Monday, May 23, 2011

Revit Structure 2012 Visual Improvements: Analytical model

Many improvements have been made to Revit Structure 2012, including the visual enhancements of the analytical model.  Although it continues to be built at the same time as the physical representation of the model is being created, now, the analytical model can be viewed separated.

We now have an added command in the View Control bar, a visibility specifically the analytical model:

This will now only show the analytical mode without having to use the Visibility/Graphics dialog.  Also, the analytical flooring will now highlight the whole face of the element, instead of just the outline of the element:

However, you CAN go into the Visibility/Graphics dialog box and find a new tab for the Analytical model!

Work more efficiently with the analytical prtion of the Revit Structure model! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Learn about the Basics of Revit Parameters

Written by David Kaldy

There are 3 main types of Parameters as well as 3 subtypes, or ways the main Parameters are executed within a Project or Family.

The 3 main Parameter types are:

1.    Family Parameters – Non schedulable, and do not appear in tags or schedules. These are typically used as visibility Parameters, as well as dimensional values that do not need to be scheduled.

2.    Shared Parameter – Established from a Shared Parameter file, are associated only within the Families that utilize the Shared Parameter (unless the same Shared Parameter is also added as a Project Parameter), and can be viewed in schedules and tags.

3.    Project Parameters – Established within a Project, which add Parameters to entire object categories and can be used in schedules, but cannot be used in tags. Project Parameters can be generated from Shared Parameters and cannot be added to Families.

The 3 subtypes, all of which can be made from any of the 3 main Parameter types:

1.    Type – Appear in the Type Properties palette of elements and apply to all Instances of an element within a Project.

2.    Instance – Appear in the Properties palette and apply to only currently selected elements in a Project.

3.    Reporting (Instance) - Used to reference and display measurements within Families. Note: Can only be added in the Family Editor. These can be set up as Family or Shared Parameters.

A couple of notes about Shared Parameters:

-The Shared Parameter file can be created within a Project or a Family.

-Ensure the use of one Shared Parameter file. This helps with reducing duplicated Shared Parameters with the same name. If there are duplicate Shared Parameters (which can also occur from making a new Shared Parameter file every time a Shared Parameter is needed) then this can potentially cause duplicate Parameter fields to show up in schedules, and tags may not function correctly.

-Some Manufacturers add Shared Parameters to their content. It is best practice to swap out these Shared Parameters with Shared Parameters that you made in your Shared Parameter file, prior to loading that Family into a Project.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Revit Architecture Suite 2012 Upgrade: Feedback from a Client

I wanted to forward my thoughts so-as to help others going forward with Revit Architecture Suite 2012.

My thanks to NVIDA, PNY, Newegg, Microsoft, Apple, and Autodesk for I tried their patience as they worked with me through various issues required for this year's upgrade.


Original Specifications:

  • Apple Mac Pro 3.1 2-2.8ghz XENON E5462 - 6gig RAM - 8800gt video
  • 2 hd's - 1T mac o.s. 10.5.7, 2T Vista 64 bit SP2
  • Revit Arch Suite 2011 with files to 100meg in size



  • Use Autodesk website for correct video drivers (makes a huge difference)
  • Once files are over 100 meg in size, forget it - also renderings only to 300dpi max and file size to 2meg
  • Get use to system crashes due to known video card issues - so save often!
  • It will take a long time to open Revit and update files from previous versions
  • Big Tip:
    Place all of your content on a separate HD and load Families as you need them. Once you have finished your model, purge content for it will save you ALOT of time rendering
  • Do not even try to load Autodesk 2012 anything with these specifications - it isn't anywhere, anything close to a productive environment. RAM is the biggest thing the 8gig listed as a minimum has to be a mistake - try 16gig or better


New Specifications:

  • Same Mac Pro 3.1 2-2.8ghz xenon E5462
  • Upgrade to 24 gig ram - PNY Quatro 4000 video
  • Upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit
  • Upgrade Revit Architecture Suite 2012


Note: Bootcamp needs Vista to 7 utility and PNY Quatro needs a driver from the manufacturer.



  • Files larger than 200meg run fast
  • Renderings done in 1/8 the time or better
  • No system crashes with added benefit of multiple applications open i.e. Adobe Photoshop


Investment: Autodesk renewal $725; upgrades listed $1500; original Mac Pro $2800 = $5025


Lessons Learned:

  • If you are doing anything beyond VERY simple small file models in Revit, you will need a professionally build computer (Call HP or Apple)
  • There is no such thing as too much RAM, so forget about the 8meg RAM minimum, you really need 16meg RAM minimum
  • High End workstation cards are worth every penny!!!! Gaming cards are just not designed for what Revit does; check Autodesk for support drivers and you figure this out very quickly - so in short you must now pay to play or rather work (Call Newegg for upgrades)


I also want to thank Joanna for her patience and ability to listen, and then deliver Autodesk Products with exceptional service vital for my company's success.


*The information above has been given by Ross Billiter - AIA, ALA, NCARB of Ross Billiter Architect - Architechstyles, PLLC. Any views or opinions presented in this blog post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Advanced Solutions, Inc.*


Ross Billiter - AIA, ALA, NCARB

Ross Billiter Architect - Architechstyles, PLLC

Durham, NC