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kippax

so REVIT ... where do we start ?

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kippax

I work for a UK subsidiary of a large German lighting manufacturer with a global presence.

 

Here we are now increasingly being asked for REVIT files of our luminaires by consultants and architects looking to specify our product.

 

We have spoke to the powers that be in Germany and they are either blissfully ignorant of the growing/upcoming importance of REVIT or are being extremely reticent to make more work for themselves.

 

At the minute we have UK staff who are used to working with AutoCAD and also with other various file formats for the luminaires that are used within lighting software packages for visualization and calculation purposes.

 

Is it a relatively simple process to translate these skills to REVIT and thus produce REVIT files for the luminaires locally in the UK. Or does this really need to be looked at on a whole new level with the files built from scratch ?

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RobDraw

Although some of my skills translated well to Revit, it was mostly a learning experience. So, I would go with this:

 

Or does this really need to be looked at on a whole new level with the files built from scratch ?

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tzframpton

Rob nailed it.

 

Kippax, since you're a manufacturer, you'll be dealing with the most advanced and time consuming part of Revit from the get go: the Family Editor. Personally, I would suggest that your company hire a consultant. The reason being is that what you're about to embark on will affect the entire engineering community, so if it's not done right the first time it'll frustrate the people who use and spec your product. But that isn't to say you can't go about it and do a great job without a consultant, especially if you stay on Revit-based forums and let people test your Revit content out before releasing it to the public interwebz for download.

 

Since you're a lighting manufacturer, you'll need to add circuit information to the light, and even *.ies information embedded into the fixture. You'll want to start immediately with Shared Parameters so things can be scheduled in Revit without hassle. ONLY use native Revit geometry to build the 3D model, do not under any circumstances Import a DWG file.

 

Come back with any other questions you have! Rob and I are the only real active Revit users on this forum but we'd gladly help you along. :)

 

-TZ

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kippax

OK ... cheers for that.

 

Off to download and have a play around with the trial version.

 

I suspect I'll be back sooner rather than later.

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kippax

Downloaded the trial version and been having a bit of a play.

 

My first step was to download a few REVIT files of luminaires that are made publicly available on other manufacturers websites. Open them up and have a look around.

 

Some manufacturers seem to offer a single REVIT file for each luminaire and lamp combination. However one company provided a whole folder with a REVIT file, several ies (photometric files) and also csv and txt files. They then suggested a folder structure, which didn't really seem appropriate to that on my PC, that I should drop these files into.

 

Step 1. Create a Windows File Folder in the Revit Library of your choice called "C##### Lighting".

Step 2. Create a Windows File Folder within the C##### Lighting Folder created in Step 1 called "Lumark".

Step 3. Place the un-zipped Windows product folder (e.g. "AreaRoadway_PFT") within the Lumark Folder created in Step 2.

(This folder contains the necessary .TXT and .CSV Type Catalog)

Step 4. Extract any .ies files to the IES Folder, typically installed in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\

 

I presume this would mean that once the REVIT was dropped into the project, you would then be able to choose from multiple lamp and or reflector options.

 

Basically though the file seemed to consist of 2 components... 3D model of the luminaire and an ies photometric file. As a company we already produce both of these. So my simple question is whether I can produce a simple REVIT file of one of our luminaires by importing a 3D dxf or similar, combining with an ies or similar, then creating a folder structure (family) to enable selection of multiple lamp types and distributions from the same luminaire ?

 

While I take on board the comments above, as you can probably guess... at this stage at least, I really need to keep this as simple as possible. There is no way at present we could fund additional staff or sub this out within the UK, but with our clients expectations being completely ignored by HQ in Germany I do need to get a real idea of what might be involved here.

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tzframpton
So my simple question is whether I can produce a simple REVIT file of one of our luminaires by importing a 3D dxf or similar, combining with an ies or similar, then creating a folder structure (family) to enable selection of multiple lamp types and distributions from the same luminaire?
Do not under any circumstances import any AutoCAD 3D model into Revit. Only use native Revit geometry, period.

 

While I take on board the comments above, as you can probably guess... at this stage at least, I really need to keep this as simple as possible. There is no way at present we could fund additional staff or sub this out within the UK, but with our clients expectations being completely ignored by HQ in Germany I do need to get a real idea of what might be involved here.
I can see you feel like you're in a pinch with no additional staffing, etc, but you can still keep it simple. The main way to keep it simple is to use simple geometry, such as LxWxH boxes for rectangular light fixtures, or cylinder extrusions for round can lighting, etc. The main thing you need to focus on is how to create Reference Planes, how to create Parameters and how to constrain those Parameters to the Reference Planes to make the Planes "flexible". In doing that, when you create geometry, you will attach the geometry to the Planes which will constrain them, making the geometry "flexible" as well. Much like muscles attaching to bones. Then, the rest is all informational, such as circuit information, IES information, etc.

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kippax

tzf.....

 

 

cheers for the response. I created an rfa file by doing exactly what you suggested I don't... i.e. importing a 3d dxf and then adding an appropriate ies file.

 

 

Please don't think I'm trying to be clever here, just attempting to get a better understanding of what a REVIT file is and does.

 

 

I have put it into a project and run a render. It appears to behave as I would expect, though I can't confirm exact details such as lighting levels.

 

 

Unfortunately I've tried to attach it but it wont upload.

 

 

Anybody prepared to let me email it to them, so they could have a little play and then come back to me and explain why it's no use ?

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Glen1980

You can mail it to me whilst our American cousins are asleep. I'm only a Revit learner but I can see if it goes into my models. I've sent you a PM.

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Glen1980

Better first attempts than my families! I have had a 3 day training course on Revit but nothing on creating families. The modelling bit is easy but the parametrics and fixing it to surfaces is bending my mind a little.

 

I noticed that the recessed light is hovering 50mm or so below the ceiling. This is something I am also having problems with but on a wall light I created. For some reason you can't just tell it to fix to the ceiling/wall because different constructions have different thicknesses (I don't understand this myself, I would make the surface the sticky bit!)

I would also say that as clash detection is a big part of Revit/BIM you might want to model the extent of the backbox projection so people can be sure it is clear under structure and ducts.

 

The Floodlight is certainly impressive to look at and sticks to what you put in on (or nothing when I was dragging it round) whether this is what the experienced users want or not is beyond me. I don't know if it is possible to make the light rotate but leave the bracket in place but that would look better. I did notice my very basic and underpowered machine bogged down a little with the floodlights attached so maybe a little too detailed?

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tzframpton

You can send over to me as well.... PM me to swap emails. Or, download Dropbox and use the free 2GB to upload and link the file here. :)

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hertz hound

Ok, I am a little late to this post, but has anyone read and followed through with Paul Aubin's Renaissance Revit? From what I know about the book, it is about building advanced Revit family's. I am not sure how much you need to know about basic families before jumping in?

 

I am sure I am still years away before buying that book. I can't seem to find the time to get the basics down.

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tzframpton

That book is definitely advanced and it's mainly for architectural approaches, if I remember correctly. I don't think it would be beneficial to you being in the MEP realm. The reason being is that any MEP type of Family has additional information that is absolutely critical. For starters, we all have to deal with Connectors. Then we have to deal with Systems. Usually, MEP Families are simple in terms of geometry only. It's digging in deep into the parameters and formulas that get things complicated. For instance, I have an electrical family that has a formula in it to automatically balance the loads across single phase (1 or 2 pole) or three phase for the electrical connector.

