Thursday, May 7, 2015

Autodesk Floating Licenses (Network Licensing)

A floating license allows you to have more users than software licenses. This is ideal as long as all of the users do not need to use the programs simultaneously.

Autodesk calls this Network Licensing. There is a cost component to this option, called a network license activation fee, you will have to price this out with your reseller.

Autodesk's Network License Manager is a program that installs on your server(s) which manages the licenses, checking out and releasing the licenses per request. See link for description:

Below are the instructions if you already have standalone licenses and installs of an Autodesk product and find you need network licensing instead. You cannot use your existing standalone licenses.
  1. Request network licenses from Autodesk, they will issue new network licenses and deactivate the standalone licenses.
  2. The Network License Manager from Autodesk must be installed and configured on your server.
  3. Uninstall all Autodesk programs.
  4. Re-install with Network license option selected.

Additional details:
The latest version of Autodesk’s Network License Manager (aka FLexLM or LM Tools) is  required for 2015 and 2016 Network Licenses. Found at the link below:

Additional information on the setup and configuration of LM Tools:

Environment variable (Only required if you are moving to a new server)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Link CAD to Revit Reminders

These instructions apply to linking one file to one specific view separately and one at a time.

If there are many plans of the same type that need to be linked into multiple levels of a project there may be some value added in creating one CAD file with each plan in it at the Z elevation corresponding with the levels of the Revit model. I plan to write those instructions soon, when I do I will also link to them from here.

In Windows Explorer file browser:
Be sure you are working with a copy of the file that you want to import. Temporarily copy any xrefs into the same directory as the file. (This prevents us from having to repath xrefs.)

In AutoCAD:
Open the file to be linked.

Bind or detach xrefs as needed. Bind with Insert will give you less layers to manage. Bind with Bind only if you need the layers controllable separately but there will be many more layers.

Copy / Save file to a linked files folder under your Project Revit directory.
  - Name / rename with nomenclature easy to find in linked file list.

Change solid patterns to something legible if needed, or turn off.

Explode the xref blocks just inserted. It will be easier to delete or freeze line work as needed.
 Note: Do not explode all, this might explode other blocks (like plumbing fixtures, furniture, etc.) which, if built correctly, would revert to a 0 layer making their visibility hard to control.

Purge, Purge again, Purge until you can Purge no more.
Hint: checking the purge nested box, you may only need to purge once.

Save and Close

In Revit:
Link CAD

First make sure you are on the desired workset. It is recommended to have a dedicated one.

Use these settings:
Checking the "Current view only" box is recommended in most cases. Otherwise the file will show up in every view associated with that level. If you want the linked CAD file to show in multiple views then you would want to weigh your options. If only a few multiple views are required it is easier to still link into Current view only and then copy and past in place into other views. If linking to all views are desired, then you may consider unchecking current view only.

NOTE: Unchecking "Current view only" makes the link a single instance 3D element that is visible in all views which is relative to a level and can be given an elevation height. Checking by current view only treats the element similarly to an image with only 2D properties placing it into just the view that you are currently in.

After Import, select the file within the view and change the Draw Layer property to foreground. Default is background and most of the linework will usually be hidden under the floor element if there is one.

Layer visibility overrides for coordination purposes:

- Change all layers to Magenta or another preferred pop color using Visibility Graphics.
- Set Wall layers to different (Green) and a thick line type.
- Turn off Defpoints or any other CAD layers not needed, soffit lines, area lines, etc.

Another great walkthrough I found:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fast(er) Way To Place a Missing Room Tag

This is a very simple quick tip. When you have a room tag that is missing in a view. Copying is quicker than the Tag Room command. This only works if there is a Room Tag of the type you need already in the View. 

I've noticed that it takes a second or so for the Tag Room command to activate, it seems like it is reading/processing the Rooms in that view. Then a few more seconds for to check / change the type in the properties drop-down.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Revit Efficiency Hunt

I am currently working on a project with a Revit file size that fluctuates between 500-800mb. Due to recent crashes and extensive lag I have been experiencing with even simple tag edits, I did some research to find where to gain efficiency in the Revit model. Although the project I am experiencing is on the larger side, these recommendations will apply to any sized project.

