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Top 12 Tips for Utilizing Revit Groups

Here are my top 12 tips for utilizing Revit groups. Ten was just not enough. In my opinion, groups can be the most abused tool in the toolbox. So why do we use them? 

Well, it seems to be a no brainer. Like in AutoCAD, architects, MEP engineers, and construction professionals create groups of repetitive and yet still quantifiable elements as if they were individual elements. Modify one instance of the group, and Revit will update every instance of that group in the entire project. One can even exclude an element from a group instance to make an exception.  Select the group, hover over an element in the group, and tab in until the specific element is highlighted, then left-click. That element now displays a symbol, which will allow us to exclude it from this group instance. See the image below. This does not make this group a new group. Pretty cool.

Of course, groups can be made in CAD, but in Revit, groups are broken down into model groups and detail groups. Detail groups for annotation, text, and detail items like 2-dimensional detail components. Think clips, brick, or flashing. These groups can be exported out to the library and imported as groups into other projects. Model groups typically hold Revit families. The two types of elements, detail and model, cannot be created in the same group. They are managed separately.  Let’s now discuss the methods of creating groups and the various benefits of doing so. 

How to Group in Revit

Create a group by selecting elements or existing groups and using the Create Group tool.

  1. In a project view, select the desired elements or existing groups you want in the group.
  2. Click Modify | Multi-Select tabCreate panel (Create Group).
    Note: If you have only selected one element type, the respective Modify | <Element> tab displays instead of the Multi-Select tab.
  3. In the Create Group dialog, enter a name for the group.
    Note: The name of this dialog will vary depending on the types of elements you selected.
  4. If you want to open the group in the group editor, select Open in Group Editor.
    The group editor allows you to add or remove elements from a group, attach detail groups (for model groups), and view group properties.
  5. Click OK.

 

Over the years, Autodesk and the Building Information Modeling (BIM) team have improved this excellent tool. This process to edit a group is as simple as a double click, but they have not made groups more flexible. If we create a group the wrong way, Revit gets upset. You don’t want to see Revit upset. In actuality, Revit gets confused. The main problems occur when groups contain elements that are constrained outside the group. In the simplest form, if one were to create a group of elements, including a door, the wall where the door is hosted would need to be within that group. The wall could have a top constraint that does not apply to all instances. It is also common to create groups for casework that rely on the walls for placement, but the walls are not part of the group. In class, you may have heard me say, groups should be “self-centered.” These types of constraints can also cause problems in Design Options.

That being said, yes, there are restrictions that one should be aware of when implementing the use of groups throughout a big AEC project.

Here are 12 Top Most Useful Tips on How to Utilize Revit Groups

  1. Put elements and their hosts in the same group.
  2. Ensure all elements in the group are hosted to the same level.
    • Some elements may not behave correctly—line-based families, for instance.
  3. Don’t constrain elements outside the group. There are many kinds of constraints.
    • Un-constrain the elements within the group, so they are no longer tied to elements outside the group.
  4. Large numbers of elements in a group will hinder performance and possibly cause corruption.
  5. It is better to have many small groups than a few large groups.
  6. Don’t nest Groups. Don’t have groups inside groups.
  7. If you see a warning asking you to fix the groups, don’t.
    • Fixing the group doesn’t fix the group. It explodes it or creates a new group that is no longer referenced to the first group.
  8. Name groups correctly. Don’t make copies of groups called Group1.
  9. Although we are now able to mirror groups, some elements with constraints still cause problems when mirrored. Ceilings in groups get confused when mirrored.
  10. Take ownership of the group type workset when editing.
    • All elements in a group reside on the group instance workset.
    • Be aware of the ownership of type properties.
  11. Be cautious putting floors or stairs in groups. Don’t lock the sketch lines to other objects.
  12. Groups can be used to distribute elements and then can be ungrouped.
    • For instance, we use the array command to make multiple copies. The default option is to “Group and Associate.” Ungroup them when complete.

 

Benefits of Revit Groups

We all should be considering what content from our successful Revit projects can be shared with the office and used in current and future projects. In the past, the Revit group had its file format. I’m dating myself now. Currently, Revit saves model elements as RVTs or Revit project files. These files can be loaded into the project and placed as groups. In the family environment, groups can be saved as RFA, Revit family files.

You can save a group as a project file (RVT) if you work on a project or a family file (RFA) if you are working in the Family Editor.

  1. Click File tab Save AsLibrary (Group).
  2. By default, the File name text box displays “Same as the group name.” If you accept this name, Revit saves the file with the same name as the group. So a group called Group 5 saves as Group 5.rvt (or Group 5.rfa). If desired, you can change this name.
  3. If your project has multiple groups, select the appropriate group from the Group to Save drop-down.
  4. Specify whether to Include attached detail groups as views.
  5. Click Save.

 

Summary

Revit’s group tools and functionalities are powerful if used carefully and thoughtfully. Getting the right training and having an organized approach is everything. Go forth and make groups as long as you and the team have a plan in place. 

