12 Smart Ways to Save Time in Revit With Dynamo
My 8-year-old son sat on the floor and just stared at the box of Legos.
He’d been that way for the past ten minutes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I really want to build something but I don’t know what to build”, he replied.
I could sympathize.
When I was a kid, I would often get overwhelmed by all the stuff I could build.
With all those bricks, you can build anything! The possibilities are endless!
But sometimes what you really need is some direction. A picture, a plan, a push in the right direction.
I hear something similar from people interested in learning Dynamo.
They want to learn but they’re not sure what to do or where to start.
There are SO many things you can do with Dynamo that sometimes it’s hard to get started.
Save Time in Revit with Dynamo
Dynamo is a great way to automate tedious tasks (among other things) in Revit. It’s an LOA 300 tool that can make you a lot more productive. While I’m sure you could fill a couple of sheets of paper listing what you don’t like to do in Revit, knowing what can and can’t be easily automated is more difficult.
With that in mind, I combed through my script library and pulled out 12 good examples of tasks you can easily automate with Dynamo.
Take a look at the screenshots to see how to recreate the scripts yourself. Most of the scripts use out-of-the-box Dynamo nodes but a few use custom nodes. I took care to identify the custom nodes when they occur. Just to make sure, you should install the following packages:
OK, here are 12 ways to save a ton of time in Revit with Dynamo:
1. Create floor levels from Excel
This script reads level names and elevations from an Excel spreadsheet and uses this information to create floor levels. This is a good script when you’re starting a new project and need to do some setup before you begin modeling.
2. Calculate FAR and GFA values
This script collects all the area elements and filters for “Gross Building” area. It then sums up the areas first by level then total to calculate the GFA (gross floor area). Next, it reads the property lines and extracts its area. Dividing the GSF by the site area yields the FAR (floor area ratio). The script outputs the results to a Watch window but it could be modified to output to Excel or to text notes in a drafting view.
3. Export instance and type parameter values to Excel
This script exports to Excel all the instance and type parameter values for each instance of the selected family. This is a good script to use when you need to generate FFE (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) spreadsheets to share with the owner or other consultants.
4. Auto-dimension grid lines
This script automatically dimensions vertical and horizontal grid lines in a view. No need to click every grid line manually. This script does it all in a few seconds.
5. Place a legend on multiple sheets
Need to place a legend on a bunch of sheets but don’t want to do it manually? Not a problem using this script. Simply select the range of sheets, the legend to add, and its insertion point then let Dynamo do the rest!
6. Count walls by type
Need to know how many walls of each wall type are in your model? How about the total length for each wall type? Use this simple but useful script. It gets all the wall types in use in the current model and then outputs the count and total length for each type.
7. Renumber parking spaces
Has this ever happened to you? You just finished numbering all the parking spaces in your model when you realize you skipped a couple. Ugh. . . Renumbering things in Revit is a real pain. Fortunately, this script makes it a LOT easier. Draw a line of spline through the parking spaces you want to renumber then specify the starting number. Dynamo put the parking spaces in the right order and then renumbers them. What a time saver!
8. Create sheets from views
This script creates sheets from a list of views and then puts those views on the new sheets. It’s useful for when you need to quickly review a set of views or when you’re cartooning your drawing set.
9. Batch upgrade Revit families
It’s that time of the year again – Revit upgrade season While it’s great to see what new features are available in the latest release, it also means you need to upgrade your project and family files. This script makes upgrading your families a breeze. First, make a copy of your family library. Next, select the folder to upgrade in Dynamo. Click run then sit back and relax. Dynamo will open each family file, upgrade it to the version of Revit you’re running, then save the file.
10. Create pipes from lines
Want to quickly add some pipes to your model but all you have is an AutoCAD drawing? This script makes that process really easy. Import the DWG file into your model then run the script. It will generate the pipes from the specified line type. You can easily modify this script to generate ducts as well.
11. Text to upper or lower case
It seems like every project has that person. You know, the cowboy or cowgirl who knows the office standard but ignores it anyway. The type of person who says “Sure, all text is SUPPOSED to upper case, but I just don’t feel like it today”. Rather than pull your hair out in frustration, run this script instead. It will change all text notes in the model to either upper case or lower case.
12. Change family type by name
Suppose you need to change the family type of a bunch of different family instances in your model. Sure, you can do this manually but you might miss a few or select the wrong family type. Better to let Dynamo do that for you. In this example, I change all the doors that are 2134mm high to 2032mm high. Note that this script works across door families.
Ready to Save Time with Dynamo?
Want to download the Dynamo files for all these time-saving scripts? They're all part of the ArchSmarter Toolbox. Subscribe to ArchSmarter updates below and get access to all the tools in the Toolbox!
What other tasks do you want to automate in Revit? What Dynamo script would save you a lot of time? Leave a comment below!
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