Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Building Blocks and Puzzle Pieces is Moving!

“The only thing constant in life is change!” - Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld
This statement being true, we are moving the BUILDING BLOCKS AND PUZZLE PIECES blog to a new site. We’re joining forces with other industry leaders to create a “one stop shop” for all things technological in nature. The new site will include posts by other authors within the building, infrastructure and manufacturing industries, as well as a “New” technical support blog.
We would like to encourage you to follow us at for all of the up-to-the-minute posts, latest trends in technology and fun facts. 

You only have until October 1st before BUILDING BLOCKS AND PUZZLE PIECES will become obsolete.  Follow us today at

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Revit Catalogs: Troubleshooting Incorrect Beam Sizes

Support Question and Solution:
Provided by Tylor Zollman, Technical Support Specialist

We had a client that when inserting structural steel frames into Revit he noticed that the sizes were incorrect. We dug a little deeper and found that this was an oversight by Autodesk. However, you can simply edit the type catalog to resolve the issue. Please see the images below…

HSS – Hollow Structural Section.rfa

HSS16X4X3/16 = 1’2”?!?!
  1. Browse to C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 2013\Libraries\US Imperial\Structural Framing\Steel and right click on the HSS-Hollow Structural Section.txt
  2. Select properties
  3. De-select the “Read Only” check box
  4. Select Apply and then OK
  5. Now open the HSS-Hollow Structural Section.txt
  6. Find the incorrect size and change it from 14.000 to 16.000.
  7. Save the text file as the EXACT same name.

Once you have completed the above steps the sizes should be correct when inserting the family into a Revit model.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bringing Information from Excel into Revit

Following is information and workflows for bringing information from Excel into Revit.  Multiple options, tutorial videos on most options. 

Go to Subscription Center to get the Revit Database Link Extension.  Under Downloads > Product Enhancements > Autodesk Revit DB Link 2013 (or 2012 if this is the version you are running) > Download the Extension > Close Revit and reopen Revit for the Extension to populate in the Add-Ins Tab > External Tools dropdown.

RDB Link works with Microsoft Access.

Revit DB Link video demonstration.  This is a free add-on for subscription customers.

Another video showing (although from 2010, workflow remains similar)

Import Excel into Access


This video outlines the (manual, but effective workflow) for linking in Excel through the ACAD file link.


Third Party:
I have seen individuals have luck with: Quick Table

Excel to Revit tool:

Ideate BIMLink information:
Import from Excel:

More videos about BIMLink:

Provided by: Alan DeLuce, Application Engineer - Building Solutions

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

From Autodesk: How to get your Autodesk software on a CD, DVD or USB drive

Did you know that you can still get your media on a CD, DVD or USB drive?  If you are a Subscription Customer you can request the physical media (e.g., CD, DVD, or USB—depending on the product) for the products you have licensed on your subscription contract, directly from Subscription Center. 

1) Log onto the Subscription Center, and click Get Your Upgrade in the center of the page.

2) Under Related Information on the left menu, click Request Media for:

Follow the link to continue: How to get your Autodesk software on a CD, DVD or USB drive

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Little Features in Revit 2013

There are so many blogs out there talking about the new features of Revit 2013.  This one is specific to dimensions...a small change, but something we received as a Support case just this past week.  There is now an option to select an individual segment in a multi-segment dimension chain, and delete the segment!  Watch, and I will demonstrate:

Simply hovering over the dimension thread, selecting the individual dimension and hitting the Delete key will remove simple, so beautiful...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Autodesk is no longer supporting Windows Vista

I just wanted to remind everyone that Autodesk is no longer supporting Windows Vista. That does mean that the 2013 software IS NOT compatible with Windows Vista. We have already ran into a client trying to install AutoCAD 2013 on a Vista machine and he was receiving errors that Windows has crashed.

2013 Requirements:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Revit To Navisworks

Through the emergence of technology the dynamic of the design process has been changed for the better. These technologies allow us to put the right tools into the right hands to create better design documents and better products for the user. Since the dawn of man we have been striving to improve our dwellings and our quality of life through technology.

In recent years there has been a pivotal change in the way contractors and construction managers coordinate their projects. Due to contract language there are positioned against the design teams, which can create a poor product for the owner. The old way of coordinating documents “the light table method” has been thrown out the window and replaced with 3D documents that can be reviewed with efficiency and speed. This new way of thinking and documenting is allowing the Architect to become the master builder they are meant to be.

This new mode of thinking called Building Information Modeling or BIM is transforming the modern Architects back into the “Master of all Trades”. With the object oriented BIM models we can now fully visualize a building and its contents in a virtual setting before anything is in place. This allows us to mitigate the large lose time changes orders before any piece of the building is erected. This allows the design team to tighten up drawings before their drawings have been signed and sealed.

Navisworks is the coordination key that brings all the BIM documentation into a like setting to be compared. It allows the users to coordinate in ways we have needed for many years.

The information below are my accounts, tips and tricks I feel can be useful for anyone starting to learn Navisworks. With over 3 years of Navisworks experience and over $250 Million in BIM projects coordinated in place I have discovered systems to simplify the process. Remember Navisworks is only as good as the information you put into it, so it is important that all information in your drawings are “validated” in some form.

A.      Exporting for Revit – “What you see is what you get”

We use the term “what you see is what you get” because when exporting from Revit the model and the state in which it is shown is how it is exported into a .NWC (Navisworks model) or 3D .DWG file from the 3D view the user is currently viewing. See example below.

In the above example the file which would be exported would contain all items shown such as exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings, structure, and etc.. The problem with exporting all construction systems in one file is once exported into Navisworks the project becomes cumbersome but this will be explained in the next section.

                When exporting from Revit keep you project simple and keep in mind you will be comparing each construction system to another so the cleaner each file the more efficient your Navisworks navigation will become and this will lessen the possibility of an error in your Navisworks clash report.

                You can define you 3D view in many ways to get the desired trade or items you would like to have coordinated.

1.       Use work sets to view certain trades with in the 3D view.

2.       Or use your phasing with work sets to view a certain trade and its correct phase of the project (see below).

Now there are two recommended ways to export information from Revit into Navisworks. The first way is to use the Navisworks NWC export tool in the add-inns tab of the Revit user interface. This method is the most widely used and recommended from Autodesk.

When exporting with the Add-Inns tool we have to double check some key items within the Navisworks exports Add-Inn tool. Once the export to Navisworks is opened select the “Navisworks Settings” button to check the current settings, please see the picture below.

Once you select the “Navisworks Settings” button the Navisworks settings for opening Revit files within Navisworks will be opened. Most of the default setting will remain the same but there are 2 important setting to make sure you check. The first is the “convert linked files” is checked if you are exporting linked files this setting is most important if you are including linked files in you export. The second setting that needs to be reviewed is the “Coordinated” this needs to be set to “Shared” to make sure our files come over in the right X, Y, Z location.