Released on the 21st August this update proves to be very useful for those using Revit for reinforcement modeling as well as some general tools to enhance usability and deliver more productivity. As always, I will not include non-structural features and just focus on the relevant tools for this sector. In this post we will focus in on the rebar constraint tools.
Rebar to Rebar Constraints
This is possibly one of the best new features for the Revit reinforcement tools for several years. The new rebar to rebar constraints allow you to set constraints between rebar objects, in previous releases it was only possible to set constraints to element faces or covers. This new command allows for much better parametric control when bar diameters are changed or when controlling lap lengths. In the image below you can see the B1 and B2 layers for a foundation. The B1 and B2 layers are constrained to the tangent faces of the rebar, if I change the rebar diameter on the B1 layer then the B2 layer and the column starter bars will automatically move! A major improvement.
In the image below you can see the beam bottom L-bars that are positioned relative to the beam top L-bars which are constrained to the Bottom and top layers in the beam. All these members are fully constrained and ‘intelligent’ and will update when members or bar diameters change.
Intuitive rebar constraints visualisation and editing
The method that you use to set rebar constraints have been improved and made more intuitive with simple icons and tooltips. Each of these can also have keyboard shortcuts assigned. The space bar will cycle through the various rebar constraints. A blue arrow now shows the positive side of the rebar which takes the guesswork away when setting offsets.
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.
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.
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.
Take a look at the YouTube Video to see this tool in action.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whilst providing Reinforcement Detailing training I often get asked if it is possible to align the MRA (Multi Rebar Annotation) tags. Currently with Revit 2017 it is not possible to align the tags but I recently stumbled over a free application to achieve this task!
The application can be installed via the Autodesk Exchange Apps website by clicking the ‘X’ icon on the InfoCenter toolbar in the top right corner of Autodesk Revit.
You will now see the Autodesk App Store web page. Search for Align and then install the app from BIM 42 as shown below. (The app currently supports Revit 2016 and 2017)
Once the app is installed you can access the tools by selecting the Add-Ins ribbon. The tools are shown on the Align panel as shown below.
Here is the result of using the Align Left tool with a selection of MRA tags.
Overall this is a very useful set of tools for any tags that you may want to tidy up. See the GIF video below.
Link to YouTube Tutorial: http://youtu.be/XCrTi2KEJ7g
As with all my blog posts about new Autodesk releases I will break down each new feature in separate posts and show the full scope of the new tools and features with a UK focus. Those of you that regularly read my posts will know that I keep a very close eye on the reinforcement tools and any new features or extensions that come to market. This year Autodesk have again focussed on the reinforcement and analytical tools for the specific structural enhancements for 2015. The primary goal with reinforcement is to give the RC detailer a better set of tools for the production of 2D RC drawings and accurate schedules.
In previous releases the RC drawings would show every bar but the user now how the choice of selecting the first and last bar in the set, a middle bar or user selected bars. This feature allows the correct presentation of bars in plan and elevation using a similar system to AutoCAD Structural Detailing.
The Reinforcement descriptions have had a complete overhaul and can now detail bar with a range indicator and the correct terminators and leaders. This has been achieved by combining a dimension style with a rebar tag.
The other issue was with bar marks, Revit 2014 would allow multiple bars with the same dimensions to have the same bar mark! In Revit 2015 the bar mark is automatically generated and can be sequenced with a variety of differing options. Partitions are for setting bar marks for each element, you can also see the feature for removing gaps in bar marks and once this is enabled the process is automatic.
Another interesting concept is that parts can now host rebar, this has some potential but I do really think that families should be authored with parametric rebar, this would make more sense and give a huge amount of flexibility.
All the information and data can now be compiled into a full RC schedule that’s compliant with BS8666-2005.
When the ‘shipping’ version of Revit 2015 is released I will produce a full video showing the capabilities.
Link to YouTube Tutorial: http://youtu.be/XCrTi2KEJ7g
Hope this helps,
Link to YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vxf6CrTtz4
In this short tutorial I will take you through some of the AutoCAD Structural Detailing (ASD) basic tools for reinforcing a beam. You will see how to create the bar and ranges and also how to schedule and create drawing views. There is a lot to learn with this package and it is packed with features so you will need a template that creates the correct standard as well as your company’s preferred graphical standards.
Remember that ASD is included with the Revit Structure Suite and many of you will probably have this installed on your desktop but possibly configured to run as vanilla AutoCAD.
You can see below that in the Job Preferences you can set your design preference and drawing preference. The good thing here is that the data is all editable and you can edit the maximum bar lengths and limit larger diameter bars to shorter lengths to have pity on the fixers!
You will then need to create the various styles for the graphical appearance of your tags and dimensions and also determine how ASD represents ranges.
You will also see a concrete beam transferred from Revit Structure to ASD which will fully detail all the formwork and create the element and views ready for you to add bar!
Hope this helps,