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Thread: Dynamo for MEP

  1. #1
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    Dynamo for MEP


    I'm a mechanical designer just starting to try and use Dynamo with my projects if possible. I am running into issues though.
    There are many groups of designers where I work and they all use different versions of REVIT.
    If I want to develop some graphs for everyone to use I am stuck using an older version of Dynamo.
    Majority of people are using REVIT 2014, 2015 & 2016.
    I've read about the possibilities with new versions of Dynamo beyond 1.2 with the dynamo player and REVIT 2017 & 2018.

    Is there any use for me to try and develop these graphs in older versions?

    Here is why I am having issues with trying Dynamo:

    The architects who work with us send us their models as they are creating them. There is never a time where we get a completed Arch model to work with that has all the info. We usually call them to get info or we get a specification sheet with what they plan to do.

    My team and I have created REVIT "prototypes" that we use as a base for the projects. All we do is add the arch model in and copy monitor all the aspects we want to tell if the arch moved anything when we add the new model in. The parameters are all already in the prototype and all of our families have all their parameters saved. As soon as a family gets added in all of the info shows up in all our schedules.

    As I understand it is very hard to download packages for older versions (if they have the option for that)

    No one at my work is a coder (left it behind in university) so we would have to get someone to take a course for python if we would want to get far into dynamo.
    As I understand again using code is the best way to get Dynamo to work the way you want and to get the best results out of the software.

    A lot of older engineers do their calculations by hand and that is the way they feel comfortable doing it. I can't convince them Dynamo would be a good way to do some heatloss calculations because of how our arch models come in. No one can trust any calculations not done by them if they have to stamp them.

    I want to try and use Dynamo, is there any options for me?

  2. #2
    Forum Addict josephpeel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick6 View Post
    Majority of people are using REVIT 2014, 2015 & 2016.
    Why?? There are so many improvements since 2014/5/6 and upgrading projects generally doesnt cause too many problems.

    However.. Upgrading Dynamo from 1.x to 2.x is problematic.
    So if you are planning to develop stuff in 1.2 and upgrade it to 2.0 later that can cause problems. I am still transfering old programs to 2.0 and some just crash when opened or when run. Others just dont work, because the API has changed. I have to re-make some from scratch with the new nodes.

    Yes, working in an old version of Dynamo is that it can be hard to find the right packages. Sometimes you need to know which older version to download and it is not clearly documented.

    So I would suggest.. Use the older dynamo to do simple stuff with your older revit projects. If you want to develop tools for everyone to use in the future, do it with 2018+ and Dynamo 2.0. In my experience by the time you finish developing and testing a process and you can get people convinced that using something new is a good idea, they will be using Revit 2025 anyway..

    Or just start working with the later version and send people IFCs if they dont want to upgrade (My company maintains 4 versions, which is the max possible with the license, and at the moment external projects older than 2016 get told to upgrade or get IFCs).

    For managing different versions of architects models you might want to look at BIM360 (Also Revit 2018.3+) which allows you to compare different models and choose which version to link.

    I would also say; you dont need much coding knowledge. The only time I use python is when a node doesnt quite work as I want (So I copy paste into a python node and then edit it) or I copy something from the Dynamo forum or the API docs.. I have learnt everything I need from playing around with example scripts from others and researching some python basics online.
    Last edited by josephpeel; November 20th, 2018 at 11:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I'm an MEP guy as well and I've gotten Dynamo to do some really cool things despite not knowing anything about coding or programming. The addition of the Dynamo Player is huge. It's just not practical to expect rank-and-file users to open up a Dynamo graph and run it on their model. A) it's intimidating and B) it really bogs down your Revit performance. People need to be able to push a button and have the script run in the background.

    So even though I don't know anything about programming, I've been able to trial-and-error my way through few interesting Dynamo projects. This past week I decided to get back into it, I haven't touched it for a while. Last week I finished a "Revision Narrative Generator" that exports a TXT file containing the Comment data from every Rev Cloud in the project, sorted by sheet. Last night I finished one that takes Mechanical Equipment Marks and pushes them to the relevant electrical Panel Schedule. A while back I made one that does the ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation Rate Procedure, but it was so complicated and fragile that I never used it much.

    Regarding software versions, it's my understanding that Autodesk as stopped selling perpetual licenses and all new licenses are subscription based. I also see people clinging to older versions of Revit and it's very annoying. We have one client who demanded that we work in 2016, meanwhile I've long since migrated our Template and standards to later versions. We were forced to dig up our 2016 template which was missing a lot of improvements that I've made over the past two years. At some point these holdouts are going to have to get with the program and get a subscription like everyone else. I'd suggest

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