All posts by Jay Merlan

[Solved] Revit Error: Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.

While attempting to link an architectural Revit model into my electrical model, an interesting error message popped up:

“Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.”

Revit Error: Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.

This was a new one for me.

When attempting to open these models, you can’t uncheck the “Detach from Central” box, nor can you tick the “Create New Local” box.

Revit - Can't click the checkbox to detach from central or create new local.

This gave me the clue that the architectural model was a detached central model. This means that the model has been detached during an eTransmit process.

It is hard to find technical information regarding the state of these models. From what I’ve figured out, the model is in a state where it is technically “read only”. So if the linking process requires accessing or revising anything in the linked model, you will get an error. In this case it was an issue with permissions to edit shared coordinates.

The Solution

Save the linked model as a central model.

[Solved] Revit does not display vertical elbows (i.e., risers in shafts) properly in plan view

Let’s talk a little about Plan Regions in Revit. In a nutshell, this tool helps to show areas of a View that may need to deviate from your view’s View Range. Aside from the common uses for this in architecture, mechanical designers can actually get their risers to display properly when using a vertical elbows.

The Problem

Mechanical and plumbing Revit Designers have undoubtedly run into issues with their ducts that turn vertically if the elbow is outside of the view’s View Range. Revit does not cut through the elbow properly, if it cuts through it at all. Note the image below is missing the “X” within the riser to graphically designate which system the duct is on.

Revit duct elbow is not cut in plan view
A duct turning down in a shaft that is not cut properly.

The issue is caused by the View Range settings for your view. Don’t fuss with the View Range settings for the entire View because tweaking View Range for one riser can be catastrophic for your the rest of the elements on your View.

2016-10-05-10_23_49-view-range
View Range settings that do not cut the duct properly.

The Solution: Use a Plan Region

The steps below outline a simple workflow to fix this issue. The goal is to create a Plan Region that encompasses the shaft’s view range requirements. Note that this technique also works with pipe elbows that do not graphically show the proper up or down symbol.

First, take note of the elevations that you need where you need to adjust your view range for the Plan Region.

2016-10-05-10_23_33-section_-section-1-project1
Section view of duct turning down in a shaft with dimensions.

Next, go to View > Plan Region and draw a shape around the area you would like the View Range to effect.

2016-10-05-10_24_07-autodesk-revit-2016-floor-plan_-1-mech-duct-project1

2016-10-05-10_24_29-autodesk-revit-2016-floor-plan_-1-mech-duct-project1
Use the Draw tools in the contextual tab.

Important: Your plan region needs to encompass the entire riser for this to work. If the outline of your Plan Region overlaps the duct, it will not be effected.

You may want to extend your Plan Region a little further out than the duct itself. Note that the Plan Region outlines do not print.

2016-10-05-10_24_50-floor-plan_-1-mech-duct-project1
The completed Plan Region.

Now we must adjust the View Range for the Plan Region. With the outline of the Plan Region selected, go to the View Range setting in the Properties window.

Adjust your View Range accordingly based on your measurements from step one.

2016-10-05-10_25_14-view-range
View Range settings for the Plan Region of the shaft.

The riser should now display the appropriate symbology within the duct that is turning up or down.

2016-10-05-10_25_23-floor-plan_-1-mech-duct-project1
A proud supply air duct riser displaying it’s “X”!

Use Dynamo to delete all views in Revit

I have been working on a Dynamo Workflow that will purge out all views and sheets from a Revit model. Yes, there are several add-ins that currently accomplish this task, however I eventually want to create a “Super Purge” Workflow that will purge a model of all views, sheets, and elements for me. More on that to come.

Requirements:

  • Clockwork
  • Springs
  • Dynamo

The Workflow

Use Dynamo to delete all views in Revit.

The SetDifference node is grabbing all views in the current document from the Document.Views node and removes the  user-specified view to keep in the model from the Views node. Note that Revit maintains the requirement to have at least one view within a project.

Then, the Springs.Doc.DeleteElements node deletes all views (except for the one chosen in step one).

Download

Dynamo - Delete all Views (363 downloads)

Special Thanks

A special thanks goes out to the good folks at DynamoBIM.com for helping me out with this solution.

Revisions from a revision schedule in a titleblock family are not populated on sheets

Today I was challenged with figuring out why a revision schedule from a titleblock family was not showing the revisions on the sheet that the titleblock was placed on.

I found a subtle setting in which I’ve never used before – it is to set a fixed Height of the revision schedule. I suppose this could be useful if you would like to limit the number of rows in a schedule. Apparently, this can restrict your revision schedule to the point where it won’t display any revisions whatsoever.

Revisions on sheet from revision schedule in titleblock family not showing revisions.

The fix was to change the Height setting to “Variable” rather than “User defined”.

Hope this helps someone out there!

Rotate a section to line up to an angled element in Revit

I remember my early days of Revit and working with architecture that had several angles in plan view. Cutting a section without knowing the exact angle is difficult in Revit and the Align tool currently does not work on section lines.

Here is a workaround to rotate your sections to align with any angle within Revit.

1) Draw a straight section

Make sure it is perfectly straight or this method will not work.

Cut a section in Revit.

2) Use the rotate tool

Select the section from plan view and click Modify > Rotate.

Rotate tool in Revit.

3) “Place” your center of rotation

This step is where the magic happens. Once you choose the Rotate tool, there is a checkbox on the Options Bar that says “Center of rotation”. Click the “Place” button.

Place your center of rotation in Revit when rotating elements.

