Thursday, April 9, 2015

Create a View Filter-Video

Back in January I wrote a blog about creating a View filter. To supplement that blog I have created a short video (which I have loaded on YouTube) to show how to create a View Filter and how to use it on a color plan.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Filtering with Parameters

Back in 2011 I began to talk about View Filters, than last month I explain how to Create a View filter. One thing I eluded to was that when creating a view filter you need a parameter to filter against. For the most part Revit has enough parameters for you to use but when the project does not have the right parameter that you need to filter against you will have to create it. The type of parameter that you will create is a project parameter. Project parameters can be created for any type of Revit category and they can be transferred between projects by using the transfer project standards command.

To create a new parameter

  • Go to Manage tab
  • Click the Project Parameters button
  • From the Projects Parameters dialog box click the Add button
  • From the Parameters Properties dialog box
  • Name the Parameter
  • Select the Parameter type (Typically you will want to use the Text type, to create a parameter you want to filter against)  
  • Select category that the Parameter affects (the parameter can be applied to multiple categories can be selected)

You may ask why and when you would create a new Parameter, well here is an example. You get the program requirements of a new building. The program says that certain rooms need to have a certain STC rating and you want to document that in the model so you can verify later that walls you surrounded the room with meet the STC rating specified in the program. Rooms have a lot of parameters associated withe them but they do not have an acoustical parameter so you will have to create the project parameter. Once you have the parameter and it is filled out for each of the rooms you can create a color plan that indicates all of the different acoustical requirements of the space, and indicates the different STC ratings of the surrounding partitions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Parameters are in some ways the foundation of a Revit model. Parameters are what hold the I in BIM and makes Revit a BIM authoring tool. Some people have disregarded parameters and have said that they are just Revit version of Autocad's attributes. I will agree they are much like attributes, in fact I would say attributes is what begin to make Autocad a BIM authoring tool, crud as it may be.  Revit has three types of parameters, Project Parameters, Family Parameters and Shared Parameters.

Project Parameters are parameters specific to a single project file. They are added to elements by assigning them to multiple categories of elements, sheets, or views.  Project parameters are used for scheduling, sorting, and filtering in a project. Information stored in project parameters cannot be shared with other projects. Use transfer project standards to use Project Parameters for another project.

Family Parameters are parameters that control variable values of a family, such as dimensions or materials. They are specific to the family.

Shared Parameters are parameter definitions that can be used in multiple families or projects. After you add a shared parameter definition to a family and or project, you can use it in the family or project. Shared parameters allows us to tag and schedule parameters that we would not be able to other wise. The definition of a shared parameter is stored in a separate file outside of the project or family, and because of that it is protected from change.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Color plan by Mass object

Have you ever wanted to create the space planning diagram in Revit?

A couple of months ago I began to talk about color plans in Revit. One of the ways I didn't mention was using different mass objects to create color plans. This method of creating color plan is really useful during the programming or master planning stage of a project when you are creating diagrams. When using mass objects for space planning you are given the flexibility to move the mass objects around like Lego's or building blocks to figure out the best configuration of the space.

There are two types of Mass objects that can be created, Mass object family, or in-place Mass object. In-place Mass object can only be used in the project that they were created in, and a Mass family object can be used in multiple projects.

To color a Mass object there are two techniques. You can assign materials to the mass objects and control the colors of the object through the Materials menu. Another technique of coloring mass objects is using filters. What’s nice with filters is that you can turn certain things off in the view as well. For controlling the color of the mass objects using filters is a faster technique then using materials.

To change the color of a mass family object with material you should create a custom parameter that controls what the material is assigned to the mass family object. This parameter would want to be an instance parameter so that the material of the mass family can be quickly changed.  For in-place mass objects it’s a little more time consuming. To change the material of in-place mass objects you have to edit the mass then change the material that is assigned.

With filters you can use a parameter that is common to both In-place Mass objects as well as Mass family objects to control the color the mass objects. With filters if you change the parameter controlling the color the color will change quickly. With filters you can use a different parameter in a different view to create a different color scheme for the same mass object, which you cannot do with Materials.  To create a view filter for a mass object is the same process as you would use to create a filter for a wall. The only difference is that you are selecting the mass category instead of the wall category.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

505 BUG Workset standards

they had been working on all year. A standard for Worksets. The idea is that if we have a standard that most if not all of the AEC community was using then it would make collaboration between the AEC firms easier.

