Many of you that regularly follow my blog will know that we have been able to access the Robot API through Revit for some time with Dynamo. Whilst this is very useful for Revit/Robot interoperability it is not very convenient for structural engineers that just want to use Robot and Dynamo. In Robot Structural Analysis 2022 we can now directly access Dynamo.
However, to use Dynamo, you will need to first install the Dynamo Extension for Robot Structural Analysis 2022. This can be found by logging in to your Autodesk account and looking for the Robot Structural Analysis Professional product and then selecting updates and add-ons. You will see the dialog below.
Once the product is installed, you can access Dynamo from the Add-Ins menu as shown in the image below. Unlike Dynamo for Revit, Dynamo will run in Robot as a separate application. Dynamo for Robot has all the tools from Dynamo sandbox as well as access to some useful Robot tools.
To see a basic workflow for geometry creation in Dynamo and Robot, look at the YouTube video below. In this video we create a parametric 3D truss and create the corresponding bars in Robot.
In January 2021, the British standard used to describe the scheduling, bending, and cutting of reinforcement bar was updated. The previous standard was BS8666:2005 and this forms the basis for the standard shape codes that ship with Revit. There are quite a few significant changes which affect how the total length of bars are calculated as well as some additional shape codes and updates to the bending schedule. Below you can see the new shapes added to the standard.
Here at Symetri we have created a full library of rebar shape families along with formulae that comply with the new updated standard. Additionally, we have added extra parameters to enable the scheduling of weights and control over shape codes.
Below you can see a typical bending schedule output with the weight.
This template comes free of charge when you book onto our scheduled 1-day RC detailing course or when you buy a licence of Naviate Accelerate or Structure. As a special promotion, we are currently offering this one-day course for £150 per person. Click the link to find out more about our 1-day course and book!
After the most unusual year that many of us have experienced, the new release of Autodesk Revit 2022 will hopefully be the dawn of a brighter year. In this review we will take a look at the new structural features and improvements and also talk about the all-important platform tools that underpin the Revit 2022 platform.
This year follows a similar theme to Revit 2021 with a focus on improving the steel modelling workflows and continuing to build on the reinforcement tools. However, there is a really strong set of platform tools this year which I genuinely think that many will find useful and use on a day-to-day basis. This is significant and highlights that Autodesk are starting to improve the core tools which, of course, will benefit many industry sectors. Let us start by looking at some of these core improvements.
New Platform Features
You can now create tapered walls which are useful when working with retaining structures. You can set both an interior and exterior angle for the wall which will remain consistent when walls have different heights and levels. In the example below, a retaining wall has been modelled and reinforced for a carpark.
A few years back, Autodesk added 3D levels that could be seen and edited in the 3D model. This was a very welcome addition but what we really needed was 3D grids. They have now arrived with Revit 2022! They have a very similar look and feel as the levels and can be edited in the 3D view. This is great when you need to extend grids in the vertical plane, previously you would need to do this in a section or elevation. This is even more useful when you need to extend curved or skewed grids.
A great new feature is the native support for exporting PDFs and naming the sheets based on a concatenated set of parameters. Think about the below problem with sheet naming (ISO19650) and the Revit view references such as section and elevation markers.
We can now export the sheets as PDFs and automate the naming based on naming rules. In the image below you can see that I have used a series of shared parameters from the view and project to form my sheet naming convention! A Very welcome feature.
On a similar theme, revisions can often cause pain when you need to combine a revision state with a number. For example, some drawings may be at preliminary stages and others at the contractual stage. We now have the ability to create several numbering strategies and use these for various revisions.
You can then assign the relevant numbering sequence to each revision as required. In the example below you can see the revision table showing both preliminary and contractual revisions and the current revision displayed in the bottom right of the title block.
Phasing can now be added to a filter in visibility/graphic overrides. This is a big deal when you need to create specific views, hide particular elements created in previous phases or simply display elements in different colours based on phasing. A great feature for contractors!
When creating schedules, you can use filters to reduce the number of parameters that you have to scroll through, this is very significant and streamlines the process of creating schedules as more and more shared parameters are added to families.
Talking about schedules, we can now split these across sheets. Previously, if I wanted to create a rebar bending schedule for each sheet, I would need to use shared parameters and a series of filters to create ‘separate schedules’ for each sheet. I can now simply split the schedules and place them on the relevant sheets.
Once the schedules are split, you will see the following ‘child’ schedules in the project browser, you can simply drag the relevant ‘child’ schedule onto the sheet. The schedule length can be controlled for each child.
There is now support for multiple tags and leaders, this new tool allows a number of elements to be tagged with multiple leaders and it is also possible to recover the quantity!
