We need your feedback on the new model editor for the Revit plugin!

Hello everyone,

It has been some time since we announced new features for the Revit plugin. That’s mainly because we have taken on larger tasks that take longer to become reality. Particularly, we have been working on three interrelated features to improve the speed and ease of extracting valid analytical models in Revit.

1. You can export rooms/spaces/areas with slanted roofs can be exported in extruded mode

So far if you wanted to export a level with non-horizontal roofs you had to use the Full Volume mode for geometry extraction. That meant you had to check the room volume, check all the separation lines, and clean up the model. With the new change, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can select the Extruded Floors mode and we calculate the roof. It won’t work for every model but it should work for most of your models. We are also actively improving the routine one model at a time!

It is not only faster, it creates models that are easier to edit. See item 3! Here is a screenshot of the Revit sample model, and both levels are extruded as Extruded Floors.

2. You can save snapshots of your model, and reuse them!

Until now, the Revit plugin didn’t provide a good solution for saving what you have cleaned up. As a result, you had to go through all the 9 steps every time that you wanted to export the model. Particularly, for large models it can be painful to wait for all the rooms to be parsed every time. With the upcoming snapshot manager, you can save the model or part of the model as a snapshot, and export or edit it later as needed without the need to repeat the whole process.

3. You can edit your model snapshots in Revit

Last but not least, you can now edit these snapshots quickly and without leaving Revit. It’s easier to use and faster than editing the model in Revit, and it should minimize the need to take the cases to Rhino.

The only limitation is that it will only work for rooms that have been exported in Extruded Floors mode but since you can now export models with slanted roofs using this method, this should cover most of the models that you see in Revit! This is what the current version inside Revit looks like.

Here is a recording with a live demo of the process with these new functionalities and the new editor.

So what?

We still need a bit more time before a public release but this is the best time to provide your feedback. Everything is still in play and you can get what you need in the first release!

I also want to give a shout-out to the tldraw team and their product which made building the editor possible in a short amount of time! You can follow their project from their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts! I know they love having more followers! :smiley:

That should be it! Let us know what you think, and if you have any suggestions.

Happy Spring! :pollination:

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Very very involving…good job! Will be interesting to see more complex cases with skyscrapers (problems with zone adjacencies on multiple floors, which located underneath each other with little deviation) and with not ideal revit project file, like in real-life with some mistakes, which we can typically find in fast-made architecture projects. And hopefully, someday we can fully automatized this process :slight_smile:

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Hi @shishkinalv! :wave: and welcome to the forum.

This is a fair comment. The process will be quite similar. Our challenge has been to find a real-world Revit model that we are allowed to use for our demos! We have helped the offices with 100s of real-world Revit models but we have yet to find one that we can use for public demos.

Without giving away any information about the project, here is an example close to what you mentioned. The same process works for this model with several levels. :smiley:

Is there a way to align to the grid, so it is easier to edit the model aligned to the grid in the VE later?

Can you change the size of the grid in the tldraw dialog?

It would be nice to have a way to select all columns in a project based on the revit family or something to then be able to remove like you showed.

Columns that are on the edge of a room cause the most issues for me, so it would be nice to have a way to remove those in whole, especially for large towers.

Looks great though. I think the main issue i see is still needing to go through this process for each floor. It would be nice to have a way to apply some for an entire tower to take care of the repeated issues that are the same on each floor.

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All great suggestions, @crduggin!

We can implement this, and we already have a command that does it in Rhino. We didn’t have a great experience with the command since depending on the tolerance you may or may not get the expected results. We can reimplement it if it will be useful for the IES VE users. How does the grid work in VE?
cc: @chriswmackey

Yes. This one is possible and has already been implemented. :point_down:

I prefer the user to do this in the Revit itself by changing the room-bounding properties of the columns. Are you suggesting this solution not to edit the properties in the Revit file? That said, I think a command for removing the holes based on the area of the hole can do this. What do you think about that @chriswmackey?

This is also a great suggestion. In Rhino, we have a command that is particularly helpful for these cases. You can watch the video in the docs to get a better idea of how it works. We already have a similar functionality in the model editor but I’m not sure if it works the same. I’ll review this with @chriswmackey and @antonellodinunzio, and get back to you.

Thank you! The video was misleading. You can run these commands on several floors in one go. I was suggesting that the better practice is to clean the model one floor at a time but that doesn’t mean you cannot run them for several floors. Here is a model with 11 different floors. I fix the misalignments on the east facade in one go.

I’ll make sure not to make the same mistake for the upcoming announcements.

Thank you again for the great feedback!

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When creating a model from scratch in the VE, we trace over a dxf snapping all the vertices to the grid. You can change the grid size or realign it at any time though. Typically I create a model with a 0.5 ft grid. Then it is easier to edit, drag faces, and etc from grid point to grid point.

That is one of the draw backs of the current Pollination imported geometry. It isn’t aligned to any sort of consistent grid, so making adjustments to the geometry in the VE later can be difficult depending on what you need to do.

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@crduggin, here you go! We added an option that allows you to snap the rooms to the grid.

We are also improving the command for removing short segments to help you with removing the column setbacks at the edge of the rooms. It will be available before the official release. Thanks again for the feedback! :raised_hands:

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That is going to be killer. Will make Pollination to VE exports easier to edit after the fact in the VE.

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@crduggin, we improved the remove short segments command to address this. Here is a recording. Unlike what we had before, and since you can run the command for a room or a group of rooms you can adjust the number to fit your selection. Here is a recording (1.5x speed to get the size of the video down).

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These are amazing features. Really excited to give them a try. Two quick questions:

  1. Is this available to download and try now?
  2. Do edits to the Pollination model (like aligning the walls) edit the underlying Revit model or just the Pollination snapshot?
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Hi @justinshultz, thank you for the kind words.

Yes. I sent you a private message with instructions.

The changes are only made to the Snapshot but the two are linked. That means, in the future, we can technically re-load a single room from the model if it has changed. Similarly, we can also push the data back to Revit. I have been thinking of creating spaces based on the updated rooms. Those are all ideas right now. The scope of the first release is to make it easier and faster to create valid analytical models using Pollination, and without leaving Revit!

Ooo. I like the idea of creating spaces in Revit (maybe on it’s own workset) based on the Pollination revised rooms.

I still haven’t figure out how I want to deal with zones vs rooms for energy modeling without manually creating our own areas. Could we have a way in the snapshot editor to make zones from rooms that would just combine rooms into a single space for exporting and energy modeling?

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Glad that you asked! :point_down: :slight_smile:

We added join rooms and split core to the editor. The join/merge rooms functionality was something that was asked for frequently. :wave: @amirtabadkani @victorbrac

We will also implement the concept of grouping rooms into [HVAC] zones without merging the geometries. That is mostly useful for OpenStudio users. :wave: @justinshultz

Thank you! I’ll keep it in mind. I don’t think we will get there before the first official release but once it is out, we will start the process of expanding the functionalities of the snapshot editor to replace the current export model workflow.

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