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July 16, 2020 by Aleksandras Seza

The advent of 3D design and BIM put a new spin on MEP coordination: resolving clashes between elements in a model instead of lines in a drawing. MEP engineers working 2D have to imagine piping or ductwork in their heads while making drawings that then need to be checked for viability by the structural designer or perhaps even on-site by the builder. BIM integrates MEP and structural design so that architects, structural & MEP engineers know in advance exactly where MEP elements will be placed during the construction phase, enabling them to create precise models and schedules. Nonetheless, MEP runs still need to be checked to ensure structural integrity and constructability, and that's a very time-consuming procedure requiring a lot of attention to produce the desired result, error-free.

Fortunately, there is a way to dramatically increase productivity in this area. AGACAD’s Cut Opening BIM software not only inserts openings in your projects where MEP elements intersect structural elements but also facilitates coordination between different disciplines and engineers working on the same project. When openings are created, each has its own parameters to mark whether it is acceptable or not, and, with the Opening control window, you can check the parameters of every single opening in your project that was inserted with our Cut Opening tool. What’s more, the control window allows you to create a dynamic section box that will move the section box in your 3D view directly to the opening selected in the table, making it easier to locate and check openings requiring review.

In addition to the features above, the opening families we provide with Cut Opening are available for any user modifications. It's possible to add things such as sleeves or collars to their geometry, add parameters, and change their representation according to company needs or country codes. We encourage users to take full advantage of the flexibility that Cut Opening brings.

July 07, 2020 by Valensas Balsevicius

Last week I posted about how to insert shoes for precast concrete columns from ProdLib libraries efficiently in Revit. Again, shout-outs to ProdLib for their great BIM content libraries and to Peikko for making their structural connections for precast concrete available for us designers to use in Revit.

This week I show how you can manually place Peikko lifting anchors and make modifications VERSUS how you can place them and change parameters automatically using our Precast Concrete BIM design software. Hope you will find this useful!


  1. Load lifting family from ProdLib.
  2. If the Revit family doesn't snap to the wall face, just modify it using the Family Editor.
  3. Change category.
  4. Let's place manually and change some parameters.
  5. Let's automate the detail insertion process! Use the Smart Connections tool that's part of our Precast Concrete BIM software.
  6. Create a new configuration to place lifting families relative to the center of gravity.
  7. Repeat on the side of the wall.
  8. Apply the configuration to all walls.
  9. Modify the configuration so that details on the wall edge will be oriented correctly...
  10. Update All...
  11. ⚡️Presto! All details are inserted based on wall shape and size. For future walls, just run the configuration to insert all those lifting anchors with JUST ONE CLICK!

July 01, 2020 by Valensas Balsevicius

Anstar and Peikko both manufacture structural connections for precast concrete. And they've gone the extra step of making their respective products available for designers to use by uploading them to BIM content libraries. You can find their products in the libraries put together by ProdLib. Now that's some great BIM content right there! As we've been saying for years, "Manufacturers, we need you in BIM!"

Whichever manufacturer you may choose, here is a workflow for inserting column shoes efficiently from ProdLib using our Precast Concrete BIM design software for Revit.


  1. Insert precast column shoes using Prodlib libraries.
  2. If the Revit Family doesn't snap to the Host, just modify it by changing a few options in the Family Editor.
  3. Create a configuration to insert 4 column shoes all at once using the Smart Connections tool that's part of our Precast Concrete BIM software.
  4. Use the configuration on all columns.
  5. Flip details using the 'Modify Elements' command.
  6. Update the other columns.
  7. Modify the Family to automatically track the size of the column.
  8. Rotate the column shoes in one column, and just update the others so that they all automatically follow the size of the precast column.

June 10, 2020 by Valensas Balsevicius

The newest version of our Smart Assemblies BIM tool for automating shop drawings in Revit has just been released.

The primary update in the new version has to do with the Smart Dimensions feature. In the previous version of Smart Assemblies, the Smart Dimensions configurations were in the Hosted Metal Details tab:

But with this update, Smart Dimensions has been moved to its own tab, outside of Hosted Metal Details. This means that you can create dimensions by using settings in the Hosted Metal Details tab AND in the Smart Dimensions tab.

For current users of Smart Assemblies, it‘s important to know that if you had an existing configuration with Smart Dimensions turned ON, then in your configuration you will now find that Hosted Metal Details and Smart Dimensions are BOTH turned ON. In some situations that could cause duplicate dimensions because Hosted Metal Detail dimensioning rules and Smart Dimensions will both be applied.

June 03, 2020 by Renata Jočienė

Greetings to all AGACAD Wood Framing product lovers! We know that there are many of you all over the world who get a lot out of our professional tools for Revit. For those of you who work with prefabricated roof framing and rafter structures, the newly released version of Wood Framing Roof+ has some new features that will be especially helpful for you. Let's take a look.

1. Reduced number of families but more flexible and intelligent. The new families are easier to use than the old ones that they have replaced, and you’ll find that they greatly expand your framing possibilities. Just pay attention when you get around to using them, especially if you decide to use them on an existing project, because new framing configurations will be installed with the new families. (More on the configurations below.)

Recommendation: Finish existing projects with the existing families and framing configurations. Install the new Roof+ version when you start a new project.

Also, note that new families can be renamed with old family names and can be successfully used in new projects with only minor adjustments made to existing configurations.

Here is a side-by-side list of the new families and the old families being replaced in Imperial projects. (For Metric projects, there will be M_ at the beginning).

