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

Tutorial – The Excitech Toolkit and Reinforcement

I have just created a quick video to showcase some of our Excitech Toolkit tools that could make you more productive when creating and detailing reinforcement in Autodesk Revit. These tools are free to all of our customers

For more information take a look at the following link.

https://www.excitech.co.uk/Insights/Blog/February-2019/The-Excitech-Toolkit

LawrenceH

 

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.

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 Reinforcement – Keeping a check on Bar Marks

Since 2015 Revit has provided the Rebar Number which automatically assigns bar marks to all reinforcing within the project making use of the partitions to generate a suitable bar mark.

revit-reinforcement-number-and-partition

This is of course a very useful feature and does provide an efficient method of bar marking. However, if you have then issued the model and need to make further changes to the model then you probably do not want the Rebar Numbers (Bar Marks) to change and of course, being automated this can happen.

A safe way of working is to use Dynamo to automatically synchronise the Rebar Number to the Schedule Mark (this was the method of bar marking prior to Revit 2015). This will obviously only be run prior to the issue of the drawings/model to keep a record of the bar marks.

If the Rebar Number does not equal the Schedule mark then we can take ‘manual’ control to rectify the problems.

Here is my Dynamo Script below.

dynamo-sync-rebar-number-to-schedule-mark

It is a very simple routine that selects all the Structural Rebar in the project, gets the Rebar Number and then sets the parameter Schedule Mark with this value.

The next stage is to check that the marks are in synchronisation. To check for this we can use another Dynamo script. For this example I will explain a few stages as we need to use some logical checks and filtering of lists.

The first stage is to create a new shared parameter for the check. This needs to be a Yes/No parameter as shown below.

barmarksync-shared-parameter

Next we will add this parameter to the project so Revit understands which category this applies. Notice that the parameter will need to be an Instance and applied to the Structural Rebar Category (Feel free to add others such as fabric etc.)

barmarkcheck-project-parameter

You can now build the Dynamo Definition to check the Rebar number and schedule mark are in synchronisation. Start by selecting all the Structural Rebar elements as shown below.

rebarsync1

The next step gets the Schedule Mark and the Rebar Number and then checks to see if these values are equal. The output is a Boolean (true or false). Notice that one of these values is returning a false value.

rebarsync2

The true or false lists are then evaluated by the List>filterByBoolMask. The list input is from all the Structural Rebar Elements and the mask is the Boolean output from the == node. The list is then split into two, one list for false and another for true. Finally the parameter “BarMarkSync” is then set to true or false with the use of the Boolean node.

rebarsync3

To test this you can manually set some of the Schedule Marks to different values and then set up a Revit schedule to show the out of sync marks with conditional formatting as shown below. Another method could be to use filters to show the out of sync bar marks on a model view.

schedule-conditional-format

I hope some of you will try this tutorial if you are currently using Revit to produce Reinforcement  models and schedules.

LawrenceH.

SOFiSTiK Reinforcement Detailing and Autodesk Revit Structure

Reinforcement Drawings and bending schedules have traditionally been prepared in semi-automated 2D applications such as CADS RC or manually in 2D CAD applications and while this has served the industry for over 25 years the traditional drafting techniques are becoming obsolete and disconnected from the emerging BIM processes and client requirements. The deliverables are most likely to be 2D drawings and schedules but increasingly also a 3D information model which has benefits to all the project teams including the consulting engineers, contractors, fabricators and steel fixers. The 3D model is particularly useful to all team members in highly congested, complex areas where clashes and pre fabrication issues are often only discovered whilst on site which leads to increased cost and project delivery creep. As with any construction project, communication and understanding is always improved when a 3D model with the relevant information is shared with all relevant parties.

Some of you may already be aware of the new features of Revit Structure 2016 for 3D Reinforcement modelling and detailing. Many of these improvements were in relation to the production of an RC schedule and a new tool to allow the use of shapes within a reinforcement path. However, although these improvements are most welcome there are still a few limitations, deficiencies and annoyances when it comes to efficient modelling, detailing and scheduling of reinforcement within vanilla Autodesk Revit.

3D Rebar - Revit and SOFiSTiK

Autodesk Revit 2016 gives the primary reinforcement modelling functionality and allows the efficient handling of thousands of 3D rebar’s in a model via specialist elements. The SOFiSTiK Reinforcement Detailing tool takes these core modelling tools and adds an additional level of sophistication to the modelling, detailing and scheduling of concrete projects. The main SOFiSTiK ribbon is show below.SOFiSTiK Reinforcement Detailing Ribbon

SOFiSTiK Reinforcement detailing’s main advantage is that it drastically speeds up the detailing of rebar by overlaying Revit 2D detail components over the various views and hiding the Revit rebar. The big plus with this technique is that all the supplied families are completely customisable allowing for RC drawings that exactly match your traditional 2D CAD output. For example, if you want to show a UBAR in plan with a dot or perhaps a cross or tick and tag bars in elevation or section then this is just a simple case of editing the supplied family to suit your requirements.

bar tick and tagUBAR Dot

The efficiency of the process is demonstrated below with a slab with some openings and angular faces. The rebar was added with the Area Reinforcement and path reinforcement commands and then the layers are automatically recognised by the SOFiSTiK layer tool. The split Rebar command has then been used to divide the bar into standard stock lengths.

Split Rebars

The view is then added to a drawing sheet, rebar numbers automatically assigned and the bar is then hidden, tagged and detailed. It is also worth noting that varying ranges and skewed bars can be detailed with a new Rebar Container objects.

Rebar ContainersRD Detailing - Slabs
In the next view I have created some reinforcement for a column detail and added some couplers to the model. A separate schedule can then be generated showing the configuration and location of the couplers.

Rebar Couplers and Schedule

I have also found that when the Autodesk Extension Reinforcement Macros are used then SOFiSTiK Reinforcement Detailing will recognise the correct shape code, the original shape codes are not to standard and hence cannot be used with standalone Revit.

Here is an example of the slab opening macro.

Slab Openings

Some of the main new features for the 2016 release are:

  • Rebar Groups – Used for grouping of bars such as varying ranges and skewed bars
  • Bent Fabric
  • UK Content Pack
  • Rebar Chair Spacer – Shape Code 98
  • Rebar Mechanical Couplers

In summery I would recommend that you download a trial of this software and perhaps take a look at some of the tutorial videos that SOFiSTiK have created.

https://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/RVT/en/Detail/Index?id=appstore.exchange.autodesk.com%3asofistikreinforcementdetailing2016_windows64%3aen

We also have a Revit Structure course designed for existing users that will lead delegates towards the creation of reinforcement within Revit Structure.

http://www.excitech.co.uk/training/training-course.asp?C_id=444&course=RC-Detailing-with-Revit-Structure-2016

LawrenceH