5 Tips to reduce bad performance in Revit
When working on large projects, you may notice significant performance issues with your Revit model. Whether this will be long loading / saving times or trouble navigating and viewing your model. At one point or another I think we have all experienced these issues and it can be a massive drain on your time if you do not deal with the issues and take steps to prevent such problems. As a general rule, your Revit model should not be above 300MB in size for large projects, unless you have a ‘Super computer’ you will probably notice your Revit slowing down significantly when your file becomes anywhere above 150MB.
From using Revit and experimenting with what causes significant performance issues I have come up with a list of 5 tips which should help you keep your Revit file at a manageable size, and therefore running smoothly and efficiently.
1. Use worksets to limit visibility – When working on your Revit model, chances are you will be focusing on one area at any given time. This means, that the rest of your model, although not being actively viewed, will signficantly slow down the performance of Revit. Therefore, for example: if you are working on the level 5 furniture plan of your model, then you should make sure that the only workset that is turned on is level 5 interior. Aside from all the obvious reasons, this is an important aspect and a good reason to set up useful worksets when starting a project.
2. Avoid using Revit family content sites – Unless you know and trust the website then it is a good idea, as a general rule, to stay away from user uploaed content on ‘BIM’ or Revit family sites. Due to the complexity and number of different parameters etc that are often designed and embedded in these families. A brand new workstation would have trouble keeping up with a project full of these peformance draining objects. My advice would be to stay away from community uploaded content, stick to sites that you trust and ‘know’ are creating efficient families, or better still, model them yourself, that way you know exactly what is going into your project and they can be used again and again.
3. Purge unused families and groups – Revit comes with a useful tool called ‘Purge unused’. This tool is put in place specifically to help reduce bad performance in your model. In short, purging unused families and groups will ‘unload’ all unactive families and groups which are no longer being used in the project. You may be surprised by the amount of unused families you have in a project, spefically on a large project you’ve been working on for some time. Lets take an example. You are creating a front door for your building. You are unsure which door to use, so you load around 5 of your door families to test them out. Once you have decided to stick with one of your doors, that is all you will see. But in the background of your project, you still have the other 4 door families loaded and ready to be used. Purging unused families will remove all of these such instances and can significantly speed up performance in Revit.
4. Delete temporary and unused views – When working on a project, you will need to create a number of different project views. In many cases you will need hundreds of different views for a large complicated building, this can of course not be helped. What you should consider is looking through your views and finding any which you have just created for ‘temporary’ or ‘visual’ purposes. From my usage trends I definitely find myself making a lot of new views and then forgetting to remove them or delete them. Not only does this make your project messy and unorganised, but it will also slow down performance speeds. I also as a rule, wait until the end of the project to create sheets for printing as I feel they also contribute to negatively impacting Revits performance.
5. Link your files when possible, DO NOT IMPORT – There are many instances where you either have to use information from another software package, drawing or project in your current model. There are 2 ways to do this in Revit. In my opinion, the wrong way and the right way. For example, you have a CAD topography surface you want to use for your site. You can either import it, which will literally add all the information from that file into your model, meaning if your CAD file was 5mb, you have just added an extra 5mb on to your Revit model, not good! If you on the other hand choose to link your CAD file to your Revit model, you are only creating a link in your Revit to an external file, significantly reducing the impact on performance in your Revit model. When linking files you must pay attention to where the files path *is located*, and make sure that it does not change mid project.
As a bonus, here is another excellent tip from Luke Johnson’s WhatRevitWants Blog:
6. Turn Snaps Off – on the Manage ribbon, and then use the keyboard shortcuts to selectively turn “On” the snaps when needed. This stops Revit from continuously looking for snap points when you are trying to navigate the model or draw new geometry.