Saturday, January 16, 2010

16 Days of Revit Left

It might as well be 2 minutes, as I go back to work on Tuesday, and have a pile of things to between here and there. Things like going to Goat Island Bay and looking at the fish.

As you can see I did not get very far. If you look really hard you might see all the rafters, purlins and fascia boards. For flying rafters, I had to create a family of them - all slanting at 10 degrees.
My thinking was that I wanted to model as much as possible of the underlying roof structure.
I have experimented with various ways of creating purlins-sometimes modelling in place, sometimes creating a family for them.

My conclusion, and I admit here that it is not a very informed one, is that Revit is great if you are drawing multi-story buildings. I'm not so sure about ordinary domestic houses, except where you are happy to represent a roof structure as a slab. This is probably how it is used in real life?
No doubt as your library of families is built up, life would be a lot easier, and quicker. With Autocad the same rule must also apply, except they are called blocks not families.
I considered starting the roof over the garage, and just thinking about it was enough!
Who knows, maybe I'll try copying the lounge roof over and just modifying it?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How not to learn Revit...

This is how far I have got, in between having a day off and putting unwanted stuff on the local internet market.

Two conclusions:
1. Putting in walls and windows in Revit: easy.
2. Constructing floor structures and roof structures:a bit harder!
When it came to putting in the floor structure, things seemed to go a lot slower for some reason-most likely because I was doing things for the first time, and did not realise there was a multiple copy. (There is, you just have to look for the checkbox).

I downloaded a roof truss from somewhere but things came to a bit of a halt when I had to alter the existing family. This was when I realised that I had not quite understood families and creating them. So I spent most of the day trying to make a sloped rafter, even getting as far as making a bird's mouth at the lower end, which caused quite a few problems.

Maybe I have missed something, but I would have thought that a plain old rafter would have come with the package. It probably is, but is called something like "Structural Effects".
I can see that the English are on to the fact that the Americans speak American. For instance a "notch" in English is "coping" in American.

It has been a frustrating experience, but just reinforces what someone has said previously:"You can learn by yourself, but you will take less time if you have training".

After the last try, I found my rafter coming through as an elevation in a plan view, so I tossed the toys out of the cot and went and mowed the lawn. (Yes, I do know what I did wrong!)

Maybe I'm like a lot of those crusty old Autocad users: Don't show me anything new: my mind is made up. It just seems working in Autocad is wonderfully precise and extremely flexible: you can quickly draw anything you want. It's just that it is not parametric.

I seem to be stuck in the family editor, doing things the "correct" way (by my way of thinking!)
only to be greeted with error dialog boxes saying things like "reference dimensions are no longer parallel " and so on. Going to Youtube is no good as the tutorials there do not cover a sloping item such as a rafter.

As an Autocad user, you find yourself keying in things like "M" for move, when you should be pressing a button. Visibility states are another minefield for an Autocad user: there ain't no layers!

When you finally find out a way to hide something, it's gone forever because the way to get it back is not the same button or next to it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Autocad to Revit...Notes of an Autocad user

A successful install of Revit Architecture 2010. Whaddaya mean there's no tutorials???

Well, says R, they are a separate download. Oh...Ok. All sorts of downloads going to the wrong directories and much shuffling later...

I have ground my way through the tutorials, missing things like room spaces etc.

Being an impatient type, I thought it would be good to redo a previously done house drawn in 2D Autocad to see how it compared. (Yes, I know I should not have done it in 2D--it just reinforces for me that 2D is a crazy way of drawing.) This particular drawing I remember well because in the early stages the client wanted a print. Being a "work in progress" there were things wrong.
He got very cranky, so this has taught me the lesson that you do not give anyone a "rough" drawing. I'm not a particularly fussy person, but I'm sure that there is sweat and blood on that drawing...even if it is a PDF!
The above shows progress so far- about 3 hours. The house is a bit deceptive as it has 2 levels on the ground floor.

Putting in things like walls, doors and windows is fairly easy, once you get used to the idea that if the standard version is not what you want, you just duplicate it, and rename it as something else, then alter that one.

Another head scrambler is the fact that all you ever need is already drawn for you: your job is just to fit it and modify it to what you want.

I'm half way between huge admiration for this product and frustration with how things are done.
Another neat way to learn is to go to Youtube and type in say "Revit Stairs". There are some very good presentations there.
Another thing that really surprised me was the connection to Autodesk Seek-
This seems to be a huge depository of components such as baths, sinks etc.
(Note in the standard install they cleverly hide bathroom fittings under "Drainage"-go figure!)
Equally surprising was the lack of sliding windows- sure you can go places where you have to register/pay for such things, but even they have only 2 panels, not 3.
Or am I missing something? (Probably!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

On a video roll

I've gone mad with the uploading of videos to Youtube. The latest is for
handrails to be found at:

I hope that I'm getting better at doing these- a friend suggested I work on a smaller
screen size and have the autocad background set to white, which seems to produce
a much better result.

Now, back to that Revit tutorial....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Xmas Madness continues

It's all too much: Xmas food, holidays, being able to decide what to do each day.

So the mad part is I have downloaded a trial copy of Revit to see what it is about.

Just to be totally inconsistent, I downloaded Java netbeans integrated development environment as well.

It just allows you to "easily" make java programs. That is, if you can figure out what the heck is going on!

Even worse, I have downloaded a screen video capture program called CamStudio and after much searching for a microphone produced a video. The trick (I have not mastered it yet) is to have the settings so that the file size is low. It is just a short 3 minute demo of my pipe lisp.

It can be found at: