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September 25, 2015 by Valensas Balsevicius

How to Model Precast Elements and Complete Documentation Much Faster in Revit®?

In this post, I would like to talk about modeling of concrete structures in Autodesk® Revit®. After I switched from AutoCAD to Revit, I never wanted to get back to 2D drawings and previous workflow. Anyway, I always seek perfection and there is a long way ahead for Revit to fit all engineer’s needs. Our company has understood this a long time ago and we started developing tools for Revit users’ efficiency: simple apps and powerful BIM solutions.

I will mention a few of our tools here for your consideration and usage in structural modeling process.

Insert Elements – this is a powerful solution that allows Revit users to quickly insert individual or group of elements into walls, beams, and columns according to defined rules. It can be very helpful, for example, when you need to insert a group of bolts to the bottom of selected columns, or hosted details to the top, edge or ends of the beams, arrays of grout filling tubes at the bottom of walls etc.

It is very important to note that families can adapt to the size of the element you insert the family in, therefore you don’t need to move your connection details manually for every element. This solves a lot of headaches when you work with face based structural connectors and try to insert them at the exact required place.

Smart Floor – this Revit add-on lets you create hollow core slabs between your selected supports, then update them according to the project changes. It is much easier to control floor slab lengths and locations using Smart Floors rather than standard Structural Framing families.

Another Revit plug-in relevant for concrete structure designers, is Sort Mark. It looks like quite a simple tool, because this Revit app numbers your model elements. But, if you had ever had detailed project with a lot of different elements, then you will definitely like this tool.

How would you give mark values to columns, beams, walls etc.? You would probably go to the schedule, make appropriate filtering and sorting and write all mark values individually. This actually needs you to be very concentrated for you not to name different elements with the same marks.

Sort Mark is the tool that allows you to set up rules for recognition of differences between elements (volume, length, level, ID, type... all the possible parameters you can think of). It also enables you to indicate what kind of information should be written to the mark values. You can save these rules and use them in all your future projects and do numbering of elements in a few seconds without thinking too much.

I think automatic numbering is one of the advantages that every 3D design software must have. It is so great to renumber in just a few clicks and update changes easily through the complicated design workflow we must follow.

If you work with assemblies, then probably you know: it is problematic and time consuming. If you create assembly and views in standard Revit – how you change visibility settings of every view? You would probably switch between every view and hopefully apply view templates one by one.

How would you add dimensions, like total dimensions, hosted details constrains, openings and add notes to that? Yes, Revit has dimension, line and text tool - you can use that. After views and dimensions are set, you will have to drag all views to the sheets. But would you do that though, when let’s say you have 5 views of every 200 elements in your small project? Even if you would, what about bigger project? Don’t even want to think about it? That’s right! Good thing there is Smart Assemblies.

Smart Assemblies is a tool for shop drawing creation. It is a great improvement to Assemblies command in Revit. It does complete shop drawings automatically: you just need to prepare configurations and all view templates, dimensions, schedules and gravity points, which are created automatically and even placed on sheets! It is a really great solution which saves a lot of your valuable time.

I would like to invite you to see all these tools in action in a free 60 min webinar where you will be able to learn how they actually work. Functionality of all Revit extensions that are presented in this blog post will be presented in the free webinar How to Model Precast Elements and Complete Documentation Much Faster in Revit® coming up on Thursday, October 1st. Don’t be late – REGISTER to reserve your seat now. We are looking forward to seeing you in the webinar!

Thank you.

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