Friday, 23 May 2014


Recently I had to export a Navisworks model to 3D studio max for rendering. We were exporting it to an fbx which then became incredibly big. First we tried to link the file but soon we had to import it. This became a lot of fun... After a night of importing the model, I found the computer and it had finished it. I took a look at the taskmanager from Windows... I had managed to use all the available ram :)
I saved the file and it became a 2.1 gb max file. (yes gigabyte)
Experimenting earlier with imported fbx files in max learned that fbx files tend to create a lot of helpers. (see image)

After deleting all these helpers the file was only 141 mb big. I have yet to find out what these helpers are for but they are not helping me.

Creating the fbx from Navisworks is also a time consuming chore. I tried to make it less heavy by turning of the lines.
A nice colleague showed me this program called deep exploration that is excellent at converting all kind of 3D formats to anything else. We had a try with creating a 3d dwf file from Navisworks and convert that to a 3ds file (if you have max installed it will let you convert to max as well.) This does work faster but it seem to have trouble with really big dwf files. 

In max I played a little bit with the settings of importing an fbx but it did not help me a whole lot. It would be nice if there were export settings in Navisworks for fbx that would let me exclude the helpers. If I find better ways I will update this post or if you have good suggestions please let me know!

Let's see what would happen if I try to import the fbx file into Autocad. It's still busy but I got this screen some time during the import.
I like the idea that every object would get it's own material.... :)
I don't think I will make use of this data route.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Creating nwc files and viewtemplates

This week I ran into a problem with creating nwc files from within Revit with the 2014 exporter. So far the 2015 exporter doesn't seem to be bothered. A little bit of googling learned that I wasn't the first to run into this.

It turns out that viewtemplates can stop you from creating nwc files. After a little bit of testing we found out that if you do not include the following for the viewtemplate it will work:
  1. detail level
  2. parts visibility
  3. Model display

Sunday, 4 May 2014

IFC helping wall joins

A little while ago I wrote a tweet that I had some good use for using IFC in a Revit only environment. I promised to write a post about it so here it is.

We have the following model: An architectural file where all the walls are compound walls. The location line of the walls were set to core face exterior when they were drawn over the gridline.
Now we need to split up this model to an architectural file and a structural file because some other company is going to do the Structural walls. But we needed to have the split up model back in one file (in the beginning, later we don't). Their are multiple ways of doing this and I will not cover them all. This time we are just going to compare 3 variants and the effects they have.

The first one I will just save the architectural file with a different name. Both parties will now have a file to alter to their wishes.

  • The structural file will most likely strip the non structural layers of the walls and rename the wall type. Perhaps he will replace the doors and windows with an opening family but that's a tedious task.
  • The architectural file will most like move the location line to finish face exterior and strip the structural layer.
  • Next they can both link in each others model

The disadvantage of this method is of course to keep the opening in the structural walls I either have to keep the doors and windows or replace them with opening families. We didn't really want to do that this time. We did the following:
  1. Create a 3D view in the structural file
  2. turn everything of except walls
  3. Export the current view only to IFC
  4. Import the file into a new Revit 2014 project
  5. Save as the new structural file
  6. Link this file into the architectural file
  7. Bind the link
Now I have structural wall in the architectural file that don't interfere with wall joins.
The disadvantage here is of course the moment you are going to change door or window positions. But for either of the set-ups you would need coordination anyway.

If you add Revit 2015 into the mix you could also link the ifc file. I got some slightly other results that actually might have a nice bonus.
It's the same IFC file but linked. Notice how linking the IFC file shows now these generic models togther with the openings. I have to check were these generic models are coming from. It might be the family or it might be the ifc conversion. It might become in handy in Navisworks. 

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