Sweet 16: Automate interior elevations' outline
At BIM BOP 2019 I met with a veteran BIM manager. He told this:
Interior crop regions are never perfect! To make matters worse, as the design changes, the boundaries need to be updated to match. It’s a huge time waster.
A feature request
During the same trip we met our interior designer friend. She mentioned she always needed to create interior elevations manually and drew the filled region outline of the elevations for each one of them. There were hundreds of interior elevations for that one project. Moreover, design changes, and the outlines need to be updated, too. It is not the most interesting work to keep them up to date.
This turned out to be a problem turning 16. People asked for a solution in 2004. Over 90% of respondents wanted it in the next release of Revit according to an AUGI poll.
What was happening in 2004? It was right after Autodesk acquired Revit Tech in 2002, the golden age when BIM went through fast adoption. The future looked bright and promising. These little features seemed just a few releases down the road, at most. Revit seemed to have VDC figured out. It should be easy. Autodesk heard them too.
Fast-forward to today, the problem is still there, but no one complains any more. How easy it is to do a Google search, land on tens of forum posts asking for it, and learn from each one that there seems no hope for this to come true. Discussions seem to end with the status quo of the tools at hand, consistently. The ages of the posts add on to that certainty. It goes like this
the fourth, the fifth. We have a deadline this Friday. This is part of the job. Just do it.
Other related, little wrinkles were raised over the years, here and there, that are closer to bug reports rather than bold feature requests: when Revit creates an interior elevation, it crops at the bottom of the floor instead of top of the floor. No matter how simple the interior elevation is, the designer always needs to adjust the crop shape or the filled region shape at least once.
There may be a better way. It is almost a well defined task. What if interior designers and architects don’t worry about this anymore, wouldn't it be ideal?
Hence we set out to automate this to one click, and build AutoCrop making this a reality.
Feel free to give it a try.