Revit 2020 – New Structural Features Review

This year Autodesk strengthen the steel detailing tools with some very useful tools to enable quick and efficient steel connection modelling. Revit is constantly criticised for a lack of model detail with fabrication elements. This release strengthens the 3D detailing capabilities for those that require higher Levels of Detail or fabrication models.

When using the Copy/Paste and editing tools the processing is 20x faster than the previous release and connections can now be automatically propagated. This is due to some smart background processing that calculates the elements that are being processed and allows you to continue with other tasks, the elements being processed are highlighted different colour. The background processing is for steel connections but also works when performing most editing tools. The Background Processing colour can be set in the Options dialog in the Graphics Tab as shown below.

Revit 2020 - Background Processing

Steel Connections now use types just like other Revit families. This means that you can create various types of base plates and then either select all instances and swap or edit the type parameters. This new feature makes controlling steel connections much easier.

Steel Connection Type Dialog Box

The Propagate tool automatically recognises similarly connected steelwork and adds the relevant connections which greatly speeds up the processes of adding connections. Simply select a steel connection, right click and select Propagate Connection.

Revit 2020 - Propagate Connections

Many new parameters have also been added to facilitate the efficient creation of fabrication details such as the new hole parameters dialog box. You can now also set the grip length for bolts to allow for accurate sizing and calculation.

Revit 2020 - Hole Dialog Box

The only missing feature is the creation of automatic fabrication documents and CNC code which I am sure we will see in due course. I would anticipate that this will be a cloud-based tool to take advantage of efficient processing times and could use the BIM 360 products to track versions and store the drawings and NC codes.

Concrete Detailing Tools

This release brings more stability to Revit whilst adding reinforcement bar with slightly different cover settings. Certain elements can cause reinforcement bar to constrain to the wrong faces when copying, mirroring or moving bars. The algorithm has been updated to ensure that rebars remember faces and covers from the original element.

Revit 2020 - Reinforcement Placement Improvements

Improvements has also been made to the multi rebar annotations to allow dimensioning to the formwork. Multi rebar annotations can now also be added to freeform reinforcement provided that the reinforcement bars remain parallel.

MRA to formwork

LawrenceH

Revit 2019 – New Steel Features

Well, it’s that time of year again to review the new features of Revit, seems to come round so fast. As I did last year, I will review the steel and concrete features as separate blog posts and videos as we have a raft of new features to look at!

New Steel Detailing Ribbon

If you would like to jump directly to the steel video then here is the link.

New Steel Ribbon

Autodesk are further extending the Level of detail that can be presented by adding specific modelling tools to extend the power of structural connections and end treatments. You now have dedicated tools to create notches, saw cuts, holes and chamfers and rounds to steelwork. This allows for a greater Level of Detail when modelling and these features can be directly linked to Advance Steel for full Automatic fabrication documents.

Revit 2019 - Steel Detailing Ribbon

The use of these new tools will depend on the need for modelling to this level of detail. For example, bridges may require a greater Level of detail but a traditional steel frame modelled by an engineering consultant may not require any connection details, these will be added by the fabricator.

A particularly nice feature is the ability to use a standard connection and then break the connection into the fabrication elements such as plates, bolts, cuts etc. This allows for easy modifications to connections and the ability to create your own connections.

Revit 2019 - Customise and Break Connection

For a detailed look at each tool check out my video at the top of this post.

Enjoy,

LawrenceH

Revit 2018 – New Reinforced Concrete features

In each release of Revit we are now seeing a continuous trickle of new features and improvements to the Reinforced Concrete modelling and detailing capabilities. Most of the ‘standard’ features are already firmly established and now Autodesk move on to the reinforcement of complex concrete forms and cross platform workflows. As discussed in my previous post on the Revit 2018 steel detailing features, Autodesk have some stiff competition in this area and are quickly closing the gaps. Also an expected delivery of a BIM project is a complete 3D model and it may no longer be appropriate to issue flat 2D drawings and a bending schedules. Some of the new tools will be very useful in Civil projects such as Tunnels, Bridges and roadside structures where the geometry is likely to be curved and sloped.

I have tested all the new features and will start with the main function of the reinforcement of complex concrete features. In the image below I was able to add 4 L bars in plan and then create a varying range to the inverted truncated pyramid shape.

Revit 2018 New Rebar Features

I also tested the varying distribution on other native Revit in-place families and did struggle with twisted and double curved objects but in general, this new function is very useful and saves a lot of time. In fairness I would image that you would need extra control over double curves and twists and likely have to use something like Dynamo to place ‘real’ reinforcement in a logical way.

Revit 2018 Curved and Multi Planar Rebar

Another refurbished tool is the Rebar graphical constraints. This tool enables reinforcement bar to be constrained in 3D views as well as the traditional 2D views. The user can selected the rebar plane or the end points of the bar and then constrain this to a relevant plane on the host element. In the image shown below you can see the bar plane constraint being set and then the end of the L bar to the front face.

