RTV Tools

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Remember to use the Autodesk Uninstall Tool

When it comes time to install a new suite, you may feel like removing an older version. In my case, I wanted to remove an entire 2015 suite from my Surface Pro 3. What is the quickest way to do this?

Well, you can do it almost completely unattended with the Autodesk Uninstall Tool, which should already be installed on your system. Its in the Start Menu under Autodesk...

Just tick the boxes and click Uninstall. It will tick away and let you know how many products have been uninstalled. Nice and easy...

The tool is located at:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Uninstall Tool\R1\UninstallTool.exe

For clean uninstall tips, also check out:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

RTCAUS 2016 Dynamo and Revizto Presentation and Handout Resource Downloads

I had a good time at RTC this year, it was awesome to catch up with the usual BIM crew and see what they are all up to. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post in more detail about a few things I learned this time around... but for now, here are my presentations for you to check out.

My keynote presentation slides (why BIM is broken and how to fix it...)

My Dynamo presentation slides:

And the Revizto session that I ran with Michael Clothier:

Presentation and handout resources (including Dynamo dataset) are available in the folder here:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Legal Issues of BIM Assessment Document for Download

This concise 14 page document comes from collaborate and is available for free download here:

This is certainly a topic that merits discussion and investigation, as new ways of working grow out of the new BIM technologies.


Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Get Revit Enhancement Tools like eTransmit, DB Link and Batch Print

Just a reminder on how this works, in the off-chance that you are confused...

2015 Products
Use the Enhancements link from https://manage.autodesk.com/cep/#products-services/all

2016 Products
Use the Autodesk App Store

2017 Products
Use Autodesk Desktop App

Yes, there are exceptions to these rules, but it should get you headed in the right direction.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My RTCAUS2016 Preview in Less Than 100 Words

RTC AUS 2016 is imminent! What are you looking forward to? I'm excited to connect with some Dynamo pros, and talk all about BIM process improvement.

Here's what I'm talking about at RTC (this is a concise teaser only) ...
  • Keynote Sponsor Address: BIM is Broken, but we can fix it!
  • Session 1.3: See a tested and proven issue tracking and resolution workflow for BIM
    (I'm running this session with Virtual Built Director and Creator of BIM Bicycle, Michael Clothier)
  • Session 2.2: How to use Dynamo productively every single day...
I even get a little badge:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Review of the Graitec PowerPack for Revit

Check it out at:
Improve the Quality and Productivity of Your Revit Modeling with This Powerful Toolkit

Of particular interest are the CAD to RFA converter, Watermark Manager, and the powerful suite of Rebar (Reinforcement) Tools.

Hope you enjoy the review :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Backup Your Screencast Data Automatically And Access the Video Files For Offline Use

Autodesk Screencast is a great screen recording tool. However, it is very tied to the cloud. What if you just want to grab the screen capture video file to put it onto your company LAN or insert it into a presentation?

The short story:
  1. Set the Screencast folder location
  2. Setup a RealTimeSync to a 'Screencast backup' folder
  3. Run the RealTimeSync on startup
  4. When you want the source video file, navigate into the backup folder, find the Screencast you want and look for a package.zip. Inside here is the webm file you can copy out and play with VLC or some other player.

 You could also use a video converter to convert the webm file to an mp4 or some other format that you could embed into PowerPoint etc.

Some related, uh, Screencasts:

Getting the WEBM files

Setting up the Syncs

    Friday, April 29, 2016

    Dynamo 1.0.0 Stable Build Now Available

    Quite a momentous day!

    You can download it at:

    (or you can wait for the auto update :)

    ### 1.0.0 ###

    - API Stabilization:  1.0.0 is a commitment to stable code that allows for smoother and more reliable movements from one version to another.  To more clearly express this, we have been moving to “semantic versioning” to illustrate the nature of changes in each release. We will be using the fairly standard version naming with an x.y.z system, where x incrementing represents breaks to the API (requiring developer refactors), y indicates changes that are still backwards compatible, and z are smaller bug fixes.  Package creators and maintainers are encouraged to assess changes to the previous code, which can be found here 


