Calling all standalone Dynamo users!

Three questions for you:

  1. Why do you use standalone Dynamo?
  2. What are you doing when you use standalone Dynamo?
  3. What improvements would you like to see for standalone Dynamo?
OR, if you've never used standalone or tried it but didn't dig it, let us know that too.

hi lilli,

a few months ago i gave the standalone version (sandbox) of dynamo a try.

my experience was not very satisfying.


at least then you had no access to revit projects from your dynamo definition.

in the dynamo nodes, i got errors for unresolved nodes (maybe just a lack of paths).

summary: needs to be improved.

what would i expect?

  1. access to revit files from the standalone version.

  2. integration of file paths set for the use in the revit environment.

  3. platform independence (android / ipad) for developing workflows or accessing revit projects in the cloud from your tablet.


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Dynamo being an integrated functionality of families and controlled by his external parameters would be great.

The Dataminding : Excel Revit Excel : more integrated function to ease the workflow.


Spent a lot of time on stand alone dynamo while exploring Design Script. For the initial stages of design, where massing is the primary objective, I think the stand alone version is more than adequate, if Revit elements aren’t being used.

A few weeks back I submitted an entry to a recently concluded international design competition were the entire building mass generated was rule based and programmed using Design Script. Stand alone Dynamo was the platform on which it was built.

Haven’t explored the Dynamo-Revit functionality enough, but I think the stand alone version seems to have huge potential - even without Revit

To summarize

-Using the stand alone version just feels lighter and more efficient.

-Good platform to explore Design Script/Dynamo Textual Language



Vikram Subbaiah

<div id=“gt-res-content” class=“almost_half_cell”>
<div dir=“ltr” style=“zoom: 1;”><span id=“result_box” lang=“en”><span class=“hps”>Why use</span> <span class=“hps”>a stand-alone</span> <span class=“hps”>version of the program</span>?</span></div>
<div dir=“ltr” style=“zoom: 1;”><span id=“result_box” lang=“en”> D<span class=“hps”>ynamo 0.7</span> <span class=“hps”>version is not</span> <span class=“hps”>revit</span> <span class=“hps”>plug-in.</span> <span class=“hps”>Because it</span> <span class=“hps”>passed</span> <span class=“hps”>into</span> <span class=“hps”>revit,</span> <span class=“hps”>external</span> <span class=“hps”>import</span> <span class=“hps”>file</span> <span class=“hps”>formats</span> <span class=“hps”>like</span> <span class=“hps”>sat</span>, <span class=“hps”>very bad</span> <span class=“hps”>way</span>. <span class=“hps”>Why not</span> <span class=“hps”>revit</span> <span class=“hps”>internal documents</span>?</span></div>
<div dir=“ltr” style=“zoom: 1;”></div>

After some really busy days I can finally respond here. I am mostly a “stand alone version” Dynamo user.

The kind of use
I use dynamo mainly for geometrical operations that involves several elements (hundreds…thousands) following an algorithmic logic. Geometrical operations like project, intersect, and solid booleans operations. Topology change operations via transform is another typical use.
This kind of use of Dynamo is more like an “abstract” geometrical modeler. Of course the result of these geometrical operations can be the base for BIM type elements, so the tight integration with Revit can be critical at the end of the process. But this is another subject, we are talking here about Dynamo as stand alone program.

Import geometry
-Some times you will create the geometry starting with only elements defined by Dynamo. But normally you will need to import something in the beginning of the process. In real production work I cannot remember even one time that I have not needed to import some elements to start to play with. Right now there is only a way: ImportFromSAT. It works quite robust. But there are some limitations:
----Not a lot of programs export curves(lines, splines…etc) and surfaces in SAT Format. Normally is only solids, like in Autocad. In my case, I create the base geometry in Inventor and I can put curves and surfaces in a SAT file (not being able to export points is the only limitation).
----In my opinion we need more formats to import geometry, besides of SAT. DWG sounds the obvious candidate. And to allow the possibility of selecting the layer that you will take the entities would add a great flexibility. Being a bit egoist I will ask too for taking geometry from Inventor part files (IPT) (the internal engines of both Inventor and Dynamo are very close, I think). Although I understand that importing geometry from DWG will be useful for a lot more users.

Export geometry
In real production work you need obviously to export somehow the result. Again the only way now is ExportToSAT. And again it works quite well. BUT….
-Not a lot programs import SAT, and some that they do, they will take only solids and surfaces. So you will have a problem for exporting curves (lines, splines…etc).
-Again DWG seems the perfect candidate for exporting. And again the possibility of selecting the layer would be great. For example you want to export some curves and some solids, and you can export only one file but putting the curves in one layer and the solids in another.
-One great possibility of exporting in DWG is replicating geometry as a dwg block. For example you had a group of solids that you will replicate in Dynamo with control of the 3d orientation. You are not deforming the solids, so every instance is the same, just in a different position and orientation. If for example you have some thousands of instances and export it like different solids you will end with a very large file exported. If you can export like a dwg with blocks, you can export it in a very efficient way. This is the only thing that I miss from Autocad DesignScript Studio.

Two final notes

-I have used the stand alone Dynamo quite extensively for real production work in the last moths doing several different kind of workflows . And the current Dynamo, even with all the bugs and “in progress” parts, has been a really powerful and robust tool.

  • Even if you are using Dynamo as a pure geometrical modeler tool, it is quite interesting to use it linked to Revit. You can use the really nice and convenient tools of Revit for creating the base geometry to start to play with (instead of having to create a SAT and import). And from the moment that the preview of the geometry is working in Revit, you can leave the Dynamo environment for the nodes and use the Revit environment for seeing the geometry created. For not talking about modifying the base geometry in Revit and seeing almost immediately the implications of the resulting geometry. In a similar way, if one day we have Dynamo linked to Inventor it would be really great for pure geometrical exploration.
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Thank you very much for taking the time to write all of these replies - very helpful information. If any of you have samples of your work with stand-alone that you can post, we’d love to see some example use cases of things you are doing or things you wold like to do with a stand-alone product.


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