Greetings, folks!

Here is a quick solution to an inconvenience I was having when setting up some Window Legend sheets today. In this particular case I’ve decided to use the Phased Out Legends approach discussed many years ago in this blog post by Martijn de Riet. This is from 2012 but it’s still a valid approach in my opinion. We’ve enjoyed quite a few treats in the recent years, sadly Legends are still to get the attention they need.

The premise is that you setup your Window views as plain old Plan and Elevation views using one long long wall containing all your window types. In order to hide that in all your normal views, you place this rig inside the ‘Existing’ phase and you also demolish them in that same phase. Then you simply adjust your views to show said phases correctly. These dummy windows would remain hidden in all normal views including schedules. That’s the gist of it.

I bet there were a number of ways to automate the task of creating all the ‘mini views’ for each window type, but what I found myself doing is duplicating the same plan and elevation view as dependant views, adjusting the crop region as needed and placing them on the appropriate sheet. Tedious, tedious work.

Duplicate Views on Sheets

What came out of my frustration was a neat way to duplicate Views on Sheets. I can see how that can be quite handy in so many situations where you simply want to save some of the hustle of all the duplicating and dragging and dropping. So here you go, folks, a nice little Macro that you can use inside your Application Macros straight away (unless you need Administrative rights in which case you can go and kick your IT’s butt from me).


// Use inside the Application Macros
public void DuplicateViewPort()
{
	Document doc = this.ActiveUIDocument.Document;			
				
	Viewport viewportToDuplicate = ViewportToDuplicateFromSelection(this.ActiveUIDocument);
	View viewToDuplicate = ViewToDuplicate(doc, viewportToDuplicate);
	XYZ placementPoint = viewportToDuplicate.GetBoxOutline().MaximumPoint;
	using(Transaction t = new Transaction(doc, "dulicate viewport"))
	{
		t.Start();
		Viewport.Create(doc, viewportToDuplicate.SheetId, viewToDuplicate.Id, placementPoint);				
		t.Commit();
	}
}
// Returns the Selected Viewport to Duplicate - promps for selection
internal Viewport ViewportToDuplicateFromSelection(UIDocument uidoc)
{
	var selectedViewPort = uidoc.Selection.PickObject(ObjectType.Element, "Pick Viewport");						
	var viewport = uidoc.Document.GetElement(selectedViewPort.ElementId) as Viewport;
							
	return viewport;
}
// Returns the duplicate View to be placed on the Sheet
internal View ViewToDuplicate(Document doc, Viewport viewport)
{
	using(Transaction t = new Transaction(doc, "duplicate view"))
	{
		t.Start();	
		var view = doc.GetElement(viewport.ViewId) as View;				
		var duplicateView = doc.GetElement(view.Duplicate(ViewDuplicateOption.AsDependent)) 
                   as Autodesk.Revit.DB.View;
		t.Commit();
		
		return duplicateView;
	}			
}

Feel free to use it as you see fit. Ask away, if you have issues implementing it. Use the code to create Dynamo nodes of any sort or kind and generally knock yourselves out.

The wait is over and Warchart is available for download from Autodesk App Store – go right ahead and get your fresh copy of our new product and start cleaning those pesky Warnings, enjoying yourself every step of the way!

Ok, you might be thinking – wait, whatchart? Warwho? Alright, let’s take it one step at a time.

History of Revit Warnings

Warnings have always been a part of Revit’s grunt. Their existence is important in two ways.

First and probably most important, Revit is doing you a great service in telling you that something is wrong with your model. Understanding Revit Warnings, in Autodesk’s own words, is important and you would want to prioritize those areas in your project where you might be punished later down the road – for example, having “Duplicate Instances in the Same Place” might result in a misleading schedule – not ideal.

Hint: clear Warnings which lead to program implications first.

The second way in which accumulating Revit Warnings should be of interest to you is because it directly affects Model Performance. Yup, every character is a byte of information and it just adds up, slowing your model in the process. There is no hard limit as to how many Warnings is a definite no-no – I bet my BIM hat that everyone has their own opinion, my

Hint: let’s say Warning Number = N and File Size in MB = S. Then:

  • Wow: N = 0
  • Good: N < S
  • Alright: N < 2 x S
  • Poor: N < 4 x S

For example, if you have a model of 350mb, you can tap yourself on the shoulder at 350 Warnings, go ‘meh’ at 700 and feel bad about yourself at 1400. Each project is different and those values will vary.

