Autodesk Feature Codes

To help IT support and general users to decipher reams of product feature codes from their large scale installations, we present all the links directly  to Autodesk’s website here:

2013: FLEXnet® feature codes for Autodesk products

2012: FLEXnet® feature codes for Autodesk products

2011: FLEXnet® feature codes for Autodesk products

2010: FLEXnet® feature codes for Autodesk products 

FLEXnet® feature codes for Autodesk products (2009-2006)

Feature codes are necessary because the Network License Manager is designed to administer licenses for multiple Autodesk applications. An example of feature code usage in a ADLM log file entry is shown below.

11:00:04 (adskflex) OUT: “40100ARCHDESK_3_3F” user@hostname


David Metcalf

How to Reference Multiple Detail Views from a Single Revit Callout

Revit multiple detail callout heads with one callout boundaryOne of the great things about Revit is that annotation is linked to the objects it annotates, whether that is a component, view, etc. The Callout tool allows us to draw a boundary and directly reference the view, or detail, that this refers to.

Sometimes, however, you might have more than one detail that is pertinent to that callout area. This often happens when keynoting, but can happen for detailing purposes as well. So, how can you add multiple Revit callout symbols to a single callout?

This seems like a pretty straightforward request, but the problem is that Revit doesn’t allow you to simply place an annotation symbol that links to a detail view without actually drawing the rectangle that defines the callout area. In this case, we don’t want multiple boundaries — just one. What we want is to have multiple callout symbols to allow us to point to different details.

Some firms have created a separate annotation symbol that contains a parameter that can be manually set to reference the detail number. I don’t care for this method as it’s very non-BIM. If the detail view ever gets moved or assigned a different number, the callout does not automatically update, but has to be adjusted manually.

The trick — albeit a fairly kludgy hack, is to draw the boundary, which Revit forces us to do, but make the rectangle as small as humanly (should I say, Revitly) possible. You then have to adjust the leader to shrink that down as well. It still leaves behind a trace of itself, but this generally doesn’t show up on plots.

Yes, it’s a hack, but it works, and the great thing is that it keeps its hyperlinked association with the view that it references. All go for BIM.

Check out the video for the step by step:

Multiple Detail Callout Symbols on a Revit Callout Boundary from Patrick Villella on Vimeo.

Sometimes, when trying to get Revit to do something we want it to do but it really isn’t designed for, you have to wonder that maybe the designers imagined a different workflow than we are hoping to achieve. This is one of those examples. While explaining this method to a good Project Architect friend of mine, he brought up the point that maybe you shouldn’t ever be referring to more than one detail with a callout to begin with. His point, which I think is well founded, is that if you need to reference the info in both of those details for one part of the building, why not just make sure that all the needed info is in one detail to begin with. I know that builders don’t appreciate having to jump from sheet to sheet, trying to piece together the complete info they need to construct something. This might be what the Revit development team had in mind to begin with.

That being said, I think there are still times when it would be useful to reference multiple details or views and I like the flexibility of deciding for myself what is the best method to take. Maybe future releases of Revit will give us a simple Option Bar control that lets us easily choose whether we want the boundary or not — rather than resorting to a bit of a hack.

Revit Switchback in Navisworks 2012

I wanted to create a written post for this topic since I had posted a video regarding the new Switchback functionality in the Revit products.  Here is the video link;  This is found on our 2012 Learning Videos page which can be accessed from the Media pull down on our website.

With the Revit 2012 products we now have a new add-in supporting workflows with Navisworks Manage.  Here, we see selections to create a Navisworks cache file (NWC) and the new setting of  Navisworks Switchback.

This tool functionality previously existed only with AutoCAD and Microstation-based products.  Switchback allows us to work side-by-side using Navisworks Manage and an authoring application like Revit or AutoCAD MEP, to open, navigate to a component in the model, make alterations, save a new export, and refresh the review model in Navisworks to update the review process.  This can happen from two places; a right-click selection menu from a model element, or using the Switchback button inside of the Clash Detective tool.

This process requires certain steps be followed:

  1. Both Navisworks and the authoring application be open.
  2. The Navisworks fileset created from the source file, i.e., nwc file, be open in Navisworks.  The project file is not required to be open in Revit or AutoCAD.
  3. The Switchback funtionality is enabled in the authoring application before performing the function, i.e., type NWLOAD on the AutoCAD command line or select the Navisworks Switchback button from the Add-Ins tab in Revit.

