Revit 2018.1 – New Freeform Reinforcement Tool


Autodesk are enhancing the reinforcement tools further by implementing a new feature termed as freeform rebar. This new tool currently enables users to add straight bars (Shape Code 00) that follows complex surfaces. The bars will form a complex shape but remain straight for fabrication instructions.

Revit 2018.1 Rebar

The new Freeform Reinforcement tool can be used in a 3D view by first selecting the host face. Note that this tool uses the Select Multiple option so the Space Bar is used to confirm the selection. You next pick the starting surface and then the ending surface and finally press enter to place the bar.

Place Free Form Rebar - Revit 2018.1

This tool is very useful when modelling complex Architecture and Civil structures such as bridges and tunnels. Each bar can be scheduled for a precise length as shown in the image below.

Revit 2018.1 Bending Schedule

Take a look at the YouTube Video to see this tool in action.

AutoCAD Design Script from Autodesk Labs

Stumbled across this a few days back and thought I would take a look, purely out of interest to see if it could be a competitor to Bentley GC or Rhino Grasshopper™. Although this has only been released for AutoCAD I like the idea that Autodesk are still looking at generative design and geometry creation tools.

You can download Design Script here:

I have had a quick look at the tool and it still is fairly reliant on a knowledge, and will, to create code to generate the geometry. I downloaded a sample model and ‘played’ with the variables which did give some interesting results.

It looks to be a fairly good tool but I would prefer to see an interface a little like Grasshopper which makes use of graphical tools and sliders to control the geometry and model. The current model is more suitable for those with a programming background. Anyway, take a look as it could be in Revit before long!




Project Structure Generator

 Autodesk labs have just released Project Structure Generator which will take a conceptual mass and then apply a structural system based on a divided surface. Only last week was I pondering over the creation of complex geometry from conceptual models created in the massing families of Revit and showed how this can be achieved using AutoCAD NURBS and mesh modelling. I have only had a quick half hour ‘play’ with the Structure generator and already am impressed with the workflow and ease of use.


I started with a simple mass in Revit and then created divided surfaces on each face.


You then load your mass into your active project and then select the mass and on the extensions ribbon under the modelling pull down you will see Structure Generator.

Here you can configure various structural options for the creation of beams and columns as well as floor slabs and outputs to other software tools such as Robot and CBS. Here is the model in Robot.

Not too bad for half an hours work. If nothing else it is certainly an interesting tool for studying early concepts. I urge you to download this and ‘have a play’

Here is the link to Autodesk Labs:



Engineering the impossible with the Revit Structure Suite!

Link to YouTube Video Part 1:

Many architects are unleashing evermore complex geometry and pushing the boundaries of physics, materials and the natural laws that govern all of us. With today’s 3D digital creation tools the creative minds are virtually unlimited and often the engineer has to tame and rationalise the geometry to create an affordable, buildable structure from the Architects design intent without compromising the original forms. This is often where the Revit Structure Suite comes into its own allowing the Engineer to use a surprisingly diverse set of tools to help solve the above problems.

For the above example we will take a look at a conceptual roof modelled in AutoCAD 2012 using the NURBS surfacing tools that are available. The Architect can very quickly create a lofted surface and then use the CV tools and surface associativity to create some interesting forms.

This geometry will result in Splines which are not really suitable for the fabrication of structural frames due to the complex curves and expense and complexity involved in rolling and forming the structural sections. Quite often these forms will need to be rationalised into faceted panels made from straight sections that will give the impression of a curved roof.

This can be achieved in a number of ways either using split solid geometry or mesh modelling which will automatically facet the surfaces. You can control the number of facets using two system variables SURFTAB1 and SURFTAB2. In the below example the mesh has been exploded into flat regions. This can then be imported into Revit Structure and used to create a structural framing system.

If anyone is interested in seeing more in depth tutorials and YouTube videos then let me know and I will take the time to create a full tutorial on the various techniques that can be used with AutoCAD 2012, ASD and Revit Structure?