Thursday, 26 July 2012

reference planes visibility

Someone asked me the other day how can I make a reference plane visible in a level if the level is created afterwards and above the extends of the reference plane.

Having never had this problem before I thought it would work the same as a gridline. No, not entirely

If you select the reference plane and you propagate the extends it does not see the new level. See image
Level 3 was created after the reference plane. By default you don't get to see the reference plane in the new level.

I remembered suddenly that scope boxes have the ability to change the extends of gridlines and reference planes.
  1. Create a scopebox in a level
  2. Select a reference plane
  3. Go to the instance properties and set to the scopebox
  4. Propagating the extends of the reference planes will now show the 'new levels'
  5. Create a section over the scopebox if you want to change the height of the scopebox later
  6. With the scope box you can control also later if you want to see a the reference plane on a level
  7. You can have multiple scope boxes
Visibility of gridlines and reference planes is easier to control with the use of a scopebox.

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Friday, 20 July 2012

Mass trick repeating element

If you create a mass and you would like an adaptive component family to repeat over it's edges you might end up with some unwanted results. 

Adaptive component family with 4 points and a little trick to keep the slanted ones in place
 starting situation: a mass which adges were divided by selecting grid lines to do the division
 first try: Place the frame, I tend no to use the first point in a division. I have some selection issues sometimes. Press the repeat button. (it's the one that looks like array with a red small P. Notice the cute little knot in the image below? It seems as I have experienced in other models and families that any line has a direction which so far I have not been able to revert. 
adjustment to make it work: Add a second one next to the first. Select them both and press the repeat button again.
 desired outcome
Next up, create part and assemblies

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Monday, 16 July 2012

Inventor to Navisworks

Last week I gave a course in Navisworks to someone who works in Inventor on a daily basis. He models bridges in Inventor. He told me he was most likely going to work together on projects with Civil 3D and Revit files. I asked him how he was going to get his bridge on the right coordinates. After a few more question I learned that Inventor does share some of Revit's problems with working far from it's own origin. Inventor does not have a project base point and survey point you can set up like Revit can. This pretty much means that an inventor file will never end up on the right coordinates unless you setup a point together.

Having quiet some experience with trying to get revit files on the right coordinates I thought let's try this methode for inventor, except the revit bit.

Goal: Inventor file to the right coordinate in Navisworks

Steps: Autocad
open the dwg from the site
  1. choose a easily recognizable point as a project basepoint
  2. use the ID command in autocad to find it's xyz values
  3. create a symbol, I prefere a circle with a cross, and place that ontop of the choosen point. (I made myself a dynamic block with fields that read the xyz value)
  4. move the symbol to the nearest round value. Technically you could go to 3 digits behind the comma, but I suggest you don't. (here is a little difference between Revit and Inventor workflow.
  5. Measure the rotation from the positive x axis to the orientation of how the inventor file needs to be rotated. Do not us more than 3 digits behind the comma and round the number properly. Record this rotation!
  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: Inventor
The inventor origin is going to be on top of the project base point you have setup up above. (finding the inventor origin is something you have to do yourself, maybe you do it in Inventor yourself or try importing a dwg with a symbol at the Autocad 0.0)
  1. Create your Inventor model relatively to Inventor origin
Steps: Navisworks
  1. Append the aim file to the Navisworks model
  2. Select the aim file in the selection tree
  3. Right mouse button and go to units and transform
  4. Fill in the coordinates 

Notice: fill in these values in meters! In red I have put which field is which. At arrow 3 you can add the proper rotation of the file. Arrow 2 indicates which axis will be used to rotate the model around. Be aware 1 means the axis is used. If you would add another 1 in the x box than the model will be rotated around both axis at the same time.

The Inventor model should be at the right position!

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Friday, 6 July 2012

Mass Modelling

A little while ago I was trying to recreate a simplified model of a project from long ago. It has been build differently as it has been designed then but for my experiment I used the old idea. I build a massmodel to get control over the design and see what I can flex and how it reacts.

When building that model I ran into all kind of bumps when it comes down to creating adaptive components. This blog is about trying to make sense of what happens. I often had trouble with the orientation of families placed upon a mass divided surface.

I promised myself I would fine a way to sort of find out what does what when and where.

To start of with I have created four masses. I will select the top surfaces, divide those and place an adaptive component family on the nodes of the divided. 
The goal is to get a grip on how a family is placed upon a divided surface. In a previous model it often confused me as of how things where placed. Important for this test is the UCS every surface has. I have created a adaptive component family. 
First to understand the adaptive component family template I have imported a small Autocad drawing origin to origin.
This tells me that the intersection of the two reference planes is at 0,0. It's not going to matter much but it's nice to know. Also the arrows indicate the positive x axis (red) and positive y axis (green) I have added an adaptive point and I create a simple box. See image
I have created this box as follows: Along the pos. X axis the box is 600mm long, along the pos. Y axis the box is 300mm, along the pos. Z axis the box is 900mm. Notice the adaptive point and it's position. Next I have placed the family on top of the nodes of the surface. 
I have placed them without rotating. The interesting part here is that the family seems to get placed differently on surfaces when you look at the orientation of the family and the orientation of the surface local coordinate system.
Look at the first image of the blog and notice that the family seems orientated differently than expected.

Next I will try what effect changing the properties of the adaptive point in the family will do.
these ones:
Some will be obvious but some have suprised me before. Some of the settings might not have any effect because of the way I have drawn the box.
Reading up on adaptive points I could not always understand the examples

For the family and the masses I have created, only the setting: ortho on placement and vertical in family have an effect. Which means I have to devise other families to get the other to work. The good thing is that both settings seem to respect the project coordinate system of the revit project file.
This means that with these adaptive point settings you have influence on how the family is oriented in the project regardless of the orientation of the divided surface of the mass. The next image demonstrates that. Take a good look at the view cube! The family xyz axis are oriented to the project  project coordinate system.
In the next post I am going to explore some more into the adaptive components. I have some stuf to sort out with an adaptive beam.

At some point I will also post the model I was trying to build in the first place

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