Revit 2024 – What’s New

Now that Autodesk Revit 2024 has now been officially released we can understand this year’s focus and direction from Autodesk’s flagship BIM authoring tool. This year I have chosen to do something a little different and split the videos into two separate areas. I will focus the first video on the Revit platform changes that will benefit all Revit users. The second video will focus solely on the structural changes and new features both in Revit 2023.2 and Revit 2024.

Platform Tools

User Interface updates

This release of Revit gains some significant interface changes in the form of a new ‘dark’ mode, repainted icons and a new framework for the Project Browser and Properties Palette. Like many interface updates, these are quite subjective; some will love the dark theme and others will want to stick with the standard interface. I personally will probably stick with the standard interface, but I can see the appeal if you spend many hours in Revit and want to ‘tone down’ the stark white screen! I have also noticed that some of the browsers and dialogs are still using a white background, so, if you are using the system browser the dark theme will look a little odd.

We have also gained a search function in the Project Browser which is incredibly useful, not just for searching views but also the loaded content. In the example below, I have searched for ‘305’ which shows various categories and families that include the search term. I can then just drag theses into the project to use them.

The visual styles now have another option simply named ‘Textures’. This new visual style allows users to see textures without having to use the realistic mode which uses lighting and other settings. I quite like this new visual style; it works well and is significantly faster than realistic. Of course, you can also use this in plans, sections and elevation views for presentations.

Link models from Autodesk Docs

Coordination models can now be directly linked from Autodesk Docs to Revit. This means that we can now link models from other formats such as IFC, Civil 3D, Inventor and Advance Steel. The models can be used for in-context modelling and have rudimentary snapping via the Revit point snap function.

In the example below you can see that I have linked a bridge pier across from Autodesk Docs that was authored in Autodesk Inventor. This is a great way of integrating models from many other BIM and manufacturing authoring tools.

Topography updates

Toposurfaces have now been discontinued in this release and the new toposolid tool is now the preferred method to create topography. In the image below you can see the new toposolid tool shown on the Massing & Site tab.

There have been several improvements with the introduction of toposolids such as the ability to cut the toposolids and also incorporate thickened layers to create raised solid regions. These can be used to represent basic landscaping and roads. In the example below, a toposolid has been excavated around concrete foundations by cutting the family from the solid. If required, the excavated volume can then be displayed. The second example shows a retaining wall. The toposolid can be cut vertically on the back face of the wall which makes editing the toposolid very simple.

If desired, cut and fill can also be calculated with a toposurface by using graded regions.

Toposurfaces in older Revit projects can be upgraded to a toposolid by simply selecting the surface and choosing ‘Generate Toposolid’ from the context ribbon.

Sheet, Revision and View updates

Building on the updates from the previous releases, Autodesk are making working with sheets a little easier. In Revit 2024 we can now move views between sheets and keep alignments and positions. The best feature is being able to add a revision to multiple sheets. You can simply select multiple sheets and then use the ‘Revision on sheet’ tool from the Properties palette to add a chosen revision.

Multiple views can now be moved to other sheets either by selecting the views or simply dragging and dropping from the project browser.

Revision clouds can now be scheduled which, again, has been a long-standing request from users. The revision schedule can be created in a similar way to any other schedule. However, we now can schedule fields from the Revision, Sheet, View and the Project Information which is useful when issuing sheets.

Structural Updates

As in the previous release, the focus remains on the workflows and toolsets with the analytical modeling process. Also, we see some strengthening of the reinforcement tools with the addition of bending details and alignment control when using freeform rebar. I will also look at the update from Revit 2023.1, which allows you to reverse the direction of rebar sets, which is extremely useful. Loads have been overhauled and the older non hosted loads have been replaced with parametric, intelligent Point, Line and Area loads. These new tools are easier to use and increase accuracy and predictability when creating loads in Revit.

