[Transcript] Discussing New Features in Revit 2018 with Jack Trexler and Jason Boehning

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Video Transcript

Jason:
Hello everyone. My name is Jason Boehning, I am the Building Content Manager for CADLearning. I oversee the development of any Autodesk product related to building design such as Revit, Dynamo, Insight 360, and today we are going to focus on the new features in Revit 2018. With us today, I have Jack Trexler from U.S. CAD.

Jack:
Hello everyone. This is Jack Trexler, I’m a Technical Specialist with U.S. CAD. I mainly focus on the MEP portion at U.S. CAD, but I am involved in all of the AEC products from Autodesk with U.S. CAD.

Jason:
Awesome. All right, Jack, are you ready to take a look at some of the Revit 2018 new features?

Jack:
I am ready.

Jason:
All right. We’ll break it down by disciplines. We’ll start out with the core, what we call the core new features, that applies to all disciplines. And then we’ll take a look at architectural specific and then structure and then MEP or maybe we’ll change it up in there, we’ll see how it goes.

I think when we’re looking at Revit 2018, when you first install it, what would you say is the first thing you’re going to notice, Jack?

Jack:
It looks a little cleaner. I can’t pinpoint it, but it looks a little cleaner.

Jason:
Yeah, I think that’s a great way to describe it. They just kind of toned it out a little bit and it has a flatter appearance and one thing I noticed, the big R in the upper left corner is gone, so no more big R.

Jack:
Oh, it is. Yeah, it is gone.

Jason:
Now we have, there’s a little R and what we’ve referred to as the application menu has been replaced by the file tab. No more big R, which in my opinion was a staple of Revit, we’d always be like click on the big R in the upper left corner and it’s no longer there.

Jack:
That’s exactly what I say during my training classes. Always click on the big R.

Jason:
Guess you’re going to have to work on a new routine and throw in file tab.

Jack:
File tab, right.

Jason:
Doesn’t sound as exciting, I guess.

Jack:
Well, there is a little R there.

Jason:
There’s a little R. I tried to click on it but it really doesn’t do anything. I think you can click minimize or close and that’s about it. Anyways, all the same functionality that was in the application menu is now available in the file tab, so you just click the file tab and you can open, save, print, all that good stuff is still there. As Jack said, lot cleaner look which I think is nice. I think that’s probably the first thing you’ll notice when you open up Revit 2018. Now, let’s jump into the specific updates and new features in Revit 2018. We’ll just kind of go down the list here that we have. I think a really cool update is that you can now schedule model groups and Revit links. What do you think about that, Jack? You think that’s a good enhancement?

Jack:
I think this is going to be a good feature. Some of the projects that I’ve worked in the past where you’re doing hotels and large typical facilities where you have typical rooms. I think this might be a good way to filter, search, and maybe even get the schedule properties out of a model group for a typical room.

Jason:
I think that’s a great example, with these large projects especially something like hotels where you can have, who knows how many groups, and you can now schedule them. The other thing, you can add parameters to the model groups and RBT links category. That’ll aid, like you were saying, in filtering, scheduling, and really helping to document. Just from a project management standpoint, I think it could help quite a bit as well.

Jack:
Yes, definitely.

Jason:
Cool. Check that out for sure, I’d say that’s a big update. Another thing we have on the list here is sub categories for reference planes. This is kind of a minor update, so when you’re creating a reference plane, there’s that sub-category drop down and you’ve always been able to select a line style or a sub-category, well now there’s an option to create a new sub-category in that drop down. It’s a minor update but if you’re creating a lot of reference planes and you need to help distinguish them, you can create those sub-categories on the fly.

Jack:
That’ll be good.

Jason:
Do you remember last year, Jack, they added the rich text to text notes?

Jack:
Yes.

Jason:
I know there was a lot of complaints with people updating projects and their text notes kind of went a little crazy.

Jack:
Yes.

Jason:
Now, they’ve added the same update to the labels so now the rich text is available in labels. Hopefully it won’t mess it up as much when you upgrade, but maybe. We’ll see.

Jack:
I really only heard a couple bad ones. It upgraded and it really messed up their text. Other than that, it’s been pretty soft from upgrading to 17. Might be not too bad.

Jason:
My thought is it’ll be minor, but hopefully so. We’ll see. Just be on the lookout for that. Another thing is verification of family constraints. This is maybe a subtle update, but when you’re working in the family editor, if you do something you shouldn’t, that’s undesirable for Revit, it’ll warn you and I think the specific way that you’ll get a warning or an error is if you try to constrain a nested family to another form. Another piece of geometry if you will. I think it’ll pop up some type of warning that’s like hey, you shouldn’t do this. That’ll just kind of a check there by Revit.

Jack:
That would be helpful because I know there are some families that you get into the project, you load it into the project and it works fine in the family editor, then it just completely blows up in the project. Maybe that’s one of the verifications that we get.

Jason:
Yeah, hopefully this is the start of Revit kind of helping you out along the way saying hey, maybe you shouldn’t do this. Think twice before you do this.

Jack:
Yes.

Jason:
Imported 3D shapes, the update there is you can tag imported 3D shapes and you can dimension to cut edges of 3D shapes. You can place MEP connectors on imported 3D shapes. That’s helpful in the family editor as well.

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Jack:
I just had this come up in a class just a couple weeks ago, where customer was trying to insert in a 3D shape from somewhere that he got and he just couldn’t do it. It would either make the file too big or it wouldn’t go in at all.

Jason:
Interesting. Hopefully this will help and you can now tag it or dimension it and hopefully that’ll help. I guess a few minor things here, the tag all not tagged dialogue has been modified a little bit. I don’t think the functionality has really changed. There’s some more parameter tool tips to help out. I think Autodesk’s trying to standardize things a little bit. Print is now available on the quick access tool bar by default. That can be handy. The last core update we’ll talk about is that geographic data is now available in linked DWG files and I think to be more specific, when you use a geolocation. I say civil 3D would probably see that quite a bit there. You can now link that in and when you acquire those coordinates, Revit will recognize that it’s using a geolocation and when you got to the location weather and site dialogue, it’ll indicate that.

In my opinion, there’s still a little bit of work to be done between getting coordinates really working like they should, especially between civil 3D and Revit. Hopefully this is the start of that really working seamlessly. When you acquire coordinates, you can acquire that geolocation. Or if you set it up in Revit, you can link it by shared coordinates and use that geolocation.

Jack:
It’s good to see that they’re working on it. I know there’s always been troubles in the past with that. I usually don’t get into that directly, it’s usually indirectly through an architect because I’m MEP.

Jason:
Sure.

Jack:
I think this would be a good start.

Jason:
Yeah, I hope so. All right, so now we’ll move onto the architectural updates. If you want, I can share some of those with you, Jack, and some of our listeners here. I would say there’s really two big things. Multi-story stairs and railings. That’s been some pain points in Revit for a while and these are some improvements. Basically, in the past when you’ve created a multi-story stair, there is, I believe it’s called multistory top level, so you’d select the stair and you could set this parameter to create the multistory stair. Well, now, in 2018, you can select a stair and there’s a new tool on the contextual ribbon called select levels. You basically select the levels that you want to extend the stair to. From a visual perspective, it’s easier to create multistory stairs. Then, also, the functionality behind it is a little better in that when you create that multistory stair, the stairs with the same level height are grouped, so you can now edit them as a group and you still have the same multistory stair as well.

The way I like to describe it is there’s three things you should be looking for. The actual multistory stair object that is created and then the groups that are created with the stairs that have the same level height and then you still have the individual stairs at each level. If needed, you can unpin them and edit them individually. Once again, I think the multistory stair process has been updated to make it more user friendly.

Railings on multistory stairs, they are grouped so the railings that are attached to the stair that is used to create the multistory stair, those are then grouped. There’s some added functionality in modifying railings so you can now, when you edit the railing path, you can switch the end points, so if you have a railing type that uses a different post at the start and the end, you can now flip those and even if you, say you close the sketch on a multistory railing, you can now switch the start point of where that railing actually begins in that multistory stair.

Just a little more functionality in how the railings work and attach to the stairs and then I guess the last thing I would add is you can host railings to a topo surface and so that helps if you’re creating fences or maybe some type of guard rail on a site, you can now host it to a topo surface to help model that more accurately. You have any thoughts on that, Jack, from your perspective?

Jack:
Not too many. It looks like they’re still moving with the railings. I know last year they added the attachment to the roofs for the railings. They’ve added more onto that.

Jason:
I’ll be honest, I think there’s still a little work to be done, but that’s getting better and better each year.

Jack:
Oh yeah. At least they’re addressing it.

Jason:
Yeah, that’s a good thing. The last thing I’ll touch on here on architecture updates and really, I would say this is more of a core update, but coordination models, so you can now link coordination models from Navisworks. I think that’s huge in my opinion, because in Navisworks, you can bring in whatever you want into Navisworks and then be able to link that to Revit, that’s awesome.

Jack:
Yes, I think that is huge. Getting that into the coordination model. Now, also I watched their video today and they said something about Infraworks. I’m not an Infraworks user, but putting that in also. They’re referencing the coordination models as well. A Navisworks information model inside Revit is huge. That’s a good one.

Jason:
Definitely. The only thing I’ll add is it’s basically an underlay or just a reference so you can’t snap to it, you can’t select any of the objects. It’s just kind of there, so keep that in mind, any of our listeners that are thinking maybe they can use it to trace over to snap to, you’re not going to be able to do that, it’s just going to be there for visual reference.

I think MEP is next on the list. Do you want to jump into the MEP enhancements?

Jack:
Yeah, I’ll get into the MEP enhancements. I like how they’re starting to break it out now. Last year was kind of an MEP only fabrication, I think there was one or two updates last year for designers. Now, they’re starting to break it up. Looks like we’ve got two updates for the MEP fabricators and detailers and then a couple for the designers and engineers. The first one, I’m really excited about, I’m glad that they put this in, because I do get asked this. Why does the Revit MEP parts fit together like Legos? Why do I have to place them in like Legos? Why can’t I just draw it like design duck work?

