First, what’s Revit, and why do we need plugins for it?
Revit is a highly advanced 3D modeling software that we use in many ways in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Firms are increasingly switching from traditional paper-based methods to Building Information Technology tools like Revit because of how much easier it is to communicate with site and operations teams.
However, Revit has its limitations, especially with the incredibly wide variety of projects that people create. This is where we turn to plugins to automate workflows.
Our client, “John,” was repeatedly facing a problem, model after model, that caused each member of his team to spend several hours fixing a problem before beginning work on the model. What happened was that a corrupt family had shared multiple wrong shared parameters with the same name. This meant that most of the models were impossible to use, making it a nightmare for people doing schedules and modeling. ‘
Every time they synced (once a week) there were 300 or so orphaned shared parameters that reappeared in the model, which needed to be deleted manually. This would eat about 4 hours per week per model. Depending on how long the project was, it would add up to weeks that could have been spent on more useful and enjoyable work.
Our client was stuck. Short of reinstalling a blank copy of Revit and reinstalling everything from scratch, which would have taken weeks and slowed the team down, even more, he didn’t know what to do.
Luckily for them, we were able to fix this problem in under a week. We created a simple Dynamo script to target the wrong parameters and delete them from all models. Now, every time the model is synced, the designer just has to run the Dynamo script, and that 4 hours of work is reduced to 0.
The cost-benefit analysis:
Writing any plugin for Revit can be variable in the time required due to each client’s unique Revit parameters.
This plugin took just 20 hours at our Dynamo rate of $35/hour for a total of $700.
It took just 2 weeks for the client to break even on the cost, and the designers’ increased productivity resulted in higher project volume and increased profits for the firm!