Let’s see what Autodesk has to say:

“Ideally, all warnings should be addressed and the total number of unresolved warnings should be zero. But in reality, this is a tall order in most projects. So the pragmatic approach is to resolve as many of the warnings that you reasonably can.”

User Interface (UI)

Revit provides you with a simple but thorough UI to let you go through the different Warnings in your Model. While it has everything that’s needed to get the job done, I feel that the main problem the community has had with the default Warning Dialogue was the difficulty with which you navigate and isolate the affected elements.

 

After Autodesk Development Team released the Document.GetWarnings() method a number of community created alternatives came to live each attempting to give a better way of dealing with Warnings. In all fairness, the process started even before Revit 2018, but the extra step of having to export and parse an .html file made those solutions a bit .. uglier I guess is the word. GetWarnings() created a really elegant way of interacting with what was already inside Revit.

Enter Warchart

Warchart stands for Warning (Pie) Chart. The great thing about Warchart is that it builds on the fluidity of this new feature. It’s absolutely adorably interactive. It gives you an immediate feedback. That’s a really powerful feature and we can talk about gamification, dopamine release all we want but the fact of the matter is that it’s just super cool watching you eating through those Warnings like the proverbial Pacman (see what I did there?). A part of this, of course, is the Modeless WPF which allows you to keep Warchart open while you go about your business.

The other really potent feature is the ability to zero on those warnings which matter the most – because the interface is actually one big colorful pie-chart, you know the distribution of Warnings in your project immediately.

To give you a taste of what Warchart looks and feels like, here are a couple of screenshots from it.

 

 

 

Download Now!

With Warchart you can have your Pie and eat it too! Actually, I’m not entirely sure how applicable to Warchart this saying is, but we do have a tasty-looking image of a Pie so I couldn’t resist.

If you are burning with excitement like we do, head to the App Store and download Warchart! You’ll see how much more enjoyable your model management becomes with this intuitive and easy to use gem of a Plugin.

I hope you like our new release. If you have any questions about it or ideas on how to improve it, drop us a line – we’d love your feedback and we’d appreciate your time!

 

Here in Archilizer we are proud geeks! We love a bit of scripting, and a handsome spreadsheet – data speaks to us. Just give us a crisp set of algorithms on a Monday morning and we will break them and fix them by noon.

But we also remember our humble beginnings in design. We know that visualized data is worth a thousand words, so we always strive to optimize how we view those seductive masses of information we are constantly showered with. Say for instance, Warnings in Revit – nobody wants to deal with them – it is such a hassle to figure out where to start from and what is important and what is just Revit being a Diva. So we created a plugin to clean all that into a neat pie chart with built in functionality to help you get that thrilling satisfaction of reducing your Warnings!

The plugin analyses the types of warnings, presents them in a minimalist way, so you can select what you are most interested in, or what seems to be the widest spread issue and isolate it, so you can investigate and fix.

Warchart is going through final approvals by Autodesk and will be available on the Autodesk App Store soon – watch this space.

Here are some videos showing off our new little gem:

 

 

 

This blog has been verified by Rise: Rf7f0871f6cad38fd4a4c9ffd79aa4ae4

We ain’t many. I am not planning to shower you in statistics – if you want them, there are resources avalable a google search away, but if you think that the construction and technology industries are gender diverse, this blog may not be your cup of tea.

Feeling alone on a table with an average of 12 angry old white men has been part of my job description for a while. I must admit the technology/IT tables have been a little less white, which is a great thing, but just as or even more deprived of non-male people. The reasons for that seem very simple to me – feminine qualities are not generally celebrated in business. I have a wild theory about BIM however. BIM is a collaborative process that seems to be calling for something that is not exactly the typical values of masculinity – independence, competition, aggressiveness, assertiveness – focus on one goal. No. This process will finally thrive when there is willingness to collaborate, genuine cooperation and openness across construction disciplines and agreement and integration of the whole encompassing process that design and construction of a building is.

Now, what is relevant here is not how gender diversity and feminism as such, concern themselves with physical bodies and whatever genitalia may be attached to however may be identifying person so much, but the traits and values we celebrate. Because the issues of the patriarchy are not penises and vaginas, but, and in the corporate world especially – the ways in which we all consider things “feminine” less than, and even shameful. Because an openly queer soft spoken man, that does not insists on having the last word at a meeting even though he has nothing new to add, and may be even has his make up on fleek, is much more of a gender diversity success story than a successful woman that acts “like a man” and is “one of the boys”.