In a previous post, I discussed, “What Causes Revit Data Corruption?” and some model maintenance suggestions, “Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines.” I hope you find this article and those listed here helpful. I welcome you to reach out with questions or comments anytime.

Credits: About Best Practices for Groups from Autodesk Knowledge Network; Best Practices with Revit Groups: Rule #1 by Sean D Burke

 

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Why use Section 179 tax savings for your software purchases?

Section 179 is an attractive tax deduction for businesses. An increasingly popular use of the Section 179 deduction is for software. When you buy software or equipment for business uses, you can get tax deductions for buying and using them.

Section 179 Tax Deductions for 2020

This year, the Section 179 limit has been increased to $2,500,000! With this tax update, many potential buyers are now very excited about the savings increase and ready to acquire new software and equipment to help grow their business.

 

How Much Can I Save on My Taxes This Year?

It depends on how much qualifying equipment and software you purchase and put into use this year. To show you your expected tax savings, you can check this link to a Section 179 Calculator.

When Do I Have to Do This By?

Section 179 always expires at midnight, December 31st. So to take advantage of Section 179 this year, you must buy (or lease/finance) your equipment, and put it into use, by December 31st of this year.

To enable you to leverage an affordable payment option, you can also use a Lease Finance option. To find out more, click here.

EXCELCAPITAL - SECTION 179 (1)

How do I use the Section 179?

To elect to take the Section 179 Deduction, simply fill out Part 1 of IRS form 4562, available for download at Section179.org.

If you do not feel comfortable completing the form yourself, your tax preparer can easily take care of form 4562 for you. Your tax preparer may also be able to advise you of additional Section 179 Deduction and Bonus Depreciation savings that may be available to you.

If you’d like to take advantage of Section 179 before the end of the year and purchase your software now, contact your Microsol Resources Account Executive or email us at info@microsolresources.com.

 

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Top 10 Resources for Autodesk Subscriptions

We have compiled a helpful top 10 resources to help anyone with their Autodesk licenses, solve problems, share expertise, and realize the business value of your Autodesk investments.

  1. How to do Software Reporting for Autodesk Network License | Whether it’s in preparation of Autodesk Named User transition or in consideration of upgrading from individual products such as AutoCAD to an Industry Collection, if you’re interested in gaining insights into the utilization of your Autodesk “multi-user” (Network) licenses, there are a few options available for reporting or interpreting the data from the Network License Manager (LMTOOLS). Check out this Microsol Resources’ blog post.
  2. Tips & Tricks for Upgrading Revit Projects | There are many benefits to upgrade to the latest version of Revit including security, stability, and new features. But one of the most important as of late is in preparation of Autodesk Named User transition since being on a supported version of current to 3 back from current is a requirement. Here is an article sharing some tips and tricks in upgrading your Revit projects.
  3. Bulk Add Autodesk Users in Autodesk Account | Accessing Autodesk subscription with single-user access types requires that users be added and assigned to their subscription within the Autodesk Account interface by an administrator. When multiple users need to be assigned, the process becomes more tedious. To speed up this process, we created this Microsol Resources’ blog article that explains how you can use an Excel sheet to help you bulk-add your named users.
  4. ROI Estimator | We can calculate and provide estimated savings and estimated costs for trade-in, including adding a Premium plan. Do you want to find out what is going to be your ROI? Contact your Microsol Resources Account Executive or email sales@microsolresources.com.
  5. Autodesk Roadmap | Share ideas for future product features directly with the Autodesk team and collaborate on existing suggestions with your peers. Check out the Autodesk Roadmap to stay up-to-date on Autodesk’s upcoming features.
  6. Autodesk Transition to Named User | Autodesk is retiring plans based on serial numbers and assigning each subscription to a Named User. These new plans provide benefits now and in the future, at a cost consistent with what you pay today. Do you want to find out how this change will affect you? Click the link for Autodesk’s Transition to Named User landing page to learn more. Contact your Microsol Resources Account Executive or email sales@microsolresources.com.
  7. Autodesk Steps to Transition to a Named User Subscription |This Autodesk article details the required steps following an order to transition from a stand-alone maintenance plan, a network maintenance plan, or a multi-user subscription to a single-user (Named User) subscription.
  8. Autodesk Subscription Changes Forum | Share your knowledge, ask questions, and explore Subscription changes topics.
  9. Autodesk Tool to Configure your Named User Licenses | To help you transition from a network maintenance plan or a multi-user subscription to a single-user subscription, there are two methods. For both options, users must be assigned to their products beforehand. Users can continue using their products while the tool is running but will need to restart their software and sign in when the update is complete. Check out this Autodesk post on how you configure your named user licenses.
    Admin updates all devices for all users
    Users update their desktop device
  10. Autodesk Comparison of Standard and Premium Plans | Autodesk Named User subscriptions by default include Standard Plan. But for larger sized customers that require more advanced tools, there is the option to purchase Premium Plan. Check out this comparison matrix before you choose your Autodesk Subscription.
Still have questions?

Contact your Microsol Resources Account Executive or email sales@microsolresources.com.

 

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