Revit 2020 – New Structural Features Review

This year Autodesk strengthen the steel detailing tools with some very useful tools to enable quick and efficient steel connection modelling. Revit is constantly criticised for a lack of model detail with fabrication elements. This release strengthens the 3D detailing capabilities for those that require higher Levels of Detail or fabrication models.

When using the Copy/Paste and editing tools the processing is 20x faster than the previous release and connections can now be automatically propagated. This is due to some smart background processing that calculates the elements that are being processed and allows you to continue with other tasks, the elements being processed are highlighted different colour. The background processing is for steel connections but also works when performing most editing tools. The Background Processing colour can be set in the Options dialog in the Graphics Tab as shown below.

Revit 2020 - Background Processing

Steel Connections now use types just like other Revit families. This means that you can create various types of base plates and then either select all instances and swap or edit the type parameters. This new feature makes controlling steel connections much easier.

Steel Connection Type Dialog Box

The Propagate tool automatically recognises similarly connected steelwork and adds the relevant connections which greatly speeds up the processes of adding connections. Simply select a steel connection, right click and select Propagate Connection.

Revit 2020 - Propagate Connections

Many new parameters have also been added to facilitate the efficient creation of fabrication details such as the new hole parameters dialog box. You can now also set the grip length for bolts to allow for accurate sizing and calculation.

Revit 2020 - Hole Dialog Box

The only missing feature is the creation of automatic fabrication documents and CNC code which I am sure we will see in due course. I would anticipate that this will be a cloud-based tool to take advantage of efficient processing times and could use the BIM 360 products to track versions and store the drawings and NC codes.

Concrete Detailing Tools

This release brings more stability to Revit whilst adding reinforcement bar with slightly different cover settings. Certain elements can cause reinforcement bar to constrain to the wrong faces when copying, mirroring or moving bars. The algorithm has been updated to ensure that rebars remember faces and covers from the original element.

Revit 2020 - Reinforcement Placement Improvements

Improvements has also been made to the multi rebar annotations to allow dimensioning to the formwork. Multi rebar annotations can now also be added to freeform reinforcement provided that the reinforcement bars remain parallel.

MRA to formwork

LawrenceH

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Tutorial – The Excitech Toolkit and Reinforcement

I have just created a quick video to showcase some of our Excitech Toolkit tools that could make you more productive when creating and detailing reinforcement in Autodesk Revit. These tools are free to all of our customers

For more information take a look at the following link.

https://www.excitech.co.uk/Insights/Blog/February-2019/The-Excitech-Toolkit

LawrenceH

 

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Revit 2019 – Slow performance when selecting the File Tab

A very quick tip for a very annoying issue. Sometimes, when you delete or move Revit models the recent files list still looks for these missing references. This has an impact when you click the File Tab (can take minutes!) to open.

A quick fix is to delete these file paths from the Revit.ini file. The Revit ini file can be found the following folder (replace your user name shown in red):

C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2019

Open the Revit.ini file in notepad and remove the recent files (shown with the Red box). Click the Save command and the Revit.ini file will be updated.

Revit 2019 ini file

Restart Revit and the slow File Tab should be much quicker!

LawrenceH

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Advance Steel 2019 and Dynamo 2.0.2

A couple of releases back a set of Dynamo nodes were created to allow the connection between Dynamo and Advance Steel. A recent release sees this plug in upgraded for use with Dynamo 2.0.2.

Advance Steel and Dynamo 2.0.1

The tools certainly look promising but could really do with a little more development. At present you can create members, add plates and custom properties which allows for the advanced modelling of members but limited control over connections and Advance Steel Properties.

The Dynamo for Advance Steel can be located on the Add-ins Ribbon as shown below.

Dynamo for Advance Steel Add In

Once Dynamo is running you will find the Advance Steel nodes shown below.

Advance Steel Dynamo Nodes

Steel members are created by providing a list of members start and end points and then a vector to describe the Section Orientation. Bear in mind that all Advance Steel members can be generated with the Beam tools. It would have been nice to be able to change the Model Role for each set of members as this would have increased the efficiency when creating larger frames with beams, braces, columns etc.

