Hello! I’m back from a break and ready to re-take up blogging. Thanks to Tom for his efforts to keep the information flowing. As many fellow bloggers out there know ..its work.
I was fortunate to visit some great cities: Amsterdam, Cologne, Munich, Bern and Lucern. The U.S. should look to its past and across the ponds to re-establish some decent rail service. It was really a treat riding speeding ICE trains that arrived exactly on time and dropped me off right where I wanted to be.
…anyways back to work.
I’ve gotten some first and second hand feedback that people enjoy posts that provide insight into factory feature production. Given this I’ll make an effort to share some stories on some 2011 features and start with ....custom elevation tags.
The first thought of anyone who didn't learn Revit this year is probably what took so $%#&@#* long. .........yeah....ummm.....sorry..about that.
The main complicating issue was the fact that elevation tags differ from all the other symbols in that they supported multiple views. This required a different solution and complications kept inflating estimates requiring more people to be involved who were already booked ect....ect... Believe me we wanted to solve this guy and it was a real let down each year when it remained an open issue. 2011 it was do or die. This thing would not get the better of us.
Lets review some solutions that were explored over the years.
Allow one to choose a symbol to use for the arrows and one for the body.
This seemed fine yet the body and arrows are closely related making it difficult to imagine how one could make the content so it all lined up properly in the project. When you edit a section head or tail they are always separated so they don’t affect each other. Not so with elevation tags. Imagine someone iterating for a long time trying to get it right. Additionally no joy for those who needed flexibility in the number or direction of the arrows.
Draw the arrows and body in the same family and use a parameter or subcategory to assign line work to a view direction or the body.
This was workable yet again didn’t allow for flexibility in view direction or the number of views. We'd have to hard code the directions (up/down/left/right) and the number of views (4). It would also be possible to assign a left arrow to a right view or forget to make an assignment which is stupid. It looked like a very manual and error prone process.
Copy Section code to the Elevation category
This would allow you to place something like a section but Revit would treat it as an elevation. Let’s just call this a hack. It would be a gesture but leave many requirements on the table - multiple interior views for instance.
This was the breakthrough. One could make an arrow symbol and nest it into the body symbol. This would allow the arrow to behave as a single thing rather than a bunch of lines and one could accurately position it relative to the body previewing the final assembly. The view direction would be inferred by the system and the number of arrows could be 1 - n. Happy Joy Joy! There was a concern that family nesting was too advanced to be a required skill yet BIM managers typically make the content. We would also ship examples for modification. All examples we had collected were now possible as well as some unconventional examples:
Work left to do?
Sections have an embedded behavior where the symbol line maintains a horizontal orientation. Many would like to see this capability in elevation tags. Currently this only works for the lines in the section content we ship so there would need to be some UI exposed to allow you to specify if a line can rotate or not. Please share any additional items below.
In an upcoming post I’ll continue this story as work hardly ended once we had the design. Features often encounter something I like to call “Lurking Evil”. In this project it came in many forms._erik