Revit 2019 Tutorial Part 2 – Creating Roof Bracing Systems

In part 1 of this tutorial we looked at the creation of vertical bracing systems using Revit 2019, in this part we will focus on roof bracing systems in Revit 2019.

Cover Image

Roof bracing tends to get a little more complex than vertical bracing due to compound angles and complex connection configurations. Revit has some good tools to make the placement of roof bracing easier. We will also cover some tips and tricks for the representation of bracing in plan.

As mentioned in the part 1 of the tutorial, you should always use the dedicated brace tool rather than the beam command as shown below.

Revit 2019 Bracing Commnad

It is easier to add the roof bracing in a 3D view. It is very important to ensure that you have the 3D snapping option checked on the options bar as indicated below.

Revit 2019 Brace 3D Snapping

You can then roughly sketch your bracing configuration by snapping to the top of each rafter as shown below. Don’t worry about getting the exact position, this will be set in a later step. Do not snap to the column.

Revit 2019 3D Snapping to beam

The bracing will automatically be placed on the centre line of the rafter, but the analytical model will automatically adjust to the top of steel.

Bracing on Centreline

When a brace is selected you have the option of setting the location via a ratio or a distance along the beam. The example below shows the start of the brace set 300mm from the column and the end of the brace set to 5000mm. The plan shows the position of the brace.

Bracing Properties P1

Brace Plan Distance

Another method of placing the bracing is to use a ratio. The ratio at the start of the beam is 0 and the end of the beam is 1. In the example below a brace is placed 30mm from the start of the first rafter and then at a ratio of 0.25 (25%) along the second rafter. This value will remain parametric if the length of the rafter changes.

Bracing Properties P2

Brace Plan Distance 1

PLAN REPRESENTATION OF BRACING

In part 1 of the tutorial you will have seen that plan bracing is represented in a course level of detail with an offset dashed line. This is perfect for vertical bracing but not so good for roof bracing! In the image below, you can see the offset showing in the plan.

Plan Bracing Revit 2019 - Offset

This is due to the plan representation showing a parallel line and offset. However, we will use the Kicker brace symbol to represent the bracing in plan.

Revit 2019 Bracing Settings

To set the bracing to kicker bracing, in the Properties Palette, set the structural Usage to Kicker Bracing as shown below.

Properties - Kicker Bracing

You can of course edit the line pattern and the symbol for kicker bracing.

M Brace kicker family

In the example shown below I simply edited the line pattern in the object styles for kicker bracing and deleted the X in the M_Connection-Brace-Kicker.rfa.

Plan Bracing Revit 2019 - Kicker

ADDING STRUCTURAL CONNECTIONS IN REVIT 2019

You can of course add some basic connections in Revit 2019, but you must make sure that you create the bracing first and then add the relevant connections. If you add connections before the steel model is complete you will not be able to 3D snap to the rafter.

Revit 2019 bracing connection

The below image shows the Double Tube Bracing connection dialog box. The 3D representation of the connection is almost identical to the advance steel connection. However, of you require fabrication documents, accurate cutting lists, constructability verification and CNC code then Advance Steel can be used.

Revit 2019 bracing connection Dkialog Box

Advance Steel can create full fabrication documents and details. The image below shows the same frame in Advance Steel. This has been transferred using the Advance Steel extension which will keep both models synchronised.

Advance Steel 2019

In the images below you can see assembly drawings that are automatically created for the rafters and haunches.

Advance Steel Fabrication Details

Here is a list of plates and surface areas for galvanising.

Advance Steel Plate List

Finally the CNC data is generated for the automated drilling and cutting of each item in the model.

Advance Steel NC Files

LawrenceH

 

Autodesk Revit 2018.1 Precast Concrete Solutions

In the early stages of a design the decision to use precast or In Situ concrete on structural components may not have been fully considered. There are many factors that could influence the design and ultimately the construction processes that are implemented. Some typical benefits of precast is Quality control and speed of construction since we are not working with ‘wet’ materials and not having to wait for the concrete elements to fully cure before other structures can be assembled. However, designing with precast elements is a little like a Lego set, you can only create certain forms with economy!

Revit 2018.1 Precast

Autodesk Revit 2018.1 now incorporates a precast module that was acquired from IDAT a few years back. This solution allows for the conversion of planar walls and floors to precast elements which is perfectly suited to the design workflow as outlined in the above paragraph. We can take the initial design and then at a later stage decide to convert these into precast elements.

Shown below are the new precast tools found on the Revit 2018.1 Ribbon.

Revit 2018.1 Precast Ribbon

As you can see from the image above the tools are focused around the division of singular elements such as walls and floor slabs. The splitting of the walls and floors are governed by Configuration settings. For example, you can set a maximum weight and maximum set of dimensions for lifting and transportation. These tools automate the creation of Revit Assemblies which enable the detailing of each individual precast element and the output of CNC code for UniCAM (Unitechnik) and PXML (ProgressXML). There are many settings that the user can tweak and change and below you can see the configuration for the walls maximum dimensions, weight and jointing.

Cast Wall Settings

Another task that the precast module automates is the placement of anchors, bushings and connectors. These are standard Revit families that can be replaced with specific manufactured parts for full coordination and costing.

Precast Anchors and Loop Connectors - Revit Precast

The reinforcement bar is also added via intelligent macros that allow the end user to configure typical arrangements of reinforcement bar. There is not currently an automated way of placing reinforcement bar around openings such as doors and windows but this bar can be added to the part with the standard reinforcement tools. In the below image you can see that the Area and Edge reinforcement can be customised and also have a library of types configured.

Revit Precast Reinforcement configuration

One of the most powerful features of this software is the ability to generate automatic drawings to detail the precast elements as well as the cast in connections and other placed objects such as electrical voids and similar.

Precast Wall Details - Drawings Sheet

The above image shows a typical drawing that is fully automated. Note that the centre of Gravity is also located to allow for the planning of lifting. The panels also support the tilt method of construction which is also useful.

Check out the 10min Tutorial video below.

LawrenceH

Revit 2018 – New Steel Detailing Features

cONNECTIONS

This year I have decided to review the new structural features of Revit 2018 in two separate posts, Steel Detailing and Concrete. The structural features have been quite interesting in the last few releases and have taken a prominent position over architecture and MEP. Autodesk have a very strong position in the Architecture and MEP markets but have competition in structures market with Tekla Structural Designer. Tekla has transitioned from a steel detailing tool, clearly aimed at fabricators to a multi material BIM modeller with integrated structural analysis (Trimble acquired CSC) that is useful for structural consultants, steel and concrete detailers and engineers. Autodesk are well aware of this and hence are bolstering the steel and concrete features and workflows within Revit. With the above points in mind it is difficult to guess where Revit may go in the future. We could see the integration of cloud based analysis that will completely replace Robot Structural Analysis and perhaps also a full steel detailing capability that would absorb AutoCAD Structural Detailing. I think we have a very exciting few years ahead and will be interesting to see what path Autodesk take. One great strength Autodesk have is a huge portfolio of products and technologies from a wide range of industries and I am sure we will see further integration and consolidation.

Revit 2018 Structural Connections
Revit 2017 introduced steel connections with just over 20 connections that you could apply to ‘approved’ steel members. Revit 2018 now adds over 120 connections that can be used on any steel section, a huge improvement. A Structural consultant can now show indicative connections and convey design intent to a fabricator with the inbuilt connections. Most of these connections can be designed to EC3 with forces and moments taken from a Robot Structural Analysis model.

The main advantages are to enable structural consultants to be able to produce models to a higher Level Of Detail (LOD 350) or LOD 4 in the UK. In my opinion the structure and drawings do look more complete with the connections added and can be marked for design intent/information only.

Another advantage is that the connections can be seamlessly transferred from Revit to Autodesk Advance Steel for full fabrication detailing and production data.

