Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Revit Step Pattern Repeaters Part 2

Further to my recent post of 6 June on Revit Step Pattern Repeaters, here are a couple more methods to achieve step repeaters:

Step Patterns Method 3

  • The previously created 1 point adaptive box could have an additional parameter added to it - to allow it to be offset to the right from its centrepoint origin.  At its simplest it just needs a parameter from centre to left side - if set at half the width value it will be centred;  if set at zero it will be offset by half its width.  You could put in a formula to make it offset using a checkbox but its not really necessary.

  • Create a new type that is offset to the right by half its width.
  • Place a centred type box on a node of the divided surface
  • Place an offset type box on the node above it on the next row

  • If you try to "repeat" this it will only create a linear pattern;  so you need to teach Revit what you want - place two additional boxes in a cluster of four (two of each type)

  • Select all four boxes and click on the "Repeater" (array) command to get a two directional step pattern.
  •  This will create four separate interlocking repeaters

  • The edges will not be finished correctly, so you need to create a new half width offset box and swap out the overhanging edge pieces.

  • NB. If you change the number of divisions on the surface, you cannot control where the half width types appear in the overall pattern.

Method 4

  • If you want to create something more complex than a box on a rectangular surface grid, you may need to create an adaptive component that has multiple adaptive placement points 
  • Although this example is still a box, it has 3 adaptive points - the first two set out the left hand edge, and the third point the bottom right corner and length (reporting parameter).  The overall box length is calculated at twice the length between the adaptive points 1 and 3
  •  The adaptive component needs to be placed on 3 nodes on the divided surface in the correct order

  •  If you repeat this component, it will make a rectangular pattern, which is not stepped.  So you need to place three more adaptive boxes in the final pattern that you require

  •  Select all four boxes and click on the repeat command - to get a step pattern

  • The edge boxes on the right hand side, need to be individually exchanged for half size boxes;  the left side needs to have new half-sized adaptive component boxes placed in alternate gaps.  It should be possible to place just the first two and then repeat them vertically.
  • Although this method is more complicated, the principle it shows would allow more complex patterns than the one point adaptives.  For example, if you taper the surface grid, the length of the box varies according to the node spacing

  • If you created a 4 point adaptive box, you could get it to distort itself to fit properly on a tapered grid

For methods 1 & 2 refer to previous post below:
Revit Step Pattern Repeaters

For information on how to achieve particular repeater patterns of adaptive components on a divided surface refer to:
Single Point Repeaters

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Revit Step Pattern Repeaters

I saw a question recently about how to create a step pattern repeater, so of course I had to figure out how to achieve it. You could just use a 1/2 step or 1/3 step curtain panel pattern on a divided surface, but that may not be exactly what you need, and the predefined surface patterns are not always easy to modify if they don't suit your purpose.

Here are a couple of ways to achieve it with Repeaters in Revit:

Method 1

  • Create a one point adaptive component, with a box centered on the point;
  • Give the box separate width and depth parameters to control its size;
  • Create the surface that you want to apply the step pattern to;
  • Divide the surface and make its nodes visible
  • Load and place four instances of the adaptive box on alternate nodes on two rows of nodes
  • Select all 4 components and click on the Repeater command, it will generate a checkerboard pattern
  • It is actually 4 separate but interlocking repeaters
  • Now change the V Grid spacing so that it is half the U grid spacing (or vice versa).  This will tighten the repeaters up into a step pattern
  • An alternative would be to leave the U and V grid spacing the same, but change the width of the box to be double its previous width
  • If you want to tidy up the edges, you may need to swap out the overhanging components for half-sized types, although they would need an additional offset parameter so that the width is not centered about the insertion point (& node).

Method 2

  • Start with the same divided surface but change the rotation angle of one of the grids.  It seems that if you make the V Grid angle 30.95 degrees it offsets the nodes on  alternating rows by half the spacing - I don't have time to figure out the maths but there must be a logical reason.
  • Place just one adaptive box component onto a node
  • Then repeat it

  • The resulting step pattern will have gaps in it, so the width needs to be changed - in this example from 1000mm to 1200 mm
For more on this topic refer to Step Pattern Repeaters Part 2 : Methods 3 & 4

Sunday, 2 June 2013

RTC and Revit Egress/Escape Path Update

RTC Australasia 2013

At the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) in Auckland a couple of weeks ago I learned a whole lot of new tricks in Revit.   I usually think that if I learn one or two things that might save me hours or even days of work in Revit then it is worth attending the conference.  This time I learned a whole swathe of new techniques, including (but not limited to):
  • How to scale families by 5 different methods in Revit (and I thought it was not possible at all);
  • How to control rotation of elements in all axes and directions in a family;
  • How to morph elements in a family;
  • How to create walls, roads and fences that follow a toposurface exactly;
  • How to get a chameleon to persuade a grasshopper to talk to a frog (Revit) ;
  • and the list goes on . . .
Many thanks to Marcello Sgambelluri, Alfredo Medina, Andrew Willes and all the others who taught me new things.  I'm sorry I missed so many other sessions that sounded interesting too.
I also did a presentation in Auckland titled "Fractal Fun with Revit Repeaters and Adaptive Components".   If that sounds complicated, it was actually a lot of fun - and I learned a lot in the research and testing that I did to prepare for it.   For those who missed it, you have another chance to see a new improved version of the presentation in Vancouver at RTC NA in July.  Luckliy I had "Fun" in the title because my presentation followed straight after the keynote speaker Nigel Latter, a psychologist and local TV celebrity - his talk was entertaining, but also had a serious message about how to deal with change (and how to deal with difficult people who are resistant to change!).

One of the other great things about RTC is that you get to talk to other users and Revit experts about what you have seen and heard.  This often leads on to other new ideas.  One of those discussions was about creating Escape or Egress paths in Revit - and this led to some new methods I could use for the adaptive component that I created last year:
Escape Path Adaptive Component

Update on Escape Path Component

The new idea came out of one of Marcello's new methods for scaling families - to play around with the adaptive point properties so that they behave differently in the project.  Comments on my earlier post rightly pointed out that there would be a lot of extra mouse-clicks if you did not require all the segments of a particular escape path component.  However, it is possible to change the properties of each adaptive point so that they are either:
  • a "Placement Point", which requires a mouse-click from the user when the component is first placed;  or
  • a "Shape Handle Point", which does not require a mouse-click on placement, but does allow the user to move it after placement - at which time it behaves as an adaptive point that will move/change any geometry that is linked to it.

What this means is that you could make the first three adaptive points as placement points, and all subsequent points as shape handle points.  So the user initially has to place only the first three points (two line segments);  subsequent points would only come into play if those segments are activated using the visibility switch.

The downside of this idea is that all of the shape handle points are selectable in the project even when their visibility (and the line segments) is turned off - although moving them  would not have any effect if their segments are turned off.

To see how to create the egress path component, refer to:
Escape Path Adaptive Component