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Getting our Mark-ups technically correct.

For anyone that has used CAD software like Revit, AutoCAD or ArchiCAD, they would know that Revu is not a drafting package. This is not to criticise Revu, but to understand its limitations so we can focus our attention on how we can draft quicker. For the Revu purists out there, I do like the Sketch to Scale, Grid and Grid Snaps and you can play with the length of mark-ups in Settings too, but they are not quick. So, to start, I use Revit to create a drawing sheet of all the steel sizes that I plan to create in Revu. What I like about using Revit is that I can use the Tag feature to label each Structural steel member and use Revu's Select Text to copy/paste the correct name/size to the mark-up, I will get into that when I cover naming conventions. Make sure that you print your drawing sheet to Vector (not Raster), we want to use the Revu Snap to Content feature, part of the Status Bar (F8) and that your drawing is printed at 1:10 scale so that we can get a mark-up scales right.

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Things to consider before you go gung-ho.

A couple of things will save you time and possible heartache, if you go all gung-ho it's easy to miss something and to have to re-make content is not fun, trust me, I've been there.

The biggest time saver is, do you need every possible steel size? The 460UB comes in 3 weights, and they are technically different in their physical sizes, but do you need to pick that up for a mark-up. I created my Metric content with only one of each type knowing that I can update the weight option per mark-up.

Next set up your mark-up standards for Line(s) and Polygon(s). What line thickness will you use? What colour? How about the fill colour? And my favourite, do you have a naming convention for your items?

Remember to keep it simple, I suggest ColourMarkupType_LineTypeLineThickness_Fill_CompanyName i.e. RedPolygon_Solid1_FillWhite_PeerRevu. It would also make sense to use abbreviations too, i.e. P=Polygon.
The biggest time saver is, do you need every possible steel size? The 460UB comes in 3 weights, and they are technically different in their physical sizes, but do you need to pick that up for a mark-up. I created my Metric content with only one of each type knowing that I can update the weight option per mark-up.
Next set up your mark-up standards for Line(s) and Polygon(s). What line thickness will you use? What colour? How about the fill colour? And my favourite, do you have a naming convention for your items? Remember to keep it simple, I suggest ColourMarkupType_LineTypeLineThickness_Fill_CompanyName i.e. RedPolygon_Solid1_FillWhite_PeerRevu. It would also make sense to use abbreviations too, i.e. P=Polygon.
Save these to your My Tools, because we are going to use these a lot and you want to be able to smash them out.
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Using Revu's Snap to Content is a powerful feature, but customising for this workflow is even better. Go into Revu/Preferences/ General/Grid & Snap and change the settings so that only Snap to Mark-up and Snap to end- points is on. This will mean that tracing your CAD Structural steel sections will be quicker and more accurate because Revu will only select the "end" of lines and not any of the other options available. Just remember to turn the other options back on when you get back to your regular work!

Calibrate your PDF to 1:10 and do a dimension check on several of the sections on the printed PDF. We will later Calibrate the ToolSet to 1:10, make it matchy-matchy! Just make one Structural steel section mark-up and check that it works on another drawing. Nothing worse than creating a ToolSet and only to find that the scale is wrong or the lines are too thick and so on.


Creating Structural Steel mark-ups.

With your My Tools company standard polygon, start tracing your Structural steel section. Trace the entire perimeter of the steel section, don't forget the short cut tool "C" for close. And if you miss a Control Point, you can use the short cut "Shift Key" while your cursor is over the polygon, this will also work for deleting a Control Point too.
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Mark-ups vs Groups

Now you can choose if you want to use this mark-up directly from the polygon or create a Group. I feel that Groups are more robust and less likely to be accidentally changed, so I choose all my sections as Groups. But you can't create a group from a single mark-up, so here is a simple trick to get around that. Use a single line and trace over a small length of your newly created Structural steel section, you don't need to match the line colour and thickness, we will fix that later. Create a Group by selecting both the polygon and the line together, then right-click on your mouse or better still, use the short-cut key "Shift + G".
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Then, name your group (I prefer to use the Settings, Access Panel), to a naming convention that will be consistent throughout our Structural steel sections. I suggest SteelMemberSize_TypeOfMarkup_CompanyName, i.e. 460UB_SECTION_PeerRevu. Next, update the line and fill colour and line thickness, it’s will make more sense for the end-user if there are no "?" in any of the boxes. Keep the colour fill as white, it will help make your mark-up clean by hiding the background items, or you can switch it easily to Highlight once the mark-up is on a PDF.

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Create a new ToolSet.

If you are not sure how to create a ToolSet, here is a LINK to the Bluebeam support page. I just want to add that once again, think of a naming convention GeneralUse_SpecificUse_CompanyName, i.e. STRL UB DETAILING_PEER REVU. I do prefer caps lock on ToolSets because they are easier to read. Don't forget to calibrate your ToolSet to 1:10 and the little triangle shows up. Bluebeam Markups 8
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Now test these on another PDF calibrated to 1:10. Then try other PDF's with different scales or View Ports. I prefer to use the Detail option over the Symbol option because the naming conventions show what sizes are available. And that's quicker to pick from the list than remembering which symbol is which.

Next Time

In the next blog, I will go over how I have created Structural steel in elevation and plans so that they are stretchable. Catch you then.

About the Author

Shanoc is a Certified Bluebeam Instructor and started working here at Mindsystems since May as an Enterprise Product Specialist. He has spoken at XCON in both Austin and Washington DC, presented at BiLT conferences throughout Australia, a BUG committee member for MelBUG (Melbourne Australia) and has his own blog Captain Bimcad. A passionate Revu user who likes to challenge the software and develop workflows. You can catch him on LinkedIn or hopefully at XCON if he is allowed to fly out of Australia this year.
Background is Structural drafting, so when I first played with Revu, one of the first things that came to mind was, how can I get framing to scale as a mark-up? One of the first ways I tried was just tracing over an existing steel column and saving it in my ToolSet. When my skills improved, I used the SnapShot tool and changed to colour. But then I got to thinking, can I make Structural steel sections, My elevations and plans views for detailing at 1:10 into a library that sits in the ToolChest?
Over the next 3 blogs, I will cover how you can make your own Structural Steel content library. I have just started working for Mindsystems where I have been focusing on Structural Steel ToolSets as part of our PeerRevu tool kits which we plan to go to market in July, so it's pretty fresh in my memory. Still, what I am covering here I have used for many different clients like doors and windows for Architects, plants for Landscape Gardeners, hydraulic and electrical symbols for Engineers, the list goes on.