AS CONNECTIOJNS

As mentioned above you can now add steel connections to any steel section provided that you add the required data. To place a connection, Revit needs to understand bolt spacing’s, section depths, fillets, shapes etc. This information is added to the family by clicking Family Category and Parameters. In the below image you can see a connection added to a custom purlin C section.

Revit 2018 Custom Sections

The section shape and parameters are added when you select the Section Shape from Family Categories and parameters. In the below example you can see an L profile with Lips selected. Revit will then add all the required parameters automatically allowing a connection to be hosted onto the section.

C section Custom Section

Certain structural connections can be placed in multiple rotations which will affect which members are cut. In the example below you can see that Revit 2018 now shows the order of the connection selection.

Revit 2018 Structural Connection Order

Hopefully you will get some time to play around with the new features and start to use them in your next project.

I have created a video that you may want to watch showing the new steel connections and drawings.

LawrenceH

Autodesk Revit 2017 to Autodesk Advance Steel 2017

For the last few releases of Advance Steel and Revit it has been possible to transfer and synchronise steelwork models from both packages but Revit 2017 now offers the ability to also transfer steel connections.

This functionality will greatly enhance the workflows between structural consultants and fabricators that are using Advance Steel for manufacture and delivery of steelwork to site. It is equally useful for structural consultants that would like to convey typical connections in 3D to architects which could potentially cause clashes such as haunches and apexes etc.

In order to transfer the models from Revit and Advance Steel you will require the Advance Steel 2017 Extension which can be found on the Autodesk App Store.

https://apps.autodesk.com/RVT/en/Detail/Index?id=3694898109866066388&appLang=en&os=Win64

Revit 2017 Steel Model

The Revit structural connections are based on the same macro’s as Advance Steel and are completely transferable both in Import and export operations.

Below you can see the same model in Advance Steel.

Advance Steel model from Revit 2017

Additional cold rolled and secondary steels can then be added to the advanced steel model as well as edits and tweaks made to existing connections, notches and cuts from Revit. These changes can then be synchronised back into the Revit model if required.

Advance Steel - Adding Sheeting Rails

Data synchronised and exported back into Revit. It is very easy to track changes and understand items that have been added, modified or deleted.

Syncronisation dialog Box

Here is the updated model in Revit 2017.

Syncrosied Revit model with Sheeting Rails

A very interesting workflow for consultants and fabricators who are able\willing to share models.

Hope this is interesting?

lawrenceh

Introducing Autodesk Advance Steel 2016

With the release of Autodesk Building Design Suite 2016 back in June Autodesk announced that AutoCAD Structural Detailing was to be discontinued from the suite but would still be made available to clients that had subscription. One of the main catalysts for change was the acquisition back in 2013 of the Advance Steel product which gives the much needed fabrication and structural detailing capabilities to the existing Autodesk structural suite of products. Autodesk Advance Steel now completes the portfolio giving BIM workflows and capabilities to Steel Detailers, Fabricators, Manufacturers and Contractors.Autodesk Advance Steel Workflow

In the workflow shown above the structural engineer can design the steel frame in Robot and then import the model into Autodesk Revit with the design results, the Revit model can then be transferred and synchronised with Autodesk Advance Steel. The steel detailers can then add any secondary steel, cold rolled systems as well as the required connections and check these to the required design codes, create fabrication documents and output CNC code. The Advance Steel model can then be federated into the main Navisworks model allowing contractors to plan the logistics and construction. Finally, Autodesk Point Layout can be utilised for the creation of points and then the data exported to Robotic instruments for setting out.

A major strength of Autodesk has always been integrating tools to give users good workflows and the transfer of intelligent models and data. Autodesk Advance Steel can import and output to the following neutral formats.

  • IFC
  • CIS/2
  • SNDF

The NC data can be output via the common DSTV format or to certain bespoke machine tools. Another option is to output profiles to DXF to interface with LASER, plasma and similar automated cutting machines.

Other intelligent synchronised links are possible with Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Robot. The interface with Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis will also output the design forces directly into the Joint Design tab. There are also workflows with AutoCAD Plant 3D and Autodesk Inventor.Autodesk Advance Steel Import and Export Tools

A huge advantage of Autodesk Advance Steel is that it runs on top of AutoCAD giving a very familiar feel to existing AutoCAD users and good resourcing potential when looking for steel detailers with CAD experience. Although the main drafting and modify tools are shared with AutoCAD 2016, Autodesk Advance Steel brings many more bespoke tools to aid the modelling of structures, analysis and drawing outputs. The tools work in a very intuitive way and are used in logical workflows to provide full control of your digital model.

The steel frame can be produced either by placing elements at specific points like drawing lines in AutoCAD or you may prefer to create AutoCAD lines and convert these to Advance Steel structural elements. Plates, holes, welds and bolts can then be added to the steel elements to complete the required details.

In the image below you can see the Advance Steel connection Vault allowing the automated modelling of over 300 joints and connections. Additionally, each joint can have a library of common sizes and types stored for future projects. Custom connections can also be generated and stored within an Advance Steel Palette. Many of the standard connections support design and analysis to EC3 directly within the joint dialog box with a full design report that can be exported.Autodesk Advance Steel Connection Vault and tool palettes

The vast majority of the Advance Steel commands are all transparent which makes previewing and navigating very straight forward. For example, in the below image the railing tool has been started, the user can manipulate the display, make changes within the dialog box and instantly see the results in the context of the model.Autodesk Advance Steel Railings

Another interesting feature of Advance Steel is with its Multi User technology allowing many users to work within the same DWG model. This is achieved in a similar way to Revit by utilising a master model and then each user connecting to the master model and checking out elements as required. This becomes a very useful feature when working on very large steel projects.

Autodesk Advance Steel Multi User Tools

The Advance Steel Document Manager is the central location to manage and view all 2D output such as drawings, schedules as well as DSTV files. All documents can be previewed and managed from this simple dialog. A major strength is the ability to change any model element and instantly see which documents need revising. The revisions are then applied and revision data and clouds are automatically added to the relevant drawing frames and views.

Autodesk Advance Steel - Document Manager

The various drawing and detailing processes can handle the output of all single part drawings, assemblies and NC output with a click of a button. This is achieved by creating pre-configured drawing styles that control every aspect of the drawing from view placement, object visibility through to dimensioning strategies and intelligent labelling.

The Autodesk Advance Steel drawing output is among the best in class with fully customisable templates and styles that can be applied via simple tool palettes. The image below shows a typical Elevation and 3D Isometric detail.

Autodesk Advance Steel - Typical Elevation and 3D Frame

Here you can see a fully automated drawing output from the model. Each plate has been detailed on a separate A3 sheet with required quantities, weights and even lotting information added to the sheet. When detailing large amounts of components such as plates, beams and columns Autodesk Advance Steel has a very useful set of tools called Drawing Processes. This is based on a complex set of styles that will generate all documents with the correct templates for each view and sheet.

Autodesk Advance Steel Typical Drawing Output - Plates

Other output can be automated such as various Bills of Materials for plates, bolts, and even saw lists based on images. Like the drawing Styles each schedule is based on a template that can be fully customised as required.

Autodesk Advance Steel Saw List

In summary Autodesk Advance Steel adds a much needed set of tools to the existing Autodesk portfolio and being based on AutoCAD will instantly have a familiar look at feel to most potential users. As I mentioned previously, another very strong benefit is workflows and integration with other software tools such as Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD Plant 3D, and Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis.

For those of you that would like a little more information and a live demonstration feel free to drop in to our webinar on Thurday 26tt Novemeber 11:00-12:00GMT

http://www.excitech.co.uk/news/events/introduction-to-autodesk-advance-steel.asp

Hope to see you there!

