Get your technology fix here. Stay tuned for general tech trends, news, and articles. Work with Autodesk products? I do too! I like to write VBA, lisp and create a lot of custom tools for general consumption too. You'll find all that here and more!
– Geometry Working Range, a solution that adjusts numerical precision to accommodate these large numbers.
– Isolate Selected Geometry
– A direct link to the Dynamo Dictionary is added at the bottom of help menu popup window for each node. Definitions are currently available for the out-of-the-box core Dynamo nodes, and we are actively working on Revit nodes.
– Multi-output port re-connect feature using Shift+Left-Click
– Highlight geometry from selection in preview bubbles and watch nodes.
– DateTime.Format: (shout out to Radu Gidei!)
– Translate (CAD import) functionality now supports 3DM (Rhino) and SAT file formats, in addition to DWG and DXF. (Additionally, import of FBX, OBJ, STL, and SKP formats are supported, but there is currently limited downstream capabilities with these meshes.)
Dynamo for Revit:
– Revit allows for duplicate parameter names in a file, and Dynamo is now able to consistently pick between Named or Built-In parameters.
– Preview Bubbles enabled for Revit Selection nodes
– New Revit nodes: a number of Creation methods for System Families, added access to Global Parameters, and exposed file auditing tools with the Performance Advisor.
– Fixed line break issue in for group titles, increased group titles font size
– Convert between units now gives correct Hectares for Area conversion
– Fixed File Paths with spaces sometimes converting paths to escaped URI path
– Fixes to Arc.ByCenterPointRadiusAngle, Arc.StartAngle, and Arc.EndAngle
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.
The second tool reports all dimension types and writes them to the chosen excel file in a worksheet named dimensions after the category chosen.
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.
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.
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.
public void CreateIsolatedWorksetView()
Document doc = this.ActiveUIDocument.Document;
int max = 100;
// 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)))
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());
for (int i = 0; i < max; i++)
foreach (var pair in dict)
// verify not current workset
if (pair.Key != wset.Name)
Working on some tools to assist the design teams in managing parking spaces. The attached graph contains two tools. The first tool renumbers parking spaces based on a model based spline drawn through the spaces. Refer to the image below for more info.
The instructions to renumber the parking spaces are shown in the blue area in the image and listed below this paragraph. Use the control toggle boolean node to run one graph at a time by setting its value to true and the other node to false.
To renumber existing parking tags based on spline
1.) Draw a model line using the spline tool. If your sketch contains multiple sharp curves, you may need to increase the “Integer Slider” amount to ensure the routine gets all the parking stalls. 400 is a good starting number.
2.) Start in lowest number parking spot, continue spline through parking spots in order ending the spline in the spot you wish to have the highest number.
3.) Use Select Spline (Model line) “Change” button to select the model spline in your project.
4.) Enter desired starting number for in Starting number node.
5.) Enter desired increment amount
Click Run when Ready
The second tool addresses parking spaces on ramps. It requires a custom parameter named SCHEDULE LEVEL. Use the second tool to write data to the parameter. You can use this to filter your parking schedule.
The instructions to update the parameter are shown in the blue area in the image below and are listed below this paragraph.
To Assign Schedule Level
To differentiate between level based parking and ramp associated parking, perform the following steps:
1.) Click Select model elements and window the parking elements that are to be associated with the ramp.
2.) Click True to run this operation or False to run a different operation.
I received a request to assist an architect in fixing their model yesterday. They were attempting to adjust a level elevation, but found other objects were also moving. The request went something like this:
Level locked to alternate floors needs to be moved but others move with but are called out as different levels and are correct.
Based on the description above, I suspected there were multiple competing layers at the same elevation and objects were hosted on the wrong or undesired level. A quick check on a column confirmed my suspicions. As shown in the image below, there are multiple levels with similar names like “03 Level” and “Level 03”, “02 Level – 1004’” and “Level 02”.
I reviewed the existing elevation and section views and couldn’t find the offending levels, so I created a quick new section to help solve that issue.
Once the new section was created and activated, I uncropped the view and zoomed extents to find the missing elevation elements.
The original problem statement indicated that elements were moving unexpectedly, so I flexed the Level Datums to get a visual indicator of the objects that might be bound together.
Since I can’t simply delete the levels I think I don’t need, for fear of losing elements hosted to the level, I must find a way to select or determine what elements belong to a level I might wish to delete.
Note: If you were unaware, Revit does not notify you when it deletes elements hosted to a level.
