What’s New in Revit Structure 2019

There are many new features to Autodesk® Revit® 2019 that improve its overall performance. In this article I’ll cover some of Revit software’s new features and some of the interoperability features of third-party applications that integrate with Revit and help improve workflows.

Some of those integration features have been added with third-party products such as Bentley Engineering software, detailing software such as Advanced Steel, and BIM collaboration tools such as Autodesk® BIM 360®.

Third-Party Application Integration

For detailers, one of the big enhancements to Revit 2019 is the retooled Steel ribbon.  Autodesk has extended the modeling ability of the steel tools by adding specific tools to extend the power of Steel Connections and End Conditions.

There are dedicated tools that help model such features as creating notches, saw cuts, holes and chamfers to steel work that was either not possible or very difficult to do in previous versions.  These features can also be directly linked to the Advanced Steel application for a much higher level of detailing capabilities in the Revit model for improved fabrication documention.

Keep in mind, the use of these tools will greatly depend on your project’s need to provide this higher level of detail on projects.  For most engineering firms, the need for these higher level tools are likely a much higher LOD than the standard design intent LOD 300 documents.  These tools would be used to develop LOD 400 and above in most cases and would be used for developing fabrication-level documents for contractors in most cases.

Figure 1: Advanced Steel – Detailed Connections

Having tools to model the intricate pieces and parts is one thing, but the ability to utilize standard connections and break them out into fabrication elements such as plates, bolts, and specific cuts the fabricator needs to know in order to deliver the pieces to the field for installation is a timesaver when detailing a project. Being able to recycle information from the model saves the project team time and money.  The recycling of those objects and using them to create other custom families from project to project helps teams become more proficient with the software.

Autodesk also spent some time improving tools to help engineers with their design, detailing, and development of models for construction documents as well.  In the latest release, improvements to the Precast tools allow for floor assemblies for detailing building components.

Three main benefits of the Precast Extension improvements in this release are better quality, increased efficiency, and improved creativity in modeling components.

The quality of modeling precast components was improved by elminating some of the manual repetitive tasks, which in turn eliminates errors and omissions in the modeling process.  

When installed, the Precast Extension loads a number of tools, families, and templates. Some of the content you will find includes annotations, custom slab families (sample slabs), profiles, connection families, rebar shapes, and various other parts to use as a baseline to get you started.

Improvements also include more efficient rule-based tools to auto-generate detailed drawings of components.  These tools help in the development of shop drawings for fabrication and contractor line drawings for field use.

Allowing for more creativity and more efficient methods of modeling allows end users more time to spend on the design and development of the model and drawings rather than spending time on repetitive and routine tasks. 

For those who have dabbled in the customization of Revit, Autodesk has released the API components for the customization of precast automation.  Because people use Revit their own way and have developed workflows that meet their needs, it is necessary sometimes to customize parts of Revit or customize tools to help make those workflows more efficient.  The best way to accomplish this is to investigate the use of the API language and develop tools to help increase the proficiency of your firm’s staff.

Figure 2: Precast concrete shop drawings

With the use of the API tools, you can customize Revit to better develop precast shop drawings and configure the Precast tool to meet the needs of your firm’s specific workflows.  In the Autodesk Knowledgebase you will find examples of how to use the API language to develop tools to help make your staff more efficient in the development of the precast shop drawings and better develop your models to work smarter, not harder.  Getting familiar with the API also allows you to create links to other third-party applications that you use in the development of models and shop drawings that Autodesk does not already connect to.

Other structural enhancements in Revit 2019 were improvements to the scheduling and annotation of rebar components. Free form rebar is distributed among faces of structural elements and aligned along a defined path.  With the enhancements to the rebar tools you can model rebar in the 3D views rather than having to model in orientation views like plan and sections.

Figure 3: Free form rebar enhancements

Another third-party enhancement that integrates with Revit 2019 is the improvement of the RAM to Revit Import (or Translation) of the engineer’s analytical model.  The major improvement of the ISM tools in this version is that the foundations and walls that come from the analytical model are better quality now.  When foundations are translated from the ISM Repository to Revit, the rebar from the engineer’s design will also be converted to Autodesk Revit Rebar families.

General Enhancements

Many new features have been introduced to Revit 2019 to modernize the software’s look and feel. Many of the technology upgrades have been on user wish lists for several years.  Three of the general features I think will be most appreciated and useful moving forward are the additions of the true dual monitor feature, the ability to display levels in 3D views, and the ability to create rules with conditional rules.

The ability to utilize the dual screens with Revit now is a much-needed feature.  Before, the only way to utilize dual monitors with Revit was to span the application window across both monitors and then move dialog boxes to the second monitor.  It worked, but needed improvements to fix some issues.  The main issue with the application window spanning across both monitors is and always has been the “dead space” in the center.  For this reason, I have never used Revit on multiple monitors.  Moving forward, I can see a change in some workflows to take advantage of moving some dialog boxes to the other monitor and being able to maximize the size of the application modeling view.

With multi-monitor support, you can now move those other views/models to the second monitor.  I see this making it a lot easier when using the Transfer Project Standards tool.  Prior to this improvement, it was always a hassle trying to keep project views straight on which model you were copying from and to.  Now you can have one model on the left and one on the right to easily keep them straight.

I have only used the level display feature in the 3D view a few times, but so far it seems like an extremely useful feature.  Quite often we use isometric views in our drawings sets to give the contractor an image to better understand the big picture of the project.  The display of the levels in the 3D views will make it a lot easier to set up the cut location of the isometric views knowing where the floor plate (or level) is located.  Before the release of this feature, it was a guessing game as to whether you were setting the display of the view orientation at the right cut level.

Another enhancement I am glad to see is the ability to use fill patterns to define surface and cut patterns to enhance the graphic representation of objects in details and elevations.  Another enhancement to the graphic representation that many will find useful is the ability to set the foreground with one fill color and the background with a different color.  These fill colors can help project teams to graphically distinguish elements and improve the visual effects of the documents delivered to our clients.

Final Thoughts

The enhancements discussed in this article are but a few of the many enhancements to Revit 2019. Be sure to check out What’s New in the Revit Help documentation as well.

Kenn Farr is currently the CAD and BIM Manager for Teasley Services Group in Nashville. Tennessee. Previously, Kenn worked in the Practice Technology Group for 13 years in charge of training, development, implementation, and support over the Building Engineering groups.  Kenn has more than 24 years of experience in the AEC industry.

Appears in these Categories