

Right click and choose “Change V-Ray…”

3dsmax license controller


When the V-Ray License Server information dialog box displays, make sure that “localhost” is assigned to the primary license server with 30304 as the connection port.  If you were grabbing a license from a dongle attached to another machine(s), just add them in Alternate license server 1 and/or 2.

restoring localhost for online licensing

This worked for me… your mileage may vary.