I found an Autodesk white paper entitled, 2014 Model Performance Technical Note. There are recommendations for Hardware, Software settings and User best practices. If you have seen this before, as have I, this still serves as a good reminder for things we forget or are likely unknown to the more novice or casual Revit users.

It's worth evaluating the entire document but I am highlighting sections below that are of particular interest and most of which can be easily implemented. 

  • p11 - Hard drive configuration of swap file.
  • p13-15 - Optimizing the OS.
  • p16 - Verify network and server capabilities.
  • p27 – Second item down, one dramatically weaker machine spec can reduce project performance.
User best practices:
(I can see instructions on these as an Office tech note via e-mail, a training or the opening / splash page or all of the above.)
  • p13 - Restarting Revit prior to memory intensive tasks.
  • p18 - Limit use of arrays.
  • p19 - Use constraints sparingly, find alternatives to keep certain items from being edited.
  • p19-20 – Families; Avoid voids, 2d symbolic lines instead of 3d geometry, limit flexibility.
  • p21 – Unload links not in use, better yet, open file with the specify option in the open file dialog.
  • p21 – Set and emphasize detail level for modeling for the project in general.
  • p21 – Delete unnecessary area schemes / plans.
  • p22 – Railings, had not heard this one before, maybe this could be applied through visibility whether course, medium or fine.
  • p23 – Room separation lines in separate workset, this one is interesting, I am curious of the benefit, besides controlling visibility.
  • p23 – View depths, (the further a view sees, the more model elements it tries to calculate.)
  • p24 – Close unnecessary views, I know this one but often forget, especially 3d views on synch to central.
  • p26 – Only open worksets that you need (repeat: open file with the specify option in the open file dialog.)
  • p26 – IM/message board service for the team – I have used on a project and it has been great, highly recommended.
  • p26-27 – All of the worksharing recommendations are valuable.

A good AUGI article that parallels most of these items can be found here, it also includes a few additional tips that can prove useful. 
Excerpt of note:
Hierarchy of Revit Graphics  There are so many ways to change the way things look or if they are even displayed in Revit. This little code cracker tells what trumps what. It’s a great way to systematically check through what might be causing the issue. The higher numbers trump the lower numbers.
  1. Object Styles
  2. View Range
  3. Visibility Graphics Overrides
  4. Phasing Graphics Overrides
  5. View Depth (Beyond)
  6. View Filters (Filters nearer the top of the list override filters nearer the bottom)
  7. Override Graphics in View by Element
  8. View Detail Level
  9. View Discipline
  10. Line Work Tool
  11. Worksets
  12. Hide in View

Monday, June 9, 2014

Curtain WaIl Segments - Alternate Workflow

When you want to add or remove mullions along a gridline or grid line segment.

You typically would use the Mullion tool under the Architecture Tab but sometimes it does not let you place a mullion.

Here's the part that (to me) wasn't obvious.

When that tool isn't working for you.
Instead, with no command active, select the gridline that you want to add the mullion to.
Then, click the Add/Remove Segments button that is available when a gridline is selected.

You should be able to click and add (or remove if desired) mullions to the desired segment.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Implementation and Best Practice Basics

There are a lot of obvious settings and recommended methodologies in order to achieve efficiency for your hardware and within specific software. I know a few tricks that I have picked up along the way such as graphics settings for the Windows OS, not using screen savers, etc. But we don't really have time to keep up and in the know with everything. Often people need to install and start producing billable work as quickly as possible.

Autodesk has a good white paper covering recommendations for hardware, OS settings and options within Revit as well as command options and when constraints and parametric flexibility are appropriate.

It's worth a look to minimize the burden on your hardware, file size and most importantly user wait / down time!

Look for "Model Performance Technical Note" @

Direct pdf link:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sheet Sort

As simple as this sounds there are different ways to set this up. This issue becomes especially important for workshared central file when more than one team member is working on the project.

 I have found one standard setting that should work for all projects during all phases. This would be to sort by Sheet Package (Package/Discipline/Sheet # Grouping/Sheet # (Ascending))

Granted there are a couple of sorting options that have their uses as a temporary setting but I recommend always reverting back to Sheet Package due to the fact that the project browser settings sync back to the central file and therefore affect other team members.

Of course play around with the settings and see what works best for you!

The standard example: