Recently I gave a presentation on the new features of AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks 2018 at the Central Florida Contractors BIM User Group. A member of the group asked me, “What is your favorite new feature?” Answering this question is complicated with so many new features from which to choose. So, I figured I would give you, not one but five of my favorite new or enhanced Revit 2018 features. With the release of Revit 2018.1, I decided to include that version as well.
Anyone who has worked on a multistory building knows not every floor to floor height is the same and with the previous version of the multistory stair tool in Revit, it was not able to handle the varying levels and maintain the group associations. In 2018, this feature was enhanced and can now manage different floor to floor heights while maintaining the stair run model group associations. Editing one run in one of these model groups will adjust the other instances of that model group, as it does currently with other model group editing.
Figure 1: Multistory Stair Grouping
Dynamo Player Inputs
More and more designers and Revit users are using Dynamo to assist with their everyday Revit routines or even creating complex geometry, In Revit 2017.1, Autodesk released the Dynamo Player. The Dynamo Players allows people to develop scripts giving non-Dynamo scripters the ability to merely push play and the script would run and perform the routine. However, the option to include additional data input was not available. In Revit 2018.1, Autodesk released an enhancement to the player that provides input fields for the scripts allowing users to enter required data before running the scripted routine. This improvement opens the possibility of creating routines for everyday users of Revit and makes Dynamo scripts even more powerful and user-friendly.
Figure 2: Dynamo Player and Input
Coordination Model Linking
The growing model complexity and increased number of invested partners introduce a more extensive variety of file formats used in the coordination and collaboration process. To improve the ability to collaborate with others using non-Revit models, Autodesk introduced in Revit 2018 the functionality to link in a Navisworks coordination model.
This feature opens the door significantly in coordinating with a more significant number of invested partners as Navisworks has a large number of file formats that it can import. With these imported files in Navisworks, a Navisworks file can be saved and then linked into Revit 2018. Coordination models are connected using origin to origin or shared coordinate positioning and support Absolute and Relative path types. Coordination models render using the native Navisworks engine which currently supports a consistent shading display, and they appear in all views including sections or elevations, floor plans, and 3D views.
Figure 3: Coordination Model Link Ribbon
Figure 4: Coordination Model linked into Revit Model (Image copyright to Autodesk)
Schedule Groups and Links / Add Parameters to Groups and Links
Parameters are the key to an information-rich model. The more information contained in the model, the more we can use it for other functions, rather than just creating 3D construction drawings. The items in Revit lacking the ability to add information are: Model Groups and Links. Previously we would be limited to the amount of data we could include in the links and model groups. In Revit 2018, this limitation changed, we can now add Type Parameters to Model Groups and Links. Additionally, we can schedule Model Groups and Links, meaning these parameters and schedules permit us to add more information to our model groups and links making our BIM models more data-rich. We can also use that data to create more sophisticated construction documents.
Figure 5: Model Group Parameters
Figure 6: Model Groups Schedule
Schedule Management in Project Browser
As our models get more enriched with data, we include more schedules in our model, placed on sheets for working drawings or used for quantity take-offs. For years, we have wondered “why oh why, can’t schedules be organized within the project browser?” We can sort, filter, and organize sheets and views in many different ways but until now, schedules had to reside in a single list sorted alphanumerically. In Revit 2018.1, Autodesk’s update to schedules now allows us to organize our schedules within our project browsers like views and sheets. This added functionality means our complex models are far more organized and easier to navigate.
Figure 7: Schedule Organization
My background in architecture influences my favorite five new and enhanced features, However, there are several new and improved features for structural and MEP disciplines. Here is a complete list of the new and enhanced features included in Revit 2018(.1). The list below does not contain the latest features released in Revit 2017.1 or 2017.2 currently incorporated into the 2018 release. (Features identified with an * are Revit 2018.1 enhancements)
- Coordination Model
- Schedule Groups and Links / Add Parameters to Groups and Links
- Global Parameters
- 3D Shapes
- Documentation Enhancements
- Schedule Management in Project Browser*
- Dynamo Player Inputs*
- Visual Materials API*
- Multistory Stairs
- New Content for Architects*
Structural design and detailing enhancements
- Free Form Rebar Distribution for Curved Civil Structures*
- Autodesk® Structural Precast Extension for Revit®*
- Graphical rebar constraints in 3D Views
- Rebar placement in imported concrete elements
- Additional Steel Content*
- Steel connections for user-defined framing families
- Priority of elements in steel connections
- Enhanced interoperability between Revit and Advance Steel
Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) fabrication enhancements
- Closed Loop Hydronic Analysis
- Analytical Connections
- Outdoor Air on Space and Building Types
- Custom Space and Building Types
- Circuit Pathway
- Sloped Pipe in Multipoint Routing*
- Dynamic Holes*
- Fabrication Reports and Worksheets*
- API for Centerline Length on Fabrication Parts*
- API for Creating a MAJ File*
To see these features in action visit the NEW Advanced Solutions Online Technology Center.
For a more detailed explanation of the new or enhanced features, please, Contact Us and we will help you learn how to take advantage of these powerful new Revit features!