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March

21

2017

We thank Garrett Broadnax, Designer, EIT at Kinetics in Austin, Texas for letting us know about his experience with Ideate XRay. XRay is one of the tools we developed to streamline the activities that Autodesk Revit software users perform most often. Here’s what Garrett said:

“Ideate XRay saves me a lot of time and frustration; it flattens the learning curve for Revit by parsing through layers of data and giving you an interpretable, actionable answer.

Before XRay, it could take 5 to 10 minutes to sort through the myriad visibility parameters in Revit and find out why an element wasn’t showing up in a particular view. With XRay, I simply select (in a different view) the element that’s not showing up, hit a button, and about 3 seconds later it tells me why it’s invisible – and fixes the problem with another click. In addition to directly solving my problem, using it trains you to think about these parameters as you’re setting up your project, to avoid these issues in the first place.”

Want the same time-saving experience? Download a free trial of IdeateApps, which includes XRay, ReNumber, SmartDelete, and QuickSelect.

For more information on IdeateApps and other Revit software add-ins that help customers get the most out of their Revit software, visit the homepage of our website.

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March

1

2017

Autodesk Revit software allows a dizzying array of sophisticated options to display or hide elements within the Building Information Model. Model managers know about Visibility Graphics and Reveal Hidden Elements, but add Phasing, View Filters, Linked Files, or Scope Boxes, and things start to get complicated.

Now, add in the possibility that you have new staff who might just ignore Worksets or decide to make a new Level because they can’t find the existing one in the Elevation, and you’re headed for a Visibility Tornado of problems!  

We’ve recently add a new class to our extensive schedule of online classes titled, “Hide-and-Seek with Revit Elements using Ideate XRay and Ideate QuickSelect.”   

This class is geared towards advanced and guru-level Revit users who are responsible for model management. The goals of the class are to:

  • Provide a methodology to evaluate the causes of visibility problems
  • Demonstrate how to solve some of the more complicated visibility conditions
  • Train staff on how to solve visibility issues without help from the BIM Manager

Register for our next live online class scheduled for April 20th at 11:30 PDT. We hope you’re able to join us!

If you aren’t available for the April 20th class date, we have made a recording of an earlier presentation you can review ANY time! (Eat pizza and watch in your pajamas!)


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architecture and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit

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February

1

2017

Do you need some fun and light listening material on the way to and from work?

BIMThoughts is podcast about BIM technology and techniques, and recently, they dedicated an entire podcast to a review of IdeateApps from Ideate Software.

BIM experts, Bill Debevc and Kristina Gardenhire, give an independent and honest look at IdeateApps. You can enjoy their light banter and helpful, but frank discussion about IdeateApps here.

Learn more about BIMThoughts, the team, and other important BIM topics.


About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architecture and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit

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January

10

2017

As a lead developer on Ideate XRay, which uncovers the reason an element isn’t visible in a certain view, I had to deal with a lot of visibility issues. Many of the issues dealt with the geometry of an element and its position within the model. To resolve these visibility issues, I had to learn a lot about bounding boxes and how they work within Revit.

Every model element in Revit represents an object that takes up space and has a position. To simulate this, Revit uses objects called “bounding boxes.” Revit defines a bounding box as an invisible 3D rectangular space that contains all a model element. These boxes are used to represent the geometry and position of an element, and they are important factors in the visibility of an element.



Behind the scenes, a bounding box is represented by the class “BoundingBoxXYZ.” This box has three main properties: Min, Max, and Transform. The Min and the Max are two points that represent the lower and upper bounds of the box, while the Transform represents its rotation relative to the model. These properties can be used to determine where an element is within a model by checking the coordinates of the element.

Views also have bounding boxes. A view’s bounding box represents the crop box of the view. In plan views, the crop box represents the sides of the view’s bounding box, while the view range represents the floor and ceiling of the view. For section and elevation views, the bounding box of the view represents the sides, while the depth is represented by the far clip offset.  

If the bounding box of an element does not intersect with the bounding box of a view in model space, the element will not be visible in that view. For most views, bounding box intersection is simple and only requires checking if the position of an element is within the bounding box of a view. Some views are not in alignment with the model coordinates and must use a transform. To check for element intersection in these cases, you would need to apply the inverse of the transform of the view onto the element to get the element’s position relative to the view.


 

A view’s visibility can also be effected by bounding boxes. Sometimes when placing a view in another view, like a section, the view marker is not visible. This can happen for a few reasons, and one of them is bounding boxes. If a floor plan has an elevation in it and the bounding box of the elevation intersects with the bounding box of the floor plan, the elevation marker will be visible within the floor plan.

With rotations, transforms, view coordinates, and model coordinates, things can become confusing very quickly, especially when all you want to do is figure out where your element went. IdeateApps’ XRay will check your element’s bounding box and use that information to help you resolve visibility issues. Download the trial version to see  how it simplifies the process of determining why an element isn’t visible in certain views.


About the Author

Alex Souza

Software Engineer with two years of experience. Part of the Ideate Software team that designs, develops, and tests applications that run within the Revit environment.

 

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December

16

2016


If you’ve ever stared long and hard at a section or elevation view in Revit, willing an invisible level line to present itself, then this is the blog post for you. 

I’ll be the first to admit it, I’ve done this.  I’ve created a duplicate level line…I’m so sorry!  I didn’t realize by creating two level lines, at the exact same height, I was:

  • Creating a host of visibility issues, because now the View Range for “Level Above” is unexpectedly 0, making a mess of many views
  • Making it impossible to delete my rogue level because since I created it, several others in the project have created new views based on this level, and it’s not possible to modify the “Associated Level” assignment for a view
  • Producing the very real possibility that many views will be unwittingly deleted

Read on to avoid the wrath of the model manager and learn how to force the level line to appear in your section or elevation view.

In the image at the top of this post, the North Elevation view, is missing a level line as indicated by the dashed red line. While there are several reasons for its invisibility, the most befuddling reason is that the level line is a 3D plane, and that plane does not currently intersect the extents of the North Elevation.  The trick is to find a perpendicular view (East or West elevation) where the level line can be seen.

In the image of the Plan View above, you can see the extents of the 3D Level line (shaded in orange) does not intersect the area representing the North Elevation.  By grip-editing the 3D extents of the level line, you should be able to fix the issue, as shown below.


Ideate XRay is a tool within the IdeateApps collection that helps find and resolve visibility issues, including this level line conundrum. You can download the trial version of IdeateApps here. Imagine not needing to remember the 50+ reasons why a Revit element might be invisible.

To learn more about this issue, including Revit tips on how to modify a level line extents, refer to our Ideate XRay online help topic.


About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, Revit expertGlynnis Patterson, NCARB — Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for ECLC of NJ and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.

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