Posts Tagged ‘Revit’

Revit 2015 R2: What You Need To Know…

October 20th, 2014 Doug No comments

So Autodesk came out with a new “Release” of Revit 2015 called “R2″. This new “Release” has a ton of new features and enhancements, similar to a “Service Pack” but technically it’s not a “Service Pack”. I’ve gathered some info that you will need to know before you install this new “Release” of Revit 2015. Please note: Revit 2015 R2 is also known as Update Release 4 because it replaces SP4 (I know, it’s somewhat confusing, but once you read through this entire post you will understand 100%)

Before you install:

Please read this note from Autodesk regarding what you need to do to get Revit 2015 R2 installed:

Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 4 (Revit 2015 R2)

This update release addresses issues reported to Autodesk against Autodesk Revit 2015. In addition, Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 4 contains the fixes within Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 1, 2, 3 and Multi-Category Schedules Hotfix for Update Release 3. Consult the enhancements documentation for areas improved by Update Release 1, 2, 3 and Multi-Category Schedules Hotfix for Update Release 3. This update release is not a full install; rather it uses service pack technology similar to AutoCAD-based products. Prior to installing Update Release 4, please verify that you have already installed one of the following builds of Autodesk Revit 2015:

  • First Customer Ship (Build: 20140223_1515) (no Service Packs installed)
  • Update Release 3 (Build: 20140606_1530) (Service Pack 3)

Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 3 will need to be applied to any installed Revit 2015 which has either Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 1 (build: 20140322_1515) or Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 2 (build: 20140323_1530)applied.

Note: Once Autodesk Revit 2015 Update Release 4 is installed, Autodesk Revit 2015 R2 for Subscription Customers will not be able to be installed. If you are an Autodesk Subscription Customer, please refer to the Autodesk Revit 2015 R2 subscription download page prior to installing Autodesk Revit Structure 2015 Update Release 4.

You can apply this update release to Autodesk Revit 2015 running on all supported operating systems and languages. Consult the readme file for installation instructions and the release notes for areas improved by Update Release 4.

Note: After Update Release 4 is applied successfully, the build number specified on the Help > About dialog will be 20140903_1530.

So, once you’ve mastered the above steps, here’s the fun stuff:

What’s New:

Architectural Enhancements

  • Dynamo: Encode design intent with visual scripting that leverages the Revit API to enhance and extend model behavior.
  • Solon Integration: Personalize the building performance analysis experience in Revit by defining a dashboard with charts and results that are important to you. The central web-based Solon management environment allows you to create charts and configure dashboards for all of your company Revit users from a central collaboration environment in Green Building Studio.
  • Energy analysis: To better support the analysis of large models, several methods have been implemented to reduce memory usage.
  • Wall joins: To simplify the control of wall joins in a plan view, you can now select multiple intersected wall joins with a single click, and choose to allow or disallow joins on all the selected walls with a single click. If you choose to allow joins, you can then specify a Display option (Clean Join, Don’t Clean Join, Use View Setting).
  • IFC references and phases: Use existing geometry in a linked IFC model as references for dimensions, alignment, snapping, and hosting of some face-based families in the Revit model. When you link an IFC file, its elements are assigned to a default phase. Before using IFC Import, Link, or Export, go to Autodesk Exchange Apps for Autodesk Revit and download the latest edition of IFC for Autodesk® Revit® to take advantage of up-to-date improvements.
  • Shaft openings: To streamline the creation of a shaft opening, the Base Constraint value now defaults to the level of the current activated plan view. The instance properties have also been reordered to be consistent with families with similar properties: Base Constraint, Base Offset, Top Constraint, Unconnected Height, and Top Offset.
  • Adaptive point orientation: To improve clarity, the adaptive point instance parameter Orientation is now Orients to, and the selectable orientations have been renamed. No functionality has changed, only the names.
  • Site design: Performance enhancements result in improved edit and regeneration times for complex toposurfaces, subregions, and building pads.
  • Perspective views: Certain modeling capabilities are now available in perspective views:
    • Editing tools: Move, Align, Pin, Unpin.
    • Reset Target tool: Restores the position of the camera target to the center of the field of view.
    • Toggle between the perspective and parallel representations of the 3D view.
  • Reference other view: To search the list of available views for reference, enter keywords to locate the desired view. This feature is available when you are creating views for callouts, sections, elevations, and details, and you select the Reference Other View option (or modify a reference view). Also note that the Reference Other View option now displays on the Reference panel of the ribbon instead of the Options Bar.
  • Reveal constraints: To see all dimension constraints and alignment constraints in a view, use the Reveal Constraints mode, available on the View Control Bar.
  • View updates: Performance enhancements result in faster updates to views that contain multiple instances of families.
  • Revit links: Further enhancements result in improved performance for cases where Revit link instances are loaded but not visible in the view (such as when they are outside the crop region).
  • PDF Export enhancements:
    • Share your designs as electronic PDF files with automatically linked views and sheets. Each view tag in the PDF file is a hyperlink. Click a hyperlink to jump to that view or sheet in the PDF file.
    • Avoid lengthy or unintended print jobs. If you choose to print multiple views and sheets to individual PDF files, you cannot cancel the print job once it starts. A new message warns you of this issue and allows you to cancel the print job before it starts. Instead, consider printing the views and sheets to a single PDF file.
  • Schedules: To easily add a data row to a schedule, use the Insert Data Row tool, which is available directly on the Rows panel instead of within the Insert drop-down. The new position of this tool makes it easier to add a data row to a room schedule, area schedule, key schedule, space schedule, or sheet list.
  • Select host for tags: To specify the host element for a tag, select the tag and use the Select Host tool.
  • Annotate stair treads and risers: To streamline the process of adding number annotations to treads or risers in a component stair run, specify default properties before placing the annotation. These default property values persist for tread/riser annotations added to the model.
  • Thin lines: To improve consistency between Revit sessions, when you use the Thin Lines tool, the setting is stored in the Revit.ini file. When you launch Revit, the stored Thin Lines setting is used as the default.
  • Export Models with Lines that Coincide: When exporting a Revit model to a CAD format, you can decide whether to maintain model lines that coincide with other lines in the same space.

