Process Overview Version 2

Since the process has changed somewhat this is a revision of my previous post.

Image

The Revit Model Builder add-in acts as a layer between the Revit modeling environment, including the Family Editor, and a .CSV text file. (The Revit environment can include Vasari; however, this has not been tested.)

The text file, which can be viewed in Excel for study if necessary, creates a bridge to other applications. There is no restriction on these other applications since the Model Builder is only aware of the text file. Most of the work to date has been done with data generated from either Rhino-Grasshopper or a special C# Model Builder Tool which is a Windows program that serves as a template for custom computational projects. Ports have been proposed for other applications such as Processing, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, or other applications. If these other applications are used, they will need to customized to create the .CSV output based on their own geometry or other algorithm, and a .DLL library is provided to make this easier.

The primary workflow is for one of these applications to output an Excel worksheet that follows the conventions described in the next section. Then, from an open Revit session, the Model Builder tool reads the Excel data and creates new geometry in Revit.

A secondary workflow is to create geometry in Revit, and then use the Model Builder to export data to a text file. This is useful as a means of creating sample data, which can be edited and then imported to generate new geometry. It can also be used as a way of transferring geometry from Revit objects as drafting or model lines into the Family Editor or another view. In the future this output may be used to create geometry in the non-Revit applications.

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42 comments
  1. marcin said:

    Hi. I’m trying to use HummingBird but I have got problem with scale. Elements appear in Revit much smaller. I chcecked units in GH and Revit and they are the same. Do you have any idea what’s is going on ?

    • Mario Guttman said:

      You don’t mention which version you are using. The older version did not adjust for scale so you would need to do that manually. Keep in mind that all dimensions in Revit are stored as feet so yo need to scale the values appropriately. The new version (for Rhino 5 and Revit 2014) does handle scale.

  2. k4rl33 said:

    Hi, I have the similar problem as marcin (geometry out of scale and other geometry issues or wrong import) with the latest version of HummingBird on the Grasshopper 0.9.0056 and Revit 14.
    It would be really helpfull to have some tutorials with very short definitions both about scale issues and components (wall, loft, curves …etc).

    • Mario Guttman said:

      Sorry we don’t have more tutorials. There is some documentation included with the WhiteFeet ModelBuilder in the folder: “C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\REVIT\Addins\2014\WhiteFeet Tools\Documentation”. If you will send a sample file to WhiteFeetTools@gmail.com I will try to analyze the problem.

  3. k4rl33 said:

    Focusing on the wall issue, I Basically think that the bigger problem is about scale. I’m working with an italian version of Revit: millimeters are the default units. When I import a wall it’s oversized and scaled by 0,3048 * 10^-9.

    About loft issue, I think that somethink goes wrong in generating the csv file.

  4. Mario Guttman said:

    The ModelBuilder scale feature has two modes. In the one it senses the units of the model and assumes that Rhino was set to the same units. In the other mode, you can set any multiplication value you want. Since I don’t know what units you were using in Rhino when you generated the .csv file you have to make a reasoned choice. If you use the explicit multiplication mode keep in mind that the internal units in Revit are feet. It doesn’t matter what units says it is using, internally it is feet and you need to set a multiplication value accordingly.

    Can you be more explicit about what is going wrong with the loft. Does it crash? Can you look at the .csv file and see if you are getting the values you would expect?

    • k4rl33 said:

      About the wall/scale problem, please take a look to this picture I made:

      About the loft problem, please take a look to this one:

      Thank you so much!

      • About the wall/scale problem, the scale of your line and the height of the wall in rhino is not supported in revit. You can’t create a wall with a height/length of .000001mm? Try scaling this up to something more constructible (~1m?).

        The loft problem is most likely because you are trying to create this outside of the conceptual mass environment. Try creating a new conceptual mass family and running the import there.

      • k4rl33 said:

        I’m sorry sir, but the scale that I did show you was the only one misurable in revit.
        If I put, for example, a 1mt dimension in Rhino (independently from the unit of the project), then I obtain a oversized dimension in revit, a sort of 1*e^9 lenght (and height) wall.
        By the other hand, to obtain a 1 mt lenght/height wall in revit, would have to put a dimension of 1*e^-5 in rhino (also there, independently from the unit of the project), but if I do this the model builder give me the following message:

        “Error in ‘CreateElements.ProcessRecords’ at this.currentInputItem: 0.”

