I have been playing around with a new add-in for Revit which I saw advertised via a link being shared around on Twitter. Coins Auto-Section Box which is a free Revit add-in available to everyone for free via Autodesk App Exchange.
This tool is, as the name suggests used to create quick and easy section boxes in Revit 2013. I’m sure you have all experienced a fair bit of time wasting setting up section boxes for individual rooms / areas of your models. Although the natural process in Revit is simple, this tool just speeds the whole process up.
The idea is very simple > Select all the objects you want to be added to a section box, either in a 3D or plan view and the tool can automatically generate a section box for you. Another option is to specify your own size. As far as I’m aware this part of the app could be developed a little further as it only has 1 input parameter, so if you type “1000” you will get a section box 1000×1000.
Download the app here and be sure to have Revit 2013 closed when you are installing it. Once the application is installed, open up a project and follow the instructions below:
Locate the part of your model where you want a section box created, and highlight all the elements in this area. I have chosen to use a plan view for my section box, but it is also possible to use other views.
On your Revit 2013 ribbon, navigate to add-ins and click on the ‘Auto Section Box’ tool as shown above. You will now see the ‘Section Box Size’ dialogue. Here you can either specify the size of the section box or choose the default setting of ‘Element extents, plus buffer’ This option will give you a section of all the elements you have selected on this level, plus anything located directly above or below on other levels as shown below.
Now it is of course possible, if required, to filter the model so that the walls etc are not displayed. One thing that I was hoping for would be the ability to automatically filter the section box by level rather than it taking the extents of the building. I realise it is possible to do this if you have set your worksets up in levels but as this is an automatic tool, we need a more ‘automatic way’ to do it.
I then started to play around with the tool to try and get my desired section box where the extents were limited to the floor I was working on. I realised that if you just select all of the structural columns in one room as shown in the image above, it will create a section box around these members as shown below.
So there was a useful tip to create a simple and effective section box of the internal elements on a single level of your model. Give it a try yourself, it’s free and very easy to use. I think it will be a useful tool when working on projects where you quickly need to see a 3D view of a portion of your building without setting up a custom section.