Friday 25 March 2011

Schedule those Levels - A Method (with a little help from our friends)

This post outlines a method for scheduling levels using the excellent 'Coordinate Scheduling Tool' from the guys over at Excitech.

This method provides a pretty robust workaround to the absence of the ability to directly schedule the levels themselves

Firstly, download and install the utility from here

With reference to the video, the main points are as follows:

  • Create a new Generic Model Family. The family will essentially be empty, but for reference, add some symbolic detail. This can be whatever floats your boat, but in this case I've added a circle.
  • Under the 'Type Comments' parameter formula box, add the word 'Level'. This will allow us to isolate the family once its loaded into the project. 
  • Under the family category parameters, make sure 'Always Vertical' and 'Work Plane Based' are checked
  • Load the family into the project. Under 'Addin' tab, on the 'Excitech Tools' panel, select 'Create Parameters'. Check 'Generic Models' and apply.
  • Create a new design option set called 'Level Marks'. Rename the primary option to 'Blank' and create a second option called 'Level Marks'
  • In a plan view, set the design options to 'Level Marks' and insert the Generic Model family. In this case, at a known grid point. Ensure 'Place on Work Plane' is selected
  • Copy the symbol to the clipboard and select 'Paste', 'Paste to Selected Levels'. Highlight and pick the remaining levels
  • Set the design option back to 'Main Model'. The symbols will now disappear. This provides some control by locking away the symbols, so they cannot easily be deleted
  • Create a new multi-category schedule called 'Level List'
  • Add the parameters 'Family', 'Type Comments', 'Level' and 'ExcitechZ'
  • Add a new calculated value 'Level (m)'. This is to convert the 'ExcitechZ' parameter from millimetres to metres, so divide it by 1000 in the formula
  • Under the 'Filter' tab, set to 'Type Comments' equals Level
  • Under the 'Sorting/Grouping' tab, set to 'Level' and check ascending (or descending if that's your preference). Uncheck 'Itemize every instance' (this will mean only one entry will show, even if the level contains more than one instance of the symbol)
  • Under the 'Formatting' tab, set to 'Family','Type Comments' and 'ExcitechZ to hidden. For the 'Level (m)' parameter, amend the field format to 3 decimal places. Ensure suppress trailing zeros is unchecked. Apply and hit ok
  • In the schedule parameters, under visibility/graphics, set the design option to 'Level Marks'
  • Under 'Addin' tab, on the 'Excitech Tools' panel, select 'User Options'. Check 'Generic Models'. Select the 'Coordinate Schedule' button. The level values will now populate the schedule

Please note the tool will need to be re-run if the levels change.  When you add a level, re-enter the design option, copy an existing symbol and paste to the new level. 

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Unlock Legend Component Views

When it comes to Legend Components, some can be placed showing any view of the object, whilst some can only be placed 'Floor Plan', 'Elevation Front' and 'Elevation Back'.

For Generic Model Families and their derivative categories, this is dependent on whether the family is work plane-based or not. Work-plane based families will only show the limited range of views (as will only host-based families). 

The video below outlines a method of leveraging out these extra views for work plane-based families. Please note this will not work for host-based families, such as wall, floor or face-based. Essentially, the steps are as follows

  • Place the component into the 3D model onto its host face
  • Right click the component and 'Edit Family'
  • In the Family Category Parameters, uncheck the 'Work Plane-Based' box 
  • Reload into the project
  • Place the Legend Components into the Legend with the required extra views
  • Re-edit the family, Re-check the 'Work Plane-Based' box and re-load

The Revit Option bar dropdown box will read the incorrect view, but the properties for the Legend Component will show the extra view as correct. Revit now retains these views

Please feel free to feedback if any issues arise, as this is a recent discovery. As far as I can tell, things are sound in the method, but you never know.