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Monday, November 23, 2015

Practical Dynamo - Following Topography

Snap an object to your topography in Revit... I dare you to! Oh, you can't?

Accurately following topography is one of those things Revit just has not evolved to yet.  There are many objects you may want to follow topography: trees, pipes, fences, roads, etc...In the past, there have been a few different workarounds (one of them required exporting your topography as a DWG and the importing it so you can select edges, etc...!).  Well, now that we have Dynamo accurately following topography can be as easy as a single click... really...

Dynamo Script - Construction Fence Generator

(Click to enlarge...)

Full disclosure, I based this script off of "Enjoy Revit's" farm fence script. I tweaked it to make it a bit more stable.  For example, I added the ability to select the topography element.  The original script would crash and act funny when there were multiple topography elements, phases, or sub-regions. By clicking the exact topography Dynamo knows what surface to create.

You may start trying to make the script above and realize there is no "TopoToPolySurface" node in Dynamo.  This is a custom node that you can make yourself... here it is:

(Click to enlarge...)

To use the script draw model lines that will become your path.  It works best when your model lines are below the topography (see below):

Notice the green model lines below the topography.  You must select these model lines first (as described in my note on the top left of the script).

Then, select the topography.  

Finally, before running the script you need to have the correct family imported in your model and selected (refer to the two pull-downs of the "Family Type" nodes in the script above).  This family can theoretically be any adaptive component family with two points.

Click here to download the adaptive family and Dynamo Script today...

Now, when you click run, Dynamo will place the family along your path and follow the topography. Just like this:

Now that you can place an adaptive family along a path that follows topography imagine the possibilities.  I was tasked with helping coordinate some civil information (sewer, water, and utility pipes).  I needed to model some of the pipes following the topography but 36" below the surface.  Well, I used the same script with a new family and drew my pipes... Then moved them down 36"... DONE!  Practical and efficient...

Now, go forth, be free, and figure out what you want to follow your topography!