Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Managing Project Standards

A neat feature which was introduced into Revit a few releases back was the ability to transfer project standards between projects. Project standards includes family types, line weights, materials, view templates and object styles.


When you transfer project standards you must have open the file you want to copy the standards from and also have the target file open that you want to copy the standards into.


In reality the concept of a project standards is a great idea and they do work well until you have a large project with lots of linked files! The management of the project standards between the various linked projects can be extremely awkward to manage. If you then factor in that the linked files might be workseted, than it can be a real nightmare.

What would be a smarter idea would be some sort of seed file or shared template which allowed you to simultaneously distribute project standards between all the linked files. This would mean that the master could be updated and all the changes automatically filter through to all the linked files rather than having to open each link separately and transferring manually. You can obviously create a template master in Revit today, which holds all your standards for a project, but as highlighted earlier you have to manually transfer the standards.

The management and control of project standards has been highlighted to me on a number of occasions recently whilst working with clients. Also, having tried to manage the distribution and control of project standards myself, an automated process would certainly be a welcome addition in future releases or Revit. Interestingly, talking to a colleague of mine about the subject, he did mention that Autodesk Inventor does have this type of tool to control parts and assembles in Inventor.


RobiNZ said...

Might I suggest the Revit team take inspiration from the sophisticated project standards system in, wait for it, AutoCAD Architecture* :-)

Style based objects (inc display styles) in Master files are stamped with a GUID when created or when updated. I use a project to manage our masters but you don't have to. With a bit of planning you can have global, office/regional and project standards all happily updating the relevant content without clashing.

When a project file is accessed any style with an old GUID is updated from the master file. It can be automatic except you are prompted to, optionally, update the masters if content in the project is not in the master. Works nicely as we have several hundred live ACA projects (1000's of actual dwg's) referencing a few master files. Change the style once and it ripples through all the projects as they are accessed.

* That said, with tens/hundreds maybe thousands of files ACA needs it!


Helsinki_Dave said...

..suddently Revit hits a wall. As RobiNZ says, ACA semi-cracked the linked file project information issue by having a central repository - but in Revit..the update is manual? oh dear. The problem with ACA synchronisation was there was no lock on 'wall' or 'window' element, so two people could accidently update the same element and the last one to sync it back home is the winner!