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August 2nd, 2012 Top of footing elevations are commonly found on a structural foundation plan, and many structural engineers like to show the top of footing elevations within their footing tag. Footing tags that are a home to many pieces of information offer a concise way to provide a range of information in one location. The only downside to this approach is that a straightforward method to include the top of footing elevation in a foundation tag does not currently exist out of the box. This article outlines a method to provide a top of footing elevation in a foundation tag.
Out of the box, there are two options for showing footing elevations. The first option is to simply use the elevation at the bottom of the footing. This instance parameter is available in all out-of-the-box footings, and a tag referencing this parameter is also available. The argument in favor of this approach is that everything is available out of the box, and little to no effort is required to use this tag. The negative aspect of this option is that a structural engineer would have to change the tried-and-true way he has shown footing elevations on his drawings, as well as slightly altering the information provided on the plan—showing bottom, instead of top, of footing elevations. This option is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Out-of-the-box foundation tag with elevation at the bottom. The second out-of-the-box option is to use a spot elevation to show the top of footing elevation. This information may be shown separately from that shown in the footing tag; however, in an effort to keep consistent the look of their drawings both pre- and post-Revit use, structural engineers have tended toward placing the spot elevation next to or below the footing tag. If a company uses a footing tag that has lines or boxes around each piece of information, there is a blank location on top of which the spot elevation is placed. A positive for this approach is that drawings can continue to look the way they always have, and all of the same information continues to be available in the same location. The negative is that the footing tag is now two pieces and as a result, moving the tags around on the plan can leave orphaned spot elevations. Chasing these around can be a bother and misplaced elevations are easily overlooked, so plans may eventually get to the contractor with stray
footing elevations. One might argue that this is not a major concern since design intent is not compromised; however, why not avoid the forthcoming request for information (RFI) to clarify footing elevations?
A Different Approach
Many seasoned Revit users, this author included, would argue to first utilize out-of-the-box options before creating something custom. Even if the out-of-the-box option forces a change in how drawings look or how they are presented, if the information is greatly the same, or at least conveys the same design intent, why spend the added time to go about it differently? Function over fashion, in a manner of speaking. With that said, the following outlines a custom workaround that will allow top of footing elevations to be included in a footing tag.
Step One: Create a Shared Parameter
The first step is to create a shared parameter for the top of footing elevation that will appear in the foundation tag. This should be a length parameter. This parameter then should be added as a project parameter and applied to structural foundations. There are two reasons to use a project parameter here: first, using a project parameter will avoid the need to edit all of the structural foundation families (and re-editing them if updates occur) and second, elevations of elements are not available until they are inserted into a project, so there is little benefit to putting an elevation parameter into a family.
Step Two: Create a Foundation Tag
The next step is to create a new foundation tag, or modify an existing one, that references the new top of footing elevation parameter. Ultimately, the elevation parameter will have to be input manually, so once the new tag is created and loaded into a project (or into a project template), one could choose to go no further in this process. In fact, many structural engineers are probably already using a method similar to this, and simply typing in the top of footing elevation. The downside here is that there won’t be any intelligence incorporated into the elevation, so all elevations will have to be altered as elements move up or down, and all elevations will have to be checked manually to ensure their accuracy. The remaining steps will improve upon this process such that the elevations are more easily managed.
Step Three: One More Shared Parameter
In order to avoid manually entering and managing them, the top of footing elevations will be calculated using the bottom elevation and the foundation thickness. This calculation will be carried out in a schedule. Unfortunately, the thickness parameter in the out-of-the-box isolated footings is not a shared parameter, so it cannot be scheduled (wall footings and foundation slabs do not have this problem). As a result, one more shared parameter is required. Regrettably, this parameter has to be added to each family; simply replace the existing thickness parameter with the new thickness shared parameter. This will have to be completed in every isolated foundation family.
Step Four: Schedule the Foundations
Once the new shared parameters and the new foundation tag are created, create a schedule that includes all of the structural foundations. Depending on the complexity of the project, some filters may be necessary to show only the desired footings. Which fields to include is at the discretion of each user, but at the very least include footing type, elevation at the bottom, the new top of footing parameter, and all applicable thickness parameters (each of the foundation families have their own thickness parameter). For simplicity, this article will be concerned only with one of the foundation families, the isolated foundation; however, it is possible to include and manage all of the structural foundation families in one schedule.
