Enhancements For Advance Steel and Steel Connections

Autodesk is enhancing its product for structural engineers and is previewing those enhancements to Advance Steel and Steel Connections for Revit at NASCC 2017.

Following is Autodesk’s statement concerning the enhancements.

Autodesk Revit and Advance Steel better connect structural design and fabrication

Since acquiring Advance Steel in 2013, Autodesk continues to work towards better support for BIM-centric workflows for structural steel design and detailing. For instance, we have been working to strengthen the interoperability between Autodesk Revit design software and Autodesk Advance Steel software. In advance of tomorrow’s opening day of the NASCC conference, we’re happy to announce that the forthcoming Advance Steel 2018 release next month will now offer seamless consumption of LOD350* Revit models.

This exciting news means that engineers can deliver more accurate designs and bills of materials to the detailer and fabricator. And for the detailer, it means they can more quickly respond to design changes while delivering the files needed to drive steel fabrication. This interoperability will help steel detailers and fabricators take full advantage of the steel design model—a notable benefit for the industry.

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Personal Section View in Revit

Creating sections in a Revit model is key to creating a quality 3D model, and that includes creating sections that are simply used for design verification.  Construction documents typically include sections, but users also use a lot of temporary sections for coordination and verification.  A problem with temporary sections is that you don’t know who created the section and the purpose for the section.  As a result they tend to stay in the model because no one really knows if they can delete the section.

I previously wrote a blog article about creating Working Sections which helps with this situation.  However, the working section can be further enhanced.  This article will address 2 key features for improving the working section:

  1. Who created the working section.
  2. Apply a user’s specific settings for the working section.

Note that this article will build upon that previous blog article.  You can find the article here.

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Year End BIM Evaluation

It is now the end of another year, with all the experiences of life that comes with that year.  As such, we tend to evaluate the past year and look forward to the challenges and experiences of the new year.  That includes all different aspects of our lives, including the personal and professional sides.  However, in additional to individuals doing this, organizations need to do the same thing.

Since this is an building industry oriented blog, I am going to touch on what I believe to be an important component of AEC firms in the technological age in which we now live.  That is the evaluation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) within your firm.  While there are still many AEC firms that have not moved into the world of BIM, it is becoming more common and more important in the industry.

It is extremely important to evaluate BIM within a firm.  There are costs associated with moving toward BIM integration and it is important to understand whether your firm is getting a return on that investment and how it can be improved.

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Cut Plane Within Revit Families

When creating Revit families, it is important to easily see the entire family model in plan view while you are creating or modifying the family.  While this may seem obvious, by default Revit does not necessarily provide this ability.  You may add some information, such as an extrusion, to the family and have it “disappear”.  I have “been there, done that” when I added an extrusion based upon a higher reference plane and then had it disappear when I finished the extrusion.  If you don’t understand what just happened, it can alarm you and frustrate you.

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Are Revit Dependent Views Still Needed?

Autodesk introduced dependent views to Revit several releases ago and they have been a popular feature when you have a large building with multiple units/areas in order to show the entire floor plan at a scale of say 1/8″=1′-0″.  When they were introduced, they were great as they allowed us to break up a large floor plan into manageable units and control the visibility of all units by only modifying one view.  We were able to get good consistency and increased speed, along with having view reference tags for adjoining views.  I thought is was a great feature.

However, is the use of dependent views still as important at it was when they were introduced?  My belief at this time is that they are not as important for everyone.  I think some users will get good benefit from them, but others will get benefit from not using them.

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Revit Family Creation Expertise Needed

As a company moves into using Autodesk Revit for the design of buildings, they quickly learn that families are an important part of the process.  Families represent entities within a project, such as walls, doors, windows, furniture, water heaters, drains, sinks, condensers, air terminals, receptacles, electrical panels, light fixtures, etc.  Revit provides many families with the software installation, but there are never enough or they never look or function the way that the Revit user’s organization desires.  As a result, custom Revit families are created for use within their organization.

Unfortunately, many organizations utilize inappropriate people to create these custom families.

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Show Different Detail Levels for Different Categories in Revit View

Revit has three Detail Levels that can be assigned to a view, which are Coarse, Medium, and Fine and these control how much detail is shown for model elements in the view.  When assigning the Detail Level, everything in the view gets assigned that Detail Level by default throughout the view.  However, there are times when you want to have different Detail Levels for different categories of model elements in the same view.  There can be various reasons for this, but a couple of examples are:

  1. You want some information to display more detail than others to accent certain items, such as only wanting walls to display the outer wall lines (Coarse display) while information such as furniture in the room shows a high level of detail (Fine display).
    1. This is common with MEP designers as they often don’t want the walls to show all finishes within the wall.  An earlier blog post addresses this situation.
  2. You want to show a category like Cable Tray with a Fine detail, but show the Conduit as a single line which requires a Coarse or Medium display level.

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