Simply add new hosts to the tag and multiple leaders are added and a count is produced. Note that the instance properties of the tag will display the host count.
Each year Autodesk continue to build on the steel connection functionality allowing designers to model connections based on standard macros or create custom connections. In Revit 2022 you can now create ranges of applicability which will lead to the use of standardised connections. For example, a base plate with the dimensions of 450 x 450 x 25 could be applicable for use on a UC column, a SHS column or certain CHS sections. The connection can also be selected based on member end forces and materials.
This new functionality will be useful when adding simple connections (pinned connections) that are selected from the green book. Currently, the connections can be applied to the model with the use of Dynamo or Dynamo Player which adds the connections based on a library of connections.
Another improvement has been made to the structural connections category that allows the user to set default materials for plates and profiles in the Object Styles dialog. This is much quicker that individually changing each element.
There is still a lot of the connection functionality that is hard coded and libraries that are dependent on the Autodesk Advance Steel databases. Also, we will need the ability to produce fabrication documentation and NC code from the model. These issues will need to be addressed to detail a steel model and get fabricators interested in Revit as a detailing tool. I am sure these tools and functions will be addressed in future releases.
The reinforced concrete detailing tools continue to be developed this year allowing some great new workflows and modelling capabilities. In this release we can now model reinforcement bar by picking two points and we can also move rebar in a set.
Let us first look at the modification of rebars within a rebar set. Individual rebars within a rebar set can now be modified by moving, rotating, or deleting the bars. This is very useful when the links or bars are clashing with other elements. In the example below we have a drainage pipe cast into a ground beam. We can now simply move rebars, so they do not clash. This is very useful for highly congested areas where steel fixers need to understand exactly where to place individual bars.
You simply select a rebar set and you will then see the ribbon displayed below. Here, you can edit bars, remove bar or reset the rebar to its default state.
Rebar can now be placed by two points. This is very useful when you want to place links in pairs as shown in the image below. The standard method used is to expand to the cover which is useful for certain bars but not for the links in the middle of the beam!
The new method simply allows you to pick two points and the shape is created.
A variety of new tool tips are also displayed directly at your cursor which is very useful when first learning Revit. For more experienced users, these tooltips can now be switched off.
You can also see that the vertical and horizontal placement options have also had an overhaul.
In summary, the Revit 2022 release has been great for the new platform tools that most of us will end up using on a daily basis. Features such as the 3D grids, tagging, revisions and PDF exports are very welcome, and it is great to see Autodesk focusing on these core tools. As said before, these are tools that are used daily by all users.
The reinforcement tools continue to get more and more useful and now make it simple to add rebar to simple and complex concrete forms. Also, we can now produce detailed 3D views showing exactly how our bars should be fixed.
When working with Revit and ISO19650 the naming requirements (information containers) are a concatenation of multiple fields such as the project reference, originator, level, zone etc. The temptation for many is to simply type this very long string into the Revit Sheet Number. However, as many of you have probably realised, the consequences of this approach are not desirable! An obvious issue is the referencing of the drawing number on sections, elevations, and callouts!
The answer is to create shared parameters that build up the required information containers. These can be used to form the drawing number and used to organise the sheet views in Revit, very useful for large projects. Some of the shared parameters will be added to project information (global for the project) and others for the sheets (each sheet can have a different value).
The sections, elevations and callouts can then simply reference the Sheet Number, or for multi-disciplinary design can also include the ‘Role field’ to provide a unique number. For example, ‘S-1040’ or ‘A-1040’.
This all looks very promising until you need to issue PDFs and DWGs with the correct ISO19650 naming convention. If you batch plot or export AutoCAD DWGs from Revit, you will have a file name such as:
Project Name – Sheet – 1010 – GROUND FLOOR GA
Clearly, this does not meet the ISO19650 naming conventions and your documents will be rejected by the CDE (Common Data Environment).
A very useful solution is to use the Publish tool from the Naviate tools. This is located on the Naviate ribbon in the documentation panel as shown below.
Once the Publish tool has been launched you will be presented with the following dialog. Here you can configure and save your various deliverables. These can be formats such as PDF’s, DWG’s and IFC’s.
You can set up the configuration of each format to generate the files that are automatically named to conform to your naming convention, in this case, ISO19650. You can reference shared parameters from the sheets or project to concatenate the file name.
Once the settings are configured and saved this becomes a single-click operation to create all the outputs required for the weekly delivery of documents and information saving countless hours, manual renaming and potential typos of document names!
Feel free to download our trial and test out the workflow for yourselves. You can download the appropriate version of Naviate for your industry here!