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Monday, July 31, 2017

Node of the Week #1 - Dynamo Days of Summer

As Dynamo Days of Summer continues, I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of my favorite nodes in a segment aptly called "Node of the Week".

When trying to rate my favorite Dynamo nodes it was not hard to come up with my number one.  This node is by far the most powerful and versatile.  It is the foundation of some of the most complex scripts that exist.  What is it?


That's right.  Want to know why it is my favorite (and the Node of the Week)?  Continue reading to find out...  ( P.S. - There is also some news on the beginners Dynamo course I have been working on at the end of this post... )


Name of the Node: Element.SetParameterByName

Type of Node: Revit Element

Location in Dynamo: Revit > Elements > Element

What does it do? 

The core function of this node is simple: apply a parameter value to an element. What makes it more complex?  The parameter value can be anything. For example, it can be a string of text in the "Comments" of an element or change the height of an object.  

When teaching Dynamo, I like to compare what a node does to the actions you would take with your mouse and keyboard.  Therefore, the Element.SetParameterByName node can be analogous to clicking an element, changing a value in the properties bar, and clicking apply. 

Let's Break Down the Inputs and Outputs:

Why do I like this node?

I love this node because not only is it the easiest to learn, but it is the foundation of so many very complex Dynamo scripts.  In fact, I have two example scripts I always use when teaching beginners Dynamo and this node is the basis for one of those scripts.

Not only is it the foundation of many other scripts, but it is also powerful on it's own.  The ability to change an element (or elements) height, width, length, mark value, description, phase, etc... allows users to automate things like door numbering, room numbering, phase modifications, and even play around with calculated values...

Here are some example scripts where Element.SetParameterByName is either a fundamental node within the script or makes an appearance as a "side-kick":

This Script Copies All Curtain-Walls and Places a Generic Wall In-Place

This one changes the height of elements based on a Sin curve.

This script places a family in your Revit model at the location of Active clashes from a Navisworks Model.

Again, those are just some examples to give you an idea as to where the Element.SetParameterByName node can come into play... Pretty awesome, right?!

What is your favorite node?  Comment below and tell me what and why!

Now, I know some of you may have strayed away from learning Dynamo **yet** and the post above may scare you a bit! The hardest part about learning Dynamo is knowing where to begin.   I have spent the last two years teaching absolute beginners about Dynamo.  I believe it is FINALLY time to teach you, my amazing reader.

That is why I will be holding my first ever online course on Dynamo for beginners:

BIM. After Dark Presents: D.I.Y. Dynamo

If you are a beginner and interested in learning Dynamo, click here to get the latest news about my upcoming D.I.Y. Dynamo Course...  Details are still in the works and I may need your input on some things!  So be sure to sign up.