So, Revit offers now a number of different automation tools – Dynamo, C# macros, custom add-ins. But how does that affect everyday design life? There is a lot of attention, of course, towards visually attractive stuff like generative design, complex form shaping etc. But later down the road comes the tedious drafting part – especially in case of the larger projects. Countless tagging, dimensioning every possible drawing. These are tasks that I would happily assign to a computer algorithm and keep the design part rather for myself!
So what can be automated to save us precious time? No ready solutions today, just some loose ideas.
How many rooms can you have in a model, few thousands? And you have to put all the data, like names, manually? That would take some time. I can imagine it could be quite easily automated, depending on the project.
The simplest idea would be for the script to check what kind of equipment is there in the room. For example, in the residential building, if there is a bathtub – guess bathroom, if fridge – guess kitchen.
You could also analyse room area, window / door position. No entry? Maybe it’s a technical shaft? The most fancy way would be to train a neural net on your past projects and then let it make guesses based on that knowledge. But who has a coherent project data from the past…
Important thing to keep in mind here – the script does not have to work for all the rooms possible. Even if it can fill 60% of you save loads of time.
You have all your rooms set, but they are grouped into apartments. Now you have to know the total area of each apartment and there is 600 of them. So you should make 600 schedules – takes some mindless clicking.
But this is actually VERY simple to automate. Just make the first one manually and then run a script that will duplicate it, change the filtering parameter and the name – based on data from excel or rooms in the model.
You can also take it further and batch place them on correct sheets.
If you have those 600 apartments then there is a possibility that you will need separate floor plans of them – again six hundred, each with adjusted crop boundary.
That is a bit more complex, but completely possible to automate. The trickiest part in my opinion is to get the view boundary right – that might involve some geometrical problem solving – lots of fun:)
We all know the ‘Tag All Not Tagged’ tool in Revit. It is extremely useful, but works only on a single drawing. What if you have 50 floor plans? And another 50 ceiling plans? Then you need a script that tags automatically on all of them.
In our Onion package for Dynamo we have a node that can find all untagged elements in a list of views (per category) – that should take you halfway there…
Large projects also tend to get messy. It might be a really good idea to prepare some scripts that would help you to maintain the model. Think of tasks like: deleting unnecessary section views, removing not placed rooms. Also looking for errors, like incorrect door handling – after somebody mirrors them.