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12 Smart Ways to Save Time in Revit With Dynamo

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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 15 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:

  • archi-lab
  • Clockwork
  • Lunchbox
  • Rhythm

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 for when you’re starting a new project and need to do some setup before you begin modeling.

Dynamo - levels from Excel

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 ration). 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.

Dynamo - calculate GSF and FAR

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.

Dynamo - dimension grid lines

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? No a problem using this script. Simply select the range of sheet, 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 then outputs the count and total length for each type.

Dynamo - wall type count and length

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 then renumbers them. What a time saver!

Dynamo - Renumber parking

8. Create sheets from views

This script creates sheets from a list of views 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.

Dynamo - Batch Upgrade Families

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.

Dynamo - pipes from lines

 

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.

Dynamo - Change text 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.

Dynamo - change family type by name

Ready to Save Time With Dynamo?

Ready to start saving some serious time with Dynamo? Sign up for my free course, Dynamo for Busy People. I’ll email you a new Dynamo script each day for five days. I’ll also include an annotated screenshot explaining how the script works. At the end of five days you’ll have five time-saving tools plus the knowledge of how they were created. Sound good? Click here to sign up for the free course.

What Else Do You Want to Automate?

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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