Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Managing panel schedules in a Revit Project

Panel schedules in Revit MEP 2012 are more powerful than before -

- you can tell the circuit table to use either load or current as the value in the table (amps vs. vA);
- you can can now tell the schedule to place as many rows as you have circuits assigned in the general circuit settings;
- you can freeze the size of the row or column so that the schedules are consistent sized when placed on a sheet;
- you can also go to electrical settings and change the general settings for capitalizing the load names.

But here's the part we don't always teach - how do I apply these changes to the panel schedules I already have?

Simple - on the manage tab, choose Panel Schedule Templates, and then pick Manage Templates. On this tab, pick the Apply Templates tab.

All you have to do is pick your template and then pick the schedules you want to apply it to.There's a couple of limits with this - you can only apply template to panels of the same type (i.e., you can't apply a switchboard template to a branch panel template), but you have to do this if you make any changes to a template - since the adjustments are not automatically applied.

So tweak the daylights out of your templates until you get them looking and running the way you want!

later - David B.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jumpy Parts in Revit...

This one comes from Norb and Emy...when you select some parts in Revit (i.e. light fixtures), they shift in different directions. This is a known issue from the Press and Drag tool (located on the view control bar). If this happens, uncheck the Press and Drag option so it's not available.

Autodesk has this as a documented issue, and it just happened here yesterday. Here's the link to the issue -

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Since Greg gets to post his opinions, I thought I'd add my two cents worth...and this opinion does not reflect the views of anyone but myself.

Having a little problem with mice in the garage, so I went out and bought a couple of those snap traps - the ones you put a little peanut butter on. I've used them in the past, they're pretty quick...and this morning, I got my first one in 15 minutes...before anyone complains, I've fed them well (the boys left a couple of bags of deer corn in the garage they bought this they have a mess to clean up), and this was the most humane way to get rid of them (no matter how much I pleaded, and reasoned with them, they wouldn't move to the neighbor's house).

And it got me thinking, I need a super-size trap for some old school, 2D CAD users, managers, engineers, etc. It's the only humane thing to do at some point...

AutoCAD is much faster than Revit or AutoCAD MEP...


You can't draft in Revit...


I can write a lisp routine to do the same thing as Revit...

(start with Windows 2000 workstation)...SNAP!

I can't produce good construction document set with Revit...

(bait with a set of Kohinoor pens) SNAP!

Revit's too hard to learn...

(Leave a trail of floppy disks to the trap)...SNAP!
Ooooh....look...AutoCAD on a MAC!


Now, if someone can model this up in Inventor, I'll put it in one of my labs for AU this year...


later - dab

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Duct Connections - In or Out?

I had made a couple of duct mounted exhaust grills that I could attach to a duct tap...thinking logically, I told the airflow direction on the connector that it was "in" instead of "out", since the exhaust system pulls in air instead of distributing it. After placing the part in a project in RMEP 2011, I discovered I could not connect it to a would show up under the default exhaust system, but would never let me define an exhaust system. After several head scratching attempts that served only to contributing to my bald spot, I changed the connector back to "out"...reloaded the family, and "voila" - I can create the exhaust system.

One more note - when I tried to add my Loren Cook fan to the system it wouldn't let me - until I changed the connector to Bidirectional (an extra option that's available with duct connectors in equipment, but not in air terminals).

Check 'em both...

Hope you haven't run across this...but the logic defies me...

later - David B.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Using Frogs for Design?

Got my ASHRAE email newsletter, and saw where GE has made an investment in a design and construction firm called Project Frog...they using something (not sure what) to create sustainable designs with little to no waste, to design high efficiency structures.

I'd love to know what they're doing and using to define the designs - the site claims it's using parametric design tools...check it out:

If you still think 2D is the way to go, this is another example of how improvements in technology such as BIM can streamline and improve the design process...

later - David B.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting Aligned in Revit MEP

As I'm starting to get ready for AU, I'm practicing my family creation for fittings, etc. and came across a really helpful tip - did you know you can use the Align command to extend a line, pipe, duct, etc. to another reference plane or object and then lock it to that plane?

This works great when you're making families that need to have a reference line locked perpendicular to a reference plane, or a pipe to a wall face, etc.

Start by picking the align command - then pick the reference plane you want the line or pipe to extend to:

Next, pick the end of the line or pipe - you'll see a point appear, so pick it -

When the line or pipe is extended, pick the lock icon - this pins the endpoint of the line or element to that reference plane.

So you can use align for more than just parallel geometry - try it out!

thanks - David B.