Monday 23 January 2012

Add Spot Levels to a Topography Section - A Workaround

A slight annoyance in Revit is that you can't add a spot level to a topography in a section view. The following video shows a workaround for this. Essentially, you isolate the topography in the view and export to a dwg file. In Autocad, delete everything except the hatch pattern. This is then re-linked ('Current View Only' & 'Auto Origin to Origin') back into Revit as a 'background'. Revit will now allow you to place spot levels onto the hatch pattern. If the topography changes, you'll need to repeat the process

Get a Little Extra from a Graphical Column Schedule

The following video demonstrates a method for specifying connection types using labels in a Graphical Column Schedule. This is achieved by nesting a Generic Annotation family inside a Connection Symbol family. The Connection Types are then set up in the project under 'Structural Settings'. This is particularly useful if you need to show this information without modelling every single connection, for instance at a preliminary design stage

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Trace a Spline in a Linked Dwg File and Some Recommended Reading

The scenario. You get a dwg file for overlay. The architect has drawn a beautiful sweeping curved  edge to their building, You link the dwg file into your model and see its a Spline.

Which presents two problems:
  • You can't trace over it in Revit
  • You can't set it out. And if you can't draw it, they can't build it

Fortunately, you can use the 'Flatten' command in Autocad to turn it to a polyline of arcs. By then exploding the polyline, you are left with a series of arcs that you can pick in Revit and also set out. The following short video demonstrates this

On another note and as a supplement to this, I recently came across
'The CAD Setter Out' blog by Paul Munford. For people who regularly have to clean up third party CAD files for use in Revit (or generally), this is comprehensive and highly useful resource. Its written generally from the CNC/Fabrication perspective, but is very pertinent reading to the designer. I'd recommend the following posts as a starter

From CAD to CAM, Cleaning up 2D DWG files for CNC.

How to optimize your AutoCAD DWG drawing files

Why Setter Outs aren’t (and don’t want to be) Designers.