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Now, with 2018, you can draw it just like design duck work. With using the multipoint routing tool, I think this is going to be really cool.

Jason:
Yeah, I agree. That’s a good analogy, place them in there like Legos.

Jack:
Oh yes. Like little building pieces. The next we’ve got is slope pipe for the fabrication parts. If you place them part by part or call out your slope and they will slope in Revit. You can also use the same thing when using the multipoint routing tool, you can define your slope. One of the real cool things about this slope pipe is if you put a vertical in, it keeps it vertical. If you change your main slope to quarter inch to eighth inch and so on, all your verticals will stay vertical. They stay in that vertical position instead of sloping it.

Jason:
That’s good. I think this was definitely a must have, you got to be able to slope some of these piping systems. I’m glad to see that.

Jack:
Yeah, I think in the past we really had to do this in CAD MEP and then import it into Revit which was not a great work flow, but I think this is going to be a lot better.

Jason:
Good.

Jack:
The next items we have is for designers, so designers, engineers. The first one I want to talk about is the analytical pipe connections. Now, what we can do is we can lay out our equipment, we can lay out our major piping run. This is for closed loop piping, so when we got our major runs out, we can connect our equipment to the pipe analytically. We don’t have to worry about off setting and connecting directly to that piece of equipment, we can just basically connect to that pipe analytically with the equipment and we can now start getting some of the flow data and pressure drops.

Jason:
That’s another huge update in my opinion. I actually have a lot of experience in mechanical design and you want some of those calculations but you have to connect it up and you’re drawing all the one inch piping to try to get it to connect to your main just so you can get some flow calculations.

Jack:
Yes.

Jason:
That’s nice, just be able to pipe in an analytical connector and let it go.

Jack:
Yes, then the architect comes and changes everything, then all that work that you did you got to redo it. Yeah, really like that. Then the next one is just the flow and pressure drop calculations. They’re starting to build on this, which is good to see, really good to see. I like to use Revit as an engineering software instead of just a drafting software.

Jason:
Definitely.

Jack:
Yeah, and then we’re moving into the next one for HVAC designers and engineers. Now we can start putting outdoor air input parameters for building and space types. This is a really nice one. My experience designing in south Florida, outdoor air is very crucial, the ventilation type, the ventilation air flows and all of that and having to be able to tie those parameters to building and space types is a really good thing.

Jason:
Definitely, I agree. I’m actually based here in Houston, Texas. You don’t want to be off by 50, even 100 CFM on that outdoor air and start sizing up your systems and be off on that, so that’s definitely a crucial update that we needed, so I’m glad to see that.

Jack:
Another thing, on top of that, too, now we can edit those space types and building types. We can make our own now, that’ll be good. The last and final thing for MEP designers is for electrical. This always comes up in my electrical classes, this always comes up, is how does it calculate voltage drop when you’re connecting to a panel. How does Revit even get that? Well it’s usually just an A to B. Point to point. Now, what we can do is we can edit the circuit path. If you have a circuit that is low and that needs to go up in the ceiling or maybe even up a couple floors and then come back down to an electrical room, we can lay that path out and it will connect to our voltage drops.

Jason:
I know that’s been a pain point for as long as I can remember.

Jack:
Yes.

Jason:
That’s awesome. All right, well the last discipline we have to cover here is structure. I can run through some of those, so there’s a lot of updates in 2018 around steel connections. They introduced that last year in 2017 and in 2018, one of the major updates is being able to edit the primary member and then the order of the secondary members. Method that they have available now in 2018 is a drag and drop method, so basically there’s a dot if you will at each connection and you can just drag and drop those to define the order and the primary member in that connection. Also, in addition to being able to update the order of the priority in those connections, the steel connections for Revit add in has several new connections available so you can download that add in and use those in your model.

I believe Revit can now analyze custom framing elements in those steel connections, so that’s a nice update. When editing the rebar constraint behavior, that mode if you will, I can’t remember what it’s called exactly, but edit rebar constraint, you can now use that mode in a 3D view and so that helps to visualize the constraint references and just make it a little bit easier when you’re editing that constraint behavior of your rebar. Other than that, I think that’s the majority of the structural updates, so Jack, you have anything to add?

Jack:
I’m glad to see actual connectors in structural instead of floating beams to floating beams.

Jason:
Right.

Jack:
I think that’s really cool. I like that.

Jason:
Yeah, it makes the models look a little more realistic. I think the last thing that I would add is if you see some new updates, you’re kind of unsure, I don’t see this listed in the 2018 updates. If you are not familiar with the 2017.1 or .2 updates, those are also rolled into Revit 2018, so you may want to check out the documentation on those updates as well because like I said, those are now available in Revit 2018. I appreciate everybody joining us and if you are not on Revit 2018, I encourage you to go get it and check it out. All right, thanks Jack.

Jack:
Thank you.

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