        About the loft problem, I will try some experiment achieving the hint you kindly gave to me.

  5. Mario Guttman said:

    Be sure that you have the very latest version. If you downloaded the first version posted it may not have been setting the wall height properly. If you look at the version number when the Grasshopper component runs it should be “”2013-07-14″ but it probably best to just get the new version than to figure that out.

    • k4rl33 said:

      I’ve checked that my version is the last one. I downloaded it from feedforrhino website.

      • k4rl33 said:

        sorry I mean *foodforrhino

  6. Mario Guttman said:

    I want to emphasize what Tim said in his comment about using reasonable numbers. One of the key concepts of Hummingbird is that it separates the Rhino-Grasshopper process from the Revit process. You can view the .csv file in Excel or a text editor and see what is going on. To figure out the problem you need to determine if it is from the way the data is being written from GH or the way it is being processed in Revit. You should make some simple test data manually in the .csv file and ensure that it is working in Revit. Be sure to use realistic values as Revit will not allow very large or very small dimensions.

  7. k4rl33 said:

    Thank you for the support.
    For now I will tweak manually the .csv file, but please consider my warning as a possible bug.
    I’m not a beginner in this field and my first attemps were with reasonable numbers. I want to remark that the screenshot is done to show a combination of units that produces a “finite lenght and height” wall in revit. Reasonable numbers did produce a infinite lenght and height wall.

    Sorry for the bother, keep on with the good work
    Carlo Beltracchi

  8. Mario Guttman said:

    We appreciate your patience and willingness to help us eliminate bugs. Can you do some screen shots to show the settings that produced the infinite values. Be sure to include an image of the .csv data as well. Or send files to WhiteFeetTools@gmail.com Thanks, Mario

  9. Mario Guttman said:

    I don’t know why you are getting this message. It may be something to do with the language version. Try putting values of “0” (zero) without the decimal point in the three “X:”, “Y:”, “Z:” fields after the title “Placement Offset”.

  10. Mario Guttman said:

    Mickey, I’m pretty sure the problem was with your non-US language version not recognizing the “.” (dot) as a decimal point. I’ve uploaded a new version to http://www.whitefeet.com/Tools/ (Note: This version is not on the “FoodForRhino” site yet.) Would you please download it and tell me if it fixes the problem. Thank you.

  11. Mario Guttman said:

    Mickey, I made may last post before I read yours. I still think it is an issue with the decimal point. Unfortunately the fix I posted only fixed the input for the “Placement Offset” values. The new error you are getting is probably because the program is trying to read the .csv file and getting the same problem from the data. Unfortunately this will be more work for me to fix. Can you confirm what language you are using and what you normally use to indicate a decimal point?

  12. Mario Guttman said:

    By the way, the language issue is not something to do with the way Revit works. It is a setting in Windows that is design to respond to the culture where you are working. If you don’t mind, I’d like to see if I can fix this. I will need your help to test since I can’t easily simulate the environment. If you are willing to help me I will post another version later today and ask you to try again. Thanks.

    • k4rl33 said:

      Tweaking with my .csv file I figured out that the “.” problem is the cause of my “out of scale geometry” issue. In fact, deleting the values after all the “.”, I obtain the correct geometry. So, my Revit platform (italian language) doesn’t read at all the “.” value, and a .csv value of 1.00000000 is read in Revit as a value of 100000000 (infinite value)

      • k4rl33 said:

        I’m glad to tell you that the issue is solved: changing Windows 7 input option (in control panel) from Italian to English (United Kingdom) values, the file is correctly read.

        Anyway, I suggest you to create a internal script that integrate and recognize the language, producing a file correctly readable in all languages.

  13. Mickey said:

    Mario, I’m so glad for your feedback!
    Unfortunately I can’t download new version from http://www.whitefeet.com/Tools/index.php “You could not be registered due to a system error. We apologize for any inconvenience.” – shows up :(
    My default workflow language is always English. So in Winodows my default input language is English. All the programs(Revit, Rhino) is also English. In Revit I use a “.” to indicate decimal point.