4) Pick a point

Choose a point that snaps to an element that has the angle you would like to reference. In this example, we will use the midpoint of the elevator wall.

Rotate a section to align with an angled architectural wall.

5) Create a rotation reference

After you’ve picked your center of rotation, you need to create a starting angle for the rotation. This reference line should be parallel to your section line. In this example, it is horizontal.

Use a reference to rotate a section in Revit

6) Snap to the proper angle

To complete the rotation, snap to the line that you are using as a reference.

Use rotate to snap a section into place and align it.

7) Done and done

You have successfully aligned and rotated a section to match an angled element in Revit!

Align a section to an angled element in Revit

[Solved] Revit can’t create a new module in the macro manager

This morning, I ran into an interesting bug in Revit 2016. I opened up my Macro Manager per the norm, but when attempting to create a new module Revit wouldn’t save the new module. It successfully opened the dialog box to let me choose a name, language, and description, however once I clicked “OK” nothing happened. Sharp Develop did not open nor did the new module appear in the Macro Manager window.

I found the suggested fix on Revitforum.org, however it did not work for me. Perhaps because this post was for an earlier version of Revit.

Here’s actually what ended up working for me:

  1. Close all Revit instances.
  2. Navigate to your Macros folder on your C drive:
    C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit\Macros
  3. You may see multiple years in this folder, one per Revit version installed on your computer (e.g., 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Move the year of Revit that you are working in to a temporary folder like your desktop.
  4. Restart Revit.
  5. Go to your Macro Manager and create a new module.

By creating a new module, Revit recreates this directory and is able to successfully create a new module for your use.

A Review of BIM Track – A platform for BIM Coordination and Collaboration

While running some BIM coordination exercises at an MEP firm, I had the opportunity to test a new product, BIM Track. While the product may not necessarily be new, it is new to me.

Overview

From the BIM Track website:

BIM Track™ is a web-based collaboration platform that empowers your team with better coordination workflows. BIM Track™ provides a central hub for all coordination information from design to construction. With information at your fingertips, you can get access to your data anytime, anywhere, either from a desktop or mobile device. Charts and graphics help understand data and your management performance through precise metrics. We promote openBIM workflow solutions by supporting IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) and BCF (BIM Collaboration Format).

I chose to try out BIM Track because it has a web-based comment and issue tracking interface. This type of interface is ideal because it will let less technically-savvy team members access the comments without opening any models.

It is really a toss up between using A360 or BIM Track for this project, but since BIM Track is free (up to 50 comments) and A360 requires paying for and configuring licenses and contracts, BIM Track seemed like an easier way to test the waters with minimal time and money invested.

Shaking Hands

My initial “handshake” with this software was a firm one. The add-in prompted me to register online which was a simple form on a website. Immediately after, I was prompted to create a hub to host my projects. I created a project easily. I was able to figure this out without training.

At first glance, the functionality of BIM Track seems extremely similar to A360. The main difference that I noticed is that BIM Track is actually installed as an add-in to Revit and Naviworks which allows you to easily view a coordination item directly in your working model. This seems like an excellent feature that A360 currently does not support (they probably will roll this feature out at some point).

Playing Nice with Revit and Navisworks

From the BIM Track window within Navisworks or Revit, the user has the ability to view issues, edit issues, and create new issues. There are even some filtering options for models that have several issues to track.

BIM Track - BIM Coordination issue tracker for Revit and Navisworks
The BIM Track window in Revit.
BIM Track - BIM Coordination issue tracker for Revit and Navisworks
The BIM Track window in Navisworks.

Clicking on the “View in model” button works well. BIM Track seems to essentially save the location of the camera at the time the issue was created. This gives the user the ability to zoom to a spot in Navisworks or Revit which should make the workflow of fixing issues much simpler than our current processes.

Clicking on the “Edit” button takes the user to the web interface in which one can contribute to a comment thread or make the task complete.

Using BIM Track's web interface to manage comments.
BIM Track web interface to manage comments.

Room for Improvement

Being as robust as the software is, there is no surprise that I ran into a few items that could use improvement when using BIM Track in a live environment.

  • Navisworks completely froze when creating an issue in BIM Track. I am unable to replicate this issue.
  • When an issue is created in Navisworks, you cannot zoom to the location of the issue in Revit by clicking the “View in model” option. Ideally, it should open the Navisworks model and zoom to the location the issue was originally created rather than do nothing.
  • Commenting within the Revit or Navisworks add-in would be a “nice to have”.

Conclusion

During my initial testing of this product, it seems as though this is a worthy application for use in smaller firms and smaller projects. I think there is a lot of potential for this add-in to take off, however I would need to conduct more testing before rolling out to a 50-person team of Revit designers and engineers.

As I continue testing, I will post updates with my experiences using BIM Track.

Have you used BIM Track?

What do you think of the software? Post a comment and let us know what you think!

IronPython UI Generator and Script Library for Autodesk Revit

I just stumbled on this script library for Revit users who wish to use Python with the Revit API. In it’s simplest form, it’s a folder of IronPython .py scripts for Autodesk Revit.

Check it out on GitHub: https://github.com/eirannejad/pyRevit

There is plenty of example code written in Python that you can refer to when learning to create macros or add-ins for Revit.

To use Python with Revit, you will need to install a few things:

I don’t want to get into too much detail on how to use Python with Revit in this post, but if you need help getting started, there is a very helpful guide on Productspec.

  1. Iron Python: http://ironpython.net/download/
  2. RevitPythonShell: https://code.google.com/p/revitpythonshell/
  3. Revit Software Development Kit: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=2484975