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next Dynamo tutorial series?

Image by archi-lab

So I have been contemplating doing another tutorial series for Think Parametric. I have a few ideas, but I would really appreciate if you all could chime in and vote on them so I can pick the most relevant one. I am willing to either do a course using just Out of the Box (OOTB) nodes or like I did in my previous tutorial develop a series of custom nodes and workflows that would be published with the course as a plug-in for Dynamo (package). Eventually those custom nodes will be added to Archi-lab package and open sourced but for now I like the idea of giving my friends over at Think Parametric an exclusive access. Anyways here are some ideas. Please vote for what you think would be the most relevant. If you don’t like any of them, please leave a comment below with an idea for a course, a single workflow that should be included in any of the proposed workflows and we can go from there.


What Dynamo tutorial series should I do next?

  • Bumblebee (41%, 41 Votes)
  • Views (27%, 27 Votes)
  • Sheets (23%, 23 Votes)
  • Selection (19%, 19 Votes)
  • Mantis Shrimp (18%, 18 Votes)
  • View Visibility part2 (8%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 99

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  • Mantis Shrimp – since Mantis Shrimp is an alternative to plug-ins like Flux or Rhynamo, and it has a little bit of possible use cases, I can see a good reason to do a tutorial series on that. I would consider not, just showing how to transfer data or geometry between Rhino/Grasshopper into Dynamo but also some tricks and tips about what to do with it once inside of Dynamo. I usually see people using it for creating Adaptive Components (ACs), but in my opinion a lot of times people would be better served taking advantage of Generic Models. I could showcase some modeling techniques in Revit that could vastly speed up placement of families from Dynamo environment. Also, when it comes to data, we could look at scheduling and or visualizing data coming from Grasshopper.
  • Bumblebee – Excel seems to be everyone’s bread and butter of a tool. We tend to use it for a variety of tasks like managing drawing lists, room data sheets, structural column locations, topographical information, data visualizations and even generic notes. If you have some data, you probably store and distribute it in Excel format. In this course we could look at techniques for reading and writing data between Dynamo and Excel, but also do some interesting stuff with it, once in Dynamo.
  • Views – I have been seeing a lot of attention being given to ability to create multitude of views in Revit via Dynamo. We could explore creating elevations views, floor plans, call-outs. We could look at creating new views, as well as duplicating existing ones and things like applying scope boxes, custom crop regions, or even placing them on sheets and adjusting viewports. There is a lot of things that can be done with Views using Dynamo and that would make for an interesting tutorial series.
  • Sheets – oh I love me some sheet management with Dynamo. In this series we could explore dealing with Revisions, creating view sets, plotting sheets, creating drawing lists, placeholder and real sheets and maybe even throwing some views on our sheets or simply figuring out what views are on sheets and making some use of that knowledge. I can see a handful of people having some use for this series.
  • Selection – there isn’t a Dynamo definition when we don’t have to “select” things in Revit. It usually means that we need to create custom selection filters. In this series we could look at creating bunch of different selection techniques like: by parameter value, by level and category, by level and view, by design option, by workset etc. We could talk about more advanced filtering techniques like grouping lists by keys and functions so that we generate a list of elements that we are interested in and can further work with in Dynamo.
  • View Visibility part 2 – I have covered a few examples of what can be done with visibility in Revit using Dynamo in the previous tutorial. We could go on and employ the things that we have learned to do some more advanced workflows or simply add more things to our repertoire. I am thinking of exposing things like Phases, temporary view overrides, hiding and unhiding of elements in views etc. There are quite a few things that were not really addressed in the previous tutorial and sure there are a few more things that we could do with View Filters and View Templates.

EDIT 09/12/2016:

It seems to me that as much as I wanted to get everyone’s opinion on what to do next, it might have been for nothing. :-( I know, its sad. Anyways, it seems like folks over at Think Parametric already had an idea about what they wanted next, so I will be working on that instead of Bumblebee. Still, I appreciate everyone’s participation and as soon as I get to choose a topic for a course I will heavily consider doing one on Bumblebee. Peace!


  1. Alexis says:

    Can you find a way to squeeze in some more C# for Revit? :)

    • Oh wow! That’s a MUCH more advanced subject and would be a little bit off topic in a Dynamo tutorial series, but I can bring this up with folks over at Think Parametric. Thanks for a suggestion.

  2. Mitch says:

    Can you lump “Align views to guide grids” in with views? :D

  3. jckh says:

    I would suggest some Revit API and how to use it within a PythonNode

  4. Cem says:

    How about Flux? Many tutorials about getting the topography into Dynamo, but no tutorials about roads, buildings etc. Being able to get a part of Google Earth and import into Revit would be awesome.

    • Google Earth is pretty defunct at this moment. I am also a little skeptical to do a course on something like GIS data because its not available everywhere. It’s pretty rare to actually be able to get building shapes, topography, roads and waterways information freely and openly from one source. Each state, county or even city governs its own data and there are multitude of ways to get your hands on it. Often times its not free or simply doesn’t exist. What Flux is doing is just one of the possible ways to obtain such data via OSM and some other web services but its not going to work for everyone and every place on Earth. Having said this, I will have to express my skepticism towards actually doing a course on something that is very specific to your location and availability of data required. I am sorry its just not universal enough.

  5. Justin B says:

    You really intrigued me by mentioning that you handle your Room Data Sheets in Excel. I’d love to see the process and output of your Room Data Sheets as I feel this is a task that takes up way too much time doing manually.


    • Yes, there are at least two ways that I have been experimenting with. It all depends on what you want on your Room Data Sheet. Getting the basic Room info like name, number, area and some parameters is usually pretty easy. Cheers!

  6. David Mettler says:

    I’d like to follow up on the Room Data collection. I know it’s relatively easy to collect or list information by room. The problem I’ve run into with Dynamo is finding ways of parsing data, remove duplicates and applying hyperlink information within reason. This is something I’ve gotten passionate about… at the same time it becomes very complex very quickly. I can see creating a searchable web-based app, that runs in parallel with the Revit project, targeted at non-Revit users allowing them to input the “missing” BIM details of a project, then returning the collected data back into Revit. I know this goes wildly off into a deep rabbit hole… it would be highly useful. Just saying ;) Keep up the great work!

  7. Emily Dunne says:

    I am continually hitting a conceptual wall when it comes to writing Python script in the python node. I can alter other python scripts to get what I need but a basic tutorial on what you need to get started and have working python scripts in Dynamo would be an epically awesome topic.

    I have been using code academy to learn Python but connecting the dots with inputs nad outputs and everything else is a lot to pick up quickly.

    • Well this makes for two people asking for a little bit of Python in context of Dynamo + Revit API. I am not opposed to doing a tutorial on that. I will for sure bring that up with the Think Parametric team. Cheers!

  8. David Mettler, you may like to look at ARUtils. It handles the sort of Excel Import/Export to a highly formatted excel sheet as well as allowing for parameters that only exist in the Excel file. Also revised values are highlighted in the Excel file. There are also Room Data Sheets (Word based) as well as creating Room views (plan, RCP, elevation, 3D, Schedules, Key Plan) and placing them on sheets. These are just a few of the routines in something that costs just $780 AUD. It also runs in 2012 to 2017 along with 50 or so other routines. I know it’s nice to do your own coding (which I do) but unless you have bucket loads of time you will spend serious dollars to get something that probably does a fraction of what you can buy. Also we implement user requests usually within hours, not months, years, or never.

    • Thanks for sharing Andreas. I would gladly endorse your product but I have never heard of or used your plug-ins. Seems like that’s unfortunate because I do enjoy a good plug-in and would rather not re-invent the wheel if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Cheers!

  9. Arek Keshishian says:

    I saw this in other comments as well, but Python+Dynamo would be an amazing course. :)

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