Friday, January 30, 2009

Sto Corp providing Revit Walls

Press release via -

Sto Corp. has announced the development and release of an electronic Architectural Toolbox™, an EIFS  selector tool that allows users to build a variety of EIFS systems using easy pull down menus and a variety of options.

The Architectural Toolbox™ also allows users to instantly download Revit models, specifications for their system choices, and download sales sheets, technical bulletins, and sales materials. The Architectural Toolbox™ can be found at

“Sto Corp. is the only manufacturer in the EIFS industry that allows its users to download Revit models for specific system configurations,” said John Edgar, Technical Manager - Building Science. “With the emergence of building information modeling (BIM), Sto recognizes the importance of providing this information in an easily downloadable and straight forward manner.”

I downloaded a wall family (project) and it appears that the families are built using metric units.  When using it in an Imperial units project, you'll have to do some updating to the components thickness as some of them have 64th's, 128th's and 256th's...unless you are okay with using those dimensions. :)   It looks like each system downloads its own project file, so combining them into one might be a good idea.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Stairs Without an Arrow Indicator

This is something I ran into the other day while teaching a class.  One of the exercises creates a couple of using the Run tool and another using Boundary and Riser tools.  I've never really paid attention to the graphics on the resulting stairs, but a student asked why the "custom" (Boundary and Riser created) stair didn't have an Arrow Indicator shown.


From the looks of it, the Arrow Indicator is somewhat tied to the Run Line that is generated with the Run Tool.  So if you create a Stair with just using the Boundary and Riser tools, you will not get an Arrow Indicator.  And unfortunately, you can not draw a Run line once you create a complete Stair using just Boundary and Riser lines. 

But, there is a way to make a custom stair and still get the Arrow Indicator.  Start with the Run tool and pick the path that you want for your stairs.  Yes, it will place Boundary and Risers lines, but those can be deleted and/or changed and the Run line will stay.


There is a caution to this...I created a stair that I completely re-drew the Boundary and Risers lines and kept the Run line and the Arrow Indicator did not show up.  (Example shown below)


So you may not get an Arrow Indicator in EVERY instance...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rafter or Truss Roof Property

Ever wonder what the difference was between selecting Rafter or Truss when doing a Roof by Footprint and utilizing Pick Walls? (Notice, I mentioned Roof by Footprint and Pick have to use these tools/options to get the selection of Rafter or Truss.)  Well, the difference is quite simple but can be confusing to some when laying out the footprint lines.

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When Selecting the Rafter Option, the slope starts at the INTERIOR face of the wall. If you use the Truss Option, the slope will start at the EXTERIOR face of the wall.  The confusing part for some is that the sketch line doesn't change when changing the Rafter or Truss parameter.  As you can see in the images, the overhang doesn't change but the "base point" of the wall does change height.  Notice how the dimension from the level to the top of the fascia line...the roof is moving vertically to adjust where the slope point starts.  So the sketch line doesn't change location to change where the slope starts, the Rafter or Truss option moves the roof up or down to change where the slope starts.

EDIT:  Forgot to mention one little thing...using Extend to Wall Core also works the same way.  The above images used the face of the wall for the overhang, not the face of the core.  If you check the box in the options bar to Extend to Wall Core, the slope point will be from the core face.  This would give a more realistic representation of the actual construction for most stud conditions, where the slope point would be in-line with the stud face and not a finish face.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interference Reports and Selecting Elements by ID

If you happen to run an Interference Check with-in Revit, you have the option to Export a Report out to a HTML file.  The HTML file (example below) lists out each element and what the interfering element is based on the selections you made for the interference detection.


Since every single element in Revit gets a unique ID number, you can tell in the Report that there are 3 separate walls that conflict with 3 separate Columns.  Columns will also get a "Mark" identifying the Grid intersection as well.  Other than identifying that there are 3 separate walls, these ID numbers can be utilized when you go back into the project to find them.  Granted, you could open up the Interference Last Report, use the Show option...but it's not necessary.  Plus, if you are the one receiving the report via HTML, you probably don't have the Report inside the project anyway.

What you can do with the ID number is Copy it to the clipboard from the HTML Report, then go back into the Project.  Select Tools->Element Ids->Select by Id.


When the dialog comes up to Select Elements by ID, you can then Paste in the ID.  Once the number (or numbers) are Pasted in, either hit Show to get you to a View to see the element(s), or just hit OK to have the element(s) selected.  Now you can decide if the Interference is okay or if something needs to be fixed.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Show Materials in Existing Walls

This was a question that was asked of me the other do you show the materials in a wall when it's an existing wall?  By default, the existing walls show just the outside lines of the wall when being viewed as an existing element, even if the wall type has any materials at all.


In order to make this happen, you need to modify the Phase Graphic Overrides.  Basically, you change the settings for the Existing Status to turn the Cut Pattern back on, and then set the Material to be No Material.  Since the Existing Material is setup to not show a pattern at all, just turning on the visibility of the Cut Pattern will not display the patterns.  Once you have the changes made, you will then see the materials inside the wall.


This is not a View specific change, this is a change that will effect the entire project.  So every cut of the walls (plan, section, etc.) will show materials when the walls are being displayed as existing.  If you don't want to show the materials in a certain View (for whatever reason), you can override the Cut Pattern visibility per Element.  I say per Element because if you do it by Category, it will turn off the patterns in all walls, not just the existing walls.  And unfortunately, you can not use a Filter by Phase.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adding and Removing Curtain Grid Lines

Curtain Grids are one of those elements that folks have a love-hate relationship with.  Working with Curtain Grids can be difficult at times, especially for the novice user.  I've created a little video about what happens when you start to have smaller segments and the ability to actually see if a segment is visible or not.

When you use the Add/Remove Segment tool, grid segments that are visible should be solid and what is not currently visible should be dashed.  The problem comes in when you have a short typically shows up solid even if it's not visible.  What you can do is change the scale to be larger (1/4" instead of 1/8" for instance) for editing purposes, do what you need to do for adding and removing curtain grid segments, then change it back to the original scale.  Or, just create a temporary elevation to edit your curtain grid segments.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Adjusting Level or Grid Line Lengths

I've seen many people try to adjust their level or grid line lengths at the annotative ends when they are zoomed out and end up changing the text value or putting in an elbow instead.  If you need to be zoomed out so you can see all of your annotative ends, here's a little trick to help you avoid the mistaken elbow or text edit.  With a grid line or level line selected, uncheck the box next to or above/below the annotation...this will turn it off and only give you the option to adjust the end.  Drag the end where you need it, then re-check the box to turn the annotation back on.

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