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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January

10

2017

First and foremost, Happy New Year to everyone!

Looking back and reflecting on 2016, I realized almost all the posts I have written are about technology – mostly Autodesk products, like Revit software. This time, I decided to change things up a little and talk about the importance of disconnecting and enjoying a little downtime. Quite the opposite, wouldn’t you say?

While I have always known the importance of leaving the phone behind and not answering emails, I still find myself compulsively checking my email at all hours of the day. Perhaps it has become a habit. Or maybe I am worried if I do not at least check my email, I will fall far behind, as if each one is urgent and needs an immediate response.

This past holiday break, my fiancée and I drove to the Northwestern corner of Montana to see her family and get away from everyday life. The drive through the mountains got me thinking about the lack of cell service, and the forced disconnection from technology. The beauty of these “dead-zones” is there are no interruptions and no temptations to look at your phone or to even expect a phone call for that matter. It’s just you and the people you are with, and that interaction is always important.

While we were in Montana for only a few days, it was the much-needed break from technology I was looking for. We went cross-country skiing and ran into a herd of sheep; hiked up to a small frozen waterfall; and drove on an unpaved, snow-covered logging road for over 40 miles to a small town to meet a friend for lunch. During this time, I was unable to connect to the outside world, which helped me focus on the most important things – fiancée, friends, family, relaxation, and the outdoors.

If you ever find yourself stressed out from the day-to-day routine, take time to unplug and enjoy some time outdoors, preferably far away from cell service. It will help you relax and focus on yourself and the people around you.

Here are some photos for inspiration:

Thank you for reading!


About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - ACI, LEED AP AEC Senior Application Specialist Sash is a registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional who holds a Master of Architecture from Montana State University. Sash’s experience includes project management, BIM management, and design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and solutions for AECO firms. @sashpdx

 

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December

22

2016

As a developer of add-in solutions for Autodesk Revit software, our goal is to help our customers get the most out of their Revit software investment. One way we do this is by meeting with users of our software as well as Revit software at Autodesk conferences. At last year’s Autodesk Revit Technology Conference (RTC), one person we spoke with was Tim Ekstrom, the BIM/CAD department leader for SSG MEP. SSG MEP offers a wide range of support for designing electrical, lighting, and low voltage systems for medical, municipal, educational, commercial, and transit facilities, as well as highways, roadways, and streetscapes.

Tim told us about some BIM line style standards that were not supported by our Revit add-in solution Ideate Sticky. Ideate Sticky lets Revit users “stick” Microsoft Excel files containing non-BIM data, such as code checklists, design data, and general notes, onto Revit project files, which are not able to manage or format non-BIM data.

Based on knowledge gained from several conversations with Tim, we realized that we had a great opportunity to increase the value of our software to Tim and many other users who must comply with those standards. Our software development team went to work, and in December of 2015 we added three new features to Ideate Sticky:


1.    Support for hidden rows and columns
2.    Support for additional line weights
3.    Support for images


And we didn’t stop there. We asked Tim for his thoughts on the updates, and he provided additional comments that led to further line refinements.

We appreciate Tim’s comments and welcome yours as well. You are deep into Revit software and Ideate Software products. If you are experiencing a challenge, chances are others are too. Please reach out to us at support@ideatesoftware.com.  

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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 at Ideate Software, and she 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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December

8

2016

Ideate QuickSelect allows you quickly find, select, and manipulate Revit elements. Unlike the Revit project browser, which is a library of objects that can be in your Revit project, Ideate QuickSelect is a model browser that shows you the objects that are there, even those not easily visible within the model, whether in an Active view or anywhere else within your Revit project.

IdeateApps QuickSelect offers an easy and efficient solution to eliminate duplicate types within a project. Without Ideate QuickSelect, this can be quite a challenge, because Revit software doesn’t offer an easier way to find the duplicates, and can lead to error-prone results.

Follow the instructions in this video to see how you can quickly find the duplicate types and swap them out with the right family type. The video features a rectangular duct as an example, but the process is the same for all elements.


About the Author

Vasudha Dixit

Vasudha Dixit – MEP Application Specialist
Vasudha is an MEP Application Specialist at Ideate, Inc. based on San Francisco office. She has a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she specialized in HVAC design, green buildings and energy analysis. Prior to Ideate, she interned at a few multinational companies where she performed finite element analysis for design validation of components. Vasudha provides Revit MEP training and support for various AEC firms

 

 

 

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