Also of importance is one more selection from the Options dialog inside Navisworks.  The refresh process will not work with this selection disabled, and you may find it is so in your default installation.  In the Navisworks Options dialog, select Performance, beneath Model.  Be sure to checkmark the box for “Close NWC/NWD files on load”.  This allows the authoring application to export a new file and overwrite the previous one, allowing the Refresh button to work in Navisworks.  If not, you will receive a message saying unable to write the file.

With many users taking advantage of Autodesk’s new Design Suite offerings, working side-by-side with multiple applications provides advantages to design and contruction entities to better insure designs are coordinated before and during construction processes.

Showing elements from a ceiling plan in a floor plan

From time to time it’s nice to see overhead items in a Revit floor plan. Dropped ceilings, soffits, light fixtures, etc. are all useful to see in plan view, especially when arranging furniture and such.

Here’s a great and incredibly simple technique to show these items in plan using whatever line style you choose, while still maintaining the connection to the actual ceiling elements. I’ve found some designers simply using drafting lines to create these items in plan, but this is a non-BIM way of doing things, since there is no real connection between the items in plan and the elements in the RCP. Sure, you could constrain and lock them, but the following method is much simpler.

What’s the trick? Well, it makes use of Underlay, setting the orientation to Reflected Ceiling Plan, then using the Linework tool. The slick thing is that once you’ve overridden the line style, you can shut off the underlay and the lines you’ve modified are still visible. Nice, right?

I’m sure that’s enough to get a lot of you going, but here are the step by step details in a quick Revit tutorial.

Revit Tutorial – Show Elements from a Ceiling Plan in a Floor Plan View

Revit - Standard Reflected Ceiling Plan View

Here is a standard Revit reflected ceiling plan. We’ve got an acoustic tile ceiling with an overhead lighting fixture in the conference room.

Revit - Standard Floor Plan

As you know, by default in a Revit floor plan view, no ceiling items are shown.

Revit - Turn on Underlay with RCP Orientation

Set Underlay to Level 1 (same level) and make sure the Underlay Orientation is set to Reflected Ceiling Plan

Revit - Linework Tool

Use the Line Work tool from the Modify panel of the Ribbon to change the appearance of the edge of elements you’d like to be visible in the floor plan. You’ll notice that there is an Overhead style that exists for this very purpose.

Revit - Overhead Line Style

Piece of cake, right? Simple choose ‘Overhead’ from the Line Style drop down (or whatever line style you prefer) then click the edge of the element you want to be visible. You’ll see the line change from halftone (underlay style) to a dark line with whatever line style you choose.

Revit - Ceiling Elements in Floor Plan

Here’s the finishing touch! Turn off Underlay in the View Properties. Presto! The lines that we modified with the Line Work tool are still visible. Sweet, right?

What’s great about this is that what you’re looking at is the actual element that is visible in your ceiling plan, simply with it’s line overriden. This means that if the ceiling edge moves in your Ceiling Plan, it moves in your Floor Plan as well. This is true BIM.
Note that in this case, even though I only overrode one edge of the light fixture, the whole fixture shows up. This is not exactly what I was after, but I can live with it.
I hope you find this tip helpful. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add.

Autodesk Project Varsari Technology Preview

Autodesk Project Vasari – Importing Site Images.

Want to see something really easy? Take a look at Project Vasari. Besides looking just like a Revit toolset, it works as a conceptual site studies tool too. In addition, it imports results into Revit.

First off, as anything else related to BIM, you need to set the location. Since we will depend on linking that information in, look at the location showing as Boston MA under the Viewcube. Clicking on this and setting the location will get us started. 










When we click on the location we are presented with a Map of Boston, just type in the Project address or at least the city and state.











In my case I am using CADsoft Tempe office address at 1295 W. Washington St Tempe AZ after which we will then click import site image into another dialog box.
















Then import the image again into Project Varsari. If you have been using Revit’s location tools to set the buildings to sites this will be pretty straightforward

After which the active level will then receive the image and you are all set to start using the image as a tracing of existing forms of the site for contextual studies, sun/shadow analysis, etc.









Set the viewcube to top and then trace the outline of the existing building. Nothing to it.










Using Revit like massing tools and gizmos enables rapid learning and adoption across differnt or not so different platforms.










I can’t believe how easy our work is getting with BIM. Sign up for this technology preview and try it out it’s free and easy!