I understand that I may have lost a lot of you by now, and may have attracted some of you I may not want to attract, but let me reiterate once more – it’s not bad to be a man, it’s just ALSO super great to be feminine.

And back to BIM – the Women in BIM networking event, even with a modest number of participants, came for me with a sparkling silver lining. In this tired patriarchal system of architecture qualification and overall construction industry, BIM as a field seems to be the quenching watering hole, that can allow women to thrive and develop and climb up the ladder in a way we were not able to before.

The event was opened with a short intro by Karen Fugle giving us a bit of context on Women in BIM, talking about the international reach of the group. Then Vicki Holmes spoke about her unconventional career path and how this new field gave her a chance to grow. Her success was inspirational and she spoke with such palpable passion about her work. As someone who often gets excited about schedules and spreadsheets, I really felt she was speaking my language when she shared her love for reading standards. She also emphasised on the outreach of the group and the eagerness they had to get people out there to speak about the representation in our industry – that too excited me very much!
The last speaker was Cristina Savian, who shared her academic research and sparked an excited discussion. Understandably all present were in quite the agreement about the topic of it – the lack of gender diversity in the construction industry, but there were lots of people also wanting to express dismay with academics as a whole. Christina was very honest about her experience and let us on on feeling out of place and not good enough – classic imposter syndrome we all get at least once in a while, but she also shared a brilliant moment after speaking at an event when one of the very few women there approached her to say thank you and “I want to be like you” – a young woman, that seemed like, in Christina’s own words, only shared gender with her. Christina closed the evening on a lovely note: “That really showed me how important just me being there is”

You can find more about Women in BIM here.

At the start of last week, I was delighted to participate in the very first UK Dynamo User Group Dynamo Day. I was invited to speak about my experience with Dynamo and also had the opportunity to take part in a Dynamo workshop. This was the first event of this kind to be organised in London and as part of it, the UK Dynamo User Group meeting was the first one ever to be ticketed. It goes without saying I was eager for that day to come, and the UKDynUG did not disappoint. The organisation was brilliant, and along with all the excellent professional perks of being there, there was also vegan desert after lunch, so pretty much all my needs were satisfied.

The intermediate workshop was carried by John Pierson, and had a lovely air or accessibility, even though it was meant for people with some experience. John was really great breaking things down and handing us practical tools as well as helping us understand the underlining concepts of the algorithms we were exploring. We even got to create our own custom package – something I had never attempted, because I assumed it was way too complicated, but actually turns out is beautifully straight forward.

Following the workshops, we moved on to a series of talks, opened by yours truly. My talk aimed to show simple every day usage of Dynamo that anyone can implement in a working project. I built on simple graphs for running checks on schedules and moved onto mass placement of families under a system of rules. This kicked off an evening with an excellent range of presentations:

Giacomo Bergonzoni & Fabrizio Sampietro spoke about the challenges of Historical BIM and how Dynamo can help overcome them – having had some experience on listed building refurbishment in BIM, I have to say – this is some admirable work that they are doing.

Nicolas Leguina talked about Computational design & workflows on a specific project with a tight budget, and it was really great to see the genuinely creative usage of various software in a way to help a seriously understaffed project.

Radu Gidei talked about alternative uses of Dynamo, and I must admit I was very impressed by his angle; it is also true that what his research has done requires experience and knowledge that not anyone in an architectural studio has.

Hands down the most visually exciting presentation was by Long Nguyen from the university of Stuttgart. He presented his custom package DynaShapes – do look it up – and gave us a demonstration that made me think of the animators that did Merida’s hair.

gif: https://www.bustle.com/articles/76537-what-your-favorite-disney-princess-hair-says-about-you-from-snow-whites-lob-to-meridas-pretty

Sol Amour & Mark Thorley from Designtech closed the evening talking about Project Refinery. Project Refinery follows on from the form finding exploration of Project Fractal, but also explores optimisation and refinement as well as allowing for randomisation. Refinery seems like something that can bring great depth to conceptual design without demanding the proportional work. The Project is still a work in progress and the duo called out to anyone who is trying it out for feedback.

The event culminated to the usual networking drinks and it was amazing to share experiences with so many people equally excited about computation. I hope to see all of you on the field soon!

More about the Dynamo Day you can find soon here and following the #DynamoDay.