Worksets are a powerful feature in Revit. Worksets is a method by which multiple people can work in the same model. Worksets allow you to only load certain parts of the model to be able to work quicker in large models. Worksets provide another level of graphic control over the model.

Over the last couple of years it has been discovered that if project team members have the same names to the worksets in their models, it gives each of the project team members greater graphic control of the other team members model with in their model.

The 505 BIM Users Group had created a standards committee that has been meeting for the last year. One of the things that has dominated the standards committee's discussion has been creating a standard for naming Worksets, so that firms in New Mexico could collaborate better.

At the 2014 November meeting of the 505 Bim Users group, the standards committee presented five proposals to creating a Worksets standard.

to see these proposals follow this link

Friday, January 9, 2015

Create a View Filter

There are two paths to follow when starting to create a view filter.

Path 1 is to open your visibility graphics dialog box (shortcut key VV or VG) then go to the Filter Tab. Click the “Edit/New” button. This will take you to the filter creation dialog box.

Path 2 is to go to the View Tab and click the Filters button. A filters dialog box will appear. Click the New button and then the Filter creation dialog box will appear.

Path 1 is good when you are creating View Filters on the fly and want to apply them right away. Path 2 is good when you are creating a bunch of them at a time and are not going to apply them to a view right away. Path 2 is mainly for setup purposes.

Now that we are in view Filters creation dialog box let's create a filter. As an example let’s create a view filter to filter out all the 1 hour walls in the project.

  • From the view filter creation dialog box create a new filter by clicking the new filter button 
  • From the filter name dialog box that pops up type in the name of the new filter, in this case name it 1HR, then click the ok button. 
  • With your new filter highlighted select the category of the objects you want to apply the filter to, in this case select Walls
  • Next we apply a filter rule. Click the pull down button that says “none”. A list of parameters for the selected category appears. Select the parameter you want to filter against, in this case we will select “Fire Rating”. 
  • In the box below the parameter box select the filter criteria, in this case we will select “Equal”.
  • In the next field we will type the value you are looking for, which in this case is 1
  • After that click the OK button, and you have created a view filter.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Color plan by Floor types

A couple of months ago I began to talk about color plans in Revit. One of the ways I didn't mention was using different floor types to create your colored floor plans.

Many times you use different floor types to create color plans when you are creating a finish floor plan, where you are trying to depict different floor materials, or you are trying to show what you want the tile pattern of a room to be, or you are trying to get an accurate square footage of the floor finish material. Whatever the reason for the color plan you are creating a finish floor type that is separate from the structural floor. Yes you can add the finish layers to the structural floor, but when the structural engineer has control of the structural floor in their model and you as an Architect just want to add your finish materials you can't. So instead of creating a floor that sits in the exact same place as the structural model which creates conflicts when you perform a clash detection on the model, you create a floor that just has the finish layers that is sitting on the structural floor.

To use finish floor types you need to create a floor type that just has the layers of the finish floor. For example you have a tile floor in an area. The finish floor will have a layer of the thickness of the tile then it will have a layer that is the thickness of the mortar.

After you have the floor types created you create a new floor in each of the rooms. (Note you will need to offset the new floor type the thickness of the floor type so that it will be modeled correctly. Typically floors are defined from the top of the floor down.)

With in the Revolution Design Workflow app, Steve has a Revit add-in that creates the finish floors based on the floor materials in the room finish schedule. This app has the ability to update the finish floors based on the material that was changed in the Room finish schedule.

At Au this year I was in a class by Marcello Sgambelluri (Practically Dynamo: Practical Uses for Dynamo Within Revit) where is was showing off the capabilities of Dynamo. Dynamo is a visual programming language. One of the examples in Marcello's class showed how to use Dynamo to create finish floors by using the finish floor parameter of the room and have them update when the material of the room changes or if the boundary of the room change(walls get moved).