Interrupt a Dynamo Run

Revit MEP (Mechancial Electrical Plumbing) was introduced about 10 years ago with the promise that Revit will one day host all the architectural components and things they use along side all electrical, mechanical, plumbing and everything they need to design a job. Well fast forward to now, MEP is still around, but with little to no improvements since its release. Electrical is too complex and built in Revit schedules are not flexible enough nor do they support everything we need them too. Companies, such as mine and I’m assuming many more, want to push employees to schedule in Revit, a big reason behind wanting to live in Revit with everything is so it will be much easier for Electrical guys to coordinate with other discipline guys… like mechanical or whatever, and not necessarily be in the same physical location.

The major reasons why we aren’t moving to all Revit is some of the flaws and bugs. Small projects is fine, but enter a model with quite literally thousands of components, there’s a lot of times where as Engineers we need to change something about a component, or its breaker, or feeder or something, but a lot of times, things we want to change are locked as Revit parameters that simply can’t be edited. Our families could technically support an all Revit schedule, so it’s not an issue with our families. The second reason… and possible the more pertinent issue in my company to be honest… with hundreds of electrical engineers on staff that’s been doing schedules in Excel for their entire careers, getting all of them switch they way they do things is like trying to move a mountain. Standardizing anything in the consulting industry is near impossible because every project is so different has such different needs, the more we can keep engineer A and engineer B working on projects the same way, the better. Thus Excel scheduling has kind of been the industry standard and choice.

We also had a disaster with the first, and only, project we worked on entirely in Revit that I still hear horror stories about constantly, that project has also driven management to not push Revit scheduling as hard.

@Nick_Boyts - I could certainly change a bunch, such as what you were describing, but… people who are barley competent enough to work Revit are going to be using this program… I would hope… Point being, I want this to be as close to a one-click and done type of program as possible so that people who have never heard of Dynamo can use the program without having to mess around with any parameters.

Totally understand. I’m in MEP and we also don’t use the standard Revit schedules for electrical. We use panel schedules for reference but everything on our sheets is handled outside of (or modified from within) Revit.

If you’re worried about the end user it definitely makes sense to try to fit everything into one run. I wouldn’t worry too much about the runtime at this point. You might be able to slim it down a little bit, but with all this data it’s just going to take a while. And honestly, whenever I’ve given long running scripts to our end users they’re just as happy that they don’t have to manually go through a project and click a button 100 or 1,000 times. You can always sell Dynamo as a way to automatically do something in Revit without human error - and that in itself will save you time. The goal of Dynamo doesn’t have to be to take a 10 minute task and cut it down to 5 minutes. It should really be about creating a better workflow with less room for error and omission.

Set it up to run via Dynamo player. Users can use a second CPU or let it run at lunch/overnight if it takes that long. :slight_smile:

@Nick_Boyts The margin of error on the electrical side manually writing panel schedules the way my company does must be absurd, I’d be willing to bet the majority of our projects go out the door with multiple errors or miscounts on the panel schedules. With a handful of different electrical engineers working on every project, I think more often than we realize things get changed in Revit but not Excel or vise versa.

@JacobSmall I certainly will have to set it up with the player, I haven’t used that feature of Dynamo yet, but from what I’ve seen it looks pretty nifty.