Step Five: Add a Calculated Value
The next step is to add a calculated value that will report the actual top of footing elevations for each footing. Please note that the bottom elevation parameter is based on the project coordinates, so if elevation zero is not the same in
both the shared and project coordinates, then this will have to be incorporated in to the calculated value. In this example, this has been handled by adding a parameter called “Datum” and setting it to the proper elevation. Setting the datum value can be achieved quickly by altering the sorting/grouping settings to group all of the footings into one row and then changing the value all at once. To calculate the actual top of footing elevation, add the foundation thickness to the elevation at the bottom, and then add the datum value, if applicable. The calculated parameter is illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Calculated parameter with Datum. The convenient feature of calculated values in schedules, as opposed to formulae in families, is that there is an ellipsis (“…”) button that allows the user to browse to and select the other parameters, so typos are less likely. With adding the calculated value, the accurate top of footing elevation will appear in the schedule next to the top of footing shared parameter that needs to be manually input. A Revit user could then simply input the proper value to match the calculated value and the elevation would then appear in the foundation tag. A suggestion here would be to group the foundations by their calculated top of footing elevations, and then input all of the values, thus only requiring that a user type any common elevations once. If this technique is used, be sure to ungroup the foundations and show all instances once the elevations are entered. Ending the process at this step would provide a simplified way to manually enter all of the top of footing elevations, but it would not entirely solve the issue that the footings may move and the elevations will have to be managed. Yes, having the accurate elevation immediately available will aid in the management process, but it could be even easier.
Step Six: Add a Check Value
To streamline the management of the manually entered elevation values, one more step is necessary. Add another calculated value to the schedule that is called “check.” Make this value be the difference between the manually input value and the calculated elevation value. Finally, use conditional formatting to turn the input elevation cell red if the “check” cell is not equal to zero (see Figures 3 and 4).
because including this step causes any incorrect values (not the check value) in the schedule to turn red. if so desired. Either method will work. that tests if the calculated value equals the manually entered value. thus making it extremely easy to identify and to edit the incorrect values. instead of length. The conditional formatting can then be set to turn the inputted value red if the yes/no check parameter returns a “no. the conditional formatting can include multiple criteria. However. so simply add a test expression for each foundation family to the inputted top of footing elevation’s conditional formatting. Once the schedule is expanded for the other structural foundation values. Another approach is to make the “check” value a yes/no parameter. Step Seven: Use the Schedule . a calculated value as well as a separate check field will be required for each structural foundation family.” The yes/no return may be a more straightforward test output. but knowing the total difference between the calculated and the manually entered value may be useful.Figure 3: “Check” Figure 4: Conditional formatting The “Check” column can be a hidden field. but one or the other may be of more use to the user.
However. Brian Mackey. and to remember to occasionally check that values are not coming up red. Desirée (Dezi) Mackey. “make column A equal column B”) so there may be an even easier method out there. and would like the elevation value (almost) automatically populated with the correct value. Conclusion As with all “workaround” solutions. Furthermore. Utilizing the schedule in this manner takes the otherwise long process of checking the manually inputted elevations and turns it into a shorter and much simpler task. and the foundations with their tags. Figure 5 shows tiled windows of the completed schedule (the check column is shown here. with little management or maintenance of those values. if a structural engineer would like to have a way to include specifically the top of footing elevation in the foundation tag. PE is a structural engineer with Martin/Martin in Denver. the only remaining step is to use it. Dezi can be reached via email atdmackey@martinmartin.. the tags. then the above method is a viable option that has been successfully used on several projects. However. a BIM consulting firm. as previously noted). an add-in. the schedule. she is President of the Denver Revit Users Group and has spoken at Autodesk University and Revit Technology Conference. She serves as treasurer and on the board of directors of AUGI. so someone out there may have created an add-in for this problem.e. There is at least one available add-in that addresses a similar issue within Autodesk® Revit® Architecture. . this method is not perfect for all situations. the equations. but would typically be a hidden field. there are viable out-of-the-box options for conveying the elevations of footings. The schedule also adds a level of automation that will reduce errors. Colorado. the elevation field will be blank. the structural engineer can be confident that the top of footing elevations are accurate.After the schedule is completed. Then. She and her husband. as long as the schedule is checked prior to issuing the construction documents.com or on Twitter @RevitGeeksWife. own BD Mackey Consulting. so that helps to remind the user to visit the schedule. or perhaps even a little extra coding could potentially be created to carry out the matching of the calculated values and the input values (i. and the formatting can all be altered to fit most conditions. When the foundations and the tags are originally placed. To conclude. Figure 5: Completed schedule and footings with tags.
