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Thread: Dimensions lost when changing door type

  1. #1
    Member Pashcal's Avatar
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    Dimensions lost when changing door type

    I have dimensioned doors on a plan view that shows door width and height. Unfortunately when I change the door type those dimensions are lost and deleted from the plan view. Any sugestions on why this is happening? Any ideas on how these can stay connected? In addition, I have some model in place trim on certain doors that is locked to the door frame. This also seems to "break" when changing door type. All of these changes are within the same family and it seems like these connections should be maintained. Thanks for any ideas.

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    Pashcal,

    This is pretty typical depending on what you are dimensioning. When dimension references change completely the associations are broken, and that’s that.

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    Forum Addict GMcDowellJr's Avatar
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    I disagree about it being typical... at least if you're dimensioning to the correct things.

    I don't usually see this sort of behavior so I'm thinking it has something to do with the door families you're swapping (I should note that I'm assuming you're talking about changing Families, not Types of the same Family - if you're changing Types of the same Family I wouldn't expect this behavior at all).

    Are you dimensioning to the reference planes in the family or to geometry? If the former then I would suspect the reference planes aren't the same type (one weak, the other strong). If, however, you're dimensioning to geometry then yes, your dimensions will disappear (this based on a few quick tests).

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    Member Pashcal's Avatar
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    I am not changing families, only types within the same family. It is beyond me why Revit would not be able to retain these dimensions when the door type is changed. It does keep one of the dimenisions I have placed which dimensions the center of the door. The dimension that is deleted is one that dimensions the overal width of the door and also provides the door ht. - this is dimensioning to a reference plane in the family. Certainly not the behavior I would expect. It sort of defeats the expectation of editing once in a single location and everything else is updated. I am starting to expect this type of behavior out of Revit. It is not uncomon that I make some type of change and Revit informs me that I can either cancel what I was attempting to do or delete some unkown dimension that I only later discover. Many times there seems no reason that this dimension "needs" to be deleted since the modification I am making is minor. These obscur error messages are so common that you almost start to ignore them and the messages give you very little info about what Revit is doing. It has be fun for me to learn Revit since I am a long time Archicad user - I have always wondered about "the other side". Both programs have their benfits, but....

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    Rev it is just very particular especially when it comes to building families. Did you try to change the reference planes in your family to strong references where you anticipate putting dimensions?

    That might help but if it is a mix of things i.e. dims to geometry weak references etc. you may have problems.

    Interesting that you are using Revit now after using ArchiCAD I hear this same story quite a bit.

  6. #6
    Member Parametric Snowman's Avatar
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    From my experience, it might have something to do with each reference that your dimension string snap to. For example, if you dimension is NOT to the center of the door, but to the frame of the door, it could break once the type is switched...

  7. #7
    Member Pashcal's Avatar
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    Just checked the family, and it is a weak reference plane. Not sure if I fully understand when and where to use strong versus weak reference planes. I did not build these families - just geting my feet wet with the intricacies of building families.

    I was hired because of my BIM expertise. Relatively quick for me to pick up Revit with the background I have. Hard to know how long I have to work with Revit to give it a fair chance - I have about 6 months under my belt. At this point Archicad is a clear winner - too many inconsistancies in Revit. Revit tries to be a little to smart and can't hold up its end. I really miss the bolean operations and the variablity of what you can (and mainly canot) snap to get old and makes Revit inherently inacurate and error prone. What I like with Revit is the model in place (similar to family editor) features and the workplane control. Revit definitly needs some work on its abilty to organize views in the project browser - large projects get difficult to navigate. I find myself moving through a project much slower and spend alot more time getting at what I need to work with. It's been fun and I am glad to have the experience.

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    Wow you really touched on a lot of issues there. Seeing that you mentioned your level of experience with I would suggest that you have a long road ahead of you if you choose to continue using the software. There's so much to learn and even after using it for several years myself there is still so much that I have yet to learn.

    You can definitely customize the project browser to help organize it by arbitrary means if you wish. There is a lot of documentation on this if you search forums or even do a simple search. There's also a lot of information on the use of reference planes between week versus strong and understanding the families that you are trying to fix.

    If you set a reference plan to strong in a family when you load it into the project you will be able to dimension and align to it as if it is a invisible. Not a reference option will do the complete opposite of strong meaning you will not be able to pick or dimension to the reference plane when loaded in a project. I have to doublecheck exactly what weak does but it's somewhere in between and strong and not a reference.

  9. #9
    Mr. Revit OpEd
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    Interesting coincidence, I wrote a blog post for tomorrow about this earlier today. Not all content is created equal, not even the stock stuff at times.

    The issue in this case is that one family has one set of reference planes configured one way and another family configured differently. If the reference planes are at least assigned to Right or Left for example Revit general can work out the "swap". When a dimension is associated with a family that has a Reference plane assigned "correctly" is now trying to attach to a reference plane using the Strong, Weak or Not a Reference settings it is not able to "connect the dots".

    The IsReference feature is meant to help tell Revit what our intentions are. The preset named settings are important for the "bones" of the a family, the parts that define change. For example, in the project environment Revit doesn't "see" a reference plane assigned to "Not a Reference". If there are two reference planes near one another and one is Strong, Revit will "see it" before it sees a weak one. The way we get grips on "stretchable" families (instance parameters) is affected by IsReference. There is a lot of power and subtlety to Revit. Easy to get in but you can always go deeper.

    I'm sure that Archicad has its share of quirks. All software does.

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    Steve, that was a really good explanation of what the IsReference parameter does. This should be part of a standard for setting up families. I have not seen this any official training guides but that is not to say it isn't there, somewhere.

    The fact that Autodesk has standardized the bones for us makes it very easy to maintain consistency when creating families.

    I think this will also help in understanding why dimensions can suddenly vanish when updating files/links/families etc.
    Last edited by Jj Mac; September 15th, 2012 at 03:14 AM.

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