Link to Youtube Video : http://youtu.be/4SXLJB8xKF0
With the release of the Building Design Suite Ultimate 2013, many of you will now have access to Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2013. I thought I would spend a little time looking at the interface between Revit and Robot and also checking out some of the transfer options and how they work with the Revit 2013 release.
In older releases the transfer option from Revit to Robot was located on the extensions ribbon but this is now found on the Analysis ribbon along with the analyse in cloud option with Autodesk 360. The interface is surprisingly simple to use and the transfer works very well providing you model the structure correctly within Revit Structure. Some of the biggest issues I have found with the transfer and subsequent analysis have been that the analytical model has not been suitably edited and the tolerances were not set correctly.
Once you have selected the Robot Structural Analysis link then you will see the Integration dialog box. This enables you to send and also update the model from Robot. You can even transfer the Revit Structure model to a Robot Analysis file (.rtd) if you do not have Robot installed on your PC.
The send Options allow access to some further tools that can really make a difference to the way that Revit Structure transfers a model to RSA. You can see below that the self weight of the structure can be mapped to a Dead Load and the Bar end releases can be read from Revit or ignored. The option to use a curtain wall and mullions as panels is quite an interesting option but this only works for curtain walls drawn as walls within Revit. You can also see that stray nodes and inconstancies can be corrected with the Execute model correction tool.
Once the structure has been transferred the analysis can be run within Robot. The return of the data back into Revit Structure needs to be carefully considered as the technician is likely to be working on the structure while the engineer is making changes and the model can easily become unsynchronised.
I have also tested the transfer of connections from Robot to Revit and this works well but just for end plate to column flange connections. Robot is capable of designing the connection based on the loads from the analysis, then you can tweek and edits the sizes of plates, bolts etc and then transfer this back into Revit to form part of the documentation. I expect that this is an area that Autodesk will focus on in the future and Revit Structure will likely become a tool capable of producing the fabrication drawings and documentation.
If any of you find this interesting then I can make a tutorial video if there is enough interest.