For a typical Revit user, the term computational design can evoke visions of obscure tools used for advanced form-making. This preconceived notion has proven difficult to curtail, even as parametric modeling and design computation become more commonplace. New tools providing parametric design environments enable users to not only create unique geometry but also develop automated processes and sophisticated data manipulation techniques.
The application of computer programming in design and construction has given rise to architects and engineers extending the capabilities of “out-of-the-box” Revit software by developing custom tools with the Revit application programming interface (API). The results provide more flexibility and expediency to the design process. Learning to code can be a difficult task, necessitating the rise in use of visual programming as a vehicle for computational design. With this process, users can create algorithms and manipulate data graphically, rather than textually.
Visual programming is diagrammatic and easier to understand than code, with nodes representing entities and wires mapping out how nodes relate to each other. This is known as a data flow, and in most visual programming languages the flow of data occurs from left to right.
In this chapter, you’ll learn to: