We spend a lot of time talking to customers about how to maintain a lean and robust BIM project database but not enough about also keeping the underlying custom content clean. Here’s a great tip that has surfaced with many of our customers via our Technical Support that highlights the need to audit Revit content; both for Groups and custom family files (RFAs).
Imported DWG/DGN content is the bane of many a BIM Manager. Ideate Explorer for Revit is the perfect tool to find and remove any hidden Imports (Video). However, what Ideate Explorer for Revit does NOT do is find DWGs that may be nested within a custom family (RFA). If a DWG is brought into a family or Group and then not purged, the imported categories essentially infect the project with unwanted categories found within the Visibility Graphics. This can cause undesired results, particularly when Exporting the project back into DWG/DGN format.
To avoid these problems in the first place we recommend using Ideate Explorer to delete any non-essential items from Groups and Custom families as follows:
1. For Groups, select all items as you normally would to make a Group then:
- Run Ideate Explorer to audit the “Current Selection”
- Uncheck any Imports or other items not intended to be part of a Group. We would never advocate including an Import item within a Group. In Revit 2012, in fact, this behavior is no longer possible (mixing an Import with other detail items). If this problem has already surfaced, you should check out this article at the Revit Clinic which describes the painstaking procedure that may be required to fix the Group-related problem.
- Exit Ideate Explorer
- Use the Create Group command.
2. For custom families, use the Family Editor as you normally would, then:
- Run Ideate Explorer to audit all of the items in the “Entire Project”
- Check any Imports or other items not intended to be part of the Family.
- Exit Ideate Explorer
- With the unwanted items still checked, select the Delete Key.
- The last step, before publishing any BIM content for company use, is to purge - twice for good measure!
And, lastly, if you haven’t done so already, consider a company policy about both family and group creation per the steps above as it will surely mean fewer support calls!
For more information on the software solutions, training, and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
Glynnis Patterson, NCARB
Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator, and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development at Ideate Software, and she continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for ECLC of New Jersey and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.