Unlock the Hidden Superpowers of Dynamo

By Tadeh Hakopian for Autodesk University

Dynamo for a long time has been the go-to tool of Revit users to quickly script solutions to time-consuming routine problems. However, there is much more that Dynamo can do beyond scripting. There is a whole world to explore with packages and integrations which you may not be aware of. See what is possible with AI, geometry manipulation, coding, generative design in Autodesk software, and document updates, as well as accessing web APIs with Dynamo. If you think you know Dynamo, then you’ve only scratched the surface. Read on to begin discovering the true potential of Dynamo and visual scripting.

Geometry Powers


DynaShape is a Dynamo package for constraint-based form finding, optimization, and physics simulation. The core algorithm is based on ShapeUp 85. This provides an important theoretical foundation by formally describing how different geometric constraints can be defined in a unified and extensible framework, how they can be solved/optimized simultaneously and under what conditions the solution can be guaranteed.

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Refine Shape Geometry
DynaShape can help you optimize geometry so the shapes match what you want instead of compromising into ‘close enough’ forms.

Diagrid Catenary Arches
Create elegant forms with finite control.

Drape Fold
Create fluid shapes.

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Topologic is a software modeling library enabling hierarchical and topological representations of architectural spaces, buildings, and artifacts through non-manifold topology. Toplogic can be used to support energy modeling; for example, dimensioning the windows on different sides of a hospital to avoid summer overheating. Topologic can be used to plot paths such as fire egress routes, the least disruptive route for a new service pipe or the most congested location in a city layout.

Create geometry that uses faces and shells to explore space configuration in ways regular Dynamo or Revit modeling is unable to do.

Cell Complex
A non-manifold (non-folding) set of cells is a complex. All you need to know is new modeling capabilities are opened up by using topologic tools like complexes.

Space Integration
Organize spaces in an interconnected system to test geometry optimization.

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GIS / Location Powers


DynaMaps is a view extension and node package which provides the most straightforward workflow to get site data into Dynamo. Placing site content like buildings and topography into your Revit model with the DynaMaps package nodes. Load and create site model data into Revit without having to link files and rebuild content yourself.

Package Nodes for GIS Data Load
DynaMaps has a full suite of nodes including a view extension to load all the geometry into your model.

Load Model Elements into Revit
Load model elements automatically from the GIS and map content. Revit can then load the topography and building massing directly into your model.

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GIS2BIM is a collection of custom nodes for the Dynamo visual programming environment. It imports 2D and 3D GIS information to Revit models. Access GIS content from online database and load them into your Revit model with Dynamo nodes.

Mass Geometry
Urban layouts can quickly be generated and added to your model.

Large-scale topography can be added to Revit models for large site design projects.

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Related: Dynamo Isn’t Magic but These Tips and Tricks Might Seem Magical with Carl Storms

Coding Powers


DesignScript is a novel language for exploratory design useful for compacting scripts and customizing functions in Dynamo. DesignScript enables a ‘soft transition’ between visual data flow programming and text-based scripting by implementing a series of intermediate programming techniques. This provides a gentle learning curve which allows the gradual introduction of more advanced programming concepts and notation. DesignScript enables the pragmatic world of design automation and production to be connected to the world of computer science and algorithmic thinking.

Easy-to-Read Functions
Create custom functions and logic for Dynamo so you can expand what is possible with your graphs.

Get formulas in your script that can allow sophisticated functions in an easy-to-read format for anyone to experiment with.

Shrink your scripts so they’re not a mess of nodes and wires.

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Zero Touch Nodes

Zero-Touch Importing refers to a simple point-and-click method for importing C# libraries. Dynamo will read the public methods of a .dll file and convert them to Dynamo nodes. You can use Zero-Touch to develop your own custom nodes and packages, and to import external libraries into the Dynamo environment.

Zero Touch Relies on C# Script
Autodesk provides a lot of Revit documentation in C# so finding documentation is easy if you know the language.

Create Custom .dll Files for Distribution
Packages can be made of .dll files for custom nodes.

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Want more? Download the class handout to read on.

Tadeh Hakopian leverages BIM, VDC, and design technology to provide his teams with impactful tools for project success. He has over 10 years of experience in the AEC field developing methods and practices to improve project outcomes. With a background in architecture, he has worked with designers, engineers, and contractors in all phases of building design and construction. Over the years he has been a part of large, complex projects in Commercial, Sports, Education, Healthcare, and Residential sectors. His current focus is on design automation, data insights in projects, and comprehensive workflows that come full circle in planning project life cycles. He is an active speaker at conferences including Autodesk University, ATG Midwest University, BILT NA, BIM Forum, Python Conferences, and his local community meetups. His goal is to move the AEC profession into new horizons using value-driven solutions and innovative research.

Showcasing the expertise, creativity, and thought leadership of today’s design and engineering professionals.

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