Revit Structure 2015 – Commands and Shortcuts

I have now uploaded the Revit Structure 2015  commands and shortcuts for this release. I do plan to include the context ribbons and panels in a later post but here is the main ribbon ready for use.

Revit Structure 2015 Commands and Shortcuts – Structure Tab

The new 2015 commands are marked in Salmon whilst the 2014 new commands are marked in Light Green

Revit 2015 Commands and Shortcuts medium

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Autodesk Revit 2015 to Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis 2015

A small change has been made to the method of transferring models between Autodesk Revit 2015 and Autodesk Robot 2015 which is a little different from the 2014 products.

This change will only affect users that need to transfer data via a .rtd file, if you have Revit and Robot installed on the same machine then the transfer method is the same.

In the dialog box below you can see that the .rtd file has been removed and you now need to use the intermediate file (.smxx). This has been implemented to improve the data that can be shared between applications.

Intergration Dialog from Revit 2015

When importing the .smxx into Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis you will need to use the following method shown below. You cannot directly open the .smxx file.

Autodesk Robot 2015 to Revit 2015 .smxx

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Extended Revit Pile and Pile Cap Families

Here is a sneak preview of what will very soon be available as part of our Excitech Revit Toolkit, these familes have been designed to work with our toolkit to facilitate the scheduling of levels and piles.

Optimised for use with our Excitech Revit Toolkit, this extensive library of Pile and Pile Cap families will operate seamlessly within your structural projects and offers many new parameters to facilitate the creation of pile schedules and associated documentation. The range starts from singular piles up to groups of 14, supporting both round and square piles with differing configurations and presented using standard UK pile spacing and edge clearances in conformance to BS8110 and Eurocode 7.

Extended Revit Pile and Pile caps

We are also pleased to offer full integration with the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) and our schedules can be imported into the FPS Microsoft Excel spread sheet.

These are now live and available in 2013,2014 and 2015 formats.



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Revit 2015 – Hidden Detail Control

In previous releases of Autodesk Revit you have to add your own hidden detail into family files or use Show Hidden lines and these are then shown in the relevant views.

Revit - Show and Remove Hidden lines

However, there are issues with this method. Consider the image below showing the structural framing on a roof plan. Notice that the raking steels do not show the hidden detail of the web because they are not 90 degrees (Normal) to the view!

Revit Hidden Lines not shown on raking beams

A quick fix for this in Revit 2015 is to use the new feature of Show Hidden Lines which is found in the Properties Palette for views such as plans, elevations, sections etc. Revit 2015 - Properties - Show Hidden Lines

In the below example I have set this feature to all so all hidden detail is shown. Note that you may have to change your View range settings to allow Revit to show hidden detail of objects outside of this range.


Hidden Detail - Revit 2015

The new Show Hidden Lines command has the following options:

Revit 2015 - Options




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Revit 2015 – Structural Framing Enhancements

This will be a very interesting year with regards to steel detailing, fabrication and Autodesk software. A few months back Autodesk purchased Graitec Advance Steel and Advance Concrete to extend their offering in the steel detailing & fabrication industry. The only other Autodesk product was AutoCAD Structural Detailing which I would imagine will start to disappear from the various Autodesk suites that included this as there have been very few developments with this software for the past couple of years

Revit 2015 Splash Screen

This year Revit 2015 has seem some great interface improvements with regards to the justification points on steel and precast members and member offsets. We will begin by looking at the justification point tool.

Revit 2015 - Justification Points

This is essentially an ease of use improvement to an existing set of tools to offset steel, timber or precast member both laterally or vertically from the original position to predefined points. This will only reposition the physical position of the member and leave the analytical model unchanged.  The tool can be used equally well in plan, elevation and sections as well as 3D views.

Revit 2015 - Beam Justification points

The offset command will reposition the framing member graphically in the Y and Z axis. This is a much easier way of offsetting the structural framing members.

Revit 2015 - Y and Z graphical Offset


The change Reference tool is perhaps my favourite new framing tool in Revit 2015, this tool allows the user to select a new reference for the end of a joined beam and then cycle between these references by using the Change Reference command. See the image below.

Revit 2015 - Picked Reference on Structural FramingRevit 2015 - Change Reference

Another interesting feature is an existing tool from Revit 2013, the humble shape handle. For those of you that didn’t use Revit 2013 or earlier releases the shape handles allowed a steel, precast or timber framing member to have its physical length changed graphically. Revit 2014 omitted this tool and instead relied on the user inputting values into the Properties Palette which was slightly frustrating!

Revit 2015 - Shape Handles

Structural Framing members can now also carry more information about the members physical dimension as well as analysis properties. Each Framing family now has a new category called Section Shape Property.

Revit 2015 - New Section Shape parameter

Once again I will create a detailed tutorial video on these features when I have access to the final shipping release of Revit 2015.



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Revit Structure 2015 – New Reinforcement Tools

Link to YouTube Tutorial:

As with all my blog posts about new Autodesk releases I will break down each new feature in separate posts and show the full scope of the new tools and features with a UK focus. Those of you that regularly read my posts will know that I keep a very close eye on the reinforcement tools and any new features or extensions that come to market. This year Autodesk have again focussed on the reinforcement and analytical tools for the specific structural enhancements for 2015. The primary goal with reinforcement is to give the RC detailer a better set of tools for the production of 2D RC drawings and accurate schedules.