    - Graphics performance enhancements:  see this post for details 
    - Documentation: Along with new sections of the DynamoPrimer (http://DynamoPrimer.com), we have started an online documentation of the Dynamo API with a searchable index of public API calls for core functionality. This will be expanded to include regular nodes and Revit functionality.  http://dynamods.github.io/DynamoAPI/
    - Licensing:  Dynamo Studio is now using a new version of the Autodesk installer that allows for easier access to network and token flex licensing tools
    - Install:  we have created a separate installation for "core" Dynamo functionality, those tools used by all implementations of Dynamo, and Revit, and Studio installations.  This allows for the sharing of a common core of Dynamo code and packages.
    - List Management:  Changes to "replication" or automated matching of different data streams in nodes and Code Block nodes eliminates the need for List.Map and List.Combine in many situations
    - Send to Web: formerly known as Share Workspace, we have improved the ability to view and interact with Dynamo online with Customizers
    - File Export:  Users can now author DWG files in the Translation section of Dynamo Studio.
    - Direct Shape:  Dynamo in Revit 2017 can now take advantage of faster and more sophisticated direct shape creation.  In most cases, solid and surface geometry can be sent directly into the Revit environment as smooth (rather than tesselated) surfaces and solids, categorized to whatever is needed.  In the cases where a smooth element cannot be created, a tesselated (mesh) object is created, as was the case previously.

    Bug Fixes
    - An extensive list can be found here: http://dynamobim.org/incoming-bug-fixes-for-dynamo-1-0-0

    Known Issues
    - Listed here: https://github.com/DynamoDS/Dynamo/wiki/Known-Issues

    Dynamo Builds

    Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    Big News: Case Apps release code as open source on github!

    Check out David Fano's post at this link.

    The Apps and Issue Tracker are both available, at these links:

    CASE Apps
    Issue Tracker

    Good Things and Not So Good Things About Revit 2017

    (insert obligatory Revit 2017 blog post here...)

    The annual Revit release schedule can become very tiring. Also challenging is the fact that you will probably not start running real, big, live Revit 2017 projects for around 6 months, so all of this new features noise will be a distant memory by then. However, it is good to be aware of the new abilities in the software, so that you can (possibly) stop using outdated workarounds and start using the software in the way Revit 2017 Wants.

    By now, we should all be focusing on getting more useful data into our models. In accord with that aim, these are my top 3 new features:
    1) Keynote Legends are better - Use Keynotes!
    When a keynote legend is set to By Sheet, Revit takes into account whether a keynote is visible in the view as a result of View Range settings, Design Option settings, or Depth Clipping/Far Clipping settings.

    2) Combined parameters in Schedules - Use the Data you Have!
    Combine parameters in a schedule to display the values in a single cell. You can specify a prefix, suffix, sample value, and separator to display with each parameter. See Combine Parameters in a Schedule.

    3) Schedule view templates - Templates are Good Revit
    View templates for schedules and assembly views: To simplify the reuse of schedules, create a schedule view template. Schedule view templates include parameters for Fields, Filter, Sorting/Grouping, Formatting, Appearance, and Phase Filter. If the model contains RVT links or design options, Visibility/Graphics Overrides parameters are also available. See About Schedule View Templates and Create Assembly Views and Sheets.

    UPDATE some known workarounds and issues:

    The Help file:
    Help: New in Revit 2017

    The 1 minute video:

    The playlist:

    Steve's big post:
    Revit OpEd: Revit 2017 - New Features and Enhancements

    Top 5 from Sean David Burke:
    Five Standout Features from Autodesk Revit 2017 | Architect Magazine | Software, BIM, Construction Software, Design Workflow, Architecture, Autodesk

    The Revit Kid Top 3:
    Revit 2017 - My 3 Favorite new Features | TheRevitKid.com! - Tutorials, Tips, Products, and Information on all things Revit / BIM

    Tim Waldock's Revit 2017 posts (very thorough as usual):

    Problems (these are the Not So Good Things) so far:
    Licensing, and the ability to switch from Network to Standalone after installation:

    via Autodesk 2017: Changing From Standalone to Network | Microsol Resources Blog

    Other posts:

    Navisworks 2017 New Features are summed up here:
    BIM 360 Glue + Navisworks 2017: Reinforcing Construction Collaboration

    Sunday, April 24, 2016

    Free Revit Families and Sample Downloads from What Revit Wants

    Over the years I have used many workarounds to get things done in Revit, and usually I post about how to do it, and sometimes I offer a family or RVT download too. However, some of these resources are now deeply buried in the blog history (hard to believe I've been doing this since 2008!)

    With that in mind, I have created this post to share some of the more useful and interesting downloads with you... again :) I'll try to keep this page updated with the current set of What Revit Wants freebies and downloads.

    I hope you enjoy the huge range of samples, workarounds, hacks and scripts linked below. Typically the title of the download is the link to the family, and the next line is the source post:
    Download Link
    Source Link

    Feel free to comment to let me know if these are useful, or if they are not :) In some cases, Revit has 'caught up' and the older workarounds are no longer necessary.

    Also, for resources I create and share I will now use the tag WRWdownloads for easy discoverability.


    Slanted Wall Family
    What Revit Wants: Three ways to Model a Slanted or Tilted Wall in Revit (download)

    Spot Slopes on Ramps
    What Revit Wants: How to tag Ramp slopes in Revit 2013 and Revit 2014 with Slot Slope tool

    Topography to Lofted Mass Surface Conversion
    What Revit Wants: Convert Revit Topography into Massing Forms

    Random Tree Heights and Locations
    What Revit Wants: Random Tree Heights and Locations in Revit - make a forest in just a few clicks

    Repeated Component Array
    What Revit Wants: Why a Repeated component on a Divided Line Path is better than an Array

    Issue Tracking Tool in Revit
    What Revit Wants: Intelligent Issue Tracking in Revit, with download.

    Gradient Annotation Family

    Detail Item for Scaling Images
    What Revit Wants: Take the Guesswork out of Scaling an Image in Revit

    Datum Scope Box Visibility
    What Revit Wants: How to Show Linked Scope Boxes and Grids in a Host Plan View by Default

    Level Parameter Tag workaround
    What Revit Wants: Getting access to the Level parameter in Tags for Categories that don't normally allow it

    Detail Item Family with Adjustable Text (can be for dimensioning)
    What Revit Wants: Detail Item Family with Adjustable Text - Dimensioning Tool

    Generic Model family with a Scope Box in it that you can copy to other families:
    Download family
    From What Revit Wants: How to create a Scope Box in the Family Environment

    2009 Mass
    What Revit Wants: Using legacy mass forms in 2010 and 2011

    Generic Label (automatic embedded tag)
    What Revit Wants: How to add a label to a Component Family (automatic tag)

    Mobius Strip
    What Revit Wants: Mobius Strip Attempt with download 

    URL Annotation for Hyperlink
    Linker Symbol
    From What Revit Wants: Launching Scripts and Programs directly from Revit

    Super Void Generic Model Family for cutting anything
    SuperVoid Family download
    From What Revit Wants: Using a Super Void Generic Model to Cut Anything

    Seamless Sphere
    From What Revit Wants: Making a Seamless Sphere in Revit

    Symbol for Use in Locked 3D Views
    From What Revit Wants: Using Annotation Symbols in Locked 3D Views in Revit

    Swappable Profiles in Adaptive Models
    From What Revit Wants: How to Setup Adaptive Profiles to Allow Swapping between completely different Profile shapes (with free download)

    Room Category Families
    From What Revit Wants: You can break Revit by making Room families

    Room Calculator for X and Y dimensions
    From What Revit Wants: Room Dimensions X by Y - 2 methods in Revit

    Family with RVT and DWG Link
    What Revit Wants: Live and reloadable RVT and DWG Link inside a component RFA Family

    Family with IFC Link
    What Revit Wants: Link an IFC file into a Revit Family RFA File

    Custom Railing Connections
    From What Revit Wants: Custom Railing Connections in 10 steps (free sample download)


    Make Link Index to all of your Revit Families
    From What Revit Wants: Use a CMD script to create a Hyperlink index to all your Family RFA files

    Enable and Disable Revit 2015 Addins
    You can download both Powershell scripts here
    From What Revit Wants: Script to Disable All Revit Addins  


    Add Materials from Excel
    From What Revit Wants: Add New Materials to Revit using an Excel file: including Cut and Fill Patterns, Transparency and RGB Values

    EXCEL and Other

    Duplicate Element Finder
    What Revit Wants: Parse Element ID for quick deletion of "identical instances in the same place" errors

    Override Cut Lineweight of Flat Pipes when Cut Perpendicular in a Revit View

    If you cut a sloping pipe in Revit, you can override the lineweight using Linework tool (or Visibility / Graphics) easily, because you are dealing with a model element. However, if you cut a 'flat' or horizontal pipe in a Section or Elevation, Revit assumes you want the nice system-related cut symbol for that Pipe and you can't easily override the Cut Lineweight with a Linework tool.

