Tutorial – Transferring Pile caps from Revit to Robot using Dynamo

Many of you may already know that if you would like to design a pile cap for punching shear with Robot you need to manually model the pile cap as a panel and then manually set up all the piles and the footprint of the column. This can be a real pain when the geometry changes!

Pile Cap Punching Shear Robot A better approach is to unleash the power of Dynamo to help model the analytical panels and nodes that can be used by Robot Structural Analysis. You will first need to make sure that the package ‘Structural Analysis for Dynamo’ has been installed.

Structural Analysis for Dynamo Package

You will then see a range of nodes that allow you to take Revit geometry into Dynamo and then create Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis elements. The main idea behind the process is to take the top surfaces of the pile caps and then build panels from these in Robot. We then take the footprint of the column and the pile diameters and model these as panel openings. In the example I have used you can see the Revit model and the panels and nodes that are created in Robot.

revit robot pile Caps

If there is enough interest I may create a full tutorial video for this process but if you can’t wait to test this out then you can download a large image of the Dynamo graph from here:

Dynamo Graph as Image



An Overview of Structural Analysis for Revit

A few years back I reviewed the Load Takedown add on for Revit. This has now been replaced with ‘Structural Analysis for Revit’ which many of you will now have included with the new Autodesk AEC Collections. So what can you do with this tool and how do you use it?

Structural Analysis for Revit Results

Let’s start with what it can do and where I would see this tool fitting into the process.

Here is a video Tutorial for the whole process.

Firstly, this service uses the cloud to analyse your structure and as such, you will need to have some cloud credits to spend on this. In my experience, many companies have hundreds of unused credits so this should not be a huge problem.

The Robot engine is used to take your analytical model from Revit, along with loads and load combinations and then present results back either in the format of a report, a web page or directly within the Revit environment.

I would see this being used as a preliminary tool to try a few ‘what if’ examples prior to in depth analysis.

Where to Start

Download the Structural Analysis Toolkit 2018 from here:


Your Analyze Ribbon within Revit will now have the following tools displayed.

Structural Analysis for Revit Ribbon

The Analytical Model

Your Analytical model must be accurate and have connectivity between all nodes otherwise the analysis will fail (this will not use any cloud credits).

Analytical Model from Revit

It is a good idea to check the model in Revit prior to starting the cloud based analysis. Use the Filters tool in Visibility Graphics to check for unconnected nodes. Tutorial for this is here: http://youtu.be/J2_iddaJzLg

Revit Filters for Unconnected Nodes

Check that your beam and columns have the correct release conditions as this will obviously affect the outcome of any analysis and cause instability in some cases.

Create the required Load Combinations

Revit Load Combinations

Starting the Analysis

Select the Analyse in Cloud tool.

Analyze in Cloud icon

A number of checks will be performed and you will then see the dialog box below. Here you can set the type of Analysis (Gravity or Static). In this example we will create a load take down so set the analysis to Gravity and click start.

Structural Analysis for Revit - Configuration of Analysis

Once the analysis is complete you can view the results in a simple report, in Revit or review the model and various results live in the web page.

Structural Analysis for Revit - Dashboard

Here are the results displayed live in the webpage.

Structural Analysis for Revit Reactions on Webpage

Hope this was useful,


Revit 2016 to Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional 2016 – New bi-directional load transfer

The Autodesk Structural Analysis Toolkit 2016 has been released for a few weeks now and I have been testing and using this during training and consultancy days and have discovered that the workflow now supports loads modelled in Robot and then transferred to Revit as well as a host of other documented features.

Revit to Robot Graphic

If the loading that is added via Robot is not supported in Revit, for example a thermal load, then you will see the following warnings when transferring the model.

Robot - Revit Warning List

When the transfer is made from Robot to Revit all the load combinations are also now transferred across. With this new functionality it is now much more realistic to add all the loads and load/code combinations in Robot and then transfer to Revit.

Revit Load Cases

The following enhancements are available in version 2016:

  • Gravity analysis: Apart from static analysis, you can perform gravity analysis. It is the analysis type which by deducing the flow paths of loads lets you determine how vertical loads are transmitted from the top to the foundation of the model.
  • Result Explorer: You can display and explore types of results for gravity analysis.
  • Perform analysis: You can perform a batch of analyses simultaneously. In the Analyze in Cloud dialog, you can specify a type and parameters for several analyses.
  • Website – 3D Structure Viewer: You can display results for static analysis and gravity analysis in 3D Structure Viewer. Moreover, you can display detailed results. Results for members and surfaces are presented in the Local Coordinate System (LCS).
  • Website – 3D Structure Viewer: On mobile devices, you can zoom in/out, pan, and rotate a model using gestures.
  • Website – project page: You can share an analysis with collaborators. Collaborators cannot edit results and cannot download them to the Revit project. They can view analysis results, view a report, and download the Robot model with and without results.
  • Website – dashboard: You can open the Autodesk® 360 Structural Analysis dashboard on the website clicking Analyze tab > Structural Analysis > Open Dashboard.
  • List of messages: You can toggle on and off the list of messages containing information about performed analyses by clicking Analyze tab > Structural Analysis > Messages.
  • Revit – Robot Integration: When updating a Revit model with changes in section sizes, the link checks compatibility between the section size from Robot and family types loaded to the Revit project. If it identifies a family type compatible with a Robot section, it updates the Revit model with it.
  • Revit – Robot Integration: You can specify which levels to transfer as story levels and which levels as structure axes to the Robot model.
  • Revit – Robot Integration: During the Revit – Robot link process, orientation of loads is transferred. Loads are presented in the Local Coordinate System or Global Coordinate System, depending on how they are defined in Revit.


Revit 2015 Tutorial – Creating Filters for Structural Modelling and Documentation

Link to YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/CridRbzEVQ8

In this tutorial we will take a look at the use and creation of filters that can be used specifically for structural consultants, as usual there is a link at the top of the post to a YouTube video showing the various techniques used. If you are currently not utilising filters within Revit Structure then these can dramatically improve the quality, speed, consistency and appearance of your models and associated drawings. There are many uses for filters within a structural model which can assist with some of the following design and modelling tasks:

  • Floor Loading Diagrams
  • Construction Methods
  • Analysis tasks and results
  • Piling and Foundations

In the below image you can see an example of filters applied to a plan and 3D view showing the construction methods used in concrete structures. This data can of course be used in a wide range of outputs including schedules.

Revit Filters - Wall Construction example

Another method below is showing the analysis state of a steel framing model, the engineers simply state if a member is designed by checking a box in the instance parameters of the relevant structural members, a filter then colours the model based on this selection.

Filter and Override working

Nearly all of these filters rely on the use of Shared Parameters and Project Parameters which will also be included within this tutorial.

In this tutorial we will look at adding a designed parameter into structural objects and then creating the various filters that are required. This technique can then be used for many other applications as desired.

  1. Creating the Shared Parameter File (SPF)

The first step is to create the shared parameter. This would normally be added to your existing shared parameter file but for this example we will create a new one.

On the Manage ribbon click the shared parameter button as shown below.

Shared Parmaeter Icon

In the Edit Shared Parameter dialog click the Create Button as shown below.

Shared Parmeter Create Button

Save the Shared Parameter File somewhere safe as you may need to reference this file later to add additional items etc. In this example I am saving this to the desktop. Note that this is simply a text file.

Save the SPF file

The next stage is to create a group where the new parameter will be located. Click the New command and Label the group as Analysis as shown below.SPF - Create New Group

Next you click the New Parameter button as shown below and create a new parameter labelled ‘Designed’, the discipline should be Common and the Type of Parameter should be set to Yes/No. Click OK to both dialog boxes.Create the Designed Parameter

This has now created a shared parameter but we now need to tell Revit what to do with this parameter, this is done with a Project Parameter.

  1. Creating the Project Parameters

Next we select the categories that we would like to use our ‘Designed’ parameter in, for example you may want to use this for Structural Framing, Structural Columns, Floors etc. On the Manage Ribbon click the Project Parameters Icon as shown below.

Project Parameter Icon

In the Project Parameters Dialog click the Add button and then select the Shared Parameter radio button and then the Select button as shown in the image below.

Parameter Properties Dialog Box

Select the ‘Designed’ Parameter and then click Ok.Shared Parameter 2

Next you specify the parameter to be an instance as each structural member requires its own instance of the ‘Designed’ parameter. This parameter should be grouped under Structural Analysis. You then select all the Categories that this parameter should appear in; in this example we will select Floors, Structural Columns, Structural Foundations & Structural Framing. Click OK to the Parameter Properties dialog box.Parmaeter Properties Dialog Box 2

You will now see that our ‘Designed’ parameter in ‘burnt’ into any new or existing member within this project. You would ideally add this to your project template to ensure that all future projects have this parameter embedded. It is also worth noting that it is possible to add two identical Shared Parameters with differing data so be aware of this!Revit Structural Framining - Designed Parameter

  1. Filters and View Templates

 A View Filter will simply allow control of a view in Revit by utilising common properties and then applying colours, patterns and shading combinations to identify objects.

You now create a filter and save this into a view template for use in other views. Select an existing 3D view and draw a few columns, beams etc. to test the filter.

On the View Ribbon, Click the Visibility/Graphics Icon as shown below or use the shortcut VV.

Visibility Graphics Button

You will now see the Visibility/Graphics Override dialog as show below. Click the Filter Tab

Visibility Graphics Overrides dialog - Filter Tab

In the Filters Tab you can now select the Edit/New button to create or edit existing filters that you may have.

Visibility Graphics Overrides dialog - Edit-New

The Filter Dialog Box

 The Edit/New Filter dialog is Split into three zones, the first zone is for the creation and management of new and existing filters. Here you can copy and rename filters to create new versions. In the image below you can see that I have already created several parameters to control shading and hatching of a floor slab for loading diagrams, this has been simply copied from existing parameters.

The central zone allows the selection and filtering of categories, ensures that you only have the Structural Filter selected to reduce the quantity of items in the Parameter list.

The right hand zone is used to define the rules for filters, notice that you have three filters so that numerical zones can be created for structural loading values and other similar scenarios.

Revit Filter Dialog

Click the New Filter Button and name the Filter ‘Designed’. Click OK.

Filter Name Dialog

In the Categories Section, select Floors, Structural Columns, Structural Foundations & Structural Framing. You may want to set just the structural category to make the list shorter. In the right hand side of the dialog you can now select our Designed parameter, set the Filter to Equals and the value to Yes. The Filter Dialog should now look similar to the image below. Click OK

Filters Configured

Next you add this filter and configure the required graphical overrides, click the Add button and select the Designed Filter.

You will now have complete control over the visibility, colours of lines and patterns both in Projection and Cut, see the image below.

Revit Design Parameter added to Dialog

You now add a pattern and colour to the graphical override to show all designed members with a solid fill in green as shown below. Click OK to the Dialog box.

Adding Colour and Patterns to the Filter

The filter will now be operating within your 3D view. Make sure that the view is shaded to see this override; if the view is set to realistic the filter will not override the graphics. Your view should now look similar to the image below.

Filter and Override working

  1. Creating and Applying a View Template

You may have more than one view that you want to utilise theses filter within your project so the best approach is to create a View Template from the current view and then edit this template so that it applies the filter and a visual style to the selected views.

On the View Ribbon Select the View Templates drop down and then select the Create Template from Current View Icon as shown below.

Create Template from Current View Icon

In the View Template Dialog box you will now notice that the Designed Template has been created based on the settings of the current view. This has captured all the settings including the visibility status, scale, detail level etc. You will need to uncheck all the check boxes under the Include column and just select V/G Override Filters and Model Display. Unfortunately there is not a check or uncheck all option here!

Link to YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/CridRbzEVQ8