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controling placement of items

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    controling placement of items

    I have some frustrations when I place elements in the model and I am sure there are techniques I am missing. I hope all you experienced users can shed light or point me to a resource that might shed light on these issues. I will explain different scenarios and am hoping for the recomended techniques I might use.

    If I am placing an item (plama TV for example) and want it centered between two other elements is there a method that allows me to do this while placing the element. From another software package I am use to using a single quick key that then alows me to pick two point and will place the TV in the center of these two points. In Revit I find myself placing the element, adding a dimension, and then selecting that the dimension is "EQ", and then deleting the dimension. There must be a faster way.

    Another scenario is when I place somthing that is for example 1" away from another item. I am use to be able to move an item and snap to what I want it spaced off of, and then specifiying that it is 1" off of this item by numerical input (1" -, or 1"+). In Revit, I find myself having to first move the item and then move it again and input the 1" dimension. The alternate (equally slow) has been to add a dimension, select the item, input the offset, then deleting the dimension. There must be a better way.

    Another item that contiues to give me frustration is that Revit will not restrain elements while moving them to horizontal or vertical restraints (not to mention other restraints that might be 30, 45, & 60 degrees or any other specified angle). If I start moving an item and hold the shift key it will restrain that item, but only if my curser is roughly horizontal or vertical. If I move my curser to a remote element that I want to snap to in order to position the element and that item is too far away, the restaint flips say from a horizontal retraint to a vertical restraint.

    Another frustrating thing I find in Revit, is often I want to move an item and not have it adjust other elements that it is attached to. This might be when working in the sketch mode and moving one of the sketch lines will automatically adjust other lines that are "joined" to the line I am moving. At times this is a feature, but often I have to make several extra steps to get to my end goal. Is there a comand that will tell revit "only move the item I am moving"? Sometimes I feel Revit tries to be a little too smart.

    I continually find myself either placing extra lines that I have to later remove or adding dimensions that I have to delete. I know there must be better techniques that I am not grasping. Thanks for any advice you can throw my way.
    Last edited by Pashcal; September 10, 2012, 03:46 PM.

    There are a number of working-methods that will ease your pain Pashcal, that come with time, (or a simple acceptance of certain limitations) - for one, you shouldn't need to be placing dimensions, when you place any (?) element you will get temp dimensions - these can be immediately converted to a real dimension (by clicking on the little icon the otherside of the line to the number) so that'll save you some time (although often, I find, temp dims associate to points that aren't too useful).

    Further on the matter of dims - one thing you may wish to consider is having a "constraints" view setup - to save you from deleting (and unassociating) dimensional constraints for elements - that way then you will know where (and how) items have been placed (respective-of-other-items) and not have search out the constraint later on (although there was a blog post recently from one of the Antipodean bloggers that highlighed a 2013 feature that can reveal a constraint - not that I'm working with 2013 on live projects so have yet to find a need for it)

    In terms of snapping-to-things on placement; you may also find some mileage in using the snap shortcuts, SI (snap to intersection) SM (snap to midpoint) SE (snap to end) and I think (?) SP (snap to perpindicular) - but again, these can sometimes be hit & miss affairs with certain family types/elements within your model.

    With regards the sticky-shift function of horizontal and vertical alignment, I personally find that to be a godsend (note, although I was pretty handy with Autocad, I never really got into dynamic blocks with alignment functions) - but you can "break" that by using the tool-settings option (mid action) and unticking [constrain]. This as with the methods above, may or may not be the perfect solution for you.

    As for the whole sketch-buckling issue, I feel your pain - this has always been an annoyance of mine also (and hope someone here will reveal a solution to it for us both to use after I've posted this) and the simple fact of the matter is (as I understand it) is that's how things are at present, and I've learnt to limit my use of locked-alignments and sketches purely because I've found the behaviour to be inconsistent and painful later on down the line. These days I prefer to advocate the use of more thorough error-checking steps before committing to print/export/publishing of content of models - and have my teams employ a round of "must check" procedures to ensure floor/ceiling sketches haven't got all screwy, rooms haven't busted out of their boundaries, doors & windows haven't been encroached upon by walls... etc... etc...

    But one thing I will add, to you final point about adding "extra" lines; there's two ways I look at that. One, construction/set-out lines can actually be quite useful - they always were with paper and pen, and even in CAD drafting, so in Revit I have no issue with them. I do have issue with them being done using reference planes (unless they talk to the vertical as well as the horizontal) - but I often encourage our users to consider setting up detail groups attached to our grid group for these kind of things (i.e. sub-planning grids not required for documentation, but useful for plan arrangements, made with detail lines, etc) - and whenever we're posed with a question of setting out compliance (i.e. returns from the base of stairs, clearances in-front of fire exits, installation tolerances for sanitary items, etc) I will often enquire if they'll need to be visually referenced (in addition to be adhered to) and if so, I'll incorporate it within the family (under a sub-category and/or with a nested detail item) so that we can use those elements to align/place items more "efficiently" and then use VG to hide/show as and when required.


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