Project Skyscraper to bring Revit Collaboration to the CloudProject Skyscraper is a technology preview for Revit that will allow architects, engineers and contractors to collaborate on the Autodesk 360 cloud platform, eliminating the need for firms to invest in costly IT set-ups.Basically it’s Revit Server on the Cloud! YES! No more trying to share models with our consultants, trying to break through firewalls, being restricted with bandwidth restrictions, frustration of sync issues…. Revit Server on the Cloud! About time! It’s the one piece in the collaboration puzzle that’s been missing.With collaborative workflows across teams spanning different firms and locations becoming more and more common, architecture, engineering and construction firms are looking for ways to simultaneously co-author models across firewalls. Project Skyscraper allows project stakeholders from multiple companies or locations to concurrently author a model using the BIM process.
Wrapping this up within the Autodesk 360 platform make sense, in my opinion 360 was more for contractors and designers didn’t really reap the benefits until after design. Skyscraper will complete that circle so we can now all collaborate real time…which does bring up other issues….Do we really want to share our models real time? I think in the early stages of design we’ll have to work out some sort of protocols and restrict sharing to bi-weekly or weekly. Nothing worse than working on a design only to find that it’s all been changed 10 minutes latter.Cant wait to try it out…
Note: Revit 2015 software will be available soon. But you can try Revit 2014 now.
Revit 2014 is now available online and can be accessed directly in your browser as a 30 day free trial. This is a real game changer for software use in the cloud. This will enable users of older and low end machines to get the same quality and speed out of Revit as those with a high spec machine. More importantly this will eventually open up a whole new level of live collaboration on projects. Watch this space!
This online trial for Autodesk® Revit® 2014 and Autodesk® Revit LT™ 2014 software is an instance of Revit and Revit LT hosted in the Autodesk cloud. The online trial, in combination with Autodesk 360, enables you to experience and evaluate Revit and Revit LT without large downloads or sophisticated computer hardware. Note that the online trial is running on a remote server. Keyboard and mouse input are streamed to the remote server and graphics are streamed back to your machine. The online trials are compatible with Windows® XP SP3, Vista, 7, and 8 on both 32- and 64-bit.
Revit trial only: Worksharing is currently not supported in the online trial for Revit 2014. Attempting to use worksharing or opening projects where worksharing has been enabled in this environment could result in file corruption.
There is also a 30 day desktop trial available on the Autodesk website so you will now have a chance to test out some of the new features I posted last week in the “Videos: What’s New in Revit 2015” post.* Edit – The online trial is Revit 2014 only – This will be updated shortly.
For more information, view the official Autodesk release regarding the online trial here
Today, I will be showing you how to create simple parametric families in Revit. This tutorial is for anyone learning Revit who hasn’t yet got into creating families. I will be continuing to post more family tutorials so keep checking back over the coming weeks for more. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple ‘cube family’ with a fixed elevation height with parametric width and height as well as material options.
The first thing you want to do, is to create a new generic family template. When deciding what template to use, you should take into consideration what kind of family you are creating. For example, if you are creating a light fixture, you would of course use the light fixture family template. Be sure to think about where the family will be hosted, if it will be hosted on the ceiling, make sure you also use a ceiling based family.
Once you have your generic family template loaded, you will want to tile the windows. (Be sure you have no other active projects open) The reason you want to do this is to give you a good overview of all relevant views when creating your family. Plan view, Elevation front, Elevation left (or right) and 3D view.
Now you should see 4 equally sized windows fitted to your screen. In case the view has been obscured, zoom to fit in each window (double click mouse wheel). Now the most important part about creating families is using reference planes. Reference planes are crucial when designing families, as these will act as your control dimensions / constraints. Create a square with 4 seperate reference planes as shown in the image below. Always remember to draw your reference planes clockwise, this will be important for future developments.
Now you have set constraints to the floor plan view of the project, it is now time to set some elevation height constraints. We do this with the use of dimensions (di), by adding a dimension line to our elevation view. If you have a certain height you want your cube to be, then measure it off here, otherwise, for now just follow the example shown in the images below.
Once we have set some dimensions on our reference planes, we want to give these dimensions a parameter. Parameters are used to give custom or fixed assets to our families. Now you want your elevation view, where you have just created a dimension to be active. Highlight your dimension and click on the dropdown menu next to label, as shown below. To start with, the only option you will see is ‘Add parameter…’
We are now going to add a parameter to this dimension line, constraining the elevation height of the cube. As shown in the image below, we will create a name for this dimension parameter ‘Height of cube’. Be sure the ‘Group parameter under’ option is set to ‘Dimensions’ In this case, we will keep it as a ‘Type’ parameter. This means that we can use this parameter to constrain the height of the family to the ‘Height of cube’ parameter, which you can see is ‘2214mm’.
Once you have created a parameter for your ‘Elevation left’ view, you will want to do the same thing for your dimension lines you created on the ‘Floor plan’ view. Click on the dimension defining the height and add a new parameter label. This time we will call the dimension ‘Height’ again checking it is set as a dimension. This time we will use an ‘Instance parameter’ so click the ‘Instance’ checkbox. Instance parameters will give the user of the family the option to define custom settings, in this case height for the cube. Follow the exact same steps mentioned above for your ‘Width’ dimension on the ‘Floor plan’ view. You will now have 3 dimension, with 3 new dimension labels.
Now, once our template is set up and constrained we are going to start creating some actual physical geometry. We do this of course with the Revit massing tools. As shown above, navigate to the ‘Design’ tab and click on ‘Solid Extrusion’. You now want to draw a box with the square line creation tool, covering the reference planes you have set, as shown in the image above. Before you finish your extrusion, you want to edit some of the extrusion properties.
We are now going to modify the ‘Extrusion End’ constraints, otherwise known as the elevation height, or extrusion height. Click on the small grey box at the end of the ‘Extrusion End’ bar. You will now see the ‘Associate Family Parameter’ dialogue appear. You will also see the 3 new paramaters you have just created. As we are now trying to define the extrusion height of the cube, we will select our ‘Height of cube’ parameter. Click OK. You will now see that the ‘Extrusion End’ bar is greyed out.
The final parameter we are going to add is to be for a material. The reason we do this, is so that the user of the family, in a project environment will be able to choose which material they want the family to be. For more detailed families it is possible to split the materials into different sections, but I will be discussing that in another post. For now, we want to add a parameter for the material. Simply click on the small box at the right side of the materials bar and click on ‘Add parameter…’ We will name this parameter ‘Cube Material’ and make sure it is set as a ‘Material and finishes’ parameter and set as an ‘Instance’.
You can now finish your extrusion by clicking on the green tick in the modify extrusion ribbon. You should now be seeing something similar to the image above. If not, make sure all of your views are active and zoomed to fit. You can now save this family. Revit > Save As > Family – I like to add all my custom families to a new folder I have created in the Autodesk library, that way they are all stored together, but you can choose to save it wherever suits you best.
Once you have saved your family, Use the Revit > Close button. You can now open up a new architectural project file template, or the project where you want to add your newly created family. You can now add your family the way you always would > Place component, locate your family and load it. You will now see your cube in a project view. Here you will be able to set some custom parameters, such as material, width and height. And that is it! Extremely simple, and good foundation knowledge for creating Revit families. I will be posting part 2 in my Revit familys series soon. Hope this has helped someone who is having trouble, or someone who is just starting to use Revit. Any problems or questions, just leave a comment!
View Part 2 here – Creating simple parametric families in Revit – Part 2 Tables