It might just be some crazy scheme that rarely occurs. Figure 1: Multi-segment grid lines Dimensioning: Some nice little enhancements include a “Diameter” tool to complement radiuses.Revit Structure: Advanced Support for Work Loads July 3rd. and new equality text features. We’ll explore some of the new enhancements related to modeling. Within the dimension type properties. Don’t underestimate the power of these minor improvements. This will be great for all of those equally spaced beams on floor framing plans. Don’t become static with your old habits. but nevertheless have a decent impact. splitting dimension chains into multiple strings. equality text can be customized and then users can choose which kind of equality text they wish to use for each dimension instance. and analysis. we are getting closer to having the ability to design our structures from concept to fabrication and facility management—all in the same package. The tool will take you into sketch mode to accomplish the task. Adopt the new features and reap the benefits. Multi-Segmented Grid Lines: You can now draw funky-shaped grid lines instead of just straight lines or arcs. but in any case this is no longer a limitation in the software. documentation. As the product’s sophistication progresses. Some of the features will not be platform-specific. Really Big Small Enhancements What Autodesk refers to as “Small Feature Enhancements” can often be the most useful in speeding up day-to-day production. 2012 Over the years Autodesk® Revit® Structure has matured into a structural modeling and detailing package that provides for the backbone of your designs. . and I won’t argue here why this might be good or bad.
Beam and column materials now have a consistent “Structural Material” name. which allows the structural material to be scheduled. extending assets to include appearance plus thermal and structural properties. This involves a new user interface that will take some getting used to. especially if you’ve customized materials in previous templates.Figure 2: Equality dimensioning Materials: Autodesk is making a major overhaul of the materials library. You will want to check over the material assets. . This will facilitate better interoperability with analysis software.
Figure 3: Physical material properties .
The biggest improvements are focused on the design-to-fabrication workflow of precast concrete. then later restored. then split those objects into constructible parts.Figure 4: Wall assembly properties Wall and Floor Structural Materials: Walls and floors can now be refined within one of the structural layers in the core boundary to define the “Structural Material. . enabling us to utilize multi-layered walls and floors for analysis. Being able to manipulate these without going back to “square one” is a much-needed improvement. it can take many trials to get the splitting of parts correct. A perfect example of this is precast concrete wall panels. Figure 5: Modify parts An additional feature is the ability to divide parts with a gap and a custom profile. Now we can maintain the original construction of a wall—as well as the parts it is made of—with proper construction joints. and finally combine those parts into assemblies and shop drawings at the appropriate stages of the project. The idea is that a designer can focus on the overall design by using continuous walls and columns.” This will enable the analytical object to take on the physical material assets of that layer. it has been difficult to put these tools to good use. Parts: Parts can be merged and excluded. Since we often don’t know the final solution. Parts and Assemblies While we saw the introduction of parts and assemblies in Revit 2012.
Assembly views can now be placed on project sheets and project views placed on assembly sheets. but can now be accounted for in the . Assemblies will have an origin. Figure 7: Automated precast column assembly shop drawing Structural Reinforcement Fabric: Structural Fabric Reinforcement is a new element that can be hosted in structural floors. This is an item that was typically covered in detailing. and provide a local coordinate system.Figure 6: Split with profile Assembly Drawings: The next step towards facilitating fabrication is the workflow to create shop drawings. six new view options have been added for creating detail section views around the outside of the assembly. Once an assembly is defined. Element creation tools are now available in edit assembly mode. and structural walls. which can be used to determine how the assembly geometry is displayed in views on a sheet. allowing the assembly type to be changed for an assembly instance. Assemblies are a great fit to do this. foundation slabs.
and remove the area or path system to expose the individual rebar elements.model. It is now easier to avoid interferences and collisions with other rebar while placing a rebar/rebar set in the fillet or hook. Figure 8: Reinforcement Panel Figure 9: Fabric reinforcement Host a Rebar: Area and Path reinforcement can now host a rebar. which can help builders get a quick and accurate estimate of how many sheets of wire fabric they’ll need on the job. This new behavior makes these elements containers for hosting structural rebar in a manner similar to how beam systems and trusses host structural framing. or foundation slabs. I can imagine similar tools surfacing later for such things as metal decking. walls. The prior behaviors have been maintained and the user can control which behavior is used in the Reinforcement Settings dialog on the Reinforcement panel of the ribbon. . Layout rules such as a fixed number or maximum spacing for Area and Path reinforcement have been updated to follow Rebar Sets. The layout functions are easy and intuitive. You can now display rebar elements in floors. schedule rebar. Units have also been added for structural rebar: Reinforcement Area and Reinforcement Area per Unit Length. Rebar Snapping: Another good rebar improvement attends to snapping and alignment to fillets and hooks.
