Revit 2018 – New Reinforced Concrete features

In each release of Revit we are now seeing a continuous trickle of new features and improvements to the Reinforced Concrete modelling and detailing capabilities. Most of the ‘standard’ features are already firmly established and now Autodesk move on to the reinforcement of complex concrete forms and cross platform workflows. As discussed in my previous post on the Revit 2018 steel detailing features, Autodesk have some stiff competition in this area and are quickly closing the gaps. Also an expected delivery of a BIM project is a complete 3D model and it may no longer be appropriate to issue flat 2D drawings and a bending schedules. Some of the new tools will be very useful in Civil projects such as Tunnels, Bridges and roadside structures where the geometry is likely to be curved and sloped.

I have tested all the new features and will start with the main function of the reinforcement of complex concrete features. In the image below I was able to add 4 L bars in plan and then create a varying range to the inverted truncated pyramid shape.

Revit 2018 New Rebar Features

I also tested the varying distribution on other native Revit in-place families and did struggle with twisted and double curved objects but in general, this new function is very useful and saves a lot of time. In fairness I would image that you would need extra control over double curves and twists and likely have to use something like Dynamo to place ‘real’ reinforcement in a logical way.

Revit 2018 Curved and Multi Planar Rebar

Another refurbished tool is the Rebar graphical constraints. This tool enables reinforcement bar to be constrained in 3D views as well as the traditional 2D views. The user can selected the rebar plane or the end points of the bar and then constrain this to a relevant plane on the host element. In the image shown below you can see the bar plane constraint being set and then the end of the L bar to the front face.

Revit 2018 Graphical 3D Rebar Constraints a

The reinforcement bar also has Bar Handles that allows the physical leg lengths to be dynamically edited which is quite handy when you need to drag the bar around in the 3D view. The graphical constraints will still show the check box to snap the bar to cover.

You can now directly import a 3D solid from another CAD application (AutoCAD, Rhino, Trimble SketchUP & Bentley Microstation) and host reinforcement directly into the elements. This is a neat workflow when coupled to tools such as Infraworks. You can create a bridge and then export this directly to Revit and then add reinforcement.

3D Ramp from AutoCAD to Revit Rebar

In the example above a 3D ramp has been modelled in AutoCAD and then directly imported and reinforced within Revit. In practice this is only useful for single elements and not an entire bridge as you will need to import each solid separately and then set the correct Sub Categories and parameters.

In conclusion Autodesk continue to strengthen the Revit application and make the legacy 2D detailing a think of the past.

lawrenceH

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Revit 2018 – New Steel Detailing Features

cONNECTIONS

This year I have decided to review the new structural features of Revit 2018 in two separate posts, Steel Detailing and Concrete. The structural features have been quite interesting in the last few releases and have taken a prominent position over architecture and MEP. Autodesk have a very strong position in the Architecture and MEP markets but have competition in structures market with Tekla Structural Designer. Tekla has transitioned from a steel detailing tool, clearly aimed at fabricators to a multi material BIM modeller with integrated structural analysis (Trimble acquired CSC) that is useful for structural consultants, steel and concrete detailers and engineers. Autodesk are well aware of this and hence are bolstering the steel and concrete features and workflows within Revit. With the above points in mind it is difficult to guess where Revit may go in the future. We could see the integration of cloud based analysis that will completely replace Robot Structural Analysis and perhaps also a full steel detailing capability that would absorb AutoCAD Structural Detailing. I think we have a very exciting few years ahead and will be interesting to see what path Autodesk take. One great strength Autodesk have is a huge portfolio of products and technologies from a wide range of industries and I am sure we will see further integration and consolidation.

Revit 2018 Structural Connections
Revit 2017 introduced steel connections with just over 20 connections that you could apply to ‘approved’ steel members. Revit 2018 now adds over 120 connections that can be used on any steel section, a huge improvement. A Structural consultant can now show indicative connections and convey design intent to a fabricator with the inbuilt connections. Most of these connections can be designed to EC3 with forces and moments taken from a Robot Structural Analysis model.

The main advantages are to enable structural consultants to be able to produce models to a higher Level Of Detail (LOD 350) or LOD 4 in the UK. In my opinion the structure and drawings do look more complete with the connections added and can be marked for design intent/information only.

Another advantage is that the connections can be seamlessly transferred from Revit to Autodesk Advance Steel for full fabrication detailing and production data.

AS CONNECTIOJNS

As mentioned above you can now add steel connections to any steel section provided that you add the required data. To place a connection, Revit needs to understand bolt spacing’s, section depths, fillets, shapes etc. This information is added to the family by clicking Family Category and Parameters. In the below image you can see a connection added to a custom purlin C section.

Revit 2018 Custom Sections

The section shape and parameters are added when you select the Section Shape from Family Categories and parameters. In the below example you can see an L profile with Lips selected. Revit will then add all the required parameters automatically allowing a connection to be hosted onto the section.

C section Custom Section

Certain structural connections can be placed in multiple rotations which will affect which members are cut. In the example below you can see that Revit 2018 now shows the order of the connection selection.

Revit 2018 Structural Connection Order

Hopefully you will get some time to play around with the new features and start to use them in your next project.

I have created a video that you may want to watch showing the new steel connections and drawings.

LawrenceH

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Revit and Dynamo – Finding the Centroid (CoG) of Revit elements

I was recently asked by a contractor if Revit could report on the centroid of selected objects to facilitate crane lifts. For those of you that know Revit well the answer if normally no. However, Dynamo is really useful for this sort of task. I have created a simple family to represent the Centroid and added three shared parameters to report on the X,Y and Z coordinates.

Centroid

As you can see from the above Dynamo graph the method is fairly simple and can be really useful for a number of scenarios in construction planning.

