RTV Tools

Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Does a Revit Model Work?

If you had 5 minutes to explain to someone the basics of a Revit model, how would you go about it?

I wanted to share this very basic (and rough) sketch with you, that I put together to describe the main data structures in Revit, along with key management components:

Hope you can read my hand-writing :)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Collaboration for Revit Installation and Setup Made Easy!

The fact that I'm posting about it means that it probably isn't really that easy, right? There are a few challenging pieces of the puzzle that all need to come together to get C4R or Collaboration for Revit working on a real project. I just went through this process with a mechanical firm so it is all pretty fresh in my mind.

Firstly, note that A360 Team has been rebranded as BIM 360 Team and will be migrated, more details at this post.

Secondly, Autodesk really wants your whole team (like everyone, every consultant, every Revit link) on Collaboration for Revit. However, out in the real world it is just happening bit-by-bit, and in the meantime some hacks and workarounds can make the process a little bit easier.

A Quick Overview
Ok, so Collaboration for Revit runs on on top of BIM 360 Team. What this means is that you need to have an active BIM 360 Team license if you wish to run projects. Then, you need a Collaboration for Revit license for each Revit user who will be connecting to that BIM 360 Team site. You still with me? This also means that persons outside of your firm may connect to your projects, provided they have their own Collaboration for Revit entitlement applied to their Autodesk account.

Once you have the BIM 360 Team license, and the Collaboration for Revit licenses, you then need to "Assign" the Collaboration for Revit licenses out to the users (using their Autodesk login details).

Finally, you need to actually do some stuff, like:
  • make a BIM 360 Team project, 
  • invite the users, 
  • initiate Revit models, and 
  • get the links working.

Its a lot to take in, so you can see that the blog title is actually a half-joke :) However, we were able to get all this up and running in about 4 hours for one firm, so you can too. Hopefully.

Something that will help
Given that there are a lot of moving pieces, I turned to my favourite research and documentation tool, OneNote. I have created a public notebook that you can view at this link:
Revit Collaboration Public Help

Basically all of the steps involved in getting the licensing setup, inviting users, installing the addin, and initiating models onto Collaboration for Revit are in the notebook linked above. I will continue to update and add to this over time.

Any Questions?
Just comment to this post and I will endeavour to answer your question in the notebook, or point you toward the answer.

Now, here are a few other bits and pieces that may be useful, if the notebook doesn't answer your questions...

new help documentation:

moving models to folders:

You can move projects from A360 Free to a paid BIM360 Team hub by using the Transfer function:

Taking models offline and replacing later:

using local linked files

Download links:
Collaboration for Revit 2017
Collaboration for Revit 2016
Collaboration for Revit 2015

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to Delete Any Type in Revit

For some Family Types in Revit, you cannot directly delete them from the Project Browser (even if they have no instances). So how do you remove them?
  1. Ensure they have no instances, you could use Select All Instances in Entire Project and Delete
  2. Manage - Purge Unused
  3. Tick only the Type you want to remove
  4. Click Ok

There are more creative and in some ways scary ways to do this in Dynamo or API, but here we are just using vanilla Revit to clean up our model or template.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Spam Alert - Companies or Persons using whatrevitwants in Spam email campaigns

Hi everyone, just a note that I am not an Indian based web design person or company. Please report as spam any email that you get that resembles the following:

Thanks and have a great day :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Making Your Own Adaptive Dimension Tool for Revit

When working in 3D in Revit, you *can* use the normal dimension tool *if* you first set the Workplane. However, this can get annoying. Why not make a 2 point adaptive family, with a reporting parameter, so that you can just place the family (two clicks) and then check the instance parameter as shown below?

Adaptive dimension family (2016), Download here

Revit wants you to make your own better, faster way sometimes...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How To Move Tekla BIMsight Storage Folder Location

If you view a lot of IFC files in Tekla BIMsight, you may find that the cache or storage folder fills up quite quickly. If this is in its default location of %localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight\ then you could use up valuable space on your SSD.