Reinforcement

Let us begin with the new features and updates with reinforcement. I will begin with the Bending Details which will be especially useful for non-standard rebar shapes. Here in the UK (United Kingdom) we only tend to detail non-standard shapes and only show these details in the bending schedule, but I know that other countries have a requirement for bending details on all rebar. Bending Details are created as true vector geometry and, as such, will update and change automatically if the host rebar is amended.

Bending details can be placed in views by selecting the reinforcement bar and then selecting the Bending Detail command from the context ribbon. The detail can then be placed in a free location, or you can use the Align to Bar command to keep the detail orthogonal.

The Bending Detail is driven by standard Revit Type properties and, as such, you can have multiple types that you can use in different situations.

The Bending Details also make use of Revit dimension styles so you will need to setup a couple of dimension styles to support the Bending Detail tools. You can also configure the amount of detail that is displayed within the bending detail. For example, you could simply show the segment length dimensions or recover all the dimensions and angles for each segment as well as hooks and linear dimensions.

There are also a few options around the unfolding or offsetting of Bending Details. When you have shapes such as links that overlap it could be confusing when showing lengths and angles of the hooks. Revit 2024 allows the Bending Detail types to have either Standard, Unfold or Offset. These 3 configurations are shown in the image below using a standard link.

Currently, the Bending Details cannot be tagged but I am sure that Autodesk will add this functionality in future releases. The bending details could also become a solution for certain detailing conventions such as tick and tag in sectional views and the display of bars in plan.

Bending Details in Schedules

The Bending Details can also be used in schedules which is especially useful for non-standard shape codes. It is worth noting that you will only see the shape once the schedule is placed onto a sheet. Again, in many other regions and countries, shape codes are always shown in the schedule regardless. In the example below, Bending Details are shown in the bending schedule with the new auto size option for rows with images.

In the above image, the segment names are displayed to reduce the amount of space required but you can also configure the Bending Details specifically for use within schedules.

Here in the UK, it would only be necessary to show the bending sketch for non-standard shapes so it would be useful to see a feature where you could control which shape codes use the new Bending Detail and display on the schedule. Again, this is the first iteration, and I am sure we will see other additions to this new feature in future releases.

We will now look at a feature that was released in Revit 2023.1 which allows the user to simply flip the rebar set direction. Whilst this is an amazingly simple tool it really makes a difference when working with rebar. In the example below we have a rebar set which is configured for the spacing and number of bars. If I add additional bars, they may end up on the wrong end of the rebar set. We can now simply right-click and select ‘Flip Rebar Set.’ Nice a simple but especially useful.

Another new tool in Revit 2024 allows us to control the alignment of freeform rebar when placing along a path. In previous releases, the rebar would stay aligned to the path, but we can now align the rebar vertically if required.

An example of this is shown below with the curved wall with a tapering base. In this example, the rebar is aligned vertically but still runs along the path.

Analytical Modelling Updates

Many of these updates happened in Revit 2023.1 but I will still include these as they are an important part of the new strategy for analytical modelling. Lat year we saw the introduction of an independent analytical model that could be managed and controlled separately from the physical model. To strengthen this workflow, we have some new tools to help with the definition of the analytical model.

We can now create curved panels. This is done by using the ‘Panel by Extrusion ‘command and then creating a curve or picking a line. The curved panel is then created.

When defining the analytical model, previously you would need to manually associate this to its physical counterpart, but we now have a new assisted option. In the image below, an analytical member is being created that will automatically adopt the physical element’s properties. This is, of course, much more efficient and will eliminate mistakes.

The physical or analytical model can both be used to build the counterpart automatically. For example, if the engineer has started to build the analysis model in Revit, the technician can then use Dynamo Player to create the physical model based on the analytical model properties.

Analytical Loads

The loads in previous releases were split into two groups, we had hosted loads and non-hosted loads which could be point, line or area loads. The non hosted loads would not update and would have needed to be recreated when the analytical model updated. Also, point loads were exceedingly difficult to place in precise locations and had to be done in plan views with workplanes.