Structural Enhancements

  • Rebar: When reinforcing concrete elements, you can now place rebar in any 2D view. Place rebar in plan views, elevation views, and section views using the new placement plane tools.
  • Snap to model lines for structural elements: To expedite and improve the modeling workflows, the following snapping enhancements are available for structural elements.
    • You can snap to an imported and non-exploded CAD drawing.
    • Similar to the behaviors when placing structural walls and slabs, all structural elements now snap to the geometry of imported drawings.
    • 3D snapping has been enhanced.
    • Snaps such as nearest, endpoint, and midpoints are available when defining structural elements along model lines.
    • Additional snap locations are available along model lines for structural framing elements, structural columns, trusses, and isolated foundations.
    • When you place non-hosted loads, you can now snap to model lines.
  • Alignment reference: When changing the alignment reference of beam end geometry in a join, you can now select multiple framing element instances and change their alignment to a common join reference. You can also reset multiple changed references.
  • Change reference: To reset setback framing elements, use the Change Reference tool.
  • Structural framing orientation: When refining your model, you can flip structural framing elements and maintain joins, as well as setback, geometry, and justification modifications.
  • User interface for structural elements: To improve productivity during structural modeling, take advantage of the following enhancements:
    • The Offset drop-down button for framing justification tools has been removed. The y Offset and z Offset tools now reside directly on the Justification panel.
    • The properties for point loads, line loads, and area loads are reorganized and regrouped in the Properties palette. Tooltips for these properties have also been implemented.
    • The analytical properties for structural elements are reorganized and regrouped in the Properties palette. Tooltips for these properties have also been implemented.

MEP Enhancements

  • Sequence for power circuits: To specify the sequence in which power circuits are created, use the Electrical Settings dialog.
  • Most recently used panel circuiting: When you create a circuit, Autodesk® Revit® automatically connects to the most recently used panel for the current session. In addition, you can now search the Panel drop-down list.
  • Move circuits: To move a circuit directly to a target slot without disrupting other circuits, use the Move To tool.
  • ASHRAE table information: To identify the table that is applicable for the current condition, the ASHRAE Table Settings dialog displays the graphical representations associated with the duct fitting tables. This enhancement is helpful when you specify Coefficient from ASHRAE Table as the loss method for duct fittings.

Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements

  • Search: To quickly find the content you need, use the new search feature in the Type Selector or in drop-down lists. Click the Type Selector or a value field in the Properties palette or a dialog table, and enter keywords to search for.
  • File upgrades: To help you understand the consequences of file upgrades, new dialogs indicate the release of a file and the release to which it will be upgraded. In many cases, you have the opportunity to cancel the upgrade before it completes.
  • Edit/load a family: To close the family automatically after it is loaded into a project, use the Load into Project and Close tool in the Family Editor.
  • Properties palette: Keep your context in the Properties palette when you scroll, select a property, and then click outside the palette. This behavior can be helpful, for example, if you are selecting different family instances in the model to compare their properties.
  • Pin/Unpin icons: To determine whether an element has a relationship with a host system, select the element to see its Pin/Unpin tool icon. A different set of pin/unpin images () is used in the drawing area to indicate a relationship with a host, such as a curtain wall panel or a beam in a beam system. The behavior of the pin has not changed (clicking it still allows you to override the properties for the element), but the subtle difference (small link in the image) adds a visual indicator that this pin is different than the standard pin that locks an element in position. The Pin/Unpin tool icons on the ribbon have not changed.
  • Import/link position: To streamline the process of inserting a Revit model or a CAD file, the default positioning is now Auto – Origin to Origin. If you change the default, the option you select for Positioning becomes the default for the current Revit session. The software remembers one default option for Revit models and another default option for CAD files.
  • Revit link in a closed workset: To understand why a Revit link is not visible in model views, check its status in the Manage Links dialog. The status In Closed Workset now displays for a Revit link that is in a closed workset.

Got it! Good!

Well, if you didn’t quite get it, no worries. Just give us a call and we can help step you through it. 302-733-0477 and we’d be glad to help!

Categories: Revit Platform Tags: ,

Welcome to the NEW CADapult AEC Blog!

October 17th, 2014 Doug No comments

…Well, it’s still the old blog, but with new contributors and all new content! That’s right, not only will you see content about Revit, Navisworks and AutoCAD, but you will also see content about Infrastructure; including Civil 3D, Survey, Vehicle Tracking, InfraWorks, Vault etc.

So please keep checking back to see all new content and some fun stuff too!

Bye for now…and keep CADDing!

CADapult Tech Help – Revit Area Plans

July 8th, 2012 shawnc No comments

Categories: Revit Platform Tags: , ,

CADapult Tech Help – Revit Sheet Parameters

May 3rd, 2012 shawnc No comments

On Learning Revit

May 5th, 2011 Matt No comments

On a private newsgroup I frequent (composed mainly of Autodesk discussion group expatriates), I gave a friend of mine some advice on learning Revit. Melanie Perry picked it up and re-posted it to her blog here:

Writing this, I was reminded of what it was like for myself as I went through the process back in 2007-2008. At the time I wrote a (now-defunct) personal blog post about the process which I shall repeat here.

(Note: Remember that this was written is during the AutoCAD 2009/2010 years, which were a little problematic with the new UI features).

Learning Revit

So, I’m knee deep in learning Revit. Oh, my holy God. I’ve instantly turned into an idiot.

I forgot what it was like to be such a dumb newbie at a CAD program. the day is full of painful flashbacks to the time I had to learn ARRIS in 1994, and wondering if the developer was, or I should be, habitually smoking dope.

But at the same time, I can’t help but feel great about the potential of what is to come, both personally, professionally and in the industry as a whole, as the Building Information Modeling process goes from being a cool new thing to becoming the new normal state of affairs.

When I started to learn AutoCAD – Release 2-point-something back in 1987 – I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or the vast depth of the program. Learning it was simple; I "got" about 80% of it after two or three classes. Of course, we were drawing 2D only things, and had to learn only a smattering of commands printed on a plastic sheet taped to a graphics tablet, so the entirety of the program was more or less self evident.

After about 6 months of professional use, I felt that I had mastered the program. But as time wore on I discovered subtle methods of working which made me realize it would be years before I could actually make that gloat. After constant use of anything, you develop insights, techniques and muscle memories which form the foundation of how you approach working on your projects.

Having a strong programming background from high school and college, I looked into customization using AutoLISP to accomplish more. That led to a whole new understanding of the innards of the program which continues to this day.

What I’ve always loved about AutoCAD – up until fairly recently – was how it handled under my fingertips. It was one of those magical programs which just felt wonderful to use, as if it knew I meant to pick this, not that, or whatever. I developed the skills necessary to do complex operations easily, learned to think three steps ahead of the program, so I would tend to think through a drafting problem in my head and be able to easily translate that into a series of commands. It helped that AutoCAD’s command syntax was initially very much verb-noun based, like a normal sentence.

