Monday, February 22, 2016

Detach from Central and the Specify Worksets Option

When we use Detach from Central (DfC) this message may pop up from time to time.

It can be a confusing to see it because quite often the very notion of using DfC is to deal with the fact that the Central File has been moved or copied, like when a consultant sends us a copy of their project file. We use DfC to create our own copy of their project on our server and project folder.

My initial reaction to it is, "Yeah...duh...why do you think I'm using DfC Revit?" Well to be fair, the reason the message appears is that the Central File was saved using the Save As > Options... Open Workset default: Specify (see next image). Revit is attempting to open that dialog before actually beginning the DfC process (technically).

Taking advantage of this concept means that we don't have to remember to choose Specify Worksets when we open a project, it is the default choice.

This is one instance where cavalierly clicking Close, thinking yeah okay.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Clearance Subcategory in Linked Files and Families

You've linked a model that has families which include clearance elements. That's excellent for doing clash detection. However you may not really want to see the graphics they've provided for this in all of your own documentation views.

Hopefully the clearance elements have been assigned to a unique subcategory that you can control by overriding the link's Visibility/Graphics.

If so and you'd like to control the subcategory without overriding their linked file you can use Copy to Clipboard on one of the families (TAB to select it) with the clearance elements in them. Then paste a copy somewhere in your model. Now the family's subcategories are part of your own model. You'll be able to control it via V/G without overriding the link, assuming the link is assigned to By Host.

You probably realized that doing the above is a shortcut to creating a matching subcategory assigned to the correct category in Object Styles ourselves. It is a shortcut because we probably won't know what subcategory the family is using without examining the family more closely, by opening the linked file and editing the family directly. Using Copy and then Paste provides us with a copy we can interact with directly instead and any subcategories it has are brought into our project for us.

Families are prone to inconsistency because they can be obtained from a variety of sources. Consider that even the families from Autodesk aren't entirely consistent from one to another. It may still be necessary to crack open a family to find out how their clearance elements are controlled. For example, the lines that form the "X", and the "box" around them, in this family are assigned to the Hidden Lines subcategory, not Clearance.

In 3D there are forms to indicate clearance requirements and they are assigned to a Clearance subcategory but they also have their Visible parameter unchecked which means we can't see them in the project at all, anywhere.

This family does not intend for us to turn off the clearance "X", at least not via its Clearance subcategory. It has a subcategory called clearance and the solid forms for its clearance zones are assigned it but then it was decided they shouldn't be visible at all. By the way, doing so does not prevent Revit from seeing the clearance forms when using its own Interference Checking. However in Navisworks they don't show up. That might be considered bad form (pun intended). From a family editor perspective (and user), it would have been more flexible if the Visible parameter had been associated with a Yes/No parameter to allow us to turn it on or off if necessary. Unfortunately, keeping in mind that this post began about families in a linked file, it wouldn't make any difference for us.

Consistency is easier to manage and achieve when it is your own content library and your project files. It can be a bit trickier dealing with the content that is part of the linked files you need from other disciplines. It's easy to create a family that makes me happy, or my team. It may not make the other consultants happy though. Something to think about while you're being happy making content.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Keyboard Shortcut and View Template Conflict

It is obvious when you think about it but when you are trying to use a keyboard shortcut and it doesn't work you might be tempted to think, "That's strange it used to work?!". Off we go to check our keyboard shortcut settings...then..."OH, the view has a View Template assigned to it!"

When a View Template is Assigned to a view, via the view's properties (yes, that's different from applying a view template), the template blocks our access to those settings it is in charge of. When we open Visibility/Graphics we see the categories are disabled (gray). Any keyboard shortcut we attempt to use that involves one of those settings is likewise affected.

In my case tonight I was trying to use keyboard shortcut VH (Hide in View > Category) but nothing happened. Yes, it was just a View Template being bossy. Had me going for a second...

Friday, February 05, 2016

Revit MEP - Silly Revit - We Don't use those Pipe or Duct Sizes

If you don't take the time to fine tune your project templates then you'll find Revit will offer you all kinds of pipe and duct sizes. These are available in the drop down lists during placement and then later if you run Duct/Pipe Sizing.

If you don't take the time to fine tune your template you'll find Revit gives you a duct size of 11" after completing its Duct Sizing, regardless of the fact you only choose from even sizes. It's easy to blame silly Revit...but it's our fault. The Duct and Pipe Sizes are controlled via Mechanical Settings, the duct sizes for Rectangular are shown below.

We need to either delete sizes we never want or just un-check them in either column or both, Set it and forget it.

Oh, the same is true of conduit and cable tray.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Group Exclude Element and Rooms

We can use the Exclude Element feature on the parts of the model we assign to groups, like this for example (a workstation with chairs).

We can also include rooms in groups. Just be careful if you use Exclude Element on the room(s). If you do you'll see a hint of a room when you pre-select (highlight) the group but you won't find it among the rooms in a room schedule...because it/they is/are excluded.

A potential gotcha for users.