Revit 2018 Graphical 3D Rebar Constraints a

The reinforcement bar also has Bar Handles that allows the physical leg lengths to be dynamically edited which is quite handy when you need to drag the bar around in the 3D view. The graphical constraints will still show the check box to snap the bar to cover.

You can now directly import a 3D solid from another CAD application (AutoCAD, Rhino, Trimble SketchUP & Bentley Microstation) and host reinforcement directly into the elements. This is a neat workflow when coupled to tools such as Infraworks. You can create a bridge and then export this directly to Revit and then add reinforcement.

3D Ramp from AutoCAD to Revit Rebar

In the example above a 3D ramp has been modelled in AutoCAD and then directly imported and reinforced within Revit. In practice this is only useful for single elements and not an entire bridge as you will need to import each solid separately and then set the correct Sub Categories and parameters.

In conclusion Autodesk continue to strengthen the Revit application and make the legacy 2D detailing a think of the past.

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

Revit 2017.1 – What’s new for Structures

Yet again it is time for the mid-year update to Revit 2017, this year Autodesk have changed the naming of the update to a point release which makes a lot more sense to most users. Previous releases have been marked as R2 which could also have a file format change which can cause issues when working on collaborative projects requiring a consistent platform. This release does not change the file format and also incorporates Service Pack 1 and 2.revit-2017-1-on-the-application-bar

Dynamo Player

The Dynamo Player has been created to create a simple interface for end users to run Dynamo scripts with a project or family file. The Dynamo Player can be pointed to a server location where dynamo scripts can then be selected and executed with a single click.dynamo-player-revit-ribbon

Currently the Dynamo Script must be a stand-alone utility that can be run with no inputs required from the end user which is quite limiting. For example, if you are required to enter a dimension or pick an entity then this is currently not possible.

Below you can see the Dynamo Player displaying the Dynamo (.dyn) files in the selected folder. The user then simply selects the play icon to run the script.dynamo-player-running-script

This is obviously the first iteration of Dynamo Player concept and I am sure as this develops that an Interface will be created for adding inputs into the dynamo script. For example, Autodesk FormIt will allow interaction with Dynamo to create conceptual forms. Slider bars and input boxes are created to enable an interactive environment.

Below is an example of the Dynamo Customizer to publish a script to a web page. This is perhaps what Dynamo Player may look like in future releases.dynamo-interface

A small structural enhancement is the ability to split structural framing and structural columns with the conventional split command and retain setting out positions of openings. Previously the openings may have shifted position.

In the below example the beam has been split and the circular openings have retained setting out positions. The same is true for the structural column.connections-with-splits

Import Rhino/Sat Files

rhino5-chair

Revit 2017.1 now has the ability to directly import a Rhino (.3dm) file into either a Revit Project or a Revit Family. You can also assign a category to the import but there are limitations. Below is the amended Import CAD format dialog box showing the direct 3dm import and category selection.rhino-3dm-import

The imported object cannot be re scaled in Revit so you can only import objects of the correct scale. The import cannot be partially exploded to remove small/unwanted details.

On both my test models some of the elements did not import.chair-in-revit-with-missing-crossbar

This is a nice addition and will improve but in my opinion Dynamo is still the best method at present to import and work with native Rhino geometry.

Some other additions are platform for the repair of Central Files. I have not tested this at present but will update the post when I have some test results.

In summery the point release has not had as much new functionality as previous releases and perhaps should be seen as more of a service pack.

Hope this has been useful,

LawrenceH

Autodesk Revit 2017 – What’s New for Structures

It’s that time of year again when Autodesk start to release all the new 2017 software, and a very interesting release for Revit 2017. The first most significant change is the discontinuation of the singular discipline Revit software such as Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP; these are now replaced with Revit 2017 which contains all three products in one ‘box’. The application icon will now simply read Revit 2017 as shown below. Notice that the logos have also had a makeover!

Link to video: Link to Revit 2017 whats new Video

Revit 2017 Icon

In this review I will just focus on the structural changes that have happened in Revit 2017 which I have broken down into the following:

  • Reinforcement (RC Detailing)
  • Structural Columns
  • Structural Connections

Let’s start with the new features for reinforcement features which are very significant in this release! The first feature to look at is varying range rebar. You can now easily add rebar to tapered beams and also to cranked slabs.Revit 2017 - Varying Range Rebar
You will notice that the structural rebar now has a new Rebar Set type for Varying Rebar. This can be used in all sorts of situations where the bar is not parallel to a particular surface or face.varying range rebar
The varying range bar can also be detailed and scheduled as shown below. The varying bars can be called up separately or with a ‘sub mark’ such as letters or numbers. These options can be set within the reinforcement settings.

Varying Range rebar - Range indicator and schedule
Next up are the new reinforcement bar couplers which add not just couplers but also anchors and any product which aids the continuity of concrete systems. The rebar couplers have a new category and can also have a 2D symbolic representation as well as a 3D model.

Revit 2017 - Structure Ribbon

The couplers will attach to reinforcement bar that matches the bar diameters and can also be added to rebar ranges and also scheduled.

Revit 2017 - Rebar Couplers
Bent fabric is now incorporated within this release and can be simply sketched onto any element that can host rebar.

Revit 2017 - Bent Fabric

Structural Columns

A small new feature is now the ability to attach a structural column to an isolated foundation. This can be useful if you have situations where the foundations are changing level as the columns automatically lengthen or shorten based on the moves. If a concrete column is attached to the foundation then these elements will become monolithic.

Columns can now be split which again is very useful for situations where a column has been modelled through many different levels and then requires section changes as the design progresses. Another use is for analysis where nodes are required at floor plates.

Structural Connections

Revit 2017 now adds 22 structural connection types into the product which are directly taken from the Autodesk Advance Steel product. This is obviously a very big improvement as many structural consultants will not directly design connections but want to show design intent within a steel frame to communicate better with the client and the fabricators. Another advantage is that early design coordination can now be realised by modelling items such as haunches and gusset plates that could cause clashes with other elements.

Structural Connections

The connections can be designed to EC3 and will directly take design loads from the results of an analysis that are stored within Revit.

Structural Connection Settings

At present you cannot create fabrication drawings from the various members and plates but this could be a direction that Autodesk move into in the future. At present Revit is not very good at dealing with small elements so perhaps this is a little way off into the future.

Connections - Coordination with rebar

Coordination with connection holding down bolts and anchors with reinforcement.

Click the below link for a full video review.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IO3Hq0DBts

Enjoy,

lawrenceh

Revit 2016 R2 – A look at the new features

Just like last year, Autodesk have opted for a mid-life release in the form of Revit 2016 R2 but a few less structurally orientated tools than last year’s Revit R2 release! Never the less, some of the Platform tools are very useful and make the user experience even better.  Let’s take a look at some of these new features in a little more depth. I have opted just to show the most relevant tools for the structural workflow. Before we start here is a list of all the new features.

Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements

  • Global parameters
  • Cancel Print and Export
  • Family visibility preview
  • Filter Voids and Solids
  • Performance Enhancements
    • Occlusion Culling
    • Export to DWF/DWFx
    • Colour Fills
    • Background Processes
    • Object Styles
  • Revisions
    • Sheet Issues/Revision Dialog Box
    • Revisions on Sheet Dialog Box
  • Revit Links
  • Work sharing

Architectural Enhancements

  • Perspective Views
  • Spot Slope
  • Wall Joins
  • Railings
  • Autodesk Raytracer Rendering
  • Energy Analysis

MEP Enhancements

  • Fabrication
    • Insert Part
    • Connect as Tap
    • Rotation Tools
    • Show Service
  • Electrical Settings
  • Assigning a Distribution System

Global Parameters

This is probably the most interesting of the new features as it now allows control of multiple elements with a single parameter. In the example below I have used two Global Parameters to control the floor to floor levels in a structure. I have the typical Floor to Floor height of 3600mm and a service level of 4000mm.

The first stage is to create the levels and dimension these levels with Aligned Dimensions.

Revit Global Parameters - Floor to Floor Height

You then select the dimensions that you would like to assign a Global Parameter and then click the Label tool on the Options Bar (Similar to the creation of parameters in a family)

Global Parameters

You can then control the various values of each parameter by first selecting the dimension and then clicking the small ‘pencil’ icon or using the Global Parameters Icon on the Manage Ribbon.

Global Parameter - Edit Parameter Icon

Revit 2016 R2 - Global Parameters Icon

You will then see the Global Parameters Dialog where you can create new parameters, edit existing parameters or delete parameters. What is quite interesting is that you can use Reporting Parameters to control your own user parameters.Revit Global Parameters - Floor to Floor Height Change

A good use for this is possibly setting steelwork to the base of a floor slab. In the image below you can see that a reporting parameter has been added to the floor slab (225) and this has been referenced by a Global parameter (Beam Control). You can then assign this parameter to the beams offset in the Properties Palette.

Revit Global Parameters - Beam Offsets

Linking Revit Models

A simple but useful new feature is to link Revit Projects from Project Base Point to Project Base Point. This can be useful when each model has set the geometry out from this point.

Revit 2016 R2 - Link Revit File by Project Base Point

Some of the other features are more ‘cosmetic’ in nature but all add to a good user experience in the day to day use of the software.

Here is the reworked View Range dialog box which is ideal for new users who wonder about the various settings such as View Depth, Top Range etc.

Revit 2016 R2 - View Range Dialog

The Filters dialog box has had a bit of reorganisation by separating Rule Based and Selection Filters to reduce the amount of filters displayed in the dialog box.

Revit 2016 R2 Filters

Reference Planes can now be renamed directly within the graphics screen for ease of use.

Revit 2016 R2 - Reference Plane Naming

You can also select multiple sub categories in the Object Styles dialog box which increases productivity when creating project templates.

Revit 2016 R2 Filters

So there’s a very quick ’round up’ of the new features. Again, not too bad for a mid year release.

LawrenceH