A question came up about the need for a self-standing Revit 2016 plotting station to generate PDFs. A firm did not want to tie up a standalone or network license when running off a batch of plots. I initially latched on the prospect of using the Autodesk’s Batch Plotting App, but realized right away its major limitations was that it was not a non-licensed self-standing product and worse did not print to PDF.
After a test, I concluded one possible solution for a plotting station that would not consume a license or require activation and keep production staff working would be to install a 30 day trail with the proper product key for your suite. After a 30 trail the seat will time out and using viewer mode will allow Revit to use plotting functionality. Since every install of Revit includes a Revit Viewer, any machine would give the production team the option to just view and plot the model without consuming a network license.
There are couple caveats to be aware of with this process.
- Every install of Revit has a Viewer mode launcher. Check in the Windows Application under Autodesk>Revit. On a non-Revit seat it’s possible to install a Revit seat with viewer mode setup that launches in a non-licensed viewer mode. See this link Installing Revit in Viewer mode. Installing “Free” Revit Viewer on any system.
- Printing to PDF is possible in viewer mode, but only if no editing of the project file has been performed prior to starting the plot. In the event that a Revit project was edited and an attempt to plot after, a File Not Printed dialog will pop up and the printing/exporting capability of the Revit Viewer will not be available any longer.
- Setting up Plotting is best done from an activated licensed seat so that plot configurations are saved for subsequent plots on Revit in viewer mode.
- The hardware specifications of the printer system must match the rest of the production machines in the office to insure the printing process will work successfully.
- I’ll not recommend using the server to run plots from so not to tie up network or server hardware resources in a worksharing environment.
Attempt to keep project team workstation specifications equivalent to the rest of the production team. Per the Autodesk Revit Model Performance Note page 31 Section on Worksharing; a significantly lower spec’d system used by any single team member can reduce overall project performance.