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


  1. ooh, first time I see an example explaining the difference between a point that is "placement point" and a point that is "shape handle point (adaptive). Subtle and interesting discovery. Thank you, Tim, for sharing. Nice post, and nice comments about RTC AUS 2013.

  2. I'd love to hear more on the techniques of following a topo surface!

  3. At RTC Marcello Sgambelluri showed us some amazing techniques for creating walls, road and fences that follow a toposurface, but I can't possibly post his stuff here - its a good reason to attend RTC if there is any way you can get to one. However, at RTC I also demonstrated an alternative method of getting a fence to follow a toposurface, and that I can post here - it may take me a little while to get to it, but I sure will try.