Cover image currency of Sol Amour.

What is Dynamo? Dynamo keeps coming up here and there and if you are not sure what it is or why you should be excited about it – this is for you!

Here in Archilizer we get very excited about automation but also teaching and empowering the users. Dynamo is the best tool for that. If you have ever worked with Rhino, Dynamo is for Revit what Grasshopper is for Rhino. If you haven’t – well then, you are in for a treat – Dynamo is a plug in for Revit that allows you to do what is called Visual Programming in Revit. It is essentially an accelerator for the dormant power or Revit. It allows you to program actions within the software without having to write lines and lines of unintelligible code – tailor made for architects.

Another excellent thing about Dynamo is that it is an open source software. This creates an amazing community and ever-growing library of tools. If you want to learn more about it this is the main source – http://dynamobim.org/

Because the open source provokes so much collaboration, groups and communities for collaboration naturally grow around Dynamo. One like this is the UK Dynamo User Group. The group has existed since the start of 2016 and it has had multiple meetings hosted in exciting venues like the Foster+Partners, Grimshaw Architects and Arup offices. Deyan Nenov has already contributed his experience to the group in May 2016 when he talked about the differences in various automating strategies for Revit. You can see his presentation here. And since he did a great job with that, we have been invited again – this time Katya Veleva will be speaking about her experience with non-graphic information in healthcare projects in later stages. We are all very excited! Tickets for the event can be found here.

It is a beautiful time when you dive in a project where all the consultants involved are fully BIM enabled and thirsty to make those schedules work beautifully not only for the QS, but also for your strategy drawing showing several models owned by entirely different parties!

If you spend long enough in an environment like this it is easy to forget there are still practices working hard to keep to deadlines with 2D data and endless drafting and coordination.

We spent a day at the RIBA Road Show recently and we got reminded that there are still companies needing convincing about BIM, so we thought we should ask ourselves that question again – Why BIM – it’s always good to question your fundamentals from time to time. Here are our unfiltered thoughts:

First let’s note BIM is NOT a software – Revit is not equivalent to BIM, neither is Archicad, or whatever you may want to use. BIM is a process that demands collaboration at an early stage between all the consultants at an early stage of the process. The idea is to digitally build the building before you physically do, because boy, is it cheaper to move a digital duct than it is to have to deal with that kind of thing in real physical life. I know that for many the word “cheaper” doesn’t really come in mind when you think of the software prescriptions of BIM or the amount of work that it seems to require. But trust us, the bottom line at the end of a project will show you that this is the case, you actually have spent much less time coordinating and you have saved so much on on-site issues. The work simply has moved forward in the process.

*diagram inspired by http://www.shoegnome.com

Having said that, we do have to look at the software that comes with BIM. We are big fans of Revit around here. The Archilizer team has been committed to Revit since 2009 and both of us have not been able to shut up about how amazing it is purely for drafting. This is one of our favourite videos that illustrate this in clear numbers:

Why would you ever draft in 2d?

Coordinating everything consistently and in 3D environment and including that sweet sweet non-graphic information allows accurate building analysis early! All those standards that we want to meet and overspecify for – LEED, PassiveHouse, WELL ect, – this is what can help us target them with accuracy and efficensy. Ain’t no body likes a surprise at their Air Tightness test – what an embarrassment!

Treating the information about a building as an asset is priceless in the running of the building. The BIM-FM relationship is still young, but it promises to be a love story of a life time – no “The Notebook” shenanigans, actual Michelle and Barak of steadiness and prosperity.

Having revisited our fundamental question, we are very much still into BIM and can’t wait to share our enthusiasm, especially on the last point. We are looking forward to a BIM for FM event soon and will review that soon after.

Two years since its incorporation, Archilizer has now grown and has an established client base – ready to double its size.

First, we put out heads together with some professional helpers to establish a new logo for Archilizer. We wanted our logo to be practical and minimalist and to relate to our clients in a familiar way, but most of all we were looking for something to reflect one of the main pillars of our work ethic – efficiency – we are not clickers, we are thinkers – we think up and forward!

With the new logo we felt ready to refresh our website. We wanted to choose a subtle colour scheme that can easily blend with our client’s needs, but also has a rebellious side that can be pulled out when in need of some flair. That is how we chose a set of cool greys and then kept some tangerine and sunflower oranges in our back pocket.

