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Thread: Model Maintenance

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    Model Maintenance

    Tried searching and couldn't really find too much about it on the forum, though I make have missed it, so I thought I'd start a thread about model maintenance.

    What are you model maintenance best practices / procedures?

    I read this blog post by BIM Freak about using every Monday for model maintenance / coordination checks. She evaluates the models for:


    • Manage Links (checking for lost links or links from usersĺ desktops)
    • Check the Project Browser for ??? and organization according to standards
    • Check the number of groups and verify that no groups are just 1 instance.
    • Review the families loaded in the project, looking for families with the .00x.rfa extention, or family1.rfa
    • Check Filter and View Template naming conventions
    • 3D Inspection for workset organization
    • Check that the Levels and Grids are pinned.
    • Compact the model
    • Once a month I Audit, rebuild, and compact of the model.
    • Once a month I purge the model ľ (Do Not Purge All, remove unused Groups, CAD files, Missed named families and images.



    This lead me to wonder what other things people look for? How often do you perform model checks? Who's responsibility is it (a specific team member or the office BIM Manager)

    I'd also add in:
    • Identifying non-standard families and verifying content in them (is it a good family? does it have all the parameters. etc?)
    • Removing unused sections, reference planes, line types.
    • Check project folder organization to make sure non-Revit related files aren't in the Revit / Central model folder
    • Review Archive monthly to ensure Revit Models are being properly archived / removed.
    • CAD files placed in multiple views


    What other things do you look for in model maintenance?

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    Member Knitro87's Avatar
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    I'm surprised "Review Warnings" isn't on this list.

    Quote Originally Posted by thetragicjoy View Post
    • Check that the Levels and Grids are pinned.


    Instead of pinning levels and grids, I would pin the linked models and CAD files. The location of levels and grids can change quite frequently during the early stages of a project. Using the copy/monitor tool makes them easier to coordinate after models are exchanged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knitro87 View Post
    I'm surprised "Review Warnings" isn't on this list.
    [/LIST]

    Instead of pinning levels and grids, I would pin the linked models and CAD files. The location of levels and grids can change quite frequently during the early stages of a project. Using the copy/monitor tool makes them easier to coordinate after models are exchanged.
    I'm admittedly very bad about looking at warnings, so no surprise I didn't think of that one!

    Levels and Grids for some reason continue to be an issue for us. Are you saying C/M from the architectural model? I can't tell you how many times I've dealt with a grid getting "deleted"....

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    Administrator Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetragicjoy View Post
    This lead me to wonder what other things people look for? How often do you perform model checks? Who's responsibility is it (a specific team member or the office BIM Manager)
    Knowing this is a very *opinion based* thing, ill start with the lists youve already provided.



    • Manage Links (checking for lost links or links from usersĺ desktops)


    I dont ever.


    • Check the Project Browser for ??? and organization according to standards

    Organized by View Type, so this never happens.


    • Check the number of groups and verify that no groups are just 1 instance.

    I dont ever. Some things that i INSTRUCT people to group, still only get placed once. The *presence* of groups dont hurt performance.


    • Review the families loaded in the project, looking for families with the .00x.rfa extention, or family1.rfa

    I dont ever.


    • Check Filter and View Template naming conventions

    Most of them are made in the template. If project teams one-off a few, its generally project specific. Naming it something funny isnt going to destroy anything.


    • 3D Inspection for workset organization

    I used to, but i dont bother much anymore. We dont ever use worksets for Visibility, and only if people start finding things missing when they unload worksets, will i do it. So maybe thats once every few months.


    • Check that the Levels and Grids are pinned.

    Never. I dont/wouldnt pin them.


    • Compact the model

    Never, It doesnt help performance, and it gets back up to full size in 20-30 saves, depending what you have specified for number of backups.


    • Once a month I Audit, rebuild, and compact of the model.

    Never, in terms of a regular schedule. I audit a model and recreate the central file if there is a problem. Not otherwise.


    • Once a month I purge the model ľ (Do Not Purge All, remove unused Groups, CAD files, Missed named families and images.

    Never. SOMETIMES once 100% CD's have gone out, but only then if i know someone has dumped 8 million pounds of crap in there

    • Identifying non-standard families and verifying content in them (is it a good family? does it have all the parameters. etc?)

    Never. All the firms ive worked with in the past (or my firm, now) have policies against content from outside. If they get it from outside, they are either smart enough to make it work, or will realize it wont work with my template, and will ask for help.


    • Removing unused sections, reference planes, line types.

    I wont do this regularly, but if i have to go in the file to troubleshoot something, and there is garbage views everywhere, anything *not named* gets vaporized.


    • Check project folder organization to make sure non-Revit related files aren't in the Revit / Central model folder

    Firstly, i keep ALL current/live versions of the models (regardless of software type) in one folder. Revit, Navis, 3D DWG... If its live, its in the one folder. No subfolders for me. Subfolders suck.

    Secondly, when i was at other offices, i didnt like playing office cop. Its annoying, and everyone thinks they know best. Here, i have a job directory structure, and were small enough that if there is a need, we discuss it. But crap doesnt get thrown in where it doesnt belong.


    • Review Archive monthly to ensure Revit Models are being properly archived / removed.

    This, i do. Id say probably every week or two.


