Join Ian Siegel for an in-depth discussion in this video Navigating the interface and node library, part of Dynamo 1.x Essential Training.
- [Instructor] Let's begin by launching Dynamo, and then we'll take a quick look around and familiarize ourselves with the user interface. Now, at the time of this recording, Dynamo comes in two flavors, Dynamo for Revit and Dynamo Studio. They're both very similar, nearly identical. The key difference, though, is that Dynamo for Revit runs like a plugin inside of Revit and contains a section of the node library specifically for interacting with Revit elements and data. Dynamo Studio runs independently of Revit or any other application. In this course, we're going to use Dynamo for Revit, but you should be able to follow most of the examples in the exercise files with Dynamo Studio as well.
Before you open Dynamo for Revit, you'll need to begin inside a Revit project or a Revit family. If you're running Revit 2016 like I am, you'll find the Dynamo button under the Add-Ins tab, but if you're running Revit 2017 or later, you can find the same button under the Manage tab. Let's go ahead and click the Dynamo button to launch Dynamo. Then Dynamo opens and displays the start page. Here you'll find options to begin the new Dynamo graph or open an existing one. Below that, you'll also see a shortcut to open a few of the Dynamo files you've worked with recently. In the top right, you'll see links that will take you directly to dynamobim.com or to the Dynamo forum, which is an active community of Dynamo users who post questions and answers to problems that arise as they're working.
As we scroll down a bit, we can see a shortcut to several sample files that ship with Dynamo, which are a great way to learn basic workflows. I highly encourage that you check these out while you're getting started. Let's go ahead and click the New button to create a new home workspace. Here we are in a brand-new Dynamo graph. This is the interface you'll see while you're working in Dynamo. Across the top of the window are our menus, where we can do things like save our graph and open or start a new one under File, and change various settings and options in Settings. Edit has a few features for keeping your workspace tidy, such as Align, Group, and Clean Up Node Layout.
Below our menus we have the toolbar, which offers shortcuts to do things like create or open a graph, save your work, and undo and redo. Most of the Dynamo window is our node library on the left and our workspace on the right. The node library is organized as a sort of tree structure. As we click on titles we see in the library, we can expand and collapse different levels of the library. At the top level, the library is organized into several different libraries. Some of these libraries are named after the type of data that its nodes function with. For example, nodes that work with geometry can be found in Geometry, nodes for interacting with Revit are found under Revit, and Office contains nodes for reading and writing to Excel.
The core library contains nodes for general use of Dynamo. Just about every Dynamo graph is going to need to run on nodes found in here. Clicking on a library will open it and show the library's categories, which is where more specific and descriptive names for the nodes can usually be found. Clicking on a category reveals a list of nodes that can be dropped into the workspace. Within each category, nodes are organized into three sub-categories. Create, which is indicated by a green plus sign. These nodes often create a new object or element. Action nodes, which are indicated with a red thunderbolt, tend to take an existing object or element as an input and modify it in some way.
Finally, there's Query, which is a blue question mark, which usually extracts information about the object or element that you provide as an input. These subcategories can be very helpful while you're still learning your way around Dynamo. Chances are you'll need to create, modify, or query something, and hopefully that something coincides with the name of the library or the category. Clicking on a node will place an instance of that node into your workspace. At the very bottom of our Dynamo window is the execution bar. This allows us to set how frequently Dynamo runs the algorithm that we're writing. If we have this set to Automatic, Dynamo runs the workflow any time there's a change made in the workspace.
Changing the setting to Manual will display a Run button, and Dynamo will only run the workflow when we click on it. This can be helpful if your graph needs to process large amounts of data or writes a file to your computer, since these can take a few seconds or a few minutes to run. Okay, let's enough looking around. Let's get started placing and connecting nodes.
- Placing and connecting Dynamo nodes
- Understanding Dynamo's data types
- Performing math functions
- Creating number lists and text strings
- Writing data to an Excel spreadsheet
- Creating points, curves, surfaces, and solids
- Analyzing geometry
- Linking a Dynamo-driven SAT into Revit
- Placing Revit families with Dynamo
- Creating Revit views and sheets with Dynamo