Xrev API Tools: Increase Productivity!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Are you getting the most from Revit in your office?

Optimizing your Revit implementation can be the difference in a success or failure for your business.

  • Do you find yourself having to change things every time, for each project, to have your drawings look reasonable? (object styles, by element overrides, line weights, etc.)
  • Do you have to always search through old projects to copy/paste work you've done before?
  • Do you find each project looks a little different in terms of graphical consistency?
  • Is your family symbology inconsistent across your library? (EG: All your windows have the same coarse/medium/fine display and the same symbology for sliding panes etc)
  • Are you recreating legends and schedules from scratch for each new project?
  • Do your projects quickly become slow, performance wize?
If you answered YES to most of these then there is a good chance your implementation is not optimized.  Having to change all these things with each new project can greatly effect your design and documentation efficiency, and be the difference to making a profit or a loss!

Over the past 12 years I've completed Revit implementations that are customized for each individual office or projects needs.  I've completed templates for Architectural, MEP, Structural, Interior Design, Landscape, Multi-Discipline & Hospitals.  They all have commonalities, but they must all be tailored and optimized each time.

Your template should have:
  • View Templates for every standard view that you typically create, resolved to the point that you don't have to change it graphically ever...  Just apply your tags, symbols, dimensions and text notes.
  • Extensive use of Filters.  By category or even sub-category is not a sufficient way to achieve the graphics requirements of most offices.  Filters can be used to pick up commonalities of elements to control them graphically.  Try to never use by element overrides!
  • All your standard views setup.  This includes the typical number of levels for the bulk of your projects.  Remember you can always delete things you don't need.
  • Levels & Grids pre-placed.  I typically have 3 levels in my templates
  • All your standard sheets setup, with views laid out on them.
  • All your standard schedules laid out.  Have schedules for documentation already laid out on your sheets, but also have schedules created purely for editing data in bulk (working schedules)!
  • All your standard notes & legends setup and placed on the appropriate sheets
  • Views for BIM, EG: Navisworks or IFC export views
  • Guide Grids for your various paper sizes
  • Options to switch between paper sizes and have all your symbology update accordingly.  (EG: At A3 you may reduce the size of your section/elevation markers)
  • The most common families you use (2D & 3D).  Don't load too much or all you'll forever be updating it.  Only include families that are in 90% of your projects.
  • Version Tracking.  This will help you identify what varies between your current template and your project.  Remember your template should be always evolving!
  • Standard materials correctly setup
  • All your Fill Patterns
  • All your Line Styles
  • All your commonly used tags loaded
  • Colour Fill's setup - Too often do I see people using colour fills to only colour fill some rooms for example.  As a result they are forever changing the colour fill scheme to exclude certain things.  DON'T do this.  Use a filter instead!  Then you won't have to change it every again.
  • All your systems setup (Pipe, Duct., etc)
  • All your commonly used system family types (Walls, Pipes/Ducts/Conduits with correct routing, Floors, Roofs, Curtain Walls, Sweeps/Reveals, Ceilings, Stairs, Railings, Ramps etc.).  Don't include all of them, store all of them in a special project so you can copy/paste them in.  Only include types that you use in 80% of your projects in your template.
  • Text Styles, Dimension Styles, Spot Elevation Styles, Spot Coordinate Styles with names that are descriptive of their use, rather than their appearance...
  • All your Phases/Phase Filters/Graphic Overrides setup and mastered
  • Mark Number start values setup correctly, chain options in sketches set appropriately, the default open view set appropriately
  • Your users adequately trained in the use of the template so they take advantage of all of its features!!
Your library should have:
  • Some sort of vetting of content, so it can be identified what is "company standard"
  • A naming convention and structure that makes content easy to find, both in the library and once loaded into your project.
  • Consistency of representation and functionality for elements of similar type.  (EG: all your pipe fittings have the same parameters and functionality, or all your sliding windows etc.)
  • As much meta data/parameter information populated as possible to reduce the need to fill this out every time in every project
  • Type Catalogs wherever there is more than 2 types, to limit the loading of unneeded types
If you'd like some help optimizing your Revit Systems please don't hesitate to contact me at support@xrev.com.au