Let’s launch Dynamo and see if it can assist us. For this functionality, I can create a quick dynamo graph and use it to identify whether a level has any host elements on it.
Dynamo (V 1.2.0) Recipe:
Nodes: Levels, All Elements at Level, SelectInRevit, Watch
Connect them up as follows:
Levels, to All Elements at Level, to SelectInRevit, to Watch.
If you need to move elements to a different level, switch back to the Revit drawing window after running the graph and use the following key sequence to reselect the items selected by the dynamo graph.
Then you can change their constraints and parameters to move them off the level. When you run a graph and it comes up with no elements on the level, it is an easy task to delete the level.
If you feel ambitious, you can format the graph to be shared, so others can read and utilize the graph more easily.
The graph above is the recipe with the same nodes, but the graph is formatted using the Dynamo Graphic Standard created by Vladimir Ondejcik of White Arkitekter AB
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”.
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.
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.
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:
To create the file list for your families upgrade, double click on the “Upgrade_RFA.bat” file inside your “~PROCESSING” folder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Highlight and select the filename and extension (.rfa) as shown in the image below. Copy this file name to your clipboard.
Close the text file and open the famlist_rfa.txt file in your ~PROCESSING folder using notepad.
Place your cursor at the very beginning of the file, click the edit menu and choose find.
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.
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.
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.
Double click the XDelete_RFA.bat file to perform final cleanup operations in your processing folder.
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.
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.
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…”
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.
A designer asked for help this week with a project where they were having difficulty creating shafts on certain levels. On some levels there was no issue, on other levels she was unable to create a shaft to save her life. This was her question:
“Good morning! One of my revit models is giving me trouble when creating a shaft. When I choose to create a new shaft it immediately gives me an error that the top of the opening is lower than the bottom of the opening. It does not allow me to adjust the heights, and I am unable to place a new shaft. I’ve audited but cannot figure this one out…”
When I jumped into their model, activated one of the problem levels and launched the shaft tool, I was greeted with this dialog box just as she described it:
Clicking Delete Element(s) gave me another cryptic message about not being able to delete the element I am unable to create in the first place.
Of course hitting the Cancel button will allow me to exit the sketch mode based shaft command, leaving me right where I started with no shaft!…. It seems my designer has spawned a black hole and now I’ve been swept into the vortex with her! So I try again and this time pay attention to the property palette.
Notice the level based constraints on the shaft and the resulting Unconnected Height. Seeing this, I switch to another level and try creating a shaft and viola no error message, I seem to be able to create the shaft with no problem. So it appears the black hole only exists on the fourth floor.
So I cancel the command and see if I can create a shaft on the offending level four again…much to my chagrin, I still cannot create it, but at least I’m not past the event horizon so I cancel the command again. My next thought is it is a problem with an existing shaft and prepare to find the offending shafts and remove them. But wait, before I go down that rabbit hole, let me think about how Revit works! I know that Revit is always trying to help me by remembering the values I previously used for different commands… so maybe all I have to do is successfully create a shaft that is not tied to an upper constraint. As shown in the image above, with a floor to floor height of 20′-6″ (intermediate level not shown), a base offset of 15′-0″ the result is a shaft of 5′-6″, which is valid. Then it occurs to me, perhaps I shouldn’t have canceled out of the command after all! Since canceling didn’t store the value in the properties palette, I go ahead and try creating a shaft again on the level without the black hole, this time setting the upper constraint to “Unconnected” and clicking the green check mark to successfully complete the process.
Completing the process results in new shaft tool defaults, so when I launch the tool on another level, the properties of the shaft tool will default with the base constraint of that current level, but no upper constraint. My theory is that the tool will not error out.
I try on another level and have success. I try on the offending level and have success.
Ding ding ding, winner winner, chicken dinner!
Once I’ve created a shaft I am able to then create a new one on any level I wish. So next time you’re faced with this vortex of doom, just find a level that works, or create a new level and create a shaft with no top constraint. Then you can delete it and resume creating shafts on levels you want to create them on.
P.S. I am sure that this problem originated as a result of nesting shafts within Model groups and copying them from level to level with “Upper Constraint” properties tied to levels.
Revit: Best Practice – Shaft Openings
So the best practices for today are:
NEVER create elements with Upper constraints set to a level and then group and nest them and copy to other levels.
ALWAYS remove the “Upper Constraint” for elements within Groups and set the upper constraint to “Unconnected” with an explicit height.
Better yet, don’t include level constrained elements inside groups!