Do you have a quality standard for Revit files?

I work as an inhouse visualizer for an architectural firm. The usual workflow is to import Revit files via the Simlab plugin to SketchUp, fix them, add context and entourage and then render images with Enscape.

I have been struggling with a file for a rather large building, it comes into SketchUp as 20000 objects and crashes when I try to render in Enscape. The (exported) error report from Revit is nearly 2000 lines, which seems to imply that there are issues with almost 10 % of the geometry. Usually I am able to fix things within SketchUp, but it is really a stupid way to work, as I have to repeat it in the next revision. It also uses my allotted time to fix other peoples mistakes, making the visualization process more expensive than it should be, thus making me less competetive.

The question I have is how many errors or bad modeling in the Revit file do you forum readers accept, and can you really demand that the architects “clean up their own mess” before sending it off to visualization (or other services)?
Do you all get clean, perfect models from your architects, or do you have some sort of quality description/minimum standard for the files you work with? If that is the case, does anyone have the opportunity to share such a description with me?

Earlier, they only messed things up in 2 dimensions, but there is an awful lot more that can go wrong i 3D…

Hmm. My guess is that if you get an error message in Revit there is something wrong with the Simlab exporter or its settings. I wouldn’t know how to create geometry in Revit that would appear OK inside it but be faulty when exported.
The other side of the coin is that as revit is a solid/NURBS based modelling system, it doesn’t run into the small face problem that SketchUp does, but if the exporter doesn’t know how to handle, for instance, small rounded corners in objects, the resulting SketchUp model might have tiny faces that refuse to fill.
Yet another thing to check in Revit is that the export ought in almost all cases use a locat project origin instead of a shared coordinate system(if I remember the terminology right) based on map coordinates.

Just thoughts. Why don’t you use Enscape inside Revit?

Thank you for the feedback.
One reason I don’t stay in Revit is that most often the building is only a part of the illustration (albeit an important part) and there is much landscaping and vegetation happening that I think is better handled by SketchUp and Skatter (plugin). Another reason is that most part of what I do is photomontages and the Revit camera does - to my knowledge - not have the physical parameters I need to correctly match a view to a photograph. Enscape is promising to making the entourage bit more manageable from within Revit, so maybe in the future I’ll work more Inside Revit, but for now I need/want my workflow to be via SketchUp. I am very happy with how the Simlab exporter works, the files are well ordered with materials. In this case the building model is of a size the machine should handle well - when it didn’t I started to pick it apart and find lots of duplicates and overlapping geometry I suspect to be the culprits.

I appreciate the feedback,
I am in the process of writing down (what might possibly be no more than) a “wishlist” and I want to ask you what things makes the most trouble when cleaning Revit files for visualization. My points so far is:

  • Avoid overlapping geometry. Two different elements can’t occupy the same space in real life, it should be the same in the digital model.

  • Avoid duplicates for the same reason as mentioned above.

  • Be cautious when using models off the internet, check that the detail level is appropiate and the file size is acceptable.

  • Whenever possible; use square profiles instead of circular ones for railings and other small details.

  • Do a visual check to ensure Revit has snapped the walls together the way you intended.

What would you add?

I would say that if something is meant to be round, let it be round. But beware things like window or door frame profiles with the “sandpaper” rounding included. It has almost no visual impact but adds a lot of tiny faces (or holes if SketchUp fails to fill them).