Revit 2019 – New Steel Features

Well, it’s that time of year again to review the new features of Revit, seems to come round so fast. As I did last year, I will review the steel and concrete features as separate blog posts and videos as we have a raft of new features to look at!

New Steel Detailing Ribbon

If you would like to jump directly to the steel video then here is the link.

New Steel Ribbon

Autodesk are further extending the Level of detail that can be presented by adding specific modelling tools to extend the power of structural connections and end treatments. You now have dedicated tools to create notches, saw cuts, holes and chamfers and rounds to steelwork. This allows for a greater Level of Detail when modelling and these features can be directly linked to Advance Steel for full Automatic fabrication documents.

Revit 2019 - Steel Detailing Ribbon

The use of these new tools will depend on the need for modelling to this level of detail. For example, bridges may require a greater Level of detail but a traditional steel frame modelled by an engineering consultant may not require any connection details, these will be added by the fabricator.

A particularly nice feature is the ability to use a standard connection and then break the connection into the fabrication elements such as plates, bolts, cuts etc. This allows for easy modifications to connections and the ability to create your own connections.

Revit 2019 - Customise and Break Connection

For a detailed look at each tool check out my video at the top of this post.

Enjoy,

LawrenceH

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Autodesk React Structures and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis – Futures?

Some years back in 2015 I reviewed the Technology Preview of Autodesk’s new structural analysis package, React Structures, a fresh-looking ‘brother’ of Robot Structural Analysis with better integration with Revit and Dynamo. The main advantage was a cleaner, easier to use interface along with simpler workflows.

Autodesk React Structures - Main Interface

Autodesk React Structures was in Technology Preview for many years and recently seemed to be retired, so what could have happened?

Before I speculate on possible futures, perhaps we can take look at some recent trends in the construction industry and the use of design software.

The last three to four years has seen a quantum leap in the use of BIM models to communicate design ideas, transfer information, understand risk and manage costs within large projects. In parallel, projects have become more and more complex and clients are demanding better buildings, with reduced fees in less time!

This all adds immense pressure on Structural Engineers to react to design changes and create new designs with maximum efficiency. Many of us will use multiple software products to create design and 3D models and the biggest challenge is the transfer of data without loss and the learning of many complex software tools.

Many of you will already be aware of the cloud based analysis currently in Revit (if not see the previous post). This type of workflow allows data to be seamlessly transferred without conversions or the loss of data and is preferable to the two-way link currently used with Revit and Robot. When Autodesk React Structures was started it seemed a sensible method to take an existing analysis tool and refresh this for the coming years. The rate of progress with BIM processes and software overtook this initial idea which is why Autodesk abandoned React Structures.

I believe the future solutions will be completely integrated and use the same common interface to control the design and analysis models as one, truly unified model. To imagine an early preview of this toolset you could use Revit, Robot Structural Analysis and Dynamo to get a truly ‘live’ environment to develop and analyse structures.

Structural Analysis for Dynamo allows you to access many of the results and data from Robot and store these in the Revit BIM model. For example, you can store the bar number, the Bar Forces and Stresses in each element. You can then use these results to optimise the design within Revit.

Revit Dynamo and Robot

In the above image you can see the Structure Analysis for Dynamo package and nodes that are creating loads, running the calculations and then retrieving the results. The image below shows the same space truss with a completely dynamic link from Revit to Robot. Panels have been created in Robot from Revit for the glazing and well as the bars and supports.

Revit Dynamo Robot Workflow

The optimisation is the interesting area here, this is where I think Autodesk can really use the power of cloud based computing to rationalise, optimise and design structures more efficiently. Perhaps other FEA tools can be integrated into the database such as NASTRAN for complex shapes.

I am sure we will all keep our eye on any developments from Autodesk in this interesting and exciting area.

LawrenceH

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Dynamo – Geometry Working Range

A recent small change in Dynamo was an error when geometry exceeds a certain size. The default working range is small (when working in millimetres) and will often produce an error with most Revit models.

Dynamo is unitless and when working in feet and inches the default setting would allow the user to model something up to 10,000 inches (254 meters)! However, in millimetres this is only 10 meters which can very easily be exceeded. In the image below, you can see the error.

Error with Dynamo Point

The answer is to set the Geometry Working Range from the settings menu in Dynamo.

Dynamo - Geometry Working Range

The working ranges are as follows:

Dynamo Working Range

Dynamo does have some useful visualisation tools for Work Planes and Coordinate Systems but these cannot currently be scaled and, as such, only show with small geometry.

Dynamo Work Plane and Coordinate System

Hope this helps,

lawrneceH

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An Overview of Structural Analysis for Revit

A few years back I reviewed the Load Takedown add on for Revit. This has now been replaced with ‘Structural Analysis for Revit’ which many of you will now have included with the new Autodesk AEC Collections. So what can you do with this tool and how do you use it?

Structural Analysis for Revit Results

Let’s start with what it can do and where I would see this tool fitting into the process.

Here is a video Tutorial for the whole process.