Revit Structure 2015 Rebar

In previous releases the RC drawings would show every bar but the user now how the choice of selecting the first and last bar in the set, a middle bar or user selected bars. This feature allows the correct presentation of bars in plan and elevation using a similar system to AutoCAD Structural Detailing.

Revit 2015 - Rebar Presentation Panel

The Reinforcement descriptions have had a complete overhaul and can now detail bar with a range indicator and the correct terminators and leaders. This has been achieved by combining a dimension style with a rebar tag.

Revit 2015 - Typical Foundation Detail

The other issue was with bar marks, Revit 2014 would allow multiple bars with the same dimensions to have the same bar mark! In Revit 2015 the bar mark is automatically generated and can be sequenced with a variety of differing options. Partitions are for setting bar marks for each element, you can also see the feature for removing gaps in bar marks and once this is enabled the process is automatic.

Revit 2015 - Reinforcement Numbers

Another interesting concept is that parts can now host rebar, this has some potential but I do really think that families should be authored with parametric rebar, this would make more sense and give a huge amount of flexibility.

All the information and data can now be compiled into a full RC schedule that’s compliant with BS8666-2005.

Revit 2015 RC Schedule - Revit Structure 2015

When the ‘shipping’ version of Revit 2015 is released I will produce a full video showing the capabilities.

Link to YouTube Tutorial:

Hope this helps,


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Tutorial – Conceptual Massing and Revit Structure

Link to YouTube Video:

In this tutorial I will take you through some of the tools you can use to create a mass within Revit and then apply structural elements to the form. I will also outline some other possible workflows with other Autodesk software. Our target will be to produce a similar model to the one shown below. In future tutorials I will also talk about correcting the analytical model and preparing this for analysis.

Revit Structure Roof Framing

The first step is to create the conceptual form, on the Application menu select the Conceptual Mass command.

Conceptual Mass Family

The Conceptual Mass family does look a little different to the normal structural families that you may create. You will see that the Reference Planes are visible in the 3D view which makes them much easier to work with.

Conceptual Mass Reference planes Visible

In the Project Browser double click the Level 1 Floor plan and create the Reference Planes as shown below.

Conceptual Mass - Refernece Planes

Once the Reference Planes are created then switch to the 3D view to view the planes in 3D. You will now set one of the Reference Planes as the active Work Plane. As shown below, click the plane command and then select the front Reference Plane. You can also switch on the visibility of this Plane by selecting the Show button on the Work Plane Panel.

Conceptual Mass - Set the current Work Plane

Next you create the first profile, Click the Line command as shown below and draw the three required lines. Next choose the Start End radius arc and create an arc for the curved roof, use any radius you want for this. Note that you may need to use the Tab key to select individual lines and arcs within the profile.

Conceptual Mass - Creating the First Profile

Repeat this for the second profile using the image below.

Conceptual Mass - Creating the Second Profile

Next you create the 3D form, Select both the profiles and click the Create Form command as shown in the image below.

Conceptual Mass - Creating the Form

Next you add an intermediate cross section to create a double-curved roof. Select the solid by using the tab key to cycle to the solid form. On the contextual Ribbon you will see the add profile tool, select this and add a profile roughly in the middle of the solid as shown below. You may also want to enable the X-Ray command which will enable you to visualise the cross sectional profiles.

X-Ray Mass

Select the middle arc and drag this up the Z-Axis to form the geometry as shown below.

Conceptual Mass -Drag the Z-Axis

You will now divide the top surface into a number of divisions. This is achieved by selecting the top surface and clicking the Divide tool as shown on the ribbon below. Note that you will need to turn the X-Ray model off to see the divided surface.

Divide Surface Ribbon

In the Properties Palette you now set the pattern to a Rhomboid form and then set the Maximum Spacing to 2000 for the U and V Grids.

Revit Divided Surface Properties

You have now successfully created the basic mass. Save this as ROOF MASS.rfa

Start a new Structural Project and ensure that you open the Site Structural Plan, this already has the View Range set to unlimited.

Make sure that you have also switched on the Mass Category within Visibility/Graphics overrides dialog box.

Visibility-Graphic Overrides

On the Structure Ribbon, click the Component Command and then browse for your ROOF MASS.rfa file. You can then place this on the Work Plane.

Component Button

Create a new 3D view and ensure that the Mass Category is enabled. You should now see your mass within this view. Next you create the structural framing.

Click the Beam Command and select a CHS section of your choice from the Type selector as shown below. Note that you need to ensure that the sections are placed at the centre of the divided lines as shown on the Properties Palette.

Revit Pattern Properties

You will now set up the Options for the beam placement. On the Contextual Ribbon and Options Bar, set the following as shown below.

Strcutural Framing Settings

You can now start to select the divided lines and Revit will now add the 3D beams to the divided surface lines. Note that you can use the Tab key to select panels to speed this process up a little!

Beam Cutback Issue

You will notice that the CHS sections appear to ‘spring back’ from the nodes. This is due to the Start and End Extension calculations. You will now edit the CHS family to rectify this.

Select one of the CHS sections on your roof and click Edit Family on the Contextual Ribbon as shown below.

Edit Family Button

Switch to the Floor Plan – Ref Level and then use the shape handles to drag the extrusion from the inner Reference Plane to the Outer Reference Planes. This will then remove the ;Spring Back’ that occurs in the project. Ensure that you lock the geometry to the outer planes. Load the family into your project and the frame should update.

CHS New Constraints point

Hope that this has been useful for you.


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