Each opening in an analytical model will have a check box when performing an “Analytical Adjust” (with the floor selected and the Openings tool selected) that can be simply unchecked when the user wants to remove the analytical opening but keep it in the physical model (see Figure 11). That’s where a string of new features comes into play. These improvements will greatly simplify the task of prepping the model for structural analysis. There is typically some preparation before doing so. Manual Adjust: When setting up analytical floors. it was a daunting task for complex projects. That’ll be handy when simplifying the analytical model from all of those small openings. . we need to set rigid links between them.Figure 10: Rebar snapping All of these new features are getting us very close to a complete rebar detailing package that can be leveraged by multiple parties from design to fabrication. To do this task. Foundation Number. These links have types that allow the user to configure link release conditions (see Figure 13). While this was achievable. Now that structural analysis is becoming embedded into the product and cloud analysis is on the brink of reality. Revit Structure 2013 now allows direct manipulation of slab edges and corners (see Figure 12). tools are needed to bring the documentation model even closer to the analytical model. Links: Where analytical beams and columns don’t quite come together. and Comments. Surface Number. If that didn’t succeed in automatically detecting the closest support. Structural Analysis Anybody who has attempted to round-trip a structural design from Revit Structure to analysis software knows that the process isn’t exactly straightforward. Openings: Floor openings can now be ignored on a case-by-case basis. than one could align them using grid lines or manually placed reference planes in every location. this model-centric workflow may very well turn heads in the industry. This was previously done by turning on automatic Rigid Links. one would select the “auto-detect” alignment method. Since most rebar detailing packages are 2D. To address this. Node Number (Analytical Nodes). An update has been implemented that renames these to “Analytical Links” and distinguishes the links to be either manual or automatic. new instance properties of analytical elements have been added to facilitate identification of analytical elements such as Member Number. In addition. edges need to be aligned with analytical supports such as beams or walls.
Figure 12: Manual manipulation of analytical floors .Figure 11: Ignore slab openings in the analytical model What Does It All Mean? Someday. but when you look at the process with a holistic mindset I think you’ll agree that there isn’t a better solution out there than Revit. we’ll be able to design and document our structural projects in a single platform. So don’t take the little stuff lightly and don’t ignore the new features. This updated version gets us many steps closer to that utopia by expanding the virtual model to more users. I don’t think that day has come yet. because they will undoubtedly save you time and money. in a perfect world. Keep learning and keep developing your efficiency with the tools available.
His main focus is on the implementation and practice of Building Information Modeling. so it follows that they are probably forgotten when Revit is taught. The Filter Button . this article will focus on tools. a regional leader in BIM and VDC. PSMA Design Technology Group. and best practice to designers. Engineering & Landscape Architecture. In fact. a beginner is someone who is just starting to learn and acquire skills in a particular activity. one must first define what comprises a “beginner. commands. He brings a passion to design and the progression of integrated practice. 2012 When composing an article directed toward a beginner. However. but may not be covered in a Level One training course or in help menus. product optimization. Greg is co-founder of the RocCity Revit User Group. In addition. and has spoken at many professional events. he provides training.Figure 13: Analytical links Greg Hale is a BIM Manager with SWBR Architecture. and not AUGIWorld. the reader is probably more likely to be someone who is training the beginners in his or her company. These items may be the ones that Autodesk® Revit® users learn by stumbling upon them. and educators. co-chair of the NCS Wave Task Team. building owners. contractors. With that in mind. and settings that are relatively basic. Revit Structure Basics You Never Learned May 10th. Greg is a licensed professional engineer. and an active member of NCS and NBIMS. Now specializing in Revit and Navisworks.” Literally speaking. it is unlikely that the reader is truly a novice because one might assume a beginner would choose to read a tutorial or “help” documentation. The goal of this article is twofold: teach some obscure topics and remind the reader of said topics so that he or she will remember to teach them to beginners. implementation strategies.
. Figure 2: The Filter button. Furthermore. This is shown in Figure 1. one might use a keyboard shortcut such as “FF” to activate the filter. When inserting a component. Figure 1: The Filter command. The Magical Space Bar No. the space bar will cause the component to orient to the same direction. on the Status Bar (see Figure 2). new users tend to place the component somewhere in their workspace and then will alter said component to their liking. One may have even noticed that there is a tiny filter symbol at the bottom right of the screen. What the beginner doesn’t know— and often takes a long time to learn—is that hitting the space bar before placing the component will rotate it. Alternately. Pressing the space bar again will then rotate the component 90 degrees from that direction. inserting spaces between words in text is not the magical function of the space bar. These alterations often include rotating the element. if hovering over another element in the view. if hovering over an intersection.When multiple items are selected. What is lesser known is that clicking on this symbol will activate the filter command. Figure 3: Orient to another element. Finally. This is illustrated in Figure 3. the element will rotate only 45 degrees instead of 90. it is a common practice to use the Filter option that appears on the ribbon’s Modify/Multi-Select Contextual tab only when multiple items are selected.
Another application of the space bar concerns elements that use the offset option. for example. so rotating in this manner may require more moving and aligning. The flipping works with any element that has a flip control (the two little blue arrows that appear when an element is selected). that the dash approach only works between feet and inches. Tab “Press tab” is likely one of the phrases beginner Reviteers get tired of hearing. What is lesser known.In addition to rotating a component prior to placement. or at least lesser used. select a wall. tab. a space is still required between whole and fractional inches (i. the space bar can also be used to rotate or flip elements (or multiple elements) that are already placed. 5-4 ½ works. and use the space bar to toggle the walls interior/exterior sides. tab… shoot! I skipped the element I wanted…. For example. however. Using the dash key also works in the same manner as the space bar (5-4). While sketching an element with an offset option. Tab. or several walls. Please note. So instead of typing 5’4”. when doing anything—from drawing a line to changing a dimension—the space bar can also be used in place of the feet and inches symbol. simply type 5 4 and the result will be the same.” .e. Figure 4: Toggle the offset direction with the space bar. Knowing this small tip would prevent this very familiar occurrence: “Tab. Using the space bar to rotate after placing a component can be a little troublesome because the base of the rotation is the insertion point of the component. It is common knowledge that the tab key can be used to cycle through elements to enable the selection of a specific element in a congested area. tab.. Finally. tab…. tab. but 5-4-1/2 does not). tab. is that pressing shift + tab will cycle through the elements in the opposite direction. Tab. the space bar will toggle the direction of the offset (see Figure 4). which is useful because the dash is one of the keys on the number pad.tab. tab.
clicking on the grip will cause the dimension to cycle from face. to centerline. instead of just one segment. select only a segment of chain of walls (select the first one and then press tab while hovering over the last desired segment). the following is a list of some of the useful applications for the tab button: cycle through elements in a congested area. . Unfortunately the temporary dimensions do not always show dimensions between the elements we would like. In addition. To change this. That’s Not the Dimension I Wanted When selecting an element. and so on). to the other face. for some elements such as walls and columns.Just in case it has not been said enough. select a chain of walls or lines. cycle through snap locations (end point. grab the little blue dot and drag it to change the witness line. intersection. instead of one at a time. This is shown in Figure 5. beginners are taught that the little blue dimensions that appear are temporary dimensions. select connected beams all at once.
the size and opacity of the temporary dimension text can be edited. Here are two bonus tips about temporary dimensions. Figure 6: Edit temporary dimension text appearance. First. If it is too small or is being obscured. . This is useful if a user would prefer always to dimension wall faces and/or opening widths instead of their centerlines. The second bonus tip is that the default locations of temporary dimensions can be changed under Manage Tab: Additional Settings: Temporary Dimensions (see Figure 7).Figure 5: Modify temporary dimensions. in the graphics tab of the Revit options in the application menu (the big R). simply change the options (see Figure 6).
etc. etc. to create the desired element. grid line.Figure 7: Temporary dimension properties. Pick Lines It’s a good idea to remind beginners about the Pick Lines option.. element. . grid. between two points. Instead of drawing a line. and very quickly create elements. with accurate spacing. select the Pick Line and then select another line. wall. This is illustrated in Figure 8.. Add an offset to the pick lines (on the options bar). such as grid lines.
and perhaps even filters and/or worksets.Figure 8: Pick Lines and offsets. shown in Figure 9. . manually adjusting section boxes. and consequently a Revit user will occasionally want to isolate. Figure 10 shows a floor that has been isolated via the Orient to View command. a certain area of the model or a particular group of elements. This approach will eventually work. applying ghosted settings. Of course numerous options are available to quicken this process. however. the task of isolating a particular section of a model can be quickly achieved by using the Orient to View command. temporarily hiding/isolating elements in view. The novice Revit user will then begin the tedious task of hiding elements to achieve the desired view. such as toggling the visibility of different categories of elements. A Quick Way to See That in 3D Models routinely become large or complex over the life of a project. in 3D. which is found by right-clicking on the View Cube.
To return to seeing the entire 3D model. Where is the OSNAP Button? . either turn off the section box in the view properties.Figure 9: Orient to View command. Figure 10: Orient to View to see one floor. The way this command works is to adjust the section box such that it mimics the view range and the crop region of the selected view. or manually stretch it back.
