Tuesday, March 18, 2014

In The Name Of The Revit, The BIM, And The Holy Fuck

It seems like every time I open Revit I find something else shitty about it.  There are countless default settings that don't seem to have any way to change them (all of which are automatically set to the most useless option).

Case in point: linking in the architectural model - positioning defaults to 'auto center to center', but unless you change it to 'origin to origin' the model will not come in at the correct coordinates.  Now, this could be due to something that the fuckwits in my office decided to do when they first rolled out Revit and were attempting to set up (cough) 'office standards' for the piece of shit - but that doesn't let Autodesk off the hook.  It also begs the question 'why aren't the Reviteers using the default option?' Obviously it's the one that they expected you to use - but unlike when they say 'oh - Revit does it like this, you have to do it like this', they get to randomly decide when to follow that advice.

Now changing it to 'origin to origin' is a simple change, but it's one you have to remember to do EVERY SINGLE TIME you start a new project (as if it wasn't a big enough pain the dick already - it has to just start slapping you around right from the beginning).  If you forget, then you get to stare at the screen while it goes through the process of linking the model in (with no option to cancel), or you go 'scorched earth policy' and kill the Revit process (one of my favorite things to do), THEN go back and do it all over again.  We never do it any other way, so there is never any reason for it to be set any other way - but there we have it.

That brings me to the next pain in the ass - and that is that Revit defaults back to your local drive EVERY TIME you go into it.  This is true for opening files, inserting families (i.e. revit faggot blocks), linking files, etc. etc. - meaning that I spend half my time drilling back down into whatever folder I need to access.  You can set shortcuts to various folders, but then you end up having to scroll down through these shortcuts when the p.o.s. should simply STAY WHERE THE FUCK YOU LEFT IT - LIKE NEARLY EVERY OTHER PROGRAM IN EXISTENCE.

That's one of the most glaring issues with Revit - it's like it was built from the ground up by a design team led by someone who had never used a computer before, which would explain the obtuse interface and lack of ability to set crucial settings to the proper defaults.  Then, in their quest to make it 'absolutely not Autocad' (so that they could properly alienate and frustrate untold numbers of designers) they made sure that you would never know what the fuck Revit was doing at any given point in time by eliminating anything even remotely resembling a command line, and developed arbitrary terminology (families, BIM, etc.) to give them buzzwords to babble back and forth to each other.

If you can get past all that, then you get to deal with the next brain-damaged 'feature', and that is how Revit approaches the concept of 'autosave'.  ACAD did it in the background and put it in a special folder so that it didn't overwrite your file.  Revit is nice enough to ask you (actually it tells you that it's been a while since you saved), allowing you to choose whether to sit and watch it save now, or finish the command that it just interrupted (it always does it when you are clicking on a command - and that's not just a coincidence, it is prompted by the click).

Okay, so now you've actually made some progress, and managed to get something resembling a project together in Revit, and you are ready to spit out some plots/.pdfs so you can get paid.  THEN you get to deal with the shitty presentation graphics that Revit is so famous for.  This is (supposed to be) Autodesks goddamned flagship full-blown 3D BIM-tastic motherfucking software solution that we pay an arm and a leg for - but getting shit to show up correctly, even after you've finally gotten it in a view/schedule is a motherfucker.

The biggest issue I had pop up lately is that the way it uses 'templates' for panels (which sucks ass).  Once I have inserted a panel and scheduled it, I should be able to make as many changes - whenever, and wherever I want to, without having to worry about running into a problem that forces me to open the template, modify it, reapply it to the panel, and then have everything that I manually entered get wiped out.  That's lazy as fuck - that's what that is.  Oh - and the inability to cut/paste anything to/from the schedule means you will be manually typing that information back in again.

Some of the ways we are required to show information on schedules is dictated by engineers (and usually makes sense), some of it is by customers (not so much - but you don't tell a huge client that they are idiots, or 'well, Revit doesn't do it like that, so...').

I finally beat my template into the shape it needed to be, applied it, and 'voila' it looked great (oh, but I can't export it - so now I get to redo it in our project template if I want to have it for next time).  I put it on a sheet - and (even though it showed up just fine when looking at the schedule) it decided to cut off the last part of one of my calculations that I had been forced to add (that's a whole other issue - it was calculating correctly, but was apparently 'confusing' our client, even though we have had never had anyone else complain about it).  That client was a little more 'hands-on', but the funniest part was that my boss didn't even know that the calculation they were asking for wasn't on our schedules.

If you've started with the default Revit template - you already know what I'm talking about.  For some reason it wants to have 'VA' (volt/amps) next to every single load in the middle of the schedule - which means that if your have a four digit load (common) the 'VA' will disappear, and be replaced with '...'.  God help you if you don't know how to make these fields wider and reapply it, because the next thing it will do is trim off the fifth digit of any five digit load.

When we first started using Revit, it hadn't even occurred to anyone involved with developing it (because they are obviously so far removed from the industry they claim to write software for) that we might need to be able to separate out loads based on type (lighting, HVAC, receptacles, etc.).  They finally slapped it on as an afterthought - but just the fact that they didn't think of it from the beginning is a testament to just how removed they really are.

Some hardcore pimp-slapping motherfucker suggested that I make a list of positive things I have found in Revit - which will be the subject of my next post (but don't be surprised if the post is blank).

Until then - fuck Revit, fuck Autodesk, fuck this, fuck that, and if you don't like it, then FUCK YOU!!!


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