For example: "I want to Move These Things from Here to Over Here" would translate to

Command: Move
Select objects: [Pick some things]
Select object: [Hit to finish picking]
Start point: [Pick a start point]
End point: [End point]

It just doesn’t get much easier than that.

Even after migrating (read: kicking, screaming, yanking out of hair, etc.) from a tablet to a mouse, I found the act of drawing geometry, snapping, zooming, panning, and other hand-intensive operations just worked, and worked correctly and elegantly. With customizations and certain tweaks in place, mind and mouse operated as one, and one developed the innate ability to think 12 steps ahead of any editing operation.

It was like driving a finely tuned racing car, where your finger flips the flappy-paddle gearbox without even thinking. Or, as in my case, with playing the drums – you do not really concentrate on what you are playing at the muscle level, you think about the music. The hands, fingers and feet just seem to go where your head points them. That’s why people bought those silly 16-button puck monstrosities. I knew CAD folks who could play those things like Rick Wakeman wailing on a Yes album.

With today’s releases I think this essential rapid-fire quality is harder to discover, as program bloat, interface bling and (depending on who you talk to) sketchy feaureitis have turned a once-mean, lean and clean program into a pile of programmed mush. Not that putting things back to normal is not possible, but it seems that out-of-the-box AutoCAD, with the crazy number of UI doodads all yelping for attention, acts more like a bunch of 4 year-olds at a birthday party after the cake and ice cream.

Worse, you now have to really worry about what your mouse hand is doing. Back in olden times, you could wrench your mouse (or puck, for you geezers out there) around and tell it who’s boss. Now with all of the dynamic “heads up” features, you have to be really careful about moving, picking, mousing over and so on. The least little twitch and you end up picking the wrong thing or firing off the wrong command or OSnap. Part of my AutoCAD training class is dedicated to just making things consistent and predictable again.

Palettes of various kinds, which were quietly sitting hidden on the side now scream out when I have the audacity to mouse a little too close to the edge. And of course, the ones I need aren’t anywhere to be found – and when I do find them I can’t get them to go the Hell away fast enough. Even my status bar looks like the dashboard of a Russian spaceship. This is argument enough for a dual monitor system.

Even the much-maligned Ribbon, [author’s note: which I have actually come to really, really like in 2011 and 2012], is a screen hog, and slow to respond to as well. It just looks clunky and doesn’t scale with a resolution over 1024×768, leaving you a nice fat chunk of valuable screen space which is rendered useless.

Wait. What was I talking about, again? Oh yeah.

Learning Revit (really, this time)

Revit isn’t so much about learning commands, it’s about learning to build something real in software. Like AutoCAD circa 1987, there’s simply is not a whole lot of varied stuff to deal with. What’s great about Revit is that it’s an extremely FOCUSED and CONSISTENT program, even across products in the platform. Once you get past the concepts of BIM vs. dumb ol’ CAD (which takes about 3 minutes, tops), it’s a fairly level learning curve to get through the core mechanics.

I like to say to my students that, if you were faced with creating a new Building Information Modeler using a clean sheet of paper, what you probably would design would be very, very close to Revit. The fundamental underpinnings are profoundly elegant and scale well. Project wide settings control your standards in one place (I call the Manage tab your ”CAD Manager in a Box”). No layers to deal with – oh dear Lord how shall I work? – simply Categories of building elements. Each Category represents stuff of a similar display and parameterized behavior. For elements which do not fit into any neat little box, you have the Generic Models category.

Categories contain Families, which are solidified into Types, and finally Instances in the model. You have System Families, as controlled by Revit and the project, and Component Families for everything else.

And for weird stuff that doesn’t model using the default tools, you can model in-place (and assign it to the proper Category for display control) to do what you need. Of course, you can import a wide array of 3D elements from other programs, extending your abilities.

And you have a basic set of modify commands at your disposal that are familiar to any AutoCAD user, but built with a touch more intelligent design. Sketch-based design is just huge and an integrated part of the overall core workflow. Commands like Offset and Array work in a way we could only hope for in AutoCAD-land.

And the Align command is simply beyond brilliant. AutoCAD absolutely needs this. Preferably without a palette, UI gizmo, or dialog box.

After that, you have the Project Browser, View properties and view-level display overrides, Datums (Levels, Grids and Reference Planes), Schedules (sweet!), Rendering (double sweet!), Project Settings, Constraints, Parameters, and so on. For the most part, all excellently implemented and a real eye-opener for a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing AutoCAD user like me. Run through the tutorials and you Get It.

