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Thread: Is Dynamo the correct tool for...

  1. #1
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    Is Dynamo the correct tool for...

    I am taking it upon my self to learn Dynamo and am a two days into it. I'm sure this will be an obvious answer to most Dynamo users. My boss wants to identify all existing windows on several buildings which need to be replaced for a cost estimate he's putting together. I'm assuming this would be a great circumstance to use Dynamo, as I've heard Dynamo is great at extracting information? yes???
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  2. #2
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledo View Post
    IMy boss wants to identify all existing windows on several buildings which need to be replaced for a cost estimate he's putting together. I'm assuming this would be a great circumstance to use Dynamo, as I've heard Dynamo is great at extracting information?
    From someone at a similar point in their Dynamo learning...

    Yes/No.

    Yes, Dynamo is great for extracting (Revit) information* - especially when said information isn't otherwise (directly) exposed by Revit's UI.

    For example,you can not, using OOTB tools, use Revit's UI to find the XYZ coordinates of an element - Dynamo can reach in and get them for you, if you know where/how to look. So a win there.

    However, and with particular respect to your query...

    Many besotted by the promises of Dynamo seem to have forgotten (or skipped entirely) some of Revit's actual tools. Not wanting to point at you directly here Ledo, but scheduling existing windows? Revit can do that - and will do it faster, and in real time (Dynamo isn't 'live') with schedules alone. Presuming of course you have correctly phased your model(s) and said windows (due for replacement) know as much.

    And that's key. In a nutshell; Revit can ony "extract" what is "there" (so if you're not using the <Comments> or some other parameter to mark "Replace" against your window items, Revit can't help you isolate them until you do). Likewise, Dynamo still won't be able to differentiate the windows requiring replacement if it's based on a value not populated - BUT, if there is a "rule" that defines which windows require replacing (for example "all first floor windows", or "all North facing windows" etc) - Dynamo can work with that rule - and ultimately (if desired) populate such information for you.

    So (hopefully) a solution to your bosses requirements AND encouragement to continue your learning. I think.



    To add:
    As I'm "learning" my way around it I'm finding more use cases as I go - and since I've always drawn my processes a bit like a graph anyways (despite never learning the mathematic mechanics of critical path) find it's helping me plan for definitions that my teams would benefit from.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, I know Revit can schedule windows. I guess I was hoping it might be a good task to learn Dynamo on as well. 2 birds - 1 stone. But, I don't think my task is complex enough to add in the Dynamo factor. Thank you snowyweston!

  4. #4
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledo View Post
    Yes, I know Revit can schedule windows. I guess I was hoping it might be a good task to learn Dynamo on as well. 2 birds - 1 stone. But, I don't think my task is complex enough to add in the Dynamo factor.
    I wouldn't be so hasty.

    One of the first things I have set out to do (with Dynamo) is explore how I might refine existing (Revit) workflows and address the failings/kludges that have remained to this day. Getting at those XYZ coordinates for example. As such, I find knowing what Revit can/can't do helps organise an approach to Dynamo's otherwise empty "blank sheet of paper" workspace.

    So yeah, a real world task, with a real world equivalent, is the best place to start - since you already know you're looking for (Categories/Families/Elements/Parameters/etc) - and Dynamo usefully has it's useful set of Revit Nodes.

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    I second what Snowy has said, and will add my own two cents. Dynamo is great for connecting/associating elements in a way that native Revit is simply not capable of.

    I think native Revit tools will suffice for the situation you're describing. But let's say you wanted to organize a collection of windows by their nearest parallel grid line, and sort them as such. Dynamo is capable of things such as this (I can't tell you off the top of my head how to do it, but I imagine it's possible).
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    So to summarise, Dynamo is a tool which extends/sensibly manages the data hoarding/extraction capabilities of revit. Also dynamo does the monotonous repetitive tasks with specific set rules at its best.
    But what about its use in design?is it as awesome on the design front as well?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    A lot of the early Dynamo work was about pushing design and performing studies on things like solar shading and adjusting forms quickly through spreadsheets. Have a read through the Buildz blog and you will find a ton of examples. buildz
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohini View Post
    But what about its use in design?is it as awesome on the design front as well?
    It's funny how this has panned out. In my experience (architectural), Dynamo was first explained as a Grasshopper/Rhino alternative for Revit - which is partially true. Dynamo and Grasshopper are very similar. But where Rhino models geometry, Revit models information - so it's not exactly apples to apples in terms of what the tool can output. I think that's a reason why many focused on the geometric modeling functions of Dynamo early on (on the architectural side, at least).

    I was actually introduced to Dynamo for this very reason. The designers wanted a Grasshopper-esque design tool for making crazy forms on the front end. A year later, the learning curve has proven a bit steep for them. And now the CD/CA people are the ones crunching numbers with it.
    Last edited by zsmith3; February 3rd, 2017 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Grammar
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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Making wobbly stuff is easy. Understanding the underlying geometrics and construction considerations to make sense of such a form requires far more than just software skills.
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    Senior Member amoursol's Avatar
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    Grasshopper is a much older beast - and inherently better at geometry. Dynamo will catch up eventually, but fundamentally Revit can't handle the intricacies of what people want to use Dynamo for in a geometrical sense: Hopefully one day that changes.

    I use Dynamo for geometry as well as data workflows - it's better at Data I believe but not that bad at Geometry either. I'm just a n00b when it comes to Grasshopper so I use Dynamo instead.
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