Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Delete Unnamed Reference Planes Using Dynamo

A few weeks ago I wrote my first post about Dynamo. I attempted to answer the question 'What is Dynamo?'. As I mentioned in the post, I am a newbie to Dynamo, having only started playing with it, since late last year. 

I firmly believe Dynamo is going to have more of an impact on the way we work in the coming years. Whilst Dynamo can do a broad range of tasks including creating geometry, for the moment I have a keen in interest in Dynamo's ability to read & write data from Revit, either directly, or via Excel. It's ability to save considerable time on repetitive tasks is really amazing.  

So, if you have never used Dynamo before, I will introduce you to the easiest dynamo graph you will ever make. It can't get any simpler, it only has one node!!

As part of my regular model management, I have a rule of thumb when working on team models, to name your reference planes. If you don't, it is understood they are up for deletion at the end of the week. In the past, it has been a manual processes of tidying up, selecting one reference plane at a time, checking its name, and if it's blank, bye bye reference plane.
Well, thanks to Konrad K Sobon author of the 'archi-lab.net' package available on Dynamo, this task now only takes a few seconds. This package contains a node called 'Delete Unnamed Reference Planes'. Drop this single node on the graph and a second later, all unnamed reference planes are deleted. Told you it was easy! 
Konrad has a website archi-lab.net that I would strongly recommend checking out, it has some great stuff. 
Now if that doesn't convince you to take a sneak peak at what Dynamo has to offer, I don't know what will.

Never used Dynamo?
No problem, follow these step by step instructions to download the package & run your first graph!

1. To start download the latest Dynamo here: http://dynamobim.org/download/ selecting 'Dynamo' (not Dynamo Studio)

2. Start Revit and Open a blank project.
3. Place a few horizontal AND vertical reference planes in the view, naming only the horizontal ones. (This is just to demonstrate as we intend to delete the vertical reference planes, as they will remain unnamed)
4. Go to the Add-ins tab and click Dynamo.

5. Download the archi-lab package by selecting 'Packages' > 'Search for packages'.

6. Search 'archi lab' and click install.

7. You will now notice the 'Archi-lab_Grimshaw' package in the list.
8. In the search bar type 'unnamed' to find the node we want

9. Click the node and it should drop on screen.
10. Hover your cursor over the node and list information will drop down telling you how many reference planes were deleted. 

11. By default Dynamo is set to run automatic, so it's already completed! Take a look! You should only see horizontal reference planes (The reference planes we named) the rest being deleted!
13. For future reference, change 'AUTOMATIC' (bottom left of the Dynamo screen) to 'MANUAL RUN' so you can run graphs when you are ready to.

Note: This node is unique in that if you wish to run it again, you will need to delete it from the graph and then add it again for it to work. I am assuming this is so if you have it running in the background, ref planes aren't being deleted as you place them.

This works over the whole project, not just the view. So you can now try adding reference planes to other views or test it out on a project! Now you can show off to your work colleagues!

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