Here is a quick video showing the use of the Dynamo Graph.

Centroid

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Revit 2017.1 & Dynamo Tutorial – Setting All Rebar Visible and Solid in View

As many of you will already know, controlling the visibility of reinforcement within Revit can be challenging and time consuming as each new rebar modelled needs to have the visibility set, for example, you create a new range of rebar and then are required to click ‘View Visibility States’ and then select the views that you wish to see the rebar unobscured and ‘as solid’.

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/BmDQ02GhtfE

revit-rebar-view-visibility

In this tutorial I will take you through the steps required to write your own app to automatically control the rebar visibility, the tutorial will use Dynamo 1.2.1 and Revit 2017. With this tutorial no external packages are required.

Here is the end result of the tutorial shown in the video clip below.

dynamo-player

  1. Open an existing model that contains a 3D view with Reinforcement and leave the 3D view active.
  2. On the Manage ribbon, click the Dynamo Icon and start a new dynamo session.
  3. Create the following nodes as shown below (Leave the Python Script Node to step 4).

revit-rebar-visibility-dynamo

I have labelled each node so you can understand how each node operates but feel free to watch the short tutorial video if you have never used Dynamo before.

4. In the Search Bar in the Node library search for Python and add the Python Script node as shown below.

python-script-node

Double Click the Python Node in the grey area as shown below to open the ‘Edit Python Script’ dialog box.

python-edit-script-node

Copy and Paste the Python Script below and Accept Changes (to Line 35).


import clr
#Import RevitAPI for Rebar Control
clr.AddReference('RevitAPI')
from Autodesk.Revit.DB import *
from Autodesk.Revit.DB.Structure import *

clr.AddReference("System")
from System.Collections.Generic import List

# Import RevitNodes
clr.AddReference('RevitNodes')
import Revit
clr.ImportExtensions(Revit.GeometryConversion)
clr.ImportExtensions(Revit.Elements)

clr.AddReference('RevitServices')
import RevitServices
from RevitServices.Persistence import DocumentManager
from RevitServices.Transactions import TransactionManager

doc = DocumentManager.Instance.CurrentDBDocument

#Assign Inputs and Output
rebarElements = UnwrapElement(IN[0])
views = UnwrapElement(IN[1])

#Change rebar Visibility
TransactionManager.Instance.EnsureInTransaction(doc)
for view in views:
 for rebarElement in rebarElements:
 rebarElement.SetUnobscuredInView(view,1)
 rebarElement.SetSolidInView(view,1)
TransactionManager.Instance.TransactionTaskDone()

OUT = rebarElements

Your Code should now look like the image below.

python-code
Add an additional input to the Python node as shown below and wire the Rebar elements into IN[0] and the view into IN[1]. (Note that even if you are just requiring one view it must be a list for the Python Code to run without errors.)

python-script-node-with-second-input-added

Dynamo Player (Revit 2017.1)

For those of you running Revit 2017.1 you can run this simple tool directly from the Player without having to open Dynamo, this could be very useful for people that want to use these tools without wanting to open Dynamo.

On the Manage Ribbon, select the Dynamo Player Icon as shown below.

dynamo-player-icon

The Dynamo Player will then launch, you need to select the folder icon as shown in the image below and browse to the folder that contains your .dyn files. You can then simply play the script!

dynamo-player-folder

Revit and Dynamo  – Set Rebar Unobscured and solid

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Autodesk Revit to Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis – Send Options

Happy New Year and look forward to all the good things planned for 2017! A few Autodesk Revit Releases back (Revit Structure 2015), Autodesk made a change to the integration with Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis to allow the transfer of data via an Intermediate .smxx file (Structural Binary file for transfer). Whilst this new format offers some benefits, the older method did have a few additional features that have not been incorporated within the .smxx export.revit-to-robot

The most useful of these were around offsetting structural members and the use of System panels and mullions.

Here is the process of transferring offsets in Revit to offsets in Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis. The beams have a z Offset Value of -50 set in the Properties Palette.

structural-framing-offset

When the model is ready to be transferred to Robot Structural Analysis, hold down the Ctrl Key whilst clicking the Robot Structural Analysis Link command. You can then click the Send Options and select the ‘Use drawing model offsets as analytical’ check box.

revit-to-robot-options

Here is the result in Robot Structural Analysis.

robot-structural-analysis-offsets

Some of these legacy features can be useful so the Ctrl Key can revert back to the legacy method. Please be aware that results cannot be transferred to Revit using the ‘old’ method.

Hope this helps,

LawrenceH

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Happy Holidays!

I hope you all enjoy the holidays. Here is a nice winter image of a reindeer created in Revit and Dynamo. The structure has been made with CHS self illuminating sections!

dynamo-raindeer

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Revit 2017 Reinforcement Tag Alignment

Whilst providing Reinforcement Detailing training I often get asked if it is possible to align the  MRA (Multi Rebar Annotation) tags. Currently with Revit 2017 it is not possible to align the tags but I recently stumbled over a free application to achieve this task!

autodesk-revit-mra-reinforcment-range-indicators

The application can be installed via the Autodesk Exchange Apps website by clicking the ‘X’ icon on the InfoCenter toolbar in the top right corner of Autodesk Revit.

autodesk-revit-exchange-apps-icon

You will now see the Autodesk App Store web page. Search for Align and then install the app from BIM 42 as shown below. (The app currently supports Revit 2016 and 2017)

BIM 42 Align Tool.png

Once the app is installed you can access the tools by selecting the Add-Ins ribbon. The tools are shown on the Align panel as shown below.

align-ribbon-panel

Here is the result of using the Align Left tool with a selection of MRA tags.

rc-tags-aligned

Overall this is a very useful set of tools for any tags that you may want to tidy up. See the GIF video below.

reinforcement-tag-align

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