Wednesday, 19 December 2012

More Mullions

Earlier I have written about mullions. The main focus was on rectangular mullions and the profiles you can use for these.

Circular mullions 

aren't all that different than the rectangular. There are some type parameters that are different and quiet self explaining.
You see there is also the possibility to use a profile. This works the same as rectangular mullions.
There is also a setting that let you set the position to perpendicular to face or parallel to ground. The effect of parallel to ground is best seen in a sloped glazing with rectangular mullions.

L Corner mullions
Notice the type properties of this curtain wall. When you place the wall like below you will get a warning that there are duplicate mullions and that those will be deleted. You are probably better of setting the borders to none if you need corner mullions and apply the mullions yourself.
Check the type properties of the L corner mullion.
Here you can change the size of the corner mullion. No profiles here!
Quad corners mullions
these are good to use for corners that are not 90 degrees. Here you can change the size of the corner mullion. No profiles here either!
Trapezoid Mullions
behave slightly different. It's not right away apparent where the parameters are. The center width is the odd one.
V corner mullions
Are also good to use for non perpendicular corners.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Revit Shared coordinates de Film

(for the english readers. I'll create the same movie soon with english captions.

In toevoeging op eerder blogs die ik heb geschreven dan nu een filmpje over shared coordinates.

Als je de film bekijkt stel deze dan even in op hoge resolutie!

of gebruik deze link

Als je vragen hebt laat een comment achter of mail me op daniel.gijsbers apestaartje

Monday, 3 December 2012


(dutch only today)

Vandaag een simpele blogpost over een kantplank

twee ideetjes hoe je een kantplank zou kunnen modelleren. 1x als 2 slabedges met zelfgemaakte profielen en één keer gemodelleerd als een muur.
Er zijn ongetwijfeld nog meer mogelijkheden. Bedenk wel dat voor je hoeveelheidstaten het enorm kan uitmaken welke methode je kiest. Wat je ook gebruikt, documenteer het zodat het voor de volgende in het traject geen zoek plaatje word.

Dingen om te weten
De materialen moet je natuurlijk beter kiezen dan dat ik heb gedaan in de video. De optie met profielen is bewerkelijker maar je hebt wat meer vrijheden in vorm.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Publish the shared coordinate system

I got my hands on the revit files for the Millenium supermarket. In this Revit architecture files are two links: A MEP file and A structure file.
If I export the file to nwc (navisworks cache file) everything is exactly at the position it is supposed to be. But most of the time every discipline tends to create their own nwc. If you do this for this file you'll get the following result

NWC created from Revit with all the links loaded
NWC created from every discipline separately
Above in blue the entire supermarket selected 
Above in blue only the architectural model from the supermarket selected 
Above in blue the structural + mep model from the supermarket selected

Now how did that happen?
The  structural + mep model are not modelled at the same coordinates as the architectural model. Now this can be fixed. Personally I think this should have been set before modelling. See one of my previous post about shared coordinates: 

Above I have the Architectural model and the structural model open. Notice that the survey points are in different locations. That's why the separate nwc end up on different coordinates in navisworks. If you reconcile the shared coordinate system from the Architectural model to the structural model and the MEP model you can get the separate nwc files onto the right position.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Revit snaps

Today I want to share a very tiny and simple trick. Have you ever had an autocad drawing under you revit model and you needed to use some of the autocad lines for modelling something.

Ofcourse you start out with turning of unnecessary layers of the dwg. But sometimes you need many of them to stay on. Next you try the pick lines tools and you are tapping like a madmen on the TAB key to try and select the lines. Some Autocad drawings won't let you get the result you want from the pick lines tool. After some tries you might think, okay I'll do it the old fashioned way and I'll trace over the lines myself.
When you start tracing you might notice you seem to only get an intersection snap... ofcourse you know you could press 'se' to force an endpoint snap. You will probably have to do it everytime and that might get tedious.

If you turn all snaps off (i normally tend to have them all on) and some other auto features you will probably see you won't have to use the override command so often.

Don't forget to turn the snap back on when you are done.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Revit 2 Vault 2 buzzsaw 2 Ipad 2

I am preparing a Vault workshop for a client. Part of the workshop is being able to work together. 

I set out to create the following. I want to get revit Files into Vault. When I get them into vault I would like to be able to share them with other project participants. So I setup Vault to communicate with Buzzsaw. This took a while because of minor details you need to know. I got great help from my distributor! Next I thought if I get it to buzzsaw I might as well try to view it on my Ipad.

The odd but nice part is that I can view the revit file with ease but the generated dwfs or dwfx's seem to have a problem.