 

The basics are much simpler than you'd think. And you should know that you have to MAKE time instead of trying to FIND time!! Haha, the busy world we live in. :)

 

A good approach to learn the basics is take an existing job and recreate it in Revit. Dedicate 1-2 hours per week, or more if you can. And I that includes the basics in rebuilding the architectural with walls, floors, roofs, windows and doors. Rebuilding an architectural model from scratch in a basic from will greatly increase your understanding in Revit. I would always be happen to help you along if/when you get started. The next job that comes around, if there's Revit architectural and/or structural, and it seem simple enough, then just make the leap and stay very close to the CADTutor.net Revit forum, or jump over to RevitForum.org and you'll get all the assistance you'd need to complete the job.

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ReMark

Ah, Tanner, I see you have emerged from the verbal battle of yesterday none the worse for wear. Good. So where were we? Ah yes, Revit, where do we start?

 

After giving your lecture of yesterday some thought I approached our structural engineer, who is the liaison between the president of the company and our architect regarding our future new chemical plant, and asked him what he knew about BIM. He said he had heard of the concept but really only knew the bare minimum. I suggested he might want to bring the subject up with our architect (ask him what he knows about BIM), and eventually, with the president, and start thinking about what BIM might be able to do for us re: second site. From my reading on the subject I get the impression one does not become "BIMafied" just by purchasing a program like Revit and going to town on the design and that it takes a great deal of concentration, education and collaboration to make the process work. So, how do I tell this young engineer to proceed? Personally, I don't want to see a new plant designed and built using AutoCAD. My preference before yesterday's discussion would have been to suggest using Plant 3D. Now I'm not too sure that would be in our best interest. Your thoughts?

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tzframpton
Ah, Tanner, I see you have emerged from the verbal battle of yesterday none the worse for wear. Good. So where were we? Ah yes, Revit, where do we start?

 

After giving your lecture of yesterday some thought I approached our structural engineer, who is the liaison between the president of the company and our architect regarding our future new chemical plant, and asked him what he knew about BIM. He said he had heard of the concept but really only knew the bare minimum. I suggested he might want to bring the subject up with our architect (ask him what he knows about BIM), and eventually, with the president, and start thinking about what BIM might be able to do for us re: second site. From my reading on the subject I get the impression one does not become "BIMafied" just by purchasing a program like Revit and going to town on the design and that it takes a great deal of concentration, education and collaboration to make the process work. So, how do I tell this young engineer to proceed? Personally, I don't want to see a new plant designed and built using AutoCAD. My preference before yesterday's discussion would have been to suggest using Plant 3D. Now I'm not too sure that would be in our best interest. Your thoughts?

ReMark, I would be glad to have a 15-30 minute phone conference with you and this engineer if you'd like. A half hour over the phone would allow me to ask the right questions and assess where you and your team stand. Then I can give some insight for you guys to consider and research. PM me if interested and we can get a time together. Or, email is fine too. I'd just rather take it off the public boards since this is a direct request for information that could run up the chain of commands.

 

:)

 

*EDIT*

Oh and about yesterday... no sweat off my back!! I'm telling you, it doesn't phase me, or any part of my personal and professional life. My opinions are my opinions and that's that. ;)

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ReMark

I think if we start with email that would be best. The engineer and I are not always in the office at the same time. I'll PM you with my email address. Thank you.

 

Re: where we stand. The powers that be are still mulling over how the site will be laid out. Other than the fact we will start with one process building, warehouse, utility and office building nothing else has been decided. Basically we haven't even stepped onto square 1. Too bad. I may not be here long enough to even see this thing go to design let alone be built. Do you want to reconsider your offer?

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tzframpton

Email sent. :)

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Organic
If I see a newcomer to AutoCAD, and they're just starting out in the AEC industry, then I feel it's bad not to inform them of the market shifts. I'd hate to see someone invest time and money into a tool that is dying in some industries.

 

A newcomer can't exactly choose their software or go dictating as to what software they use unless they are a freelancer.

 

My 'issue' with BIM is that it simply isn't needed on most of the projects we do and would be a unnecessary complication. Data overload etc.

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ReMark

I'm not going down that road again. I need information not debate. Thanks just the same.

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