Dynamo non-uniform divisions

Project description:

Revit is an architectural software that is good for project design but lacks tools to create non-uniform shapes. People often believe that fluid shapes are impossible in Revit, so designers are limited by tools. In contrast to Revit, everyone says that all those shapes can be created with ease in 3DS Max. Because of that, we created this workflow that joins good from both software. This workflow allows designer freedom in 3DS Max to be transferred to Revit in a full parametric BIM environment. The workflow we made contains Dynamo, which is the link between 3DS Max and Revit, in this case.

Dynamo is a visual programming interface that lets you customize your building information workflow. It is installed as part of Revit, Civil 3D or 3ds Max. The workflow TeamCAD prepared here is only for Dynamo for Revit, and it is composed out of several steps:

Software solutions:

  • Autodesk Revit 2019 and higher.
  • Autodesk 3DS Max.
  • Dynamo.
    • Clockwork for Dynamo 2.x.
  • MS Excel.

Step 1 – Create a model in 3DS Max

Create a model in 3DS Max that needs to be a poly object. Configuration of polygon surface should be created to replicate as one polygon is one panel in Revit. Take care of the project units.

Step 2 – Export coordinates of each polygon vertex

After the model is created, the next step is to export information about each polygon vertex. To do this we can use MAXScript that create CSV file with information about each point of each polygon for a given surface.

  • In 3DS Max/ Utilities / Max Script / RunScript / and find “3DS Max/Script/TeamCAD_FVL.ms”. 
  • In Utilities dropdown menu select “Face Vertex Location”.
  • Select poly surface and select “Generate CSV file”.
  • Save the file somewhere on PC.

  • After a successful export, the script will give us information about how many different panels we need (with how many sides).

Step 3 – Open / Create a Revit project

Depending on whether we have a project or not, we have to consider few things before importing information from 3DS Max.

  • The location of each point in 3DS Max is exported in regard to the world coordinate center.
  • Imported points in Revit will be placed on distances in X,Y,Z from a Project Basepoint.
  • Units in 3DS Max and Revit must be the same.
To make things easier we provided the Revit Template file that is configured to work with this workflow. The template can be found in folder “Revit/T_AdaptiveSurface.rte”.

Step 4 – Load/Create Adaptive Family 

After 3DS Max Script is executed popup window gives information about what types of panels you need. We have to create adaptive panels that have the same number of points as Max reported before so Dynamo can fill each panel with the right amount of corners.

To make things easier we provide placeholder families for N amount of sides in the folder “Revit/Adaptive families”.

Step 5 – Execute Dynamo script

To generate structure in regard to the 3DS Max model we have to use Dynamo script which is located at “Revit/Dynamo/PointToPanel.dyn”. The script can be opened trough Dynamo or Dynamo Player and there are few parameters that need to be filled:

Location of CSV file - Location of CSV file that is exported from 3DS Max.

Sheet name – Name of a sheet which contains data, by default Sheet name is the same as the name of the file without extension.

Panel selector – select family for each panel type you need to use.

There are few important things that need to be done in order for this script to work:

  • The script uses Dynamo version 2.x
  • We need to have the Dynamo package “Clockwork for Dynamo 2.x” installed.
  • We need the file “Make Panel by no.corners.dyf” to be located in the same folder as “PointToPanel.dyn”.

After executing the dynamo script, we should get panels arranged in the same order as polygons are in 3DS Max.



Igor Lekić
, Master of Architecture

Senior Autodesk Application Engineer - Autodesk AEC

Autodesk Certified Instructor - Silver

Dynamo Revit 3DS Max
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