Monday, November 26, 2007

New Service Pack - SP3

While I was on vacation, Revit Arch got a new service pack released. Here are the improvements that were provided.

Improvements made in the current Web Update SP3 build (20071109_2345):
• Allows the ability to array face-based families placed on a vertical face.
• Allows the ability to maintain face-based instances on curved surfaces of a Revit file linked into Revit Architecture software when the link is unloaded.
• Improves stability when selecting sections.
• Allows the ability to insert an electrical receptacle into a legend view.
• Improves stability when accessing the Help menu in Revit Architecture on a computer with the Microsoft Windows Vista™ operating system.
• Improves stability when applying a view template to a sheet.
• Improves performance when views contain many objects with overridden graphics by element.

The link to download the latest SP is -

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nested Familes and File Size Test

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine (David Lidbury) and I were having a discussion regarding nested families and their effect of the size of a project. We both had initially heard that nesting families wasn’t the best thing to do as it increased the file size, but neither one of us actually have run across that problem. We both have utilized nested families with customers and didn’t have any trouble. So, David did some testing to see what would happen to a file’s size if he built a door that was made of nested components versus a door that wasn’t. The results were a little surprising….

The set up

240kb Door without nested parts
HM door frame with the same parameters as listed below but with all the needed parts (Panel, Plan & Elevation swing) in the same family file.

316kb Door with nested parts
HM door frame with parameters to allow for full flexibility (Separate Fame Head and Jam parameters, etc.). This file is the base for the full family file. Nested families included; Door Panel, 2D Plan swing, Elevation plan swing

Conclusion #1 – The family size with nested parts is 76kb larger

Test - 1
I created a 22,000sf building then saved it as two separate files. I then added 36 doors of each type in there respective files.

1,208kb 36 doors without nested parts
1,308kb 36 doors with nested parts

Conclusion #2 – The file size with nested parts is 100kb larger

Test – 2
I added 99 additional levels and copied the first level up 99 times. This resulted in a door count of 3,564.

14,972kb 3,564 doors without nested parts
14,884kb 3,564 doors with nested parts

Conclusion #3 – The file size with nested parts is 88kb Smaller. This is obviously a surprise (and I did double check which file was which). The file size actually gets smaller as more nested families are added.

Of course this was a very simple project with mainly walls and doors. But, even with taking the project further and adding all the other components a building would have, the family built from nested components really doesn’t have an effect on the file size.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dependant Views and Tags Issue

Another issue has been discovered with dependant views and adjusting tags. If you adjust the tag (say an equipment tag) in the main view, everything is fine. But if you adjust the tag in the dependant view without moving it in the main first, or not having the main view open with the dependant, Revit will crash. I sent the file to Autodesk along with the journal file and they were able to reproduce the problem. At this point, "The workaround is to make sure that the original view is opened at the same time. You will be able to then move the tag in the dependant view without any issues."... was the response from Autodesk. They also said that "The underlying issue for this case is being addressed by our development team on a future release."

So, hopefully in the next build or release...which at this point in the year I would assume the next release, the dependant views will become more stable.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dependant Views and Reference Section Adjustment Issue

This is an issue that many people may never run into, but if you do you'll realize it's not fun! The problem comes about when you are using dependant views and you have reference sections pointing to another view and you modify the section mark in it's length and/or head/tail location. If you place a reference section and say stretch it out, or need to change the head to the other side, the section will revert back to it's original placement location (before you made any changes to it) as soon as you adjust the crop region in the dependant view. Please take a look at the attached video for a visual of the issue. This is from an actual project where the person had a lot of referenced sections. The video zooms into the dependant view so you can see the sections changing as the crop region was adjusted.

I've forwarded this issue to Autodesk and at this point "The underlying issue for this case is being addressed by our development team". So if we all keep our fingers crossed, they will be able to fix this issue in a new build or in the next release (2009).

At this point, the only thing I can think of as a work around is to adjust your crop regions first, then adjust your reference sections to be the way you want them. But even then, if you have to make an adjustment to the crop region, all bets are off.