Random Insert for AutoCAD & Revit

This tool can be used to insert random blocks into an AutoCAD drawing or random families into a Revit project. This is great for adding plants, trees and shrubs to a site plan, where a natural variety is required. To learn more about the tool, watch the Overview Video below, and refer to Downloads for the installation programs.

Random Insert AutoCAD 884x451.png

Random

INSERT

AutoCAD

Select one or more blocks, elect for random scales with min & max values, and random rotations.

 

Overview Video

Please refer to this short video to get a brief overview on the use of the tool in AutoCAD and Revit:

 

Background

The requirement for this tool comes from the odd time I've been asked to complete a site plan, and have had to populate wooded areas with a variety of trees and shrubs. Whether you are using AutoCAD or Revit, the process is pretty much the same to place blocks and families and it can be quite tedious selecting the different blocks and families and then to specify a variety of sizes and rotation angles. This tool handles the randomness and we all need a little bit of randomness in our lives.

 

Downloads

Select an installer for either AutoCAD or Revit. For AutoCAD, the Random Insert command is the first tool within the AEC BIM Tools for AutoCAD collection which will include additional commands in the future.

The download will be in the form of a Zip file that should be extracted in order to run the installation program. Note: it may be necessary to 'unblock' the zip through it's File Properties.

Rather than offer a 'money-back-satisfaction guarantee', please try out the apps for free. If you appreciate the workflow improvement they give you, please help support ongoing maintenance and future tool development through a donation - simply click on the button below and you'll be directed to PayPal, then donate how much you think they're worth, in a currency you're familiar with. Many thanks!

Technical Details

 

Whilst the tool itself is of course a useful application, it also helps to demonstrate the following capabilities that can be repurposed for other tools, for example:

  • Adding some randomness to a very precise world.

  • Demonstrates how one tool can be developed to work for both AutoCAD and Revit off the same code base.

  • Adding custom buttons to the AutoCAD and Revit ribbons.

  • Clear dialog interface, that is resizable, includes tooltips, icon buttons. 

  • Linking to a help screen.

The tool is built for compatibility with all releases of Revit since Revit 2018 and all releases of AutoCAD since AutoCAD 2018 up until AutoCAD 2022 - if you require an earlier version, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

The installation programs and the add-ins have a digital signature to identify them as legitimate tools from AEC BIM Tools Ltd.. If you trust me, then you can trust applications that you download from this site with this digital signature.

Limitations

As a first release, these are bound to have some limitations, some I know about and some I don't. These are the ones I know about:

  • The AutoCAD version does not add non-constant attributes to the block insertions.

  • The Revit version will prompt for a host if required. In a floor plan, this will be a vertical face such as a wall, and in a 3D view, this will be any face. The tool isn't really designed for placing random elements such as windows, but it does. However, it does not give you the option to select a workplane as a host, so it isn't suitable for placing ceiling hosted elements such as lights.