Friday, November 16, 2007

Revit Phases: Revisited

I hate it when I don't follow my own advice.

A while back, I wrote about the challenges of making your Revit applications phase aware.

Well, apparently I wasn't listening to myself as much as I should have - because one day after release of our Revit Utilities, we spotted a couple of scenarios and quirks with phasing that we hadn't considered in the Room Renumber, Door Mark Update and Earth Connector.

The updates to address this (marked as "version 1.0.2876" should be posted soon on the Revit Utilties page).

For the developers out there, let me give you a few additional reminders:

  • Rooms have one and only one phase.
  • Doors and Windows potentially open To/From different rooms (depending on the phase).
  • If you don't specify which phase you want the To/From data for, it is presumed you want it for the final phase.
  • When you get the array of Revit Phases - they are given to you in their order of creation - NOT THEIR SEQUENCE. You have to re-figure them in order by looking at their PHASE_SEQUENCE_NUMBER.

While we found most of these issues before a customer did - it's still annoying when you make the mistake that you warn others about. :)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Earth Connector for Revit: Updated

We hadn't originally planned on another update to Earth Connector for Revit (connecting your Revit BIM model to Google Earth) - primarily because Autodesk has released their version of this tool.

The Autodesk tool, however, seems like it is in pretty limited release - I still haven't been able to find it on the subscription site.

Recently, we released the Avatech Revit Utilities - a set of productivity tools for Revit users - and we thought that we might give Earth Connector a little enhancement.

Some time since our last release of Earth Connector for Revit happened, a small but powerful change happened with Google Earth - the TimeSpan feature, which had been limited to the Professional version - moved down into the basic (free) version. That's when it hit us - why not incorporate the building phases into our Google Earth KML file as a TimeSpan.

When a KML/KMZ file has a TimeSpan, it adds the Timeline slider to the upper right, as shown above.

For now, because Revit phases don't natively have dates and times on them - we're doing a fairly arbitrary job of transferring phases into the calendar... but we figure that this will get people interested and talking about how we might improve from here.

Below is a sample of a building with 7-8 Revit phases. Who knew that Google Earth could be a 4-D construction tool!?!


P.S. The newest Earth Connector Revit is available only on the Revit Utilities page.

Avatech's Revit Utilities

We've kicked this idea around internally at Avatech for a while, and I'm happy to say that we're finally going ahead with it.

We're taking four relatively simple Revit applications that we developed to support our Revit clients, and we're releasing them to the public today.

  • Room Renumbering (re-numbering or inserting rooms in a sequence)
  • Door Mark Update (to make the mark match the room it swings into)
  • Change Case (for those of you with, you know, real standards for things like UPPER CASE, lower case and Title Case).
  • RevitCity Browser (to make it easier to grab and use the content you want - while organizing it properly at the same time).

We've also released a minor update to the Earth Connector product for Revit (which I'll post on seperately).

The Press Release is here.

The Avatech page for the Revit Utilities is here.

I hope that the Revit community finds these tools helpful. Questions or comments on the tools can be directed to:

devfeedback (at)