Category Archives: Revit

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Revit Update Release: Improving Design and Construction Workflows via BIM 360

WRITTEN BY: Tristam Wallace

The Revit team has just released Revit 2019.1, including a host of new capabilities that help you create, optimize and connect. The new features in Revit 2019.1 bring some exciting new capabilities for contractors and BIM for construction projects, and we wanted to share what’s new here at Connect & Construct.

With preconstruction tasks forming the foundation for successful construction project execution, enabling digital workflows between design, engineering and construction teams can pay huge dividends on overall project success. The more aligned all of these stakeholders are – and more efficient the information sharing between them can become – can pay huge dividends in the speed and quality of the project.

Cloud-based construction management software like BIM 360 allows collaboration to occur across all disciplines within the project. The BIM 360 ecosystem allows teams to share project models and coordinate planning, ensuring all design stakeholders have insight into the project.

A set of new capabilities in Revit 2019.1 makes this collaboration even more effective by tying together authoring tools and BIM 360 like never before.

New Revit Home screen

With Revit 2019.1, it is much easier for you to open your BIM 360 Design models directly from Revit Home. You can now access a workshared cloud model directly from the Revit home page, selecting from a list of BIM 360 projects in the left panel of the home UI.

Quite simply, this means that once you are storing your models in BIM 360, we are making your Revit workflows easier – sharing data across Autodesk tools and helping teams work together.

revit-body-3Revit Home is a new way to navigate and access your Revit models, no matter if the file is local, on Revit Server or in the Cloud with BIM 360 Design.

Site Collaboration with Civil 3D

The Site Collaboration feature introduces unprecedented interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D.  Using the Autodesk Desktop Connector and BIM 360, you can now easily link topography from Civil 3D into Revit.

What’s this mean for construction project teams? BIM 360 becomes the connection point for Revit & Civil 3D. Engineers in Civil 3D can publish topography and view the resulting data in BIM 360. Once the data is verified, the export can be linked to the Revit model and Civil 3D geolocation will place the model appropriately.

It gets better. When updates are made to the topography in Civil 3D, the process can be simply repeated and the linked Revit model will be updated. This dramatically speeds the process of keeping teams up to date when preparing for site work.

revit-body-4The Site Collaboration feature introduces unprecedented
interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D.  You can easily link
topography from Civil 3D into Revit using Autodesk Desktop Connector
and BIM 360 Docs. You will also be able to interact with this topography in Revit with surface hosting, tagging and scheduling.

Link IFC files to Revit in BIM 360 with the Desktop Connector

With Revit 2019.1 IFC files can be linked in Revit using Desktop Connector and they will maintain their links. This feature will open doors for new IFC collaborative workflows.

revit-body-1With Revit 2019.1 IFC files can be linked in Revit using
Desktop Connector and they will maintain their links. 

Free Form Rebar Aligned Distribution

For construction project teams working in Revit 2019.1, the Free Form Rebar tool can now be used to create rebar sets with planar bars distributed along the faces of a structural element and aligned to a distribution path.  This new type of the free form rebar distribution increases 3D rebar modeling versatility and helps you define accurate reinforcement for standard and non-standard shapes of concrete elements.

This means that when working in Revit, teams can address Rebar coordination in 3D to verify design and construction.

revit-body-2The free form rebar aligned distribution increases 3D rebar modeling versatility and helps you define the accurate reinforcement.

There’s lots more to see in Revit 2019.1 as well, with features to help teams create, optimize and connect

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Help Improve Revit with the Revit Ideas Board

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With the 2018 and 2019 releases of Revit, Autodesk has finally begun adding features that users have long requested. They have also added major improvements that help users overall, even though they weren’t a request. While it seems this is a hit and miss scenario, there really are two approaches.

Autodesk’s current approach is to include features and enhancements that they find useful. They have also opened up the API for editing using Dynamo. There are also a good number of add-ins, free and paid, to handle some very common features that Revit still does not include.

There is, however, a way for users to band together to have their suggestions heard which is the Revit Ideas Board. This is a central place for users to submit ideas and get other users to vote on ideas for approval. Just under the most voted section are two ideas that were actually implemented in 2019:

With a six month window to gather enough support, a lot of ideas die quickly. Here are some tips to get the most traction:

  1. Post one idea at a time rather than multiple ideas. This ensures that a specific idea gets voted and approved rather than 5 ideas getting passed over.
  2. Be specific. Don’t just say “make this like AutoCAD” when some users may not be aware of that AutoCAD feature. Provide detailed info, screenshots, and backup documentation, anything to get the idea across the first time
  3. Share with other users, user groups etc. and put a reminder to visit the site at least weekly to look at new ideas. The more users actively reviewing and voting the better chance your ideas will be heard



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Stay Updated with Autodesk Health Dashboard

When working with Autodesk Cloud services, it’s uncertain when any one of these services might stop working for  period of time. Whether it’s C4R, BIM 360 Design, Autodesk Drive or others, you need to be in-the-know when users run into a connection issue.

Fortunately Autodesk has provided the Health Dashboard to stay informed on service outages:

Additionally, any user with an Autodesk account can sign in and subscribe to e-mails to get immediate notifications on these outages. The services a user can subscribe to vary based on the access they’ve been given

Don’t be in the dark when Autodesk Cloud services are down. Get immediate notifications to help minimize lost productivity.

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Change an Autodesk Product from Network to Stand-Alone or Stand-Alone to Network

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To change a product which has already been installed from network to stand-alone, or stand-alone to network – you’ll modify the file with Notepad. Ensure the product you wish to modify is closed.

To find the appropriate file for your application, you’ll start with C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\CLM\LGS\

From there, you’ll be looking for the product version first, and then the key.

The folder names are structured so that the product key comes first, and underscore, and then the version. It will look like this:


That happens to be Autodesk Vault Professional 2019. In that folder, there is an file. Select it, right-click on it, and pick Open With…

Select Notepad from the list of options.

Change the file. If it’s a network currently, you’ll see _NETWORK. You want that to be stand-alone? Change it to _STANDALONE

If it already says _STANDALONE and you want it to be a network license, you’ll change it _NETWORK

Save the file.

Launch the product. It should now take you through the process (network or stand-alone) for obtaining a license for your product.

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New Downloadable Content: Revit 2018.1 and 2018.2

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As Autodesk moves forward, users won’t be seeing simple fixes as updates are released. Rather, Autodesk is incorporating new features and content, treating each update as a new product release.

However, when new content to support the updates is available, they are not incorporated within the update itself. Fortunately the content is available online. Here are two of the content updates released this year.

In Revit 2018.1, Autodesk incorporated new ready to use content, including cubicle families, parametric windows, and numerous others. See here for additional information and download:

Revit 2018.2 also added new content, including a system family library with walls, floors, ceiling, roofs, stairs and railings, also precast content and more. See here for additional information and download:

Keep an eye out with each update as they may add some useful content that you don’t want to miss.

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Switch to Subscription: Changing License Types

With a Maintenance plan, you had two license types:

  • Stand-Alone
  • Network

With a Subscription plan, you have two license types:

  • Single-User
  • Multi-User

A Single-User license is the equivalent to a Stand-Alone license.

A Multi-User license is the equivalent to a Network License.


Before, you would use a serial number and product key to activate a product on a workstation. With Single-User licenses, you may still need a serial number and product key, but you’ll also need access to that serial number and product key – granted by the Autodesk Account. When a company purchases subscription software, a Contract Manager is assigned. The Contract Manager will set up the Autodesk Account, and add users via email address. Once the users have been added to the account, they’ll get emails asking them to log-in, activating their Autodesk Accounts. The Contract Manager can then allow those users access to the Subscription software seats.


Not a lot changes here. You’re still using LMTools and a license file to license the software. While you don’t have to sign-in to Autodesk Account to access Multi-User software, the benefits, like cloud rendering and various analysis tools will require permission. So even though it isn’t needed to launch Revit, it’s a good idea to add users and configure the Autodesk Account so that those users can take advantage of the Subscription benefits.

There are two things happening in this scenario, you’re switching license models (Maintenance to Subscription) and switching license types as well.

So, if you’re switching to Subscription and moving to Multi-User licenses, this post is for you:

If you’re switching to Subscription and moving to Single-User licenses, this post is for you:


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Assemblies vs Groups: Revit

While working in Revit, the need  to create copies of layouts of rooms or elements is common, and Revit provides two options to do so: Groups and Assemblies. But what do each of these tools do and what are the differences between them? To understand both tools let’s start with groups.


Groups enable a user to gather elements together to work as one unit yet tag and schedule the individual elements. There are three types of groups:

  • Model Groups: Consists of model elements only
  • Detail Groups: Consists of detail or annotation elements only
  • Model Groups with Attached Detail Groups: Consists of a model group with the associated detail group attached to it

Creating a groups is as simple as selecting the elements (detail or annotation) needing to be grouped together, then in the Modify | Multi-Select tab, select Create Group and name the group.

Once created, groups are easily modified by selecting the group and in the Modify | Model Groups, choose Edit Group

Inside the editor, elements can be added or removed, and detail groups can be attached to a model group, whether lines, text or detail components.

Groups can be rotated and copied easily within the project. While they can also be mirrored, when dealing with model components with systems connections or specific manufacturer specs, it is a better practice to create right and left groups so that the individual elements are not mirrored in a way that cannot be manufactured.

Individual elements can be excluded from an instance of a group, without editing the group, by using <Tab> to cycle through the group to select the element to exclude, then click on the Group Member icon to remove.

Groups can be saved out as separate Revit files to be used in other projects. A Revit file can be loaded into a file as a group, and a linked Revit file can be bound to the Revit project file which will convert it to a group. Please note that walls in linked files will not join to walls in a hosted project file, but if converted to a group the walls will join as in a typical file.

Elements within a group will tag and schedule according to their specific category When creating instance parameters for elements within groups, it is important to note the option for Values can align per group instance. For instance, creating a Material instance property with this option allows an element to have varying materials assigned in each instance of a group.

As a best practice, when including hosted elements in a group it is a good idea to include the host as well. It is also recommended not to include datum objects in a group and not nesting groups within groups. Groups can contain elements from different phases.


Assemblies also organize related elements within the project, but unlike groups this feature is designed to help track and schedule a collection of elements as a single entity. As with groups, select the elements to assemble, and in the Modify | Multi-select tab click Create Assembly. Elements in an assembly must be in the same phase.

If selecting objects of different categories you have the opportunity to select which category the assembly will inherit. The assembly will tag and schedule based on this category.

Assemblies vary from groups in that you can create a series of views dedicated to the assembly. Simply select the assembly and select Create Views. In the dialog box, choose the View Scale, Views to create, and Titleblock for a sheet as well.

The views and sheet are grouped under assemblies in the Project Browser.

The views can then be added to the sheet. Note that the rest of the model is not shown.

In summary,  use both Groups and Assemblies to streamline the project into repeated parts, thus saving time and simplifying your model while providing all the needed information for scheduling and detailing.