So here we are early April 2022, the New Year celebrations seems a distant memory, but spring is here, and we all look forward to longer days and some warmer weather! This year, Revit celebrates its Silver Jubilee, commemorating 25 years since its conception! Revit, a software product that originated way back in 1997 and was acquired by Autodesk in 2002, is now a very mature platform at 25 years of age and joins a collection of Autodesk software that we could have only dreamed of in 2002!
Much like the previous release, we have seen a bigger drive towards the core platform features of Revit which will certainly benefit all users. A fair amount of effort has been put into the actual creation of sheets, the placement of views on sheets and printing which is great for all Revit users. Automation is also featured within this release by utilising Dynamo player to automate steel connections and drive the new analytical modelling engine. Automation and Dynamo are becoming a significant requirement when combining the physical Revit model with a controllable, design driven analytical model.
In this blog we will look at some of the new platform features, some exciting Dynamo updates and, of course, the all the new structural features including the latest tools for rebar modelling and the definition and improvements around analytical modelling.
Reference Plane updates
Three enhancements have been added to Revit 2023 when working with reference and work planes. You can now simply access the ‘Pick a Plane’ tool directly from the ‘Set Work Plane’ pulldown menu. The ‘Pick a Plane’ tool also has a new keyboard shortcut added ‘PK’
When working with linked or imported CAD files you can now use a named reference plane to directly control the placement. This is a huge benefit when the CAD reference is not aligned to a plan or elevation. A good example of this is when working on a roof.
Revit will now also save the last used placement plane when placing families. Again, this saves a fair bit of time when using face-based and plane-based families.
Measure in 3D
You can now measure directly in a 3D view which is very useful. Previously you would need to generate a specific elevation or section to perform a measurement that is out of plane.
In previous releases, to define a good IFC output for elements within your project, you would have to add a series shared parameters to correctly classify each element. For example, in previous versions of Revit most of your structural foundations would be simply exported as
IfcFooting which is incorrect for many of the foundations.
In Revit 2023, each element now has 4 default IFC instance and type parameters for specific classifications. In the image shown below you can see the instance parameters set on a pad foundation along with the IFC predefined type to add an in-depth classification.
When setting the IFC predefined type you have a very useful dialog which first prompts you to select your IFC schema, then the IFCProduct type and then the predefined type. This saves you having to look up the format and definitions on external sites.
This is certainly a very welcome addition and will facilitate better interoperability between differing software.
When printing multiple sheets, you can now control the printing order of the sheets. There are three different options that you can use, browser organisation, sheet number or manual. In the dialog below the rebar drawings and bending schedules have been manually ordered.
Swapping views on sheets
You can now swap out views and alter the positioning on sheets. This goes hand in hand with the previous new feature of duplicating sheets with views. You would then use this new tool to replace the views. Very useful for rapid drawing creation and consistent looking drawing outputs.
The above image shows the previous functionality in Revit 2022 to duplicate the sheet with views and detailing.
You can then swap out the views on the copied sheets using the new tools in Revit 2023. Note that you can also filter the view list with a search string which will be crucial in larger projects with hundreds of views.
Project Browser views on sheets graphic
A new graphical symbol denotes views that are placed on sheets. This is a much easier method of determining if a view has been used within a sheet. Previously we would have to rely on the browser organisation. When a view is placed on a sheet, the view is filled with a solid blue square. In the case of a split schedule, if a partial schedule has been placed on a sheet this is represented by a half-filled square.
Revit 2023 Rebar Improvements
As with many previous releases, Autodesk continue to enhance the reinforcement tools, with particular focus on usability and functionality. In Revit 2023 we now have a significant tool called ‘Propagate Rebar’ which totally changes the way that rebar is placed within elements. In the image below, the Propagate Rebar command has been launched and you can see two different workflows, Align By Host or Align By Face. The Align By Host command will copy all the rebar within an element and attempt to place and constrain rebar to similar selected elements. In the example below, a columns rebar can be propagated to many of columns even if the column rotations and dimensions are differing.
This hugely improves the efficiency of rebar generation within all projects and allows for libraries of ‘typical’ reinforcements to be saved as utilised on other projects.
When working with rebar, you can now easily control the visibility state of rebar by using the level of detail on the view control toolbar. This simply toggles the rebar from a single line to a full 3D profile in a single click. However, you still need to use the view visibility states when you wish to show the rebar unobscured. Again, this greatly improves usability and efficiency with rebar modelling and detailing.
Revit 2023 Analytical modelling changes
Since Revit Structure was first conceived, the analytical model has always been associated and linked with the physical model, and you may ask, why would it not be the case?
There are many situations where the automatic updates and structural analysis process clash. A classic example is the accuracy of the modelling process. An engineer may make certain assumptions about a structural system to simplify the analysis process. In the image below, the analytical panel has been constrained to the column and beam grids.
This simplifies the FE process and, in turn, creates a better set of results. A similar situation is shown where the physical model of the column extends past the level for a splice connection. The analytical model would be simplified at the level.
It is worth noting that if you still require an ‘automated’ analytical model as a starting point then you can use Dynamo player and a pre-built script to automatically generate the various analytical elements based on their physical counterparts.
Steel Connection Automation
Steel connections can now by placed with a dedicated icon to launch the Dynamo Player and place connections by ranges of applicability or by loading.
In a future post I will focus on the new Dynamo tools and how these can be used with the analytical model and steel detailing!