LawrenceH

Revit 2015 – Structural Framing Enhancements

This will be a very interesting year with regards to steel detailing, fabrication and Autodesk software. A few months back Autodesk purchased Graitec Advance Steel and Advance Concrete to extend their offering in the steel detailing & fabrication industry. The only other Autodesk product was AutoCAD Structural Detailing which I would imagine will start to disappear from the various Autodesk suites that included this as there have been very few developments with this software for the past couple of years

Revit 2015 Splash Screen

This year Revit 2015 has seem some great interface improvements with regards to the justification points on steel and precast members and member offsets. We will begin by looking at the justification point tool.

Revit 2015 - Justification Points

This is essentially an ease of use improvement to an existing set of tools to offset steel, timber or precast member both laterally or vertically from the original position to predefined points. This will only reposition the physical position of the member and leave the analytical model unchanged.  The tool can be used equally well in plan, elevation and sections as well as 3D views.

Revit 2015 - Beam Justification points

The offset command will reposition the framing member graphically in the Y and Z axis. This is a much easier way of offsetting the structural framing members.

Revit 2015 - Y and Z graphical Offset

 

The change Reference tool is perhaps my favourite new framing tool in Revit 2015, this tool allows the user to select a new reference for the end of a joined beam and then cycle between these references by using the Change Reference command. See the image below.

Revit 2015 - Picked Reference on Structural FramingRevit 2015 - Change Reference

Another interesting feature is an existing tool from Revit 2013, the humble shape handle. For those of you that didn’t use Revit 2013 or earlier releases the shape handles allowed a steel, precast or timber framing member to have its physical length changed graphically. Revit 2014 omitted this tool and instead relied on the user inputting values into the Properties Palette which was slightly frustrating!

Revit 2015 - Shape Handles

Structural Framing members can now also carry more information about the members physical dimension as well as analysis properties. Each Framing family now has a new category called Section Shape Property.

Revit 2015 - New Section Shape parameter

Once again I will create a detailed tutorial video on these features when I have access to the final shipping release of Revit 2015.

Enjoy,

lawrenceh

Revit Structure 2014 and Tekla Structures 19.1

Since the first batch of tests I ran back in May things have improved with the IFC import and export and this of course affects how we can share models between Tekla Structures and Revit. In previous versions Tekla have supplied a Revit add-in to import and export a Tekla model, this was using IFC. As you will read from my previous post this was not always that successful. All the problems now seem to be fixed with the new Revit 2014 IFC import and export. I have tested the IFC import and export and also the CIM steel import from Tekla Structures 19.1 to Revit Structure 2014. Unfortunately the SDNF import does not seem to work with either V2.0 or V3.0.

I tested the IFC export with the Below Revit Model. This incorporates two pitched roofs and some curved members including steel cuts.

Revit Model

The results are very promising in Tekla Structures 19.1, see the image below. I actually found no discrepancies with between the two models.

Tekla 19.1 Model

The main purpose of the IFC import into Tekla is to allow the fabricator to accurately build a model from the consultants Revit model. However, you can convert certain objects from the IFC file to native Tekla objects such as beams, columns, footings etc. This is clearly useful rather than building a model from scratch. I tried this on a few beams and columns and again found no discrepancies with the original Revit Structure 2014 model, however, as you would expect the stairs translated to a bounding box. See the below image including the report.

Tekla - Converting IFC objects

I also imported an IFC model from Tekla to Revit with some fairly good results that are fine for coordination purposes. I would imagine that this may be better in a product such as Navisworks but it still could be useful to import the fabrication model into Revit for drawings etc.

Revit Structure 2014 with connections

The best way to incorporate the analytical model from Tekla to Revit is to transfer the model as CIMsteel (Note that you will need to install the SDNF Import/Export for Autodesk Revit 2014). This gives you the option of transferring the analytical model

CIS2 export from Tekla Structures 19.1

I did need to edit the Analytical model in Revit as some of the nodes were not correctly joined.

CIS2 Import to Revit 2014

Anyway, a much more promising workflow between Tekla Structures 18.1 and Revit Structure 2014.

LawrenceH