We can easily move this folder using symbolic links. In the script below, we:
  • check the default directory exists, and if so rename it
  • make a symbolic link to a new target directory, in this case I have used E:\TeklaBimSight
  • make the new directory if necessary
  • copy existing contents to the new directory
To use the script:
  1. Close Tekla BIMsight
  2. Copy text from the script into Notepad and save as CMD. Modify the target directory to your preference
  3. Save the script with CMD extension
  4. Right click and Run As Administrator
  5. Open BIMsight and confirm all is working ok
  6. Optional: delete the bimsight.old directory to cleanup

if exist "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" rename "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" bimsight.old
mklink /d "%localappdata%\Tekla\Tekla BIMsight" E:\TeklaBimSight
if not exist E:\TeklaBimSight MD E:\TeklaBimSight
robocopy /mir %localappdata%\Tekla\bimsight.old\ E:\TeklaBimSight\


IFC for Revit 2017 v17.2.0 and 2016 v16.5.0 Download Links

Download for 2017 at:

Download for 2016 at:

Main page:
IFC for Revit download | SourceForge.net

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Autodesk Revit 2017 Service Pack 2 Download Links

From AKN:

Note: After Service Pack 2 is applied successfully, the build number specified on the Help - About dialog will be 20160720_1515.

Download Links:
Autodesk_Revit_2017-x64_SP2 (msp - 99.5Mb)
Autodesk_Revit_LT_2017-x64_SP2 (msp - 99.5Mb)

Autodesk Revit 2017 only: For inclusion within Network Deployment, please refer to Autodesk Application Manager when creating/modifying a Network Deployment image.

Revit Documentation:
Readme - English
Enhancement Document - English

Revit LT Enhancements Documentation:

Readme - English
Enhancement Document - English

Autodesk Revit 2017 Service Pack 2 | Revit Products | Autodesk Knowledge Network

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Resolving System.IO.FileLoadException Error Notification in Dynamo

I installed Dynamo 1.1.0 today and it has nice self protection feature: it will report if it thinks some other addin is going to cause Dynamo instability.

After loading up the new version, I received these notifications:

Essentially, Dynamo is saying it is worried about a few addins loading up a conflicting version of a library (DLL), namely Newtonsoft.Json.

In any case, I took 2 steps to resolve this notification.

Step 1: Removed C4R using Autodesk Uninstall Tool

This did not resolve the issue immediately

Step 2: Removed Autodesk Seek for Revit

After this, the issue was resolved and the notification did not appear anymore.

I haven't reinstalled Collaboration for Revit yet to see if the issue comes back, but reply in the comments if you have any similar notifications.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Overlay Drawing PDFs Directly onto the 3D Model in Revizto

The new sheet overlay feature in Revizto is one of the coolest things I've seen this year. Now, we can directly view the drawing sheet (which is typically the contract document), in context with the live federated 3D model. This is hugely powerful in terms of understanding and explaining the design.

The feature itself works nice and easy if you have everything in Revit. You just tick 'export sheets' when you export the model, and you will have that sheet attachment ability.

However, if you import a 'dumb' PDF directly to the 2D space in Revizto, you don't get the attachment capability.

So... in the workaround below, we take a PDF, make it into an image file, locate that image file accurately in Revit, put it on a sheet, then export to Revizto. Initially, I thought this wouldn't work as we are essentially using Raster Data. However, it seems that the Revizto exporter and / or overlay feature uses some sort of alpha transparency to fade out the white stuff (paper), so it all still works!

Things you will probably need:
  • blank sheet title block family that matches sheet size of pdf
  • "No Title" viewport type
  • View Template that only shows Raster Images and Grids
Important note: Shared coordinates should be set up across all of your Revit models and Navisworks files if you want to get this working reliably.