And last but by no means least, we are exited to introduce Katya Veleva – Archilizer’s first full-time employee. Katya hit the ground running in the start of April and has brought new experience and plenty of enthusiasm to the office. You can read more about Katya here.

Welcome to a new chapter for Archilizer.

Update: Family Editor Interface was added to the Featured App category! 

On 30 May 2016, Archilizer’s first plugin got a place in the featured apps in the Revit Store. We are really happy with this fact and we hope that now the plugin will have the chance to reach and help even more people out there!

*** 

This is a special one for me because this is our first officially published Archilizer Plug-in! I am incredibly excited about the launch of this first digital toddler and I wish it all the luck and happy moments with its new users!

In this Plugin Review, I will go into detail of what the plugin does and where to download it from but first, let me give you a few words about the process of submitting a plugin to the Autodesk Plugin Store, as this might be interesting to the few of you who are thinking of sharing their programmatic work with the world. Having been through the process once, I would dare to say that it might be easier the next time around, however for a first timer, the venture sure was intimidating. In a sense, writing the plugin itself was the easier part, as following the admittedly many Autodesk sources was actually a challenge.

Your first action, after creating an account in the App Store website, is to go to the following link, read through the text and head to the bottom of the page, where you will see a little matrix with video tutorials. Watch those at least a few times. No go back and read the text again. Once you’ve gained enough courage, start the procedure of launching a new plugin and refer to the above resources as you need. Every single bit of the process can take a lot of resources. Personally, I would recommend outsourcing the logo design, because even for a seasoned graphics pseudo-designer as myself, I ended up producing a crappy logo with an even crappier resolution, for some yet unknown reason (this will be the first thing that I will be updating as well).

Challenging as it may be, don’t worry all that much. After putting everything down the way it is described, publish your work and you will have the pleasure to communicate with the IT Support team which will guide you through the rest of the process. It literally feels like a humanized bug removal tool. On every step of the way, they will report when they encounter a hurdle or an obstacle and make you fix it. From start to finish, the whole thing took about a month. I hope this gives you a feeling of what it’s like to publish a plugin to the Autodesk Store. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions. Now let’s get back to this plugin and see why it is so adorable!

What it does.

Family Editor Interface takes only those parameters which manipulation is useful in creating an intuitive feedback on how your family is behaving and slaps them onto a simple applet that sits quietly in your work field. The simple sliders represent the values of those parameters. They give you a meaningful range of values to play with and test the mechanics of your door, window or furniture system. The plugin is conceptualized as an interactive tool that makes the process of family creation more enjoyable. The plugin is most certainly influenced by Grasshopper, Dynamo and the like and is one of those quality-of-life add-ins which you could do without but just makes your task more pleasant.

Who is it for.

Anyone who spends enough time in the Family Editor. In my practice, enough time is the time necessary for you to create a responsive, well-parametrized family which does not break in contact with regular users. A complex family has a lot of interconnected relationships between its parameters and even for its creator it is sometimes hard to intuit the internal logic of the structure. That’s when this simple interface comes really handy, as it allows you to quickly test the functionality of all your ‘important’ parameters, or in other words, the parameters which drive the family. However, once used to this extra panel, it becomes a second nature to just check your parameters and I tend to use it even for small components with just a Width and a Height parameter.

Is it free?

It is absolutely free and if there is enough interest from the community, I will open the source on GitHub, so folks can play with it and take it in the direction they want. Meanwhile, I will be taking on board any comments and suggestion in order to make the tool as user-friendly and useful as possible.

How to use:

You can find a few short video tutorials on how this plugin is used on the publisher’s website. I would like to think that the tool is quite easy to understand and use, but if you have any suggestions, please write me in the comments section below or by contacting us.

Tips and Tricks:

Use the ‘Refresh Document’ button to quickly ‘reset’ the defaults of your parameters and incrementally reach a higher/lower value.

Try it now! Test it for free! 

You can find the Family Editor Interface in the Revit section of the official Revit Plugins Store here:

CONGRATULATIONS! ARCHILIZER’S SITE IS ALIVE!

Dear internet traveler – stop by and have a look! This is a one place stop-shop for all things architecturally computational. Or computationally architectural. Either way, if you are at least a bit like us and love architecture and at the same time feel passionate about programming, we’ll give you something that you like! After some time in the making, our own little web space is finally functional! We are still working on parts of it, so make sure to stop by regularly to check out our progress!

We’ll see you around!