Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Navisworks 2013 and revit files

In Navisworks 2013 you can now append rvt files straightaway. Your rvt files still get converted to a nwc file. Bear in mind the following if the rvt file is of a lower version than 2013 the file get's updated to 2013 first and next it's being converted to a nwc file

Important: the original rvt file is not upgraded!!! Don't worry! I am merely writing this to let you know that the conversion process will take a long time if you are appending big rvt files. You might want to consider creating the nwc file  in revit if you are using a older version than 2013 release.

Also you want to create a 3D view in revit called Naviswork. If you append rvt files you can set the rvt file reader in Navisworks to search for this view and only export those elements that are visible in this view.

Notice that my export settings are set to export in feet. Of course I work in the  metrics system but Revit itself runs on an imperial engine... If you set it to millimeter or meter your properties / quantities will be wrong.

Perhaps sometime we should let Autodesk know that the majority of the revit users work with the metric system and they do not want their units converted to imperial.

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Saturday, 14 April 2012


Last week I was preparing a workshop for navisworks and I wanted to show certain things from the timeliner. I wanted to build up my model as planned. This is of course no problem but I wanted to do this with the use of searchsets. Creating searchsets can be quiet a repetitive tedious task. suddenly it struck me that if I export the first good searchset to xml I might be able to easily edit the xml file with an xml editor. I tried a few and found that so far I think I like notepath++ the best.

In the picture you see a searchset used to select all the outer parts of the first level. I need more searchsets to link it with planning. I need 3 per level for the facade. Its a 17 story building. It will take a while to create all the needed ones

I exported the three searchsets and open the xml file into notepath++ 
You are not seeing all off the searchsets I collapsed two for the screenshot. Take a look at the xml code. I don't pretend to know all the the code that is in there but you do recognize the stuff you entered in Navisworks. You can copy and paste the searchsets and edit them manually. If you want to copy a searchset you have to copy form <selectionset.....> to </selectionset.....> be aware not to take the one that says <selectionsets> all the sets you copy paste have to be in between the <selectionsets> and </selectionsets>

now I could copy paste this one 17 times. The most important part for me is to change the name and the level. Do a find and replace on the name and the level.

One thing there is a guid in every searchset first I changed it. Later I didn't bother and it still seemed to work fine. I still think it would be a good idea to change it anyways. You only need to change one letter or number. Just increment them by one number or letter.

Save the file and reimport it into a Navisworks. you should have a whole bunch of worksets

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Friday, 6 April 2012

Revit shared coordinates

Workflow for getting Autocad based product drawings and Revit models at the same coordinates in Navisworks. 

If you want to use Project North and True North you better read a later post of me:http://danielgijsbers.blogspot.nl/2012/09/project-north-thrue-north-with-shared.html

Recently I ran into a project where 3 teams are working in Revit: RST, RAC and MEP. You would think that they should not have any problem with getting the models lined up in Navisworks.

We wanted to do clash detection in Navisworks so we exported the models to nwc. Somehow somewhere something must have gone wrong. In Revit it looked fine but not in Navisworks.

(Navisworks 2013 will be able to read rvt files and it's linked files!!!) 

I have already written tips for exchanging information between Revit and Civil 3D on my civil2revit.blogspot.com I'll add a workflow I like to use that so far seems to give the best results and gives you the most control!

We have a dwg of a site that has been drawn accordingly to a coordinate system. Since I am dutch we use the rd-system. Revit has a 30 km boundary around it's origin where you have to put your model. This means you can't model anything in Revit if it's located anywhere in The Netherlands. Basically what you will be doing is moving the dwg with the location under the revit origin. 

From experience I know that Revit 2012 has some rounding issues which I haven't been able to pinpoint yet. For safety reasons I have a trick to bypass that issue.

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
  8. 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
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. Goto visibility and graphics and turn of the survey point this will enable you to use zoom extends again
  2. draw two model lines in this view on top of Autocad lines
  3. Save the revit file and make an export the nwc
  4. 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.

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