Xrev API Tools: Increase Productivity!



Wednesday, September 03, 2014

3D View/Perspective viewpoint changing unexpectedly on file reopen

Have you ever opened a Revit file only to find that all those 3D Views you setup yesterday are no longer orientated correctly?  This can be very frustrating!

Typically when I create a 3D View, I'll then use the Steering Wheel, Look mode, to adjust the viewpoint to exactly where I need it.  If you'd like those tweaks to be retained you must SAVE VIEW.

There are 2 places you can Save View:
  • In the View Cube menu drop down
  • In the Steering Wheel menu drop down
Unfortunately this is easy to forget to do, it would be great if Revit prompted you with something like "3D View:3D View 2 has unsaved changes, would you like to save view?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Revit 2015 - BORING...?

So for those that have seen the Revit 2015 new feature list, its pretty boring.  I'm not against a release that aims to fix up a lot of minor limitations and/or bugs, but pick some decent ones!  And at least address 1 or 2 major ticket items.  I consider major ticket items like:
  • Finishing Railings/Ramps/Stair tools
  • Upgrading the Text tools to match those of just about every other CAD/BIM Software
  • Integrated Graphical Door/Window & Curtain Wall Schedules
  • Fixing Groups
  • Making Assemblies do what they need to, IE: Be easily reusable, have the concepts of a fabricated element, sub-assemblies etc.
  • Library Management - detect what families have been updated and allow us to quickly reload.
  • Improve Worksharing to allow more users to work simultaneously and more robust!
  • And there are many more I can list out
I think Structural got the best improvements this year...

Lets take a look at them:
  1. Link IFC's: Okay this is a good BIM feature, but for me it needs to be a high fidelity link.  IE: No geometric conversions of the content to Revit elements, give me the raw geometry as defined in the IFC associated to the correct family category.  I don't want to have to worry about possible conversion based issues which plague IFC conversion between platforms.  If that's what it is then awesome.
  2. Trim/Extend Multiple Elements: This is a much needed feature, being able to window select the elements to be trimmed to the reference will be a large time saver for me.
  3. Family Parameter Order Adjustment: This bugged me a lot when I first started creating families, but I've gotten used to the Reverse Alphabetic ordering.  I don't think this is going to save many people a lot of time...
  4. Tooltips for Family Parameters: As someone who creates a lot of families, some of which can get quite conmplicated, being able to include some instruction on what parameters do will be very useful.  No longer will I have to create an extra instruction parameter.  Pretty happy about this one.
  5. Reinforcement for parts: IMHO this should have been in the parts tool from day 1, so glad this has been completed.  But what about reinforcement in families!  That would save me the most amount of work, as I could set once, rather than have to place everywhere after the fact...
  6. Presentation in Rebar Sets: This would be useful if we could document and display reinforcement to our standards.  Many of my clients are now building their own Rebar families, with built in symbology just because this is so inflexible.  EG: Area Reinforcement doesn't have the control we need, but has symbols.  Rebar does have the flexibility required (for the most part), but you can't easily get it to display how you want to see it in documentation...
  7. Reinforcement Numbering & Multi Rebar Annotation: More ways to tag is useful, but if doesn't look right in the first place it still only part of the solution.
  8. Structural Section Properties: Useful and avoids manually input data, which is always good.
  9. Calculation methods for pressure drop: Not being a systems engineer, I'm not yet across the benefit of this.  So I'll reserve judgement on this until I have some feedback from engineers.
  10. Great Structural Beam Join Control: This is a much needed feature.  I just hope that they've allowed us to set either family level defaults for setback and snapping, or at least project level defaults.  This would enable us to get the majority of joins correct using the defaults and then individually edit only a few.  However, based on other similar tools, I doubt this got implemented.
  11. Assembly Code Settings: On a couple of occassions it would have been useful to be able to easily customise the Uniformat classifications, so some may find this useful.
  12. Pinned Element Enhancements: Deleting a pinned element no longer just provides a warning and deletes the element.  This is how it should have always worked!
  13. Show Hidden Lines in 3D: Good to see Autodesk are realising we use 3D Views in documentation.
  14. Revision improvements: Finally they have done away with the horrible click fest that is clouding!  It also means the clouds have some consistency in spacing, so look a lot neater.  Deleting a revision isn't something I've had to do a lot in the past.  But why didn't they add a new parameter for Revision Classification/Stage and allow us to have prefix/suffix!  This would finally give us the ability to use the revision numbering we need...
  15. Enhanced Schedules/material takeoffs: It's great that we have a few extra boxes to filter with, but what about an OR condition!  Also, we can customise the Grand total text, but what about footer sub-total text?  And then being able to use the totals, in other places in Revit...
  16. Images in Schedules: I have a lot of clients that have needed this feature.  The issue then becomes though, how are these images managed.  We don't want to bloat our file sizes, simply because someone didn't optimise the size of the image before associating it to the family type.  I realy hope these images can be linked as opposed to embedded.
  17. Keynote Settings: Woopdidoo...
  18. View References: Repathing a section/elevation using Reference other view to an alternate view without having to delete and recreate, is welcome.  But its not going to save me hours in my day.
  19. Duplicate View Default Names: Certainly an improvement over the old behaviour, but I would prefer they dropped the word Copy...  I've never wanted a view to have the word copy in it ever...
  20. Tapped duct and pipe tags: Very useful to be able to get correct values along the length of a duct.
  21. Anti-aliasing by view: A much better approach to manage performance...
  22. Sketchy Lines: They're here, they work, people will use it.
  23. Ray Trace improvements: Another bug fix to get rid of noise displaying in the result image
  24. Shared Parameters in View Titles: I've certainly needed this in the past.  Just wish we could have graphical scales that were automatic as well...
  25. Manage Links Dialog: Can't say that I'll use the ability to add link in this dialog...
  26. Tag improvements: Finally some consistency in leaders between tags and text...
  27. Double click to Deactivate view: Useful
  28. Structural Element Graphical Display tweaks: Okay...
  29. Performance Improvements: Many tasks seem to have been streamlined and now take less processing time.  This is great, we need to get to a point where we can successfully have up to 20 people working in single file without spending 50% of your day saving/synching!
All in all, there are certainly features in here that I welcome.  I guess along with all this I was expected a couple of other major items.  Who knows, perhaps Autodesk and realising that its better to withhold these new features sometimes until they are finished, before implementing them into the software and frustrating all the users who nag them every year about finishing them off...