Advance Steel Model Role

Most of the Dynamo Nodes are easy to understand but the defining the section to use can be a little tricky. The first stage is to locate the Advance Steel Profiles database. The quickest method is to launch the Advance Steel Management Tools and then open the installed databases. Filter this for the Profile Master Tables.

Advance Steel Management Tools - Profile Master Table

You will need to copy the TypeNameText of the section type that you require and Paste this into a Dynamo Code block or a String. Search the relevant table and then locate the SectionName required.

Advance Steel Management Tools - Profiles

The TypeNameText and SectionName are then concatenated with a special code #@§@# which is used to separate the two strings. Your Code Block will look like the image shown below.

Dynamo Advance Steel Section Name

I tested the Advance Steel Dynamo nodes by creating the following space truss using the LunchBox tools.

Dynamo Roof

The few nodes provided definitely show promise and with a little more development could really be useful. Of course, another option is to create the frame using Dynamo and Autodesk Revit and then export this into Advance Steel.

LawrenceH

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Revit 2019 Tutorial – Analytical Model Visualisation

Quite often when structural engineers are viewing the analytical model within Autodesk Revit it can be a little difficult to see which members are fixed or pinned or have specific release conditions set. The standard way to achieve this is to select the analytical bar and then look in the Properties Palette for the information.

The image shown below is a typical representation of the analytical model with the loads and end colours shown.

revit analytical model

Here you can see the same model  with some filters applied to help visualise fixed and pinned conditions.

revit analytical model with filters applied

The filters are set within the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog box. In the example below, I have chosen to indicate a Fixed or Pinned condition by using the colours red and green. Note that I have also had to create a separate filter for columns.

visibility graphic overrides dialog box

In the image below, you can see the new OR functionality being used to set a filter that either has the start or end release set to Pinned.

revit 2019 filters using or statement

I would suggest that you create a separate view within your current structural template to enable the engineers to easily check the release conditions on the analytical model, this is much easier that selecting each element and viewing the Properties.

Hope this Helps,

LawrenceH

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Autodesk AEC Collection Structural Workflows – 3 tutorials

Hi All,

A very happy New Year to everyone. Check out this link below for 3 useful workflows when using the Autodesk AEC collection for Structural and Civil design.

Structural Steelwork

Retaining Wall

SpaceFrame

 

 

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Tutorial – Piling with Revit 2019, Dynamo and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019

In this tutorial we will look at a simple method to generate piling from a finished ground level to a rock stratum from borehole data. Most of you will now have access to the Autodesk AEC collection but, I often find that people tend to use just one or two tools from this collection which doesn’t return value or efficiency. In this workflow we will utilise Revit 2019, Civil 3D 2019 and Dynamo.

Revit and Civil3D Piling workflow

This workflow can also be achieved using Dynamo and Revit to find the intersections between the piling and the surfaces, but this can take quite a while to execute on large datasets, is computationally expensive and will invariably crash the machine.

Piling to Rock

So, presented below is another option if you want to move into the use of Civil 3D. We will start in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019. In Civil 3D you can either create the surfaces from points or from an existing set of contours a little like the workflow in Revit. We then place the pile locations as AutoCAD points and convert these points into Civil 3D points. The Civil 3D points can then obtain levels from surfaces. The group of points are then exported as a text file.

Export Points

The next stage is to use Dynamo to organise and prepare these points for use in Revit. The Dynamo script will first open the text file and create an ordered list from the data.

Dynamo Section 1

Once this list is created, we then get the Project Base Point from Revit. The PBP is set to the local setting out point. This is then used to create the local coordinates that Revit will need to set out the piles.

Dynamo Section 2

Because the top and bottom points are in the same list, we can use dynamo to sort the points on the X coordinates (the X and Y value will be the same for the top and bottom point). This section of the script separates the Eastings, Northings and Levels and transforms the coordinates to local grid suitable for Revit.

Dynamo Section 3

The last part then creates the Revit elements and sets the depth parameter to send the piles to the rock level.

Dynamo Section 4

Here is the final layout in Revit.

Revit Piling Layout

Obviously, we can directly use the coordinates to create a piling schedule and use the point numbers to number each pile.

Hope that has been useful,

Lawrence H

 

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