Initial Conversion and Import:
  1. Convert all PDFs to PNGs. I used Bluebeam to open the PDF and Save As PNG, but there are ways to batch process this part.
  2. Make Floor Plans at required levels
  3. Place PNGs in Floor Plans and align to Grids (scale if necessary)
  4. Make 1 sheet for each PDF
  5. Place Floor Plans on Revit Sheets (you now have the PNG at scale on a sheet). Switch Viewports to "No title".
  6. Number and name the Revit sheets to match the PDFs

Export to Revizto:
  1. Link the Revit project with these 'PDF sheets' to the Revizto 4 project using Revizto 4 - Link Settings
    (as per note above, Shared Coordinates should be consistently used throughout)
  2. Open any 3D view
  3. Revizto 4 - Export to Revizto, Append as a new model
  4. Choose desired Sheets only (untick 3D model)
  5. After export is complete, Sync to cloud.

Using in Revizto:
After export, you will see the sheets in the 2D space in Revizto.

When you open each sheet, you can click on the green scissor icon to create a sectioned 3D view with the plan view overlay.

Then, you can save that view overlay with the Pin (Viewpoints) icon.

Finally, any Issues or Viewpoints created with a sheet attachment active should automatically adopt that sheet. Very nice.

Here's how you could update the dataset when you get new PDFs:
  1. Replace the updated PNG
  2. Use Manage Images in Revit to Reload 
  3. Re-export the sheets to Revizto
Other tips:
  • Use a Guide Grid in Revit to accurately locate the sheet elements consistently
  • You can turn off all Revit model and annotation elements aside from Raster Images in the export views
  • In the above example I work with Plans, but the same principles could be applied to Section and Detail views, provided you cut them at the right place in Revit before importing the image

Quick Repetitive Scaling in Revit

If you have just scaled an object (such as a Raster Image) at a certain scale, did you know you can re-use that previous scaling method very quickly on other objects?

  1. Scale one element
  2. Select the next element
  3. Switch to "Numerical" in the Options bar
  4. The previous scaling method is already here
  5. Click on the desired basepoint (origin) on the element
  6. The object is immediately scaled

How to Fix BIM 360 Refresh Crashing Navisworks, and Where Is the BIM 360 Cache?

I recently experienced a persistent crash on Navisworks 2016 whenever I tried to "Refresh" the models from BIM 360 Glue. I was working in a local NWF at the time.

To resolve this, I followed these steps:
  1. Go to C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Navisworks 2016\LocalCache
  2. Select all
  3. Delete
  4. Re-open the models in Navisworks
  5. You will see that the cache folder immediately starts to fill up again with the new models.

Here are some other Glue cache locations...

Glue 2015 cache location:

Glue 2016 cache location:

When directly appended to Navisworks, you can see the originating file name, such as:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How to Rebuild the Standard IFC Export Mapping in Revit

Sometimes in the Revit IFC Export Dialog, some wires get crossed and it may be difficult to restore the standard mapping. Here is how to do it reliably:
  1. Go to Revit - Export - Options - IFC Options.
  2. Get the name of the mapping file from the title bar of the window.
  3. Find that file on disk, and delete or rename the file.
  4. Press the "Standard" button in the dialog.
  5. Press "OK" in the dialog, if the default is OK.
via Angel Velez here

I have tested and this process works in both the Import and Export IFC mapping dialogs in Revit. 

Main page:
IFC for Revit / Discussion / General Discussion:BUG in 16.4.0

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Using Navisworks To Quickly Extract Any Data from an IFC into Excel

The data analysis and extraction capabilities of Navisworks are often overlooked. In a recent case, I had an IFC file (from ArchiCAD) and wanted to extract only the Room Names and Numbers to Excel.

Here is how I did it...

1) Append the IFC to Navisworks, then open Navisworks Options and add the Quick Properties as shown below:

2) Create a Find Items search with these criteria:

3) Once all the Spaces are selected, open the Selection Inspector. The columns here are built from Quick Properties. Click Export CSV.

4) Open or Import the CSV into Excel, and ensure to set comma as the delimeter.

5) Here you can see the information in Excel.

6) Interestingly, in Tekla BimSight I couldn't find the equivalent property for the Room Name...