Below a picture with the same sheet open in different applications:

  1. Revit Structure 2013
  2. Vault collaboration for AEC 2013
  3. Buzzsaw 2013 (the client app)
  4. Buzzsaw for Ipad

And not the least many patches service packs hotfixes and tweaks. No I only have to figure out why the dwfs don't work atm. Htere is more to the workshop than only this but it's certainly nice when you finally get a configuration working.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Autocad plot handleiding

Regelmatig geef ik bij update trainingen de volgende opdracht: Maak van deze tekening: 
  • een pdf
  • formaat A1
  • schaal 1:100
De cursisten moeten dit altijd met plain autocad functionaliteiten doen. Het valt me op dat zelfs ervaren autocad gebruikers hier toch redelijk moeite mee hebben. Omdat dit nergens in boeken staat schrijf ik de stappen hier een keer uit. Met een beetje handigheid kan je dit in 30 seconden doen.
Stap 1:
Stap 2:
maak een nieuwe layout aan of ga naar een bestaande. Als je nieuwe hebt aangemaakt ga naar deze layout
Stap 3:
Klik op plot (Je kan de volgende stappen ook met modify page setup doen maar ik vind mijn manier prettiger)
In het plot menu stel je de volgende dingen in in deze volgorde.
  1. Kies de juiste Printer of plotter. 
  2. Kies het juiste papier formaat
  3. Controleer dat plot area op layout staat ingesteld
  4. De schaal moet op 1:1 ( je stelt de schaal van de tekening in bij het viewport)
  5. Kies een ctb bestand, als je geen gebruik maakt van lineweights in je lagen
  6. Druk op apply to layout, dan worden je instellingen opgeslagen.
  7. Druk daarna op cancel, anders gaat Autocad direct plotten en dat wil je nog niet
  • Selecteer en wis het viewport

  • Creëer een nieuw viewport
  • als je direct op enter klikt nadat het commando is opgestart plaatst Autocad het viewport zelf zo groot als dat de marges van het papier dit toestaan.
  • Als je een ISO full bleed formaat hebt gekozen dan kan je het hele papier gebruiken. 
  • Selecteer het nieuwe viewport en stel de schaal in
  1. Druk op plot
  2. Druk eventueel op add achter plot setup en geef een page setup naam. (Dat is handig voor volgende layouts en voor publish)
  3. Klik nogmaals op apply to layout en daarna op okay om te plotten!

Dit hele systeem kan je nog eenvoudiger en sneller maken als je als applicatiebeheerder een paar goede templates voor je gebruikers maakt.

Voor vragen kan je contact met me opnemen!


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Revit curtain wall Mullions

This blog is a continuation of:

Curtain wall mullions are made of profiles. I always say during trainings that if you can create good profiles in Revit you have made a big step in modelling.

First you have several different mullions for different situations. This blog will focus on the Rectangular Mullion first.

Curtain Wall Mullions
Circular Mullion
L Corner Mullion
Quad Corner Mullion
Rectangular Mullion
Trapezoid Corner Mullion
V Corner Mullion

Be aware that a mullion is a system family!

Type properties of a rectangular mullion
  1. Profile - if you leave this to default the you can set the value of 2 and 3
  2. thickness is measured from the location line of the curtain wall and equal on both sides. This means that when you draw a cw that mullion is 75 mm thick on one side and 75mm on the other. 
  3. Here you control the width of the mullion and whether it is symmetrical. The total width for this one is 50mm
Personally I only use this default profile if I create interior curtain walls. If I need an exterior curtain wall I want a profile that is completely at the outside of the curtain wall. I do this for the following reason. Often an exterion curtain wall runs in front of a floor edge. If I change the mullion size thickness to a greater value I do not want the mullion to go suddenly through my floor.

How to create your own mullion?
  • Mullion creation rules: you may only put one closed loop into a profile
  • Model only the exterior lines
  • Keep it simpel
  • Keep the amount of line segments in the loop to the bare minimum
  • Do not draw lines on top of each other (it's not autocad)
  • If you need more detail add a detail component
goto Revit --> new --> family --> Metric Profile-Mullion.rft
This template is nice because it tells you where is the outside of the curtain wall.
Next create the following reference planes dimensions, parameters and family type.
Draw a rectangle over the reference planes. In this family you do not need to lock the lines. Revit has a system build in that is called assumed relations. Basically this means that when you draw something to coincide with something else that this can not be a coincidence and you will probably want this to keep coinciding. Sometimes this is nicknamed the feminine side of Revit...
Load into project, since I don't save this file it will come into my project named: family#:60x180mm uder the profiles in the project browser. I will rename this family to Rectangle_outside:60x180mm
(left of the : is the family name and at the right side is the type name)
For profiles I tend to name them according to their shape and purpose / location. (feel free to use your own)
Next create a new type under rectangular mullion.  I tend to give the mullion name the same name as the type name of the profile I am going to use. So in this case I call the mullion 60x180mm
Go to the type properties of the mullion you have just created. (right click it)
Select the profile you have created. All the other parameters should make sense to you. If they don't, change them and watch the result.

Now that you have created your own mullion from your self made profile it's time to use this mullion in a curtain wall.
This will make the curtain wall look like this. (this is the lower left corner of the cw)

Example of different use of a curtain wall
The trick is in the profile
 Use this trick for the length of wall, notice the center and pattern offset
   If you change the wall by the cutprofile. Notice the result.
 Openings also behave slightly different
This is the profile and here you can see where the 1240 and the 620 comes from.

Go to this blog: (link will follow later) for how you add a detail component to a profile to see the all the the lines of a typical aluminium mullion

Revit curtain wall magic

In order to write down as much as I know about curtain walls I have separated  the elements into different blogs. There is a link at the bottom to the next one.

Always when I give Revit trainings I spend a lot of time explain the power of curtain walls. The standard Revit books I have seen are always a bit thin on the subject. In order for students and other people who are interested I'll write out what I tell. This way they can read about it.

Curtain wall basics
First you need to know that a typical curtain wall exist out of the following elements

  1. The curtain wall
  2. Curtain wall grids
  3. Curtain wall panels
  4. Curtain wall mullions

type properties of a curtain wall

  1. Wall function - very usefull for filtering your views. You won't right away see untill you need a way to show the difference between interior or exterior walls in a view. (or one of the other functions)
  2. Automatically embed - You need this if you want to use a CW as window or a door. This will cut a hole in the wall you place it in.
  3. Curtain Panel - here you set what kind of filling you want in between the mullions. Basically you have three options. See section panels below.
  4. Join condition - here you set which mullion has the right of way. (which one is allowed to continue and which one has to stop. (see mullion connections below.
  5. Structural material -  as soon as I figure out how you ungrey this parameter I'll let you know. (Althought I very much doubt you want to use it)
  6. Vertical grid pattern -  here you can set whether you want a pattern and if you do how it should be modelled. Be aware you need a gridline to place a mullion. 
  7. Spacing - In the image the spacing has been set to 3000mm so the vertical gridlines will be placed 3000mm apart
  8. Adjust for mullion size - see image. Basically when you turn this off the bottom and top panels are smaller than the other panels.
  9. Fixed number - when you set this parameter to fixed number then the spacing parameter gets grey out and that parameter becomes an instance parameter. This enables you to create the same curtain wall type but have a different amount of horizontal grid lines per wall.
  10. Spacing - is greyed out and controlled by an instance property
  11. Adjust for mullion size - see image. Basically when you turn this off the bottom panels at the vertical borders are smaller than the other. 
  12. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
  13. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
  14. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
  15. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
  16. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
  17. In the first image there is an arrow pointing to where this mullion is
Instance properties of a curtain wall
  1. Number - Only available if you have set layout to fixed number, this sets the number of gridlines in the vertical or horizontal direction
  2. Justification - With this you control where you want the fitting piece placed
  3. Angle - With this you can rotate the gridlines
  4. Offset - With this you can offset the entire pattern by a value. You can increase or decrease the size of a fitting piece.
Next blog is Mullions

Disclaimer information

Monday, 17 September 2012

Project North Thrue North with shared coordinates

Here we go again... I have written about this subject in Revit before. I have written that I am quiet fed up with how Revit handles it and so I have said True North it is. No more rotating...

Ofcourse it's not all black and white. Recently during a Revit Structure training the subject got to the table again. Ofcourse this question came after I had setup the project base point. Not surprisingly things didn't go as planned.

In order to try and explaining it I went on to show the odd behaviour of rotating either project north or true north. It's my conclusion that you don't want to use these tools after you have setup the project base point. So far I have only been able to get it wright by using the wrong setting... True north is project north and vice versa. That's no way of working so let's try to get it right.

After a bit of testing it seems that if you do the project north before you link the first dwg things go right.
Original post:
In red are the steps extra for Project north True North

Steps: Autocad
  1. open the dwg from the site
  2. choose a easily recognizable point as a project basepoint
  3. use the ID command in autocad to find it's xyz values
  4. create a symbol, I prefere a circle with a cross, and place that ontop of the choosen point
  5. move the symbol to the nearest round value (important because of rounding in Revit)
  6. This location is going to be the project base point
  7. copy the ID value of this point and paste it into notepath
(24 July 2014 because of new insights I suggest you don't use Project North and True North at all!) USE a scopebox if you want to draw orthogonal!)

Steps: Autocad for getting true north setup properly
  1. Take or draw a line in Autocad that you want to be horizontal in Revit
  2. Dimension the angle of this line with a true horizontal line in Autocad
  3. Rotate the line, that is going to be horizontal in revit, to such an angle that it is rounded at the third digit behind the comma. (normally this should be fine enough)
Explanation: you migh have a line that is at an angle of 20.52045493°. This number will give trouble in Revit. You can't use that number in Revit. It will round it down for you. I like to have controle over this therefore I do the rounding. I would rotate this line in Autocad to be at 20.520°. 
If that is not precise enough round it maximally at the 6th digit: 20.520455°. 

To give you an idea of the precision you are dealing with. If you draw a two lines that are both 1000 meters long and you rotate one of them to 20.520 and the other to 20.52045493° the ends of those lines are 7.9mm apart. If you would use 20.520455 the the ends would be 0.00000122mm apart. (For the metrically challenged people, an inch is 25.4 mm)

  1. Copy the rotation value of this line and paste it into notepath
  2. Save the drawing
Steps: notepath
  1. Be aware most coordinate system are in meters and Revit models tend to  be build in mm.
  2. This means you need to move the comma 3 spots to the right
Steps: Revit
  1. Open your level that has a Z value of zero
  2. Goto visibility and graphics
  3. Goto the site category, expand and turn on survey point and basepoint
  4. Select the project base point (the circle)
  5. Copy the X value from notepath into the E/W
  6. Copy the Y value from notepath into the N/S
  7. Copy the rotation value to the: 'angle to true north' value
Do not paste these values into your instance property window, you will get an error. If you paste them into the on screen thing it will accept those values.

Be aware you survey point will move away from your project base point. The project base point is still located on the Revit origin!

If you take a look at your survey point you should see that it's values are all zero. Your autocad origin (0,0) will be lined up with your Revit survey point.

Steps: Revit
  1. Goto Insert --> link CAD
  2. Choose the dwg with the site information
  3. Set Import units to the meters (assuming it has been drawn in meters)
  4. Set positioning to by shared coordinates
  5. press okay and you will get the next message
This is actually good because this should import the dwg origin on top of your survey point. This should also have the effect that the project base point marker you created in Autocad lands ontop of your project base point set in Revit.

Steps: Revit
  1. Pin the dwg. (it seems to behave better when re opening the project.)
  2. Goto visibility and graphics and turn of the survey point this will enable you to use zoom extends again
  3. draw two model lines in this view on top of Autocad lines
  4. Save the revit file and make an export the nwc
  5. Make sure that within the Navisworks export settings you set export to shared coordinates (do not use project origin)
  6. Make sure that within the Navisworks export settings you set the units to feet... (yes really!!!)
Steps: Navisworks
  1. Attach the dwg (the one you linked earlier into Revit)
  2. Attach the nwc from Revit
  3. take a look at the lines you drew in Revit and whether they line up with the Autocad lines. If they do you are good to go!
  4. if you select the revit nwc file and right click it and go to units and transform you should get a dialog box with coordinates that are the same as the coordinates of the project base point in Navisworks. (nice to check) 
  5. If they don't check the steps and all the file and unit settings and adjust them accordingly where needed. If you still have problems contact me.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Navisworks planning from Revit

Recently I saw an Autodesk video where people setup section boxes in different views so they could split up their model and this would help them in navisworks for planning. I got curious and gave it a try. I was wondering what would happen with the elements that are cut by the section box. I was hoping that those  elements  would not be exported. If they are exported do you get the whole ore the cut up  elements?

It turns out you get the cut up  elements . Since you can't line up section boxes or snap them to whatever, I can't say I am to happy about that approach.

Since I happen to have the same file they are using in the movie I thought let's have a go at it.

Some people will say use the worksets or use phases. Turn the one on you want and export the view. That could work but for this example I am assuming that the worksets setup or phasing for this project doesn't suite the needs.

I am going to add a project parameter, as an instance, to all relevant objects.
This instance parameter will contain information about to which part of the building it belongs.

First this is the building in masses with some names.
Next you add the project parameter
To make things a bit easier I suggest you create filters first. These filters are going to help you turn building parts on or of.

This is how I have setup the filter for this model.
Make sure you create one good filter and duplicate that one. This filter will look for elements that have 'Base' filled in their 'buildingpart' parameter. The nice thing is that you can turn off all the elements that match the filter with one tick.
I have added overrides to the filter which should make things more visible
Next comes the tricky part and that will take a while to get right. You have to select all the objects and and fill in the parameter. Of course you can do multiple objects at the same time. If there is an analytical model in your file make sure to turn them of first.

If you first add the filters to the view and next you add the parameter values you will see much more clearly what you are doing.

Next let's go to navisworks
Open the selection tree and go to the property tab. Notice that you see the project parameter you have added. To create a flexible planning it's handy to first create searchsets. Unfortunately you can not use the searches in the property tab. You have to select them and next save them in the sets window.

Next you can create a automated planning. See arrow 4.

This methode is not a fast as a using a section box but in the long run this will help you better. 

Other Navisworks blogpost from me

Disclaimer information

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Revit parts and IFC

How to get Revit parts to IFC

It's important when you export a Revit model to IFC that the following conditions are met:
  • Export with “Current View Only” option
  • Parts must be visible in the view
  • If the "Split Walls and Columns By Level" option is chosen, then wall parts will be assigned to the appropriate level as determined by their spatial position

Be aware:
Parts import / export done for all categories except Roofs
Parts import from IFC : only geometry is imported not the parts information
I have opened a revit file exported to IFC in Navisworks. You see a part from a wall selected and on the right you see the properties. In the IFC material tab you will see the Revit material back asign to the compound wall in Revit. As stated only the geometry is exported to IFC but the wall openings are missing.

If your interested I can share the revit and IFC model with you.


Revit and IFC

A common misconception is that Autodesk wants to undermine IFC. There is a lot of mud throwing between ADSK users and IFC zealots. Looking at the improvements ADSK is making to better support open standards like IFC. I would like to add my bit to the big discussion. (everything written in blue is mine the rest is provided by Autodesk)

This information comes from Autodesk. 

Autodesk Revit 2013 is:
  • IFC v2x3 certification ( re-certified)
  • IFC export Add-In supporting 2x4 standard
  • Increased IFC open source customization : creation of own features possible
  • Local IFC requirements differs
  • Autodesk committed for IFC : full team works on this
  • New element types can now be exported
  • Support for workflows
  • Export as solids : more possibilities
More elements supported for export 

.NET Open Source code released for Quasar 
2D Plan view export no longer offset from 3D Geometry 
Always export True North to IFC 
Beam Length fixed for certain beams on export 
Beams never extruded upwards 
Better Geometry splitting for elements allows for fewer surface models 
Coordination View 2.0 (CV2) improvements 
IFC export has added a number of improvements for Coordination View 2.0. 
"Current View Only" export now works in any model view 
"Current View Only" mode has been fixed and now has extra functionality. 
Doors with nested openings export opening 
Export Assemblies 
Export PSet_BuildingCommon 
Export Filled Regions 
Export Parts 
Export Uniformat information as IfcClassification and fcClassificationReference 
GSA export support 
IFCExportAs shared parameter accepts "IfcWallStandardCase" as valid value 
Internal Revit property set names no longer have "PSet_Revit_" prefix on export 
Light Source no longer exported for lighting fixtures 
MEP Plumbing Fixtures exported as IfcFlowTerminal 
Multi-story stairs have correct properties 
Postal Address is parsed in the Location 
Slab base quantities are only exported for COBIE or QTO 
Split by level option exports geometry below the lowest level 
Unit specification for Mass corrected 

Fix normal of slightly non-planar faces 
Prevent creation of illegal faces in imported geometry 
Space geometry not imported as in-place family solid 
Text Font not always set correctly 

But more important is that Autodesk made an api for ifc so everyone could create their own importer / exporter if needed.

next to that:
BuildingSMART International Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) version 2x3 is now certified for Revit. Revit supports global industry standards including GSA specific classifications and property sets for building management and energy analysis. Open source Revit IFC exporter enables you to submit updates and at any time the exporter can be updated to support emerging standards.  

The BIM Open Source Project now controls the code for the Revit STL and IFC Exporter. You can propose changes to the IFC exporter, fix bugs, or enhance the code base to support regional requirements, allowing you to collaborate more effectively with third-party applications to support design workflows.

Bottom Line:  Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for Revit provides greater support for industry and government standards.

Conclusion we are not the enemy :)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012



©  7/15/11 Daniel Gijsbers. De standpunten en meningen op deze site, zijn de 
persoonlijke mening van Daniel Gijsbers en staan los van eventuele officiële standpunten van Detron information Technology. Detron information Technology is niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van uitlatingen en reacties van derden op de hier gepubliceerde stukken. 

Voor Nederlandstalige lezers gelden ook de volgende engelse teksten.



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