    • CAD files placed in multiple views

    If i see this, i make them undo it immediately, but i dont go looking for it.
    Reviewing Warnings.
    That, i do any time a project team asks me to get in their model. Even with my current clients. And generally, if the problem they are having is ambiguous and performance related, and the warning count is off the wall, ill have them mobilize on that before ill worry about the other issue (*IF* its ambiguous and performance related)

    Its also less of an issue with the few folks im working with now, but when i was a BIM Manager at other offices, there are a few things i would do any time a project team asked me to get in their files to help with something:

    1. View naming standards. I had a project team once ask me to get in their massive hospital model, to help "fix some stuff." After an hour in there, i couldnt find a damn thing. This was lunacy, since we had firmwide naming standards from the minute i worked there. I told the project team i wanted every view renamed according to standards, immediately. They said they wouldnt take the time to do it, so i told them i wouldnt work on their project, to troubleshoot the issue. I dont have time for that nonsense. If there is a standard, you use it. If you dont LIKE the standard, you follow the proper procedure to make your voice heard (while still following the standard), or you march your ass to the door.

    2. Dimensional Rounding. If i found any dim styles that were set to be rounded, or if the project units were on anything other than 1/256", i changed them all back, and checked out the worksets for both and didnt relinquish. Then i emailed the team, and firm management.

    3. Worksets as Visibility Control. Es no bueno, if im in the picture. If its that way when i opened a file, i undid it. Here, the few folks i work with know not to do it. Ever.

    4. Faked anything. Model parts hidden and redrafted, wall sections as drafting views, text covering up dimensions, "no text dimensions," "overridden dimensions" (except for obvious stuff like writing VERIFY IN FIELD, or MAX SIZE" or something. All of these (in my humble opinion) are grounds for immediate dismissal. I dont know why more firms dont take it seriously, but ive seen some firms whos drawings are garbage quality, and- even though they dont agree on the cause- i can point to *faking stuff* as a very real cause. Ive got no time for that. Whenever i saw that (i would check when i was in projects doing repairs, troubleshooting, or maintenance), i would immediately notify that firms QC and management groups, and also basically just go ballistic on the staff. And i hold my head up high about every time i did it.

    5. Addins that shouldnt be installed. Easy enough to track, especially now that i manage all of the computers. But in previous offices, when i found them, i would alert IT and have them forcibly removed. A lot of folks dont understand the repurcussions, and what kind of testing REALLY should go on before apps get deployed, and id see "some person" install "some thing" they got from "some site" because "someone suggested it," and it makes my blood boil. 6 months down the road, a project file is trashed because some clown developer is trying to shove marketing data in to a piece of content that gets shoved in to our models somehow. no thanks.


    Honestly, i think the *clean this and check that* of the RVT files themselves, is overrated. I check my files WHEN something starts to misbehave, but i think people do it trying to squeak every last bit of performance out of underperforming files, when they are performing poorly because of other decisions that might not make sense. Certainly, a lot of the things i do are seen as conventional, but... My models get a lot of detail, get very big, and manage to run like champs. So i keep rolling with it. And i bank all the time people spend doing this stuff, and i do more stuff. Like rant on RFO.

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    Member Knitro87's Avatar
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    It's threads like this that restore my faith in humanity. It's nice to see that some people actually do care about QUALITY, instead of embracing apathy as if it was virtue.

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    1. View naming standards. I had a project team once ask me to get in their massive hospital model, to help "fix some stuff." After an hour in there, i couldnt find a damn thing. This was lunacy, since we had firmwide naming standards from the minute i worked there. I told the project team i wanted every view renamed according to standards, immediately. They said they wouldnt take the time to do it, so i told them i wouldnt work on their project, to troubleshoot the issue. I dont have time for that nonsense. If there is a standard, you use it. If you dont LIKE the standard, you follow the proper procedure to make your voice heard (while still following the standard), or you march your ass to the door.
    You mean Section 01 (through Section 60)- Typical Wall Section isn't useful?! There are some folks here that always name everything like that - blocks in CAD, views in Revit etc. It drives me absolutely insane

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    Forum Addict elton williams's Avatar
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    Great rant Aaron, I've just started at a new firm and while their actual modelling seems pretty good there are plenty of other simple issues (like inconsistent sheet naming and completely random use of worksets) I'm having to deal with. Your post has helped calm my nerves a bit haha

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    I appreciate your feedback, Aaron. I guess I'm still wrapping my head around how to make the whole office start to learn some of these best practices without "policing"? "Standards" is a dirty word around here, so every time someone refers to what we're drafting as standards, we've to politely correct them to it being a "guideline".....

    That being said, having a model manager on each team seems like a good way to start dealing with addressing poor habits like these? Not sure.

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    Administrator Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Oh i believe in standards. And i believe in policing. I just believe in doing it where it matters: The items that stop teams from being productive. File organization, warnings, dimensional rounding that will screw a project team during CA, and so on.

    Opening 30 files every week, to validate worksets, and click Audit and Save As- when it doesnt do a darn thing- is eating up precious resources (you, you are the resource, and you have limited time to make an effect) on non-value-adding activities.

    I agree with model reviewing. Clean up the warnings, or yell at the team. Clean up the Dimension Styles, and get motoring. No need for the other stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    when i was a BIM Manager at other offices, there are a few things i would do any time a project team asked me to get in their files to help with something:
    Ouch! That's rough! You must have worked places where you were the MAN.

    Most places I've worked, so far, consider the PM/PA/PD to be all knowing. If they think it's right for their project (even if it can be shown empirically that it may not be) they not only can, but are encouraged, to do it. I don't like it but if/when I try and throw what weight I do have around I become everyone's least favorite person. Then I get nowhere.

    Glad it works for you. I'm sure your models are bullet-proof and your firms have made more profit as a result. Maybe, with time and patience, I can convince the PTB to get more serious about standards.

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