Firstly, this service uses the cloud to analyse your structure and as such, you will need to have some cloud credits to spend on this. In my experience, many companies have hundreds of unused credits so this should not be a huge problem.

The Robot engine is used to take your analytical model from Revit, along with loads and load combinations and then present results back either in the format of a report, a web page or directly within the Revit environment.

I would see this being used as a preliminary tool to try a few ‘what if’ examples prior to in depth analysis.

Where to Start

Download the Structural Analysis Toolkit 2018 from here:

https://apps.autodesk.com/RVT/en/Detail/Index?id=4901636995211349921&appLang=en&os=Win64

Your Analyze Ribbon within Revit will now have the following tools displayed.

Structural Analysis for Revit Ribbon

The Analytical Model

Your Analytical model must be accurate and have connectivity between all nodes otherwise the analysis will fail (this will not use any cloud credits).

Analytical Model from Revit

It is a good idea to check the model in Revit prior to starting the cloud based analysis. Use the Filters tool in Visibility Graphics to check for unconnected nodes. Tutorial for this is here: http://youtu.be/J2_iddaJzLg

Revit Filters for Unconnected Nodes

Check that your beam and columns have the correct release conditions as this will obviously affect the outcome of any analysis and cause instability in some cases.

Create the required Load Combinations

Revit Load Combinations

Starting the Analysis

Select the Analyse in Cloud tool.

Analyze in Cloud icon

A number of checks will be performed and you will then see the dialog box below. Here you can set the type of Analysis (Gravity or Static). In this example we will create a load take down so set the analysis to Gravity and click start.

Structural Analysis for Revit - Configuration of Analysis

Once the analysis is complete you can view the results in a simple report, in Revit or review the model and various results live in the web page.

Structural Analysis for Revit - Dashboard

Here are the results displayed live in the webpage.

Structural Analysis for Revit Reactions on Webpage

Hope this was useful,

LawrenceH

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays 2017 from Revit Structure Blog

Happy Holidays to everyone! Here is a Christmas tree modelled in Revit using Dynamo and structural framing and rendered in A360. See you all next  year!

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Handling Revit Warnings – A Tutorial with Revit 2018 and Dynamo

We have all seen the Revit Warnings dialog and as you may already know, these can be ignored and the users can carry on with the tasks at hand but what does this mean for your project health! Some of these are problematic and ignoring the warnings is not really fixing the problem. I guess we should be mindful that if Revit sees fit to warn us of these issues then we should do something to resolve the problems. In the image below you can see a typical set of warnings in an average project. These can be a real headache for the BIM manager and in the following post I will outline a way of adding these errors to the model and then assigning users to ‘repair’ the problems.

The Revit Warning Dialog will allow the user to select elements but this can be extremely inefficient especially in large project where it can take a long time for Revit to open a view where the element can be located. This can be very frustrating for BIM technicians to wade through hundreds of errors, locate the elements and then try and fix the problems.

A Better Approach

On larger projects with multiple users we can utilise a simple Dynamo script to graphically show each error and allow the end users to see these errors in schedules, plans, sections, elevations etc and then isolate the errors and fix them or at least recheck the issue.

This is achieved by creating Shared Parameters to store the Revit Warning and comments on resolutions. You can then set up Revit filters to show each type of warning in different colours and do all the usual things such as isolating the elements, showing in different views and schedules.

In the example below you can see the Grids of Axis are shown in green, beam off axis are shown in yellow and walls in magenta. Also note the shared parameters storing the Revit warning in the elements.

The Dynamo Script

The Dynamo script is all based around the Bang package which can be downloaded by searching for the Bang package.

Add the GetWarnings node to a new dynamo session. You will also need to add a Boolean and set it to True to start reading the Revit Warnings.

The Warnings are then displayed in the top output and the list of elements in the lower output. It is a simple case of then setting a Revit Shared Parameter to store the value. In the image below I have created a Shared Parameter called ‘RevitWarning’, set it to Text and then used the Element.SetParameterByName node to write the warning text.

You can then set up some filters to display the warnings in views. I have also created a View Template that can easily be applied to any view to add the filters.

Conclusion

This is a simple and effective method of understanding where the warnings occur and then being able to assign these back to team members to resolve.

Hope this helps,

LawrenceH

 

 

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Revit – Stripping Views and Sheets from the model prior to upload to CDE

Many Consultants will have the requirement to strip out all the views, schedules, CAD links and sheets from a model prior to issuing; this is done for a number of reasons such as file size reduction and also protection. If the model is simply for coordination then there is no need to see any of these elements.

Revit - Dynamo Player to Strip Views from Project

You can of course remove all the elements manually from the project but this is very time consuming. You can also purchase apps that will automate these operations but for the few times a month that you need this it is better to use this Dynamo script!

Below you can see a quick video of the Dynamo Script working with Dynamo Player (Revit 2018.1). I also show and explain each element of the script.

Here is the script that you can recreate for your own use. Unfortunalty I cannot directly host the Dynamo script on my blog site.

Strip Views from Revit - Dynamo Graph

Hope this helps,

Lawrence

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