the only easily accessible location to activate the Create Similar command was in the right-click context menu after a single element is selected. copying a wall will also copy all of the doors and windows in that wall. For a particularly useful application of the two-key snap shortcuts. It only matches type properties. selecting a wall and clicking Create Similar activates the wall command and sets the type of the wall to match the one selected. or might forget to use. Figure 11: Create Similar on the ribbon. or at the very least provided a reminder of topics to discuss with beginners.If a new Revit user is an AutoCAD veteran. So many excellent tips and tricks are omitted from basic Revit training. type its two-key shortcut while drawing an element (the shortcuts are shown in parentheses in the aforementioned dialog box). Also note that copying will not only copy the desired element. it will create a wall of the same type. where to find all of them. for example. but then the user is left modifying. which provides much useful information. found on the Manage tab. The Elusive Create Similar Until Revit 2010. Revit beginners probably didn’t even know the command existed. but others don’t know it exists. One may just copy elements to achieve a similar outcome. and then the user may then draw another wall instance. For example. To temporarily turn snaps on or off. Create Similar is now available on the Modify Tab. one piece of good news is that the object snaps are greatly similar from one program to the other. The Create Similar command activates whatever command is necessary to create a new instance to match the type of an existing element. shown in Figure 11. try using the snap centers shortcut to rotate about the base point of an element with a very large radius. The inquisitive Revit novice may have discovered this command’s function by hovering over it and reading the tooltip. it will match location line settings. not instance properties—or at least not all instance properties—so. but not of the same height. but remains grayed out until a single element is selected. . but are often forgotten when working in Revit. Strangely. which is an instance property. and when they are particularly useful. Conclusion The items discussed above are just a handful of the Revit Structure basics a beginner may not learn right away. For example. It matches an element’s type without the user having to know that type and without having to navigate through the (occasionally long) Type Selector looking for something specific. While extremely useful. right click while drawing an element to find the snaps override options. These tools are well known for users of other programs. so hopefully this article brought to light some of those topics. To use a particular snap. and altering the new instance after it is placed. but having this knowledge would affect a beginner’s speed and productivity. however. What a newer user might not know. the Create Similar command is not without its flaws. Tutorial literature likely points out the snaps options dialog box. This command is particularly useful for several reasons. it is just a matter of learning what snap options are available in Revit. but also any hosted elements. are the two-key shortcuts for snaps and the snaps overrides. moving.
adjustments to the analytical model and linking with structural analysis software. along with many more. own BD Mackey Consulting. is a structural engineer with Martin/Martin Inc. Adjust the Physical Model with the Analytical November 10th. It has gotten a bad reputation over the years. .Some of these topics. Figure 1: The analytical and the physical model. The changes are as far reaching as visibility of the analytical model. in Denver. Brian Mackey. Dezi and her husband. PE.com or on twitter @TheRevitGeeksWife. Desirée (Dezi) Mackey. Figure 1 shows the difference between the analytical and physical models. CO. Analytical Model The analytical model in Revit has been something of a mystery. so there is no escaping it. She serves as treasurer and on the board of directors of AUGI.com/blog. have been or will be discussed on my blog. a BIM consulting firm. Dezi can be reached via email atdmackey@martinmartin. This article will discuss how to use these new changes to help create and modify the physical Revit model. she is a board member of the Denver Revit Users Group and has spoken at Autodesk University and Revit Technology Conference. It is there whenever you create the physical model.bdmackeyconsulting. In addition. which can be found at www. 2011 There have been major changes to the analytical model in Autodesk® Revit® 2012—changes so drastic that you actually have to forget everything you know about the anaytical model from Revit 2011 and before.
This article will discuss how to take advantage of this very special “gift” that was given to all users in Revit 2012 and how to edit the analytical model and then apply those changes to the physical model. Before we do that. as it is called. Revit Structure users hated it because it cannot be changed easily. In Revit 2012. Figure 2: The view display toolbar. Let’s discuss what happens to the relationship of the physical and the analytical models when the analytical model is adjusted. One element added to the edit model is the reference point or analytical node shown in Figure 1. In summary. in the mass family editor is the most powerful modeling tool Revit has to offer. However. Adjusting the Analytical Model To activate the analytical edit model. Figure 3: The Analyze ribbon commands. The biggest change is the ability to edit the analytical model. visible representations of the analytical model are now completely separated from the physical model elements. isolating the analytical model was cumbersome and each element had to be toggled and turned off element by element. Note: The procedures described in this article for adjusting the analytical model is limited to Revit Structure. Now with one button click in the view display toolbar. Before Revit 2011. The analytical node or reference point. the relationship or “offset” remains the same as shown in Figure 4. This command can also be found under the Analyze tab as shown in Figure 3. first select an analytical element and click on the “Analytical Adjust” button. let’s first take a step back and examine what changes have been made to the analytical model in Revit 2012.Revit Architecture users hated it because it is always visually getting in the way. The analytical node now controls the ends of the analytical beam lines. these methods may be used on Revit Architectural and MEP models if opened in Revit Structure. Visibility Control Changes Revit users will rejoice over the new changes that have been made to the visibility controls of the analytical model. To find out about all these changes please check out “What’s new in Revit Structure 2012” by Phil Russo in the April 2011 issue of AUGIWorld. Let’s take the one-story framing example shown in Figure 1. If one end of the middle analytical beam is moved 2’-0” away from its physical beam end and the physical beam end is later moved. you can toggle or isolate the entire analytical model from the physical model as shown in Figure 2. these problems have been solved. .
