Monday, 25 March 2013

Revit files and Revit LT

Lately I get more question about Revit files opening in Revit LT. According to the documentation it should not be a problem opening Revit files in Revit LT.

A little while ago I did receive a complaint about a Revit file not being able to open in Revit LT. I actually thought it would be a version problem. Maybe he tried to open an revit 2013 file in 2012. That doesn't work of course. He wasn't allowed to send the file so I do not know what really was wrong with the file.

I also considered maybe he got a central file from a 2013 project and he tries to open that in Revit LT and ofcourse Revit LT does not support worksharing. But to my surprise if you try to open a revit workshared file (central file) with LT it right away makes a copy of the file with LT added to it's name.

But what is even more surprising it leaves the central file intact. With that I mean I saved the central file in Revit LT and next I open the same file in it's bigger brother. Big Revit says right away: Would you like to create a new local? In other words, you are trying to open a central file. Revit LT doesn't throw away the worksets!

When you have opened the file take a look at the worksharing display
Revit LT has created it's own workset... called Revit LT user

Revit LT does another other interesting thing when you open a central file
It creates a backup folder with slog files. These slog files you can open with notepath. 
slog entry:
 journal="C:\Users\DGi\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit LT 2013\Journals\journal.0017.txt"
 host= "PS-14X"
 server= "PS-14X"
 central="C:\Revit Projects\Groninger_Daniel_LT.rvt"
 local="C:\Revit Projects\Groninger_Daniel_LT.rvt"

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:26.552 >Open

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:26.562 >Open:Local  "C:\Revit Projects\Groninger_Daniel_LT.rvt"

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:26.678 .Open:Local:LFV  central=105 local=1

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:26.692 .Open:Local:Progress  lo=0 hi=40144387 "progress-4abcdac8.tmp"

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:28.430

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:28.440

$0250a23d 2013-03-25 20:11:28.450

$b0ce61fa 2013-03-25 20:11:28.563 >Session  $b0ce61fa

This also makes me wonder what happens if I open a local file from a workshared project, change something and save it, reopen it it's bigger brother and try to sync the changes.
  • It right away creates a new file with LT appended to it
  • IT also turns this local file into a central file.... Oops
In other words: You are working in the central file! The BIM manager is going to make a voodoo doll and hurt you :)

I suggest that companies who work in a workshared environment and they need to cooperate with another company who works in Revit LT that they do the following:
  • You give the other company a detached file from your central and tell them to link this file into a new project. In that project file they do their thing. (Do not just give them your local file, it will slow their project down)
  • Detach and discard worksets

  • The Revit LT company can give you their file and you can link it in your workshared project. (on it's own workset)

This suggestion may differ depending on what they need to do. Just bare in mind that companies mixing Revit and Revit LT takes carefull planning and communication. IT's not undo able just be aware of the limitations. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Recently I have been looking into spaceframes again. Some very good Revit people have gone over that before. I always like reading this blog  from Zach Kron and this blog from David Light

Reading up on that I managed to produce (copy) this. :) Sometimes understandiung a technology is best achieved by first copiën other peoples work. 

Build from only this and a mass

To actually getting this to work I very much needed to know one tiny thing. That is how to make a seamless panel.

  • start a new family from a Metric Generic Model Adaptive template
  • create 4 reference points and make them adaptive
  • draw 4 reference points on top of the earlier created reference points
  • but set the ref plane first for each point you create. see image
When you place the point be sure to see the point snap lighting up. I also find it handy if revit has been set to draw on a workplane.
  • select all points and filter the reference points from the selection
  • go to the instance properties and add a parameter for the offset
  • choose your parameter setup
  • The points are now constraint!

  • set the ref plane to one of the 4 points (a horizontal one)
  • draw a reference line on top of the reference points with 3d snap on
  • it should look like this
  • Set the ref planes to draw two lines at the bottom
  • Move a adaptive point to see if the other geometry follows! (flexing)
  • draw the other reference lines
  • place a reference point on top of the reference lines
  • Here it matters how you place it. If you create the point with the command draw on a face you get a different point then when you create the point with draw on a workplane. See images and check the instance properties. Also notice the size differences of the two points!
  • I want the one where the reference point has a instance property that let me control the position along the reference line. (the little point)
  • Next you draw a reference line on those two points. The reference line you draw on a workplane with 3D snap turned on. (or at least I had to, to get the thing to work) I test the construction by moveing around points
  • Next is the point in the middle. (I want a small one)
  • Draw a reference line for the cross. (draw on face)

  • To add geometry to the frame I like to draw reference points. I need a lot of them. I use those points because they give me nice perpendicular workplanes on the reference lines I place them on.
  • draw geometry on the planes. Draw them big and set the dimensions to control the size. (circles are easier to start with)

  • Parametrize the dimensions
  • The bottom one was a bit of a pain. Adding circles on a ref plane at the end of the reference line did
  • eventual this worked, at first...

  • After a bit of trial and error I got the lower tube working this way
  • The trick is in getting the right reference plan, on both sides.
  • Be sure to flex the radius the tubes. Several times I didn't get the result I wanted. Also change the position of the adaptive points.
  • Load this family in to a conceptual mass

  • Divide a surface
  • Click on the little arrow next to the name Surface representation
  • Turn on nodes!

  • Place the family you made, be sure to place the points in the order they are numbered. 
  • I tend to not to place the family at the side of the surface. The edge points tend to make a mess of it

  • repeat the element

  • Wait a long time

  • Deform the mass. flex the family and have lot's of fun and patience :)

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