Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Electrical parameters - what's your preference?

So I'm doing a little tweaking on our templates, and wanted to ask the question - what's your preference for assigning voltage/phase and load?

Right now, we're doing it by taking the voltage connection in a family, and setting it equal to a shared parameter named voltage. This makes the parameter editable on the type or instance properties (based on what option you select when you define the parameter).

I was thinking about making this a project parameter instead - that way, all schedules that need voltage in a schedule could already be defined, so when the part is added, you shouldn't have to edit the family for it to be available.

The question is, who's tried this out - and does it work any better than the shared parameter method?

The reason for asking is that we're getting multiple parameters showing up named voltage (with identical properties) when we go to create the schedule. We wind up adding all of them, then picking the one that actually shows the correct values, then removing the wrong ones from the schedule.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Update on the MCC's and panel schedules in Revit MEP -

First up - thanks to David May at Eaton, and Martin Schmid at Autodesk for their help on this item...sometimes having extra eyes helps you to change perspective.

So how do you work with an MCC, and create a panel schedule? My confusion started by using the out-of-the-box MCC components, which represent groups of sections in one part of an MCC. We had been trying to figure out how to tie all of these to one panel schedule, but weren't getting it right - so we asked for help.

The problem was my approach - in a water treatment plant, you can have a wide variety of motors and values that are hooked  up to a single MCC - so the right solution is to treat the MCC as one panel, and ignore the sections. Our buddies at Eaton provided us with a Revit family for each MCC, once we used their BID Manager tool ( to layout how the components would be connected - then they built the MCC's for us and sent back the model (to which we added our own conduit surface connectors, to run the conduit out to the main sections). All we needed to do from this point was connect the motors to these panels so the load was tracked, and associated with the correct sections. We're also working on from-to parameters for the conduit runs as well, and I'm looking into how we can create this association automatically.

One other important note - with VFD controls on some motors (like pumps) the VFD acts as a panel - so you need to go through the VFD to the MCC to make sure it's circuited corrrectly.

The next part I'm working on is using the Revit DBLink feature to associate data from their exported MDB file that was provided with the panel - so that over current protection, circuit breaker, and other additional data we might include in the panel schedule for each section can be associated back to the MCC. I'll make another post when we get this worked out...

I may be a little slow, but I'm getting there with a lot of help from friends...

thanks - David B.

I'm a little behind...

Sorry that's not a pun on my last name...had a loss in the family, and needed a little recovery time.

up on the Labs - there's a nice little tool for migrating families for new releases of Revit - getting ready to try this one out, and see how it works. I've already done it the old fashioned way (open - review - save) but am looking at cleaning up some manufacturer's content this way.

It's the Plugin of the Month - download it and try it out....

thanks - David B.

Application Virtualization for Revit Deployments

We've got some pretty cool IT of the things we're trying out is Novell's applicaiton virtualization -

This allows us to build an executable for the application (like Revit) with everything preset and controlled by the exe - so it's technically not installed on the workstation, but simply runs from the EXE. I've been using a version over a VPN using network licensing, and it works pretty well, without a lot of fuss. We're going to be trying out on other applications as well (including AutoCAD). If it stays seemless, I'll put more details up here and let you know if it's worthwhile...much easier to copy a file and add a shortcut than installing the apps...with all the options and settings...and it works with both standalone and network licensing (didn't I already say that?)....

Check it out - and let me know if you're using it and like it...

thanks - David B.