It is quite easy to modify the search criteria and Quick Properties in the steps above to suit the type of data you want to extract from any IFC file.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Revizto 4.1 Available for Download, Here Are 3 Reasons Why You Should Install It

My top 3 features:
  • Enhanced 2D and Sheet Features, like:
    - Ability to import sheets (from Revit) directly, and then overlay them into position in 3D! Very nice feature...
      Tip: once you have added a Sheet to a 3D section view, you can save that Viewpoint and it will keep that Section Cut / Sheet relationship stored in the Viewpoint.

  • - Ability to import any PDFs directly (not from Revit)
  • Ability to export multiple models separately and 'merge' into one master model
  • Enhanced tablet features, including better Touch support and Camera support for issue creation
Current latest build is 4.1.35834.0, download at:

If you are still on Revizto 3.7, at this point I definitely recommend upgrading to latest version

Read my previous posts about Revizto here.

Revizto 4.1 is out! It's all about stability! • Revizto

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Revit 2017 SDK for Download

At this link:
Revit 2017 SDK (Update June 23, 2016).msi (msi - 300068Kb)

Main page:

I find it most useful to install / extract the SDK, then find the compiled Help file (chm). This is the most useful piece of documentation for me as I do Dynamo development with Python.

Autodesk - Autodesk Developer Network - Autodesk � Revit, Autodesk� Revit� Architecture, Autodesk� Revit� Structure and Autodesk� Revit� MEP

Monday, July 4, 2016

How To Edit Navisworks Clash Report Export Image Size

Have you ever wondered how to increase the image resolution exported by Navisworks during a Clash Report?

You can set this in the Registry, look in bottom left corner of image for the location of this key:

Also note, Navisworks 2016 is 13.0 in the Registry.

More Navis tips:
What Revit Wants: Thirteen Navisworks Tips to Boost your Productivity for 2014

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tekla and Revit Interop Guidance, and some Tekla Bias for Good Measure :)

Ok, following up from my post yesterday, there has recently been released some updated information from Tekla about Revit interoperability. The key parts of interest to me are here:

However, I would have to say that for the most part this page and the associated pdf seems to be written by someone without a very deep or perhaps current knowledge of Revit?

PDF embedded here:

And I really have to object to some of these antiRevit sentiments, as per my notes below:

Last time I checked Revit was creating and storing the majority of multidisciplinary BIM information (at least that is true in some of the local markets here). Am I missing something and more information lives in Tekla in other countries?

Obviously, once we hit LOD300 in Revit maybe we should just stop, transfer all of that information into Tekla, and keep going from there :) Ah, I kid...

In closing, beware of biased hype directed against products by people without a wide-range view...

Which is completely different to when I tease the ArchiCAD guys :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Creating an Additional Site Location for IFC Export with Neutral Project Coordinates

When Revit exports to IFC, it typically uses the current Location (Survey Point) Shared Coordinates as Origin. You can observe this in the IFC file:

But what if you want to Export to IFC with Project coordinates (Revit origin), not Shared?

We want to do this because we have set up the import process from Tekla using this same Revit origin, here and particularly this:

1) Firstly, make a container RVT file with one Site Location, no shared coordinates. In other words, Project Base Point, Survey Point, and Revit Origin are all in one place.

2) Then, open the project you want to export, and link this 'container' file Origin-to-Origin

3) Transfer Project Standards:

4) Choose the Link you made, and Project Info (only):

5) Choose New Only (this will just bring in the uniquely named project location from the link):

6) Open Location dialog in Revit, under Site you will notice a new "Site". Set it current with the Make Current button:

7) Now that the Project Origin (neutral coordinates) are set, you can export to IFC:

8) After Exporting, reset the coordinates back to what it was before with Make Current:

9) Optional: delete the IFC Export site definition if you don't need it anymore...

I previously posted about a similar method, but it was a bit 'destructive', whereas the above process can be implemented into a live project more easily:
What Revit Wants: When and how to neutralize Survey coordinates for IFC export from Revit

Further reading: