BILT Speaker

BILT Speaker
RevitCat - Revit Consultant

Monday, 25 July 2016

Revit Stair Path Arrows at Different Scales

My blog post on Revit Stair Path Arrows has had more hits than any other topic; and it continues to be near the top of the list each month - so it is obviously a problem issue for many people.

One thing I did not really cover in that post is how  to handle stair arrows at different scales.

Stair Arrows and Scale

Stair path arrow types need to be set up for each different scale that you want to use – because the arrowheads behave like symbols or tags (they change with scale); this is unlike the old arrows, which behaved like model lines (not affected by scale).


First you need to set up the arrowheads for each scale:

  • 1:50 or 1/4” to 1’0”

  • 1:100 or 1/8” to 1’0”

  • 1:200 or 1/16” to 1’0”

Text Size

Make sure you have suitable text types set up for each required stair path arrow scale


Stair Path Arrow Types

Then set up a different Stair path arrow type for each scale – these will reference the preset arrowheads and also text styles:

The important things to change for each scale are:
  • Arrowhead Type (system families as described previously)
  • Distance to Cut Mark – I usually make this a calculation of “Tread depth/ Scale factor”, so that the arrowhead stops on the first riser line beyond the cut mark, if that is what you prefer graphically.
        250/50 = 5mm
        10” / 1/4” to 1’0” = 27/128”
        250/100 = 2.5mm
        10” / 1/8” to 1’0” = 27/64”
        250/200 = 1.25mm
        10” / 1/16” to 1’0” = 7/128”
  • Text Type – adjust this so that it is the smallest readable size (unless you want larger text). Set up from Text panel of Annotate tab on ribbon

Duplicate types for each scale, and change the 3 properties:
  • 1:50 or 1/4” to 1’0”

  • 1:100 or 1/8” to 1’0”

  • 1:200 or 1/16” to 1’0”

Things that typically do not need to be changed include:
  • Start from Riser &  End at Riser   - unticking these would cause erroneous locations for arrowheads if your stair starts or ends with a tread (but will not affect stairs that start/end with runs).
  • Show Arrowheads to Cut Mark    - causes arrowheads to disappear on views where cut marks are shown (but they still show when the full run is displayed)

Properties that you might want to change include:
  • Start Symbol Type   - if you want to put a dot or circle to indicate the start of the stair
  • Full Step Arrow   - makes the arrow the full width of the run
  • Line Shape at Landing Corner   - can be straight or curved on angled landings
  • Draw for Each Run   -  creates a separate arrow on each run, which may be useful on unusual stairs such as 'T' shaped stairs where the path arrow is not created correctly:

Refer to Revit Stair Path Arrows for more information on using stair path arrows

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

More on Parameter Grouping in Revit

Following my earlier post on the sort order of parameter grouping, here is another tip:

Weird sort order of parameter group headings

If you have a lot of calculations going on in a family or in Global Parameters, there is an easy way to make your own titles to the parameter grouping:
Just create a text parameter, that has a name beginning with an underscore - that puts it at the top of  the group;  I have made these ones all Caps to make it really stand out.
You could even add a formula that is just text giving it a description, but I prefer to use a tooltip.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Power to the People - Global Parameters at RTC NA 2016

Here is a sneak preview of my upcoming presentation on  Global Parameters - "Power to the People" (Session 1.4 at 3.15pm) at RTC NA in Scottsdale, Arizona on 14 July 2016

This will be a presentation on how Global Parameters work, and how to use them for computational design - no Dynamo, API or any third party software involved - just 100% Revit 2017 and some brainpower:

View on Youtube

Understanding Parameter differences in Revit

As part of my upcoming presentation on  Global Parameters - "Power to the People" (Session 1.4 at 3.15pm) at RTC NA in Scottsdale, Arizona on 14 July 2016 I did a lot of research on exactly how each kind of parameter works in Revit.  It is a lot more complicated than I first thought (even though I knew from experience it was not simple).

I thought I would share some of my findings here, as they could be useful for reference generally - regardless of whether you are using Global parameters or not.  I will be referring to some of this research in my presentation, but won't have time to go into detail as the main focus will be the exciting possibilities Global Parameters.

Understanding Different Kinds of Parameters in Revit

System Family built-in Parameters – these are properties that are hard-coded into Revit software, and can be used where available. They can usually be scheduled and sometimes tagged, but not always. They can apply as instance (&/or type) data to:
  • system families: walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, railings etc
  • Project info
  • View and sheet parameters
  • Areas, Rooms and Spaces
Custom family custom parameters – user defined (type or instance)

Custom family built-in parameters – system defined (type or instance)

Project Parameters – exist only in the project; user defined; have to be assigned to categories, and hence to families; and cannot include calculations

Shared Parameters – derived from an external master list; can be scheduled and tagged
  • can be used for Family (custom) or project parameters, but not for Global or system/built-in parameters
Global Parameters – exist within a project; allow calculations outside the family

Reporting Parameters – extract a length or angle from a model, for use in calculations within families or global parameters; have many limitations within custom families

Calculated Value - these are properties (not real parameters) created within a schedule or tag family (from Revit 2017) - they can include formulas or just be static values for use in other formulas or scheduling;  they are not available anywhere else except the schedule or tag that they are created in.

Key Schedule Parameter - a special kind of schedule can be created that works like a lookup table;  a very few built-in parameters can be included in a key schedule, in which case they are available for tagging;  user created key schedule parameters cannot be Shared Parameters, which makes them of very limited usefulness.  If this latter functionality could be fixed, then Key Schedules would become a very important part of Revit, instead of languishing in the backwaters of arcane uselessness.

The Matrix

There are many limitations and inconsistencies in the way that each type of parameter works in Revit. Here is a matrix (or two) to help to understand the differences: