Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Grind - January Tips!!!

Came across a few good ones over the last couple of months, and I can't say all of these were my ideas, but damn I think they were cool ideas...

Bottom of Pipe Elevations

RMEP 2010 doesn't have an "out-of-the-box" tag that reads the bottom of pipe elevation, but a suggestion I found was in the AUGI discussion groups. On the annotate tab > dimension panel, pick the spot elevation tool - under the type selector, I chose the No Symbol(Relative) option, which sets the elevation from the current level.

For display elevations, you can choose between actual selected elevation, top, bottom or both. I chose the bottom elevation option, and the spot elevation was placed. Once the elevation tag is placed, you can go back to the element properties of the tag (you can also adjust this when placing the tag). Edit the type properties - at the bottom of the dialog, you can add an "elevation indicator" string of text (such as BOP:) that acts as the prefix or suffix text. You can also adjust the text formating, size, etc. as needed to match your drawing standards.

The nice thing about this symbol is that it works with sloped pipe to show the actual invert elevation at that point - which is extremely helpful when checking elevations for coordination.

Grouping Disconnected Pipe Elements

In our Revit MEP courseware, we discuss how the system name for a piping system can be used as a filter to control how piping appears in a view (for example, name a domestic cold water system in a bathroom beginning with "DCW-" followed by the room name or number - then create a filter for pipe, fittings and accessories that looks for a system name that begins with DCW- ). But there's going to be times when certain pipe systems will not be connected or defined to a system - for example, roof drain leaders or sanitary vent.

One of our clients had an interesting solution - they created a instance based project parameter that applied to the same elements (pipe, fittings and accessories), and then edited the parameter for these components. To do this, start by selecting Project Parameters from the Manage tab. Choose Add, and then add the project parameter with the following settings:

- Name: DisconnectedPipeSystem
- Discipline: Common
- Type of Parameter: Text
- Group Parameter Under: (Other)
- Choose Instance
For categories, select Pipe, Pipe Fittings and Pipe Accessories:

Select OK to continue. Next, choose the pipes, fitting and accessories you want to edit. Under the type properties, edit the parameter value using an abbrevation that can be read by a filter (i.e. DSV for disconnected Sanitary Vent). Next, create a filter that is specific to pipe, fittings and accessories, and use the new parameter to control the filter.

While this takes a little manual editing, it gives the user more flexibility with the appearance of the piping.

Adding Subcategories for Extended Visibility Graphics Control

Came up with this one at AU right before my last class - a couple of us where talking about different approaches to controlling the visibility of mechanical equipment. Since this category relates to all types of equipment, including pumps, AHU's VAV's and more, we added subcategories under mechanical equipment for each item the user wanted to have appear differently in their views:

Next, they opened their most commonly used families and added the subcategory to each family, editing the value to match the name in the project. They assigned the category by selecting the solids, and then edited the element properties of the object to match the desired category (note - a quick way to do this after opening the family is to use Transfer Project Standards from the Manage tab to copy the object style settings from the project to the family).

Once the settings for subcategory have been edited, load the family into the project, making sure you overwrite parameters as part of the load. The user can now edit the view properties to allow for different colors, lineweights, etc. as needed, and store the view settings as a view template.

This is pretty much all can think of in the post New Year' s "back to work" mode - if you've got any other suggestions in regards to these items, let me know.

Happy BIMM'ing!

David B.

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