    What you need to do is turn off that default Symbol in Visibility / Graphics, and then you can successfully override the Cut representation.You may find that by turning off the Drop or Rise option, the symbol isn't shown and the Linework tool will be active for the cut lines of flat pipes:

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    2017 Autodesk Add-Ins for Revit via Autodesk Desktop App

    Currently including:
    • DB Link
    • Steel Connections
    • eTransmit
    • Model Review
    • Space Naming Utility
    • Batch Print

    More information about these addins at:
    Help: Add-Ins for Revit

    Monday, April 18, 2016

    Dynamo and Revit 2017

    For a while here on What Revit Wants, I was a bit worried I was writing about Dynamo too much... "Hey, Dynamo isn't Revit, its just an addin!"

    But guess what?

    Now Dynamo is Revit, its right there on the Visual Programming panel, Manage Ribbon.

    If you were running Dynamo 0.9.2 prior to installing Revit 2017 (perhaps as part of Building Design Suite Ultimate 2017), you won't immediately see Dynamo on the Manage Ribbon. After installing Revit 2017, re-run the Dynamo install package, and ensure that Revit 2017 is selected:

    Next time you launch Revit 2017, Dynamo should be in its rightful place, right there on the Manage ribbon, ready for you to jump in and start winning.

    Convert BCF to PDF with this Free Utility

    The BIM Collaboration Format is getting more popular and more widely supported as the months go by. I was interested to find to this little command line utility that quickly creates a PDF file from a BCFzip. It can batch process multiple BCF files and it outputs a relatively clean PDF with the image and issue name.

    What is it? From Sourceforge:
    This project provides conversion/rendering of a BIM Collaboration Format (BCFZIP) file exported from Tekla BIMSight and similar applications to a PDF report. It can be useful in several ways, such as:
    1) sending someone a PDF report instead of BCF file.
    2) Print a hard copy of BCF report for signoff
    3) Review BCF content quickly without installing or launching any BIM software

    Command line usage:

    PDF output looks like this, 1 issue per page:

    Download and main page at:
    BCF2PDF download | SourceForge.net

    Instructions, showing you can also use drag-and-drop for multiple BCFs:
    1. Download the file BCF2PDF.rar from Source Forge and place in a folder.
    2. Export one or more .bcfzip files from Tekla BIMSight or other similar applications.
    3. Drag the .bcfzip files and drop onto the icon of BCF2PDF.exe executable.
    4. One or more PDF reports will be created in the same folder as the source .bcfzip files.

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    Copy OneNote Notebooks from One Account to Another

    By using a shared folder on OneDrive, you can Copy an entire OneNote notebook from one user to another.

    Here's how:
    1. Let's call the user hosting the notebook OriginalUser, and the account we are going to copy to TargetUser
    2. In OneDrive web app on the OriginalUser account, share a folder to TargetUser
    3. Confirm you have access to the shared folder by logging in to the OneDrive web app for TargetUser. Select the folder and "Add to my OneDrive"
    4. Now, back in the OneDrive web app for OriginalUser, select a Notebook and Copy it to the folder you shared with TargetUser. Wait for it to complete copying...
    5. In the OneDrive web app for TargetUser, navigate to the shared folder and click to open the 'copied' Notebook in the OneNote web app
    6. Wait for the opening process to complete (this may take a while)
    7. Rename the Notebook on the TargetUser OneDrive web app
    8. Move to desired, non-shared folder in the TargetUser OneDrive. You will receive this message, and you have to press "Move Anyway"

    Revizto 4.0 Open Beta Starts Today

    Excited about this! Keep in mind that this only operates in a sandbox, testing environment...

    Check it out and download at:
    Revizto 4.0 Open Beta

    And you can discuss on the forum at: