Friday, January 30, 2009

Two Great Companies, Two Great Utilities

It’s a common complaint from Revit MEP users; we hear it all the time. They have a Revit Architecture model linked into their Revit MEP model. They want to be able to have their space names and numbers updated from the linked architectural when the Architect makes changes. It’s so frustrating for the MEP users. If you look at the properties of the linked architectural space; while in MEP, you can see that MEP knows the updated name of the space. The problem is that there’s currently no way to push the data from the architectural model to the MEP model. For the longest time; the functionality just hasn’t been there, until now. Inside the span of one week; both Autodesk & Avatech Solutions have released utilities to address this need.

Both Autodesk and Avatech recently released utilities for Revit that are quite similar in function and we felt an obligation to our customers (current and potential) to highlight the merits of each. Let’s begin by looking at what Autodesk’s version can do. Below is an abbreviated list of the features included with this utility:

Autodesk’s “Space Naming Utility” allows you to have the spaces updated in 3 different ways.
You can choose to have only the space names updated
You can choose to have only the space numbers updated
You can choose to have both the space names and numbers updated.
Autodesk’s “Space Naming Utility” allows you to elect to have the spaces within the levels of the project to be updated in 2 ways.
You can choose to have all levels updated
You can choose to have only specific levels updated

Now let’s take a look at Avatech’s version. Avatech’s “Space Update” provides the same basic functionality with the following enhancements.

You can pre-select spaces (via filter or individually selecting) and change only those spaces vs. an entire level or the entire model
Using spaces on projects that are making use of phasing is addressed. It allows you to select which phase you want to work with.
For situations where there is more than one space in a room (common for analytical purposes), Avatech’s “Space Update” begins by adding a suffix to each one of them. For example, Room 101 with 2 spaces becomes 101.A and 101.B. This can also be customized to a specific numbering standard by modifying the configuration included with the utility.
After Avatech’s “Space Update” is run, it will report how many spaces it updated.
After Avatech’s “Space Update” is run, it will report how many spaces that could not be updated (typical of unplaced spaces created in schedules, similar to rooms)
Acquiring Avatech’s “Space Update” does not require an Autodesk subscription to access and download it.
Avatech’s “Space Update” can be installed by using a batch script for multiple users, similar to the other Avatech Revit Utilities.
Avatech’s “Space Update” will run on either 32 or 64 Bit platforms

It’s merely coincidence that both Autodesk and Avatech unintentionally chose to release these similar utilities recently and, while similar, both have merits to the Revit user base. We welcome your inquiries and invite you to evaluate our product. Avatech Solutions’ Revit Utilities can be downloaded from:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Error [1.1.1] trying to Activate

Attempting to Activate Revit Architecture 2009 on a Windows 2000 system will immediately give you an error "[1.1.1]" when you click the Activate button.

This is a known error and happens because Revit Architecture is not supported on Windows 2000. Install Revit Architecture 2009 on a supported operating system and you'll be fine.

Click Here to see the system requirements.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Importing AutoCAD Files Into Revit

Here at the National Support Center we get tons of questions about how AutoCAD based software works as well as questions about how the Revit based applications work. Most of the questions are coming from the direction of "this is broken how do I fix it or "I can't figure out how to do this". From time to time we get a question that touches both sides of that spectrum. I recently addressed an issue that did just that and felt it needed to be shared. We had a question come in where the user was trying to import his AutoCAD border into Revit. He was setting up his office's Revit standards and was migrating their CAD standards into Revit. When he imported the title block into Revit, the only thing that came in was two arbitrary points that encompassed a very small area. When I looked at his drawing I found nothing in the layout tab but when I switched over to the model tab, there was his border. So I simply moved the border to the layout tab and eureka, the issue was resolved. Something was bugging me though. Why did this fix it? Was it that Revit only looks at the layout tab? I started asking myself what process does Revit take when importing CAD drawings.

I found the answer when I took another look at the original drawing the client gave me. I kept feeling like maybe there was something in the layout tab. Although nothing was visible on the screen I drew a crossing selection window over the extents of the layout tab. I found two small objects. They were points on the defpoints layer. Knowing that the real border was in the model space tab I deleted them and saved the drawing. I then tried importing that original file into Revit. This time I got a totally different result. A message came up that read "Import detected no valid objects in the files paper space, do you want to import from the model space?" I clicked Yes and in came the border. So the moral of the story is this; when Revit imports a drawing from AutoCAD it first looks at the layout tab. If it finds objects then that is what is imported. If nothing is found then the user is prompted if they want to check the model space tab.