Accelerate your Revit RC Detailing with the Naviate Rebar Extension

I am sure some of you are currently using Revit to produce 3D RC models and details. Those of you that are, will be gaining the benefits of working in a fully coordinated model with automated bar schedules to BS8666 and intelligent tagging. Those that are not using Revit should seriously consider making the transition! Having 3D models and presentations that show how the various layers of bar should be fixed gives you confidence in your design, especially with complex shapes and prefabricated cages. It is far less ambiguous to present 3D images and models to fully understand the design intent.

Anyway, I wanted to showcase some free tools from Symetri that you could be using right now on projects to streamline the creation of typical reinforcement. The below image shows the Naviate REX ribbon.

The first part of the ribbon focuses on the actual macros to generate the reinforcement. This is like the original REX tools that Autodesk provided a few years ago. However, the big difference is that the Naviate REX tools allow the shape codes to be generated from the shapes loaded into your template. This is a huge improvement as previously your model would have generated shapes like ‘stirrup shape 1’, Stirrup Shape 2’… etc.

The second part of the ribbon has some very nice productivity tools associated with the display of rebar.  To show or hide rebar, both in the 3D and 2D views required the use of view visibility states. This is quite time consuming and laborious in Revit as you had to do this for each view. These tools alone will save you a lot of time!

Let us now look at some of the macros that provide automated modelling of typical reinforcement. I will start with the pile caps and piles.

A time-consuming pile cap configuration to reinforce manually is the triangular one shown below. This has varying reinforcement and can have five layers of rebar to deal with.

As you can see from the dialog, there are various reinforcement types to select and options to generate other arrangements. You could just generate the bottom layers of bar or add top layers as well if required.

The reinforcement is generated using standard Revit rebar sets which enables easy modification to add additional reinforcement to the model. In the image below, you can see a combination of piles, pile cap and circular concrete columns. Additional starter bars have been added and the pile reinforcement has been adjusted. This is all possible with standard Revit tools.

Moving on to strip footings and walls, again we can place out most of the bar using the macros and then finish off items such as starter bars. Again, this is much quicker than defining the bars from scratch and creating rebar sets.

I have noticed that some of the shape codes do not generate as expected but you can just swap these out for the correct UK shapes. Another big benefit is the ability to save configurations for typical elements. For example, the slab opening macro can be configured and saved as an RXD file that you can recall and use elsewhere in the project or perhaps on a completely new project.

Some of you may already know that you cannot use the built-in interference check in Revit on reinforcement. Reinforcement bars are special objects that are optimised for performance and will not show in an interference check. However, the Naviate REX tool can check a reinforcement layout before you send this to your client! Of course, you can also use Navisworks for comprehensive clash detection and resolution but this is a convenient tool within the Revit platform.

We all know that some interferences that are found by the software may not be real problems out on site. The steel fixer will simply shift or deflect the bar. In these situations, you can set an effective diameter to account for the actual diameter of bar as well as a tolerance that you want to set. Also, you could just select reinforcement with a diameter greater than 16 and only check for clashes between these bars.

So, I would urge you all to download this free set of tools and take a look If you are currently producing RC models and details in Revit or are moving away from 2D detailing then these tools will certainly help you!