.Figure 4: Relationship of physical and analytical models. To adjust the physical model to match the adjusted analytical model. follow the steps below. Go to the roof/second floor plan view> select align > select adjusted analytical beam > select physical beam. The beam will align to the location of the analytical beam however the analytical beam will also auto adjust to the same offset as described in Figure 4. we have to take matters into our own hands. Until the developers give the same editing tools to the physical model that are now part of the analytical model. The rest of this article will describe how to use the powerful adjustment tools for the analytical model and then adjust the physical model to match the analytical model’s location. there is nothing preventing you from adjusting the physical model to the analytical models location. select the analytical beam > select analytical adjust> select analytical reset. The results are shown on Figure 5. Figure 5: Physical model adjusted to match the adjusted analytical model. Adjusting the Physical Model The analytical model is always adjusted from the physical model. however. Consider the new location of the beam on the physical model in Figure 4. To correct this.
Figure 6: The adjustment handles on the analytical node. Also. Figure 7: Hosted and non-hosted analytical node. The analytical node shown in Figure 1 has some powerful and unique characteristics. A hosted node will appear as a small sphere while a non-hosted node will appear as a large sphere as shown in Figure 7. the node/end of the analytical beam is half the distance from the end of the analytical girder. In the example in Figure 8. The analytical node has pull handles. in global coordinates that can be adjusted easily. analytical nodes can be hosted onto other elements including analytical beams. the physical model. . Another unique characteristic of an analytical node is the ability to set the hosted node’s location based on a relative location along a hosted curve as shown in Figure 8. Unique Characteristics of the Analytical Node Now that the basics of how to use the analytical model to adjust the physical model have been presented. You are allowed to add dimensions that only exist in the analytical edit mode. As mentioned earlier. the analytical node is only available in the analytical edit mode. Contrast this with the end of a physical beam. as shown in Figure 6. It is not possible to do this with the end of a physical beam. The analytical edit mode has some features that are helpful when adjusting the analytical and. There is no way to tell by looking at the end of a physical beam if it is hosted to its supporting girder. ultimately. This is helpful when adjusting the physical model to the analytical model for complex geometry.COMPLEX ADJUSTMENTS Analytical Edit Mode The analytical edit mode is activated when you toggle the “adjust analytical” command. it’s time to examine how to use these new tools for more complicated structures.
A Complex Adjustment Let’s use what we just learned and what was illustrated in Figures 7 and 8 on a real example. but this would not be accurate and it would be very time consuming. . Figure 9: Curved girder framing example. for example. Draw the three physical beams in plan. how would you do it with only the physical model? You could cut sections at each location in plan along the ¼ points.” Select the analytical nodes of each beam and select the “pick new host” command as shown in Figure 10.Figure 8: Hosted analytical node location relative to host curve/analytical beam. you wanted to place three physical beams at the ¼ points of a curved girder that was made up of a spline curve. Make sure to start and end each beam on the curved and straight girders as shown in Figure 9. If. The better solution is to use the “adjust analytical” command. Turn on the analytical model line and click “adjust analytical. Follow the steps below for the solution. Consider the following girders in Figure 9.
If you have trouble placing the analytical nodes on the curved girder. Select each node point and change the dimension parameters in the properties box. if they are not already located there. This will set the beams at exactly at the ¼ points along the girders length as shown in Figure 11. adjust the physical model to match the analytical model. .25. Finally. as shown in Figure 8. Note: Make sure that each analytical node of the ends of the analytical beams are hosted and appear small.5. Place each analytical node at approximately the ¼ points of both girders.75 accordingly. and . Figure 11: Adjusting the analytical node to the ¼ points.Figure 10: Adjusting the analytical node via Pick New Host command. . place the nodes first at the end of the end segment of the curved beam. to “measurement type = normalized curve parameter” and normalized curve parameter = .
Note: As shown in Figure 4. USA.com. He can be reached at marcellojs@johnmartin. . He is a member of hte ASCE-SEI BIM committee and speaks at structural professional conferences across the country. Conclusion Based on these examples. Marcello teaches classes at Autodesk University that focus on free-form modeling in Revit and he beta tests the yearly releases of Revit Structure. the analytical model moves relative to the physical model so you may find it necessary to click the “analytical reset” command for each analytical beam. He has been using Autodesk products for over 15 years including AutoCAD. and Revit Structure. Go to the 3D view> select align > select the end of adjusted analytical node > select the end of physical beam as shown in Figure 12. Only two examples were presented. Figure 13: Final physical and analytical beam locations. it is clear that using the analytical model to create/adjust the physical model is very helpful. however. Also adjust in plan each end of the physical beams that frame into the straight girder. Marcello Sgambelluri is the BIM Director at John A Martin & Associates Structural Engineers in Los Angeles. Repeat these steps for each end of the beam that frames into the curved girder. The resultant framing is shown in Figure 13. these methods may be applied to all types of structural framing. CA.Figure 12: Adjusting the physical model to align with the analytical model. 3ds Max. Ignore the “unjoin element” message.