Then you hit families. Specifically, parametric families. Hooo boy. Wow. Just, wow.

Inside the Family Editor there is an amazing amount of power contained in what really is a simple framework. The Family/Type workflow allows you to create a wealth of intelligently designed building components that do (almost all the time) exactly what you want them to do. Combined with Parameters and formulas, they are most closely related to a marriage of AutoCAD’s Dynamic Blocks and Constraints – easily the two best new AutoCAD features of the past several releases.

Not that Revit is devoid of its own devils. Once you get past the meaningless “It Ain’t AutoCAD” prejudices (which took, surprisingly, a short amount of time) you see some real software design boogers. Like non-resizable dialogs for System family editing, which makes it a total PIA to work. Or the fact that you cannot snap to or easily align elevation tags. Or properties in the Options Bar which are not found in the Properties Palette. Or that Revit MEP doesn’t know that a wall in the linked model is a wall and you would think you should be able to host wall-hosted things to it. Or that you cannot resize the box in a room number tag parametrically. Stuff that you think you should, by all rights, be able to do, you cannot. It takes a while to see over those holes and focus on what you can do.

But overall, you get an incredible design toolset combined with an elegance and ease of use which is exhilarating to work with. Just like AutoCAD felt like back in the late ‘80s and early 90’s.


After 20-some-odd years of working with AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture, you can get a little jaded. Now and then you see additional overhead potential in the software with new features. Yet with every new release, often times you are hit in the head with some software design dumbness which obliterates any excitement you may have had in a demo.

So you stop looking at the potential in some feature, because to get to that Promised Land is simply Too Hard. You see features that are shaky at best; and to properly implement, would take an inordinate amount of training time. Worse, you have in ACA the ability for some untrained numskull to get their mitts on the drawing (to get it changed and to the engineer STAT) who, when seeing all this AEC object stuff, will without hesitation explode it down to dumb linework just to get something out the door.

But when you learn a new CAD program like Revit, everything old becomes new again. You see the potential, but you don’t know any of the gotchas, and are still dumb enough not to understand all of the limitations. With experience comes wisdom, and without the ability to "cheat," you know that you have no choice but to make it work. When you look at the exceptional work of others, you see that just about anything is really possible.

I’m just mad that I didn’t start learning this stuff sooner.

Categories: Revit Platform, Training Tags: ,

Join Me for a BIM & MEP Coordination Class at ABC Delaware on Feb 9th

February 7th, 2011 admin No comments

On Wednesday, February 9th I will be teaching a class at The Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Delaware chapter, from 8:30 – 11:00 AM, focused on on adopting a Building Information Modeling (BIM) process in construction, and using Autodesk Revit MEP and Autodesk Navisworks Manage together for the purposes of MEP coordination.

Moving to BIM methodologies means thinking differently about how you communicate and coordinate information with others working on the project. The days of scratching notes on paper drawings is over; today’s building models are information-rich platforms which allow for intelligent design and construction workflow and real-time, improved coordination between disciplines and trades.

Autodesk Revit MEP is purpose-built software which allows designers to create functional, accurate building information models for the purposes of creating and documenting HVAC, piping, plumbing, fire protection, electrical lighting and power designs.

Autodesk Navisworks Manage allows you to bring building models together in a single environment for the purposes of design review, coordination analysis, construction simulation, 4D planning, and presentation.

Navisworks is particularly useful for the purposes of MEP coordination. Navisworks can analyze the building model geometrically and quickly find conflicts between MEP elements such as ductwork and piping with the structure and architecture. You can iteratively track these clashes throughout the construction management timeline, providing a huge potential for cost savings and vastly improving communication between everyone involved on a project.

In this session, attendees will learn:

- Building Information Modeling overview and its function in the design and building industries
- A quick functional overview of Revit MEP and Autodesk Navisworks
- Bringing models into Navisworks Manage
- Using the design review tools available in Autodesk Navisworks
- Understanding the process for coordinating MEP systems with architectural and structural elements

The class will be held at ABC Delaware’s classroom facility located in the Airport Industrial Park, 31 Blevins Drive, Suite B, in New Castle, Delaware. ABC Delaware provides a wealth of safety, training and management classes for ABC members all year long, and I am honored to be asked to present on these merging technologies.