The new loads in Revit 2024 are now simpler and are always hosted. Each load type has distinct options to assist when placing the load onto the analytical element. For example, the below image shows a point load being placed, and you can place this on an end point or pick a position along the element.

When working with loads, the scale can now be controlled via the Structural Settings dialog box. Here you can set the minimum and maximum load value and set the actual length of the arrows. This is useful to visually check load magnitude.

The loads can now also be controlled with view filters which enables parametric floor loading plans, something that many users have been doing with filled regions!

So, here are the updates and changes for Revit 2024! In summary, I like the platform changes and the continued effort to make working with sheets, revisions and views easier. I also like the new workflow with analytical modelling, I am sure that many more engineers will now be able to use Revit earlier in the design process to generate design options. This can then be used by the technicians to develop the model and move into detailed design.

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Revit 2023 – New possibilities for structural engineers

A recent change to the methodology of Revit structural analytical modelling has enabled new workflows and capabilities when representing the Revit design model. However, automation is now more relevant than ever, as the analytical model is not generated automatically while the physical model is being built.

The massive benefit of this new workflow is that engineers can now create early structural design models in Revit without having to worry about the actual physical members. For example, an early design of a building structure may need some columns and framing to support a floor. However, at an early stage the materials and geometry may not be known. As the design progresses, the analytical members can be associated with actual physical elements. This allows Revit to be used much earlier in the design process and, importantly, to reuse and develop the design model right to the completion and handover of the model.

When representing certain structural systems and configurations, the analytical model can easily be defined and edited and then associated with the physical element. A great example of this is when an in-place family has been used. Previous releases of Revit would not allow an analytical representation to be defined, however, you can now define an analytical model for in-place families which is useful for complex foundations.

In future releases we will hopefully see more Revit categories supporting an analytical model, an obvious addition would be the recently added bridge and infrastructure categories. It would also be useful to create panels from façade elements for wind loading.

In the image shown below, the Analyze ribbon is shown with the new member and panel tools to generate a structural analytical model that can be transferred to multiple design and analysis tools without having to invest time in modelling an actual physical structure.  

When defining the analytical members, there are different methods to model beams and columns, namely, top point definition for columns or start/end point definition for beams and braces. Of course, the members can be modelled in a 3D view using ‘enable 3D snapping’ on the options bar. The properties of each element can then be defined and set.

Revit provides two types of analytical elements, a member and a panel. The members can be used for beams, columns, and braces. The panels would be used for wall, floors, foundation slabs and similar elements. Panels can also be curved which allows better interaction with the analysis software. It is a good idea to create a series of view filters to differentiate between the various elements. In the image below you can see simple frame with columns shown in magenta, beams in blue and bracing in yellow. This has been setup with simple view filters that colour each element based on the structural role.

Another new feature is the ability to show the section on each member, very similar to Robot structural analysis. This is simply enabled by switching on cross sections within the visibility/graphic overrides dialog.

Of course, once the analytical model has been built you can transfer it to Robot Structural Analysis Professional directly from Revit or other analysis tools with dedicated interfaces.

The image below shows the model and results transferred back into Revit. Each load case and the various results can be plotted directly on the analytical model and presented in Revit along with other typical views.

So, in conclusion, Revit 2023 allows engineers to work with Revit at an earlier stage, define a flexible analytical model that is controlled by the engineer. The analytical model can be suitably simplified and has the potential to represent many more structural conditions than previous versions.

A great step forward!

Secant and Contiguous Piled Walls – A Revit Tutorial

Piled wall systems can be challenging to model in Revit, especially when the project stage goes beyond a concept into detailed design. This tutorial will focus on the use of Revit to manually model and add the sequencing data to the piled walls.

Of course, much of this process can be automated with Dynamo which may be a topic for a future tutorial but, for now, lets focus on the process of creating families and piled walls. The below image shows a typical output in a plan with pile construction sequencing and the hidden detail with a capping beam as well as the 3D model.

This tutorial will focus on two primary parts:

  • Revit family creation
    • The actual development of the Revit family and types to support the modelling and detailing.
  • Creation of the Secant Piled wall model
    • The modelling of the piled wall system and the attribution of relevant data.

Revit Family Creation

Although the UK content library includes a series of pile caps and single piles, these are all based on a steel tube. For this reason, we will create our own pile family and add two types, one for the primary and another for the secondary pile.

Just for a little background, the primary pile is often cast from plain concrete and unreinforced. These are constructed first. The secondary piles are then ‘cut’ into the primary piles in an overlapping pattern with a higher grade of concrete and reinforcement. The primary piles are shown in the above image in white and the secondary piles are shaded in grey.

We will start by creating a new Structural Foundation family from the Metric Structural Foundation.rft template.

On the File Tab, select New – Family. In the New Family Select Template file pick the Metric Structural Foundation Template file.

On the Create tab, select the Extrusion tool, and sketch a circle as shown below. Add a diameter dimension as shown below.

Label the diameter dimension with a parameter, remember that if you want to tag the diameter you will create a shared parameter. In this example we will rely on scheduling and tagging the Type name.

Complete the extrusion and then open a front elevation view. To control the length of the pile, create a reference plane and add a label to the dimension as shown below. This is created as an instance parameter.

We will now create two family types, one for the primary (soft) pile and one for the secondary (hard) pile. Each of these family types will have a different grade of concrete which allows one pile to ‘cut’ another.

To begin, we will first add a material parameter to the extrusion. Select the extrusion and in the Properties Palette, associate the Material to the Structural Material as shown below.

In the Family Types dialog, create two new types as shown below. You can configure your concrete materials to display the primary and secondary piles as required.

When the families are used in Revit, the piles will automatically join to one another and, as they are different materials, the piles will be cut. If the cutting order is wrong you can switch the join order.

Anyway, I may create another tutorial to automate this process using Dynamo for those that are interested.

Hope that helps,

lawrenceh

Naviate Rebar unveiled for Revit 2023

Our new breed of reinforcement modelling tools, Naviate Rebar, has been launched earlier this week during the annual Autodesk University conference. Naviate Rebar is built on a completely new framework which utilises many of the new and improved reinforcement tools that Autodesk have introduced such as rebar constraints and rebar propagation. To download a trial please visit https://www.naviate.com/naviate-for-revit/naviate-rebar

The rebar modelling tools currently include reinforcement generation for Beams, Columns and Walls as well as a series of tools to manage rebar visualisation. I have produced a short YouTube video outlining the main features and functionality of Naviate Rebar.

Some of the new innovations include modeless dialogs where rebar can be applied to the elements and previewed directly within the Revit model negating complex preview functions within the dialog boxes. Each dialog has a clean, simple arrangement of tools to increase productivity and simplify usage. For example, the column reinforcement dialog shown below will handle square, rectangular, and circular columns using the same, simple column reinforcement command.

Naviate Rebar also supports the simultaneous reinforcement of multiple elements, even if the geometry `varies’. In the example below, a series of ground beams have been selected. The lengths vary, but, since Naviate Rebar also creates rebar constraints, the rebar adapts to each beam.

Additionally, the reinforcement settings can be ‘read’ directly from the elements, so if you have a similar reinforcement configuration you can read the settings from one element, make the relevant changes in the dialog, and then directly apply the rebar to other elements.

Reinforcement settings can also be saved with the various elements which is incredibly useful if you want to make changes or edits to several members with the same reinforcement. The interesting point here is that, where possible, the reinforcement is edited rather than recreated. This means that annotations, tags and multi rebar annotations are retained and not deleted from the drawings.

This is our first release for Revit 2023, we are already working on several additions such as structural openings and connections. Of course, the focus with Naviate Rebar is the efficient modelling of reinforcement, regardless of national codes and practices. Our Naviate Accelerate and Naviate Structure tools will enable rebar details and schedules to be produced in accordance with local standards and design codes.

LawrenceH