  14. Mario Guttman said:

    Mickey, Regarding the download problem, please be sure you are using Chrome or Internet Explorer. Also, sometimes if you are inside a company firewall you will have problems. Can you post a screen shot of the .csv file. Also, see comment from k4rl33 above regarding setting the Windows 7 input option to English. Thanks

  15. Mario Guttman said:

    Mickey and k4rl33 (or others): I made a more general fix for the decimal point issue and posted a new version. I’d appreciate it if someone could download it and test it. You will need to get the files from http://www.whitefeet.com/Tools/ .(Note: This version is not on the “FoodForRhino” site yet.) You will need to set your localization values back to the way they were and see of the problem returns. Thanks. Mario

    • Mickey said:

      Mario, I’ve downloaded a new version, changed decimal point back to comma and it works just fine! Try a few times with a walls and loft forms as well.
      Thank you!

      • Mario Guttman said:

        Excellent! Thank you. Mario

  16. Hi,

    I just downloaded the Hummingbird plugin and I’ve been playing with it for a couple of hours now.
    I am using Windows 8, GH 0.9.0056, and Revit 2014.
    I am having no issue what so ever in exporting floors and walls .csv files and importing them in Revit.
    However I haven’t been able to successfully adaptive components nor lofts in Revit.
    I am creating a new conceptual mass family, using the Model Builder tool to import a loft or an adaptive component and all I get are points with no mass created.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Mario Guttman said:

      Study the order of the points in the adaptive component. Sometimes you need to reorder them to match the Rhino-GH output.

      • Thanks, after playing for another while I realized I had to right click the component and change the output from Ref Points to Surface. Thanks a lot!

        Keep up the excellent work!

      • If I could add thickness to a Loft that would be amazing!

  17. JRT said:

    First of all, great work I really like the tools. I have been testing the wall tool and have set the type in grasshopper. Then when I generate the walls it generates the walls as expected but as the OOTB type “Generic 8″” . Any ideas? Thanks

    • Mario Guttman said:

      JRT, I just looked at this and I think you are right. We probably introduced a bug. I’ll try to fix in the next couple of days. In the meantime, don’t set the wall type in Grasshopper. You can do two things:
      – Option 1, In Revit, draw a wall of the correct type and erase it before you run the ModelBuilder; the program will use the last wall type as a default.
      – Option 2: Add lines like this into the .CSV file: (You can add as many such statements as you want at different lines of the file
      0,,Set,WallType,MyWallTypeName,,,
      Mario

      • Mario Guttman said:

        Actually, that second option won’t work. There is a problem in the ModelBuilder as well. Looks like we didn’t test this option very well!!

    • Mario Guttman said:

      JRT: Thanks for bringing this to my attention. There is a new version of Hummingbird and the basic WhiteFeet Tools (both 2014 only) on the WhiteFeet Tools site http://www.whitefeet.com/Tools/ . You will need to use the Windows Uninstall process from the Control Panel to uninstall Hummingbird in order for the new .MSI file to overwrite the problematic file. Wit the WhiteFeet Tools .ZIP file the .EXE will overwrite automatically. Please test this version and let me know if it fixes the problem. Thanks, Mario

      • JRT said:

        Hey thank you for the rapid response time. I will test it soon.

      • JRT said:

        So I just tried it. Still no dice on the wall type… I also have been trying to get the grid component to write. I have grafted lines and when I set the write boolean to true the output for the grasshopper component writes ‘null.’ I, also, opened the CSV file only to find it blank. I’ve been putting the family component through the wringer and so far so good. I’m going to keep testing whenever I get a chance and I’ll let you know the results. I’m really excited about this tool due to Revit and Grasshopper being two of my favorite design/documentation tools. At some point soon I will hopefully find the time to throw together a video utilizing this expedited workflow. Thanks again for all the great work!

    • Mario Guttman said:

      Today 10/16/2013 just tried full uninstall, downloaded again from the http://www.whitefeet.com/Tools/ site. The walls work fine including the type. Please check that you have the following files, with the date you reinstalled, in the folder:
      C:\Users\[[UserName]]\AppData\Roaming\Grasshopper\Libraries\Hummingbird
      – Hummingbird.gha
      – Hummingbird.ico
      – WhiteFeet.DataCsv.DLL
      – WhiteFeet.HummingbirdCsvViewer.exe
      – WhiteFeet.HummingbirdUtility.dll
      There is also some sample data on the same webpage as the downloads so you confirm this.

      • JRT said:

        Got it to work… thank you. Not sure what I did wrong during the first uninstall process.

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