June 03, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

Working with volumetric massing in the early phases of a new project benefits all parties involved, like designers, developers, planners. It helps convey the key ideas behind the design intent and better understand the relationships between the new building, the site, and immediate built environment. Wouldn’t it be handy to be able to build your project on the finalized and agreed upon volumes of the future building? In the third part of this Revit Massing series, we’re going to discuss how you can continue modeling from the conceptual massing stage right through to detailed design and also be able to coordinate it with other consultants involved in the project.

In the previous articles, we talked about the difference between an in-place mass and a mass family and how to create a conceptual mass family in Revit. Part III here will focus on how to generate Revit elements based on an existing in-place mass family. Before we proceed, let’s recap the main difference between two mass types in Revit.

In-Place Massing (in project)

Massing & Site > In-Place Mass
Conceptual Massing Environment (outside project)

Revit > File > New > Conceptual Mass

May 28, 2020 by Valensas Balsevicius

Parking garages can be built from a variety of materials – cast-in-place, precast concrete, steel framing with concrete, even wood. Perhaps most often seen as stand-alone buildings, they are frequently incorporated into a larger structure, concealed below ground level or several floors above ground. Architecturally speaking they can range from simple to highly unique, boasting tailor-made façades. Functionally most are quite plain though they may be outfitted with complex automatic parking systems.

At any rate, we need them. A lot. That’s why they're being built all over the place. Here in Vilnius, Lithuania, car parks are gradually relieving the lack of parking spaces, an all-too-common problem affecting cities worldwide. Underground ones are ideal in the city center here for preserving views of the city’s splendid architecture. Although every situation is different, precast concrete is probably the best choice for your typical, economical, functional parking structure due to its relatively simple design and fast construction timetable that's less affected by weather conditions. Plus architectural ideas can easily be implemented in façade wall panels.

The AEC industry has been undergoing the transition from 2D digital drafting to 3D informational modeling, data management, sharing, linking between people and software platforms. In four words, building information modelling/management. In a word, BIM.

Marina Villas Parking Garage, courtesy of CKR EngineersImage courtesy of CKR Engineers

If we look at the case of an independent, standalone parking garage building, most of it is structural. A typical one has simple architecture, and there’s hardly any MEP or other parts of the project to deal with. So in this article, I want to review the design workflow and available tools that make the process efficient in structural BIM models, particularly as regards modeling and documentation.

May 27, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

Designing roofs in Revit can pose certain difficulties particularly for users less familiar with roof modeling tools. Creating exact roof geometry and size for a new build or modeling an existing roof to given dimensions is not always straightforward. If we follow some key principles, however, we can model quite a few roofs simply by using Revit's ‘Roof by Footprint’ tool. For more complex roof profile shapes, ‘Roof by Extrusion’ is typically used, which we will cover in future articles. Other ways of creating roofs are 3D massing using the ‘Roof by Face’ tool, which allows you to come up with a greater variety of complex roof designs, and In-Place Massing or Mass Families, which allows you to design irregular roofs and tensile roof structures.

For now, we’ll focus on some of the more common roof types used for small-scale residential, commercial, and industrial projects.

To create a simple hip roof with the ‘Roof by Footprint’ tool, follow the steps below.

  1. Have your perimeter walls and levels ready
  2. In Architecture tab select Roof – Roof by Footprint tool and choose desired roof type
  3. Choose a relevant level for a bottom face of the roof
  4. Use Pick Walls tools and hover over a wall – press tab to select all joined perimeter walls
  5. Define roof parameters like overhangs, slopes, offset from level, rafter cut
  6. Finish the roof by exiting roof editor
May 20, 2020 by Valensas Balsevicius

Want to create layouts of precast concrete slabs efficiently in Revit? Our Precast Concrete design software has two tools to do that: Floor Panel Layout (for Floor system families) and the new Floor+C tool (for Structural Framing families).

While both Floor Panel Layout and Floor+C let you create solid, hollow core, double tee, and other types of slabs, in some cases one tool is better than the other. It also depends on user habits and project type. An example where you might want to use Floor+C is if you have warped double tee slabs, as are commonly used in parking garages in North America. Another situation is if your Structural Framing family has camber. And there are probably other cases our users will find.

Floor+C distributes Structural Framing families based on reference floor boundaries. This tool replaces a similar tool (Floor+M) that used to be part of our Precast Concrete toolbox. The reason for the replacement is that Floor+M had default steel families and some settings that were not related to precast. Floor+C should make it clearer since it comes with solid, hollow core, and double tee slab families and sample configurations for precast.

To use Floor+C, follow these steps:

May 19, 2020 by Povilas Sindriūnas

By Povilas Sindriūnas, AGACAD Architectural Engineer & BIM Application Engineer

In previous articles we have discussed how to create an In-Place Mass and Mass family and shown how to efficiently generate Revit elements upon massing. Now we’re going to take it one step further and demonstrate how to begin with a project concept and finish off with fully framed elements and drawings in less than 30 minutes using AGACAD’s Wood Framing Wall and Metal Framing Wall BIM Solutions.

At the outset, it’s important to set out your massing accordingly. The more details you have, the better. Sizing and number of levels is a good place to start sculpting volumes. Generally, volumetric massing is widely accepted as a primary means of early stage building design. Using mass blocks to define a building’s future shape, size, space quality, and design features is a standard method of tackling a new project at the conceptual design stage. Revit has a great tool for massing at a detailed level, i.e. a fixing (fastener) or a detail that is part of a larger assembly. It also works great with large-scale massing, i.e. clusters of buildings or an entire masterplan.

Ok, let’s do it. From concept to framing to drawings in under 30 minutes.

Thank you.

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