To enable worksharing. you can change them at this time. you can have them on or off in all views as default. select the Worksets tool located on the Collaborate panel. a couple of things happen. Figure 1: Worksets tool When you first activate worksets. Follow these recommendations for doing it right or risk sabotaging the effort. Worksets The first step in preparing a project for multiple users is to divide your model into logical groupings of objects that are set up for single-user access. Workset naming should be related to the function and/or location of the objects that will be in that grouping. Project Standards. the initial dialog box is automatically moving levels and grids to a workset and then assigning everything else to a different workset. you must take into consideration the size of the project.Work Sharing October 12th. . and views. 2011 Collaboration means working together to achieve a goal. and the size of the team. Figure 2: Worksharing default worksets Other standard groupings that happen automatically when you activate Worksharing are Families. another user cannot be doing the same. To create a new workset select “New” in the worksets dialog box. This is important so if one user is annotating a view. however. Note that worksets also can be turned on and off in different views. This is very useful if you are modeling something you do not want to appear in all views. which will allow new team members to easily adapt to the project. each person’s task. In Autodesk® Revit® this object grouping is achieved with worksets. Some default workset names are provided in the dialog box. First.ollaboration with Revit Structure . When setting up the worksets. When you create them.
. When you activate your Worksets for the first time you are creating a Central file. your Revit file becomes a Central file. This means once your worksets are established you need to close the Central file and open a local copy to begin the project. Figure four illustrates this action. Local file When worksets are activated. you can check the settings in the Synchronize drop-down on the Collaborate panel. Figure 4: Create a local copy Another way to create a local copy is to make a copy of the Revit Central file in a browser window. place it somewhere locally. A Central file allows multiple users to create a local copy of the model and synchronize their changes back to the Central file. To ensure you are connected and synchronizing your changes to the Central file.Figure 3: Worksets dialog box—creating a new workset Central file vs. then rename the file.
Figure 5: Synchronize settings If the Central file ever becomes corrupt. Element Borrowing and Editing Requests Any member of the project team connected to the Central file through a local copy can borrow parts of the model to work on. other users can make a new local copy of the Central file and it will be up and running in no time. . Then you can save your local file as a new Central file. When you open up your local Revit Structure file you may get an error that the Central file has moved. or deleted and unrecoverable. To understand how this all works we have to start with the user name. you can change a local copy into a new Central file. Figure 6: Create a new Central file Once the new Central file is established. misplaced. You can accept this error and still get into your local copy of the Central file. The user name will appear in the worksets dialog box showing what worksets are borrowed for editing.
If they grant you permission. In a large firm. If no one is editing that element it will open to make it available to you. they need to synchronize with the Central file. To set your user name. To do this select the element and click the “Make element editable” button indicated in Figure 9. Figure 8: Setting your user name If you select an element belonging to a workset that someone has borrowed. adding your phone extension to your username is useful in case someone needs to talk with you to collaborate. If someone else has that element you will get an error and need to place a request to edit.Figure 7: Worksets borrowed Recommendation: Make your user name descriptive enough so other team members can identify you. . Figure 9: Make element editable If you place a request to edit an element the user will get a notification alerting them of your request. you need to place a request to edit that element. Once they synchronize. you do the same to receive the permission to make the edits. select options from your main application drop-down menu.
Figure 13: Relinquishing all Worksets and Elements Visibility All views in your Revit Structure model have visibility settings that allow you to globally turn on and off items that belong to a workset. DO NOT forget to relinquish all your worksets and elements. When worksets are activated in a model. Do this by selecting “Relinquish All Mine” from the Collaborate panel. Second. a workset tab can be found in the visibility settings of a view. First.Figure 10: Request notification There are a couple of ways you can get a status on your editing requests. Figure 11: Editing requests in the Collaborate panel Figure 12: Number of requests Recommendation: When you are done working and performed your last synchronization. you can select Editing requests from the Collaborate panel. . there is a counter for the number of requests next to your active worksets.
Once the worksets are relinquished. Don’t be a traitor and break the rules! The team will suffer the consequences. recommendations. synchronize with the Central file.Figure 14: Workset visibility Closing Tip There will be an occasion when you are in a collaborative environment where a team member forgets to relinquish a workset he/she had control of. change your user name back and continue to work on the file. Finally. The caution I must add is to make sure the user synchronized his/her changes to the Central file— otherwise. Follow these rules. . this team member may not be in the office and you need to work on some elements that belong to that workset. The workaround for this is to change your user name to that of the team member. and tips and you will have success collaborating with your team. To make it even worse. any changes that users made will be lost. then relinquish the workset.
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