Friday, April 27, 2007

My Top Three Features in Revit Architecture 2008

Last week at the annual Autodesk "Tech Camp" for reseller Application Engineers, an Autodesker and I were talking about the new Revit 2008 release and he made a comment that while it wasn't a really "sexy" release, it was still huge in many ways. I disagree - I think it is a really "sexy" release! Lots of good new stuff - and some major pain points addressed - but here are my top three - look for some tutorials on these in the near future:

1) Groups - They finally WORK! It's hard to describe just how much better these things are, but once you start working with them, if you've ever dealt with the shortcomings of Revit groups in the past, you will be amazed at the leaps that they've made in this release. I doubt you'll be ungrouping much anymore...

You can now "exclude" items from an individual group instance without affecting other group instances - so when you have conflicting elements (overlapping walls between two groups, for example), you can exclude one of them to resolve the situation.

You can also "Move" objects from a group instance to your project - what actually happens is the object gets excluded from the instance and a copy is placed in your project that allows you to edit it seperately from the group.

When you edit a group, you have full access to all design palettes so you can create objects during the group-edit process and they are automatically part of the group.

No more RVG files - save a group to a file and it's an RVT project. Link it back in to your project and bind it (another improvement in Revit - file linking enhancements), and it will over-write the previous group definition. This means you can have repetitive elements stored in external files - edit the external file, link them and bind them to make massive updates to your model quickly and painlessly.

2) Dependent Views and Matchlines - You can now duplicate a view into multiple dependent views (view properties are linked). You can then crop those multiple dependent views separately and place them on separate sheets. If you rotate one of the views, annotation keeps it's proper horizontal justification. Matchlines can be placed that are "intelligent" across multiple dependent views. This addresses an issue that I've run across in virtually every firm I've worked with. No more sloppy workarounds with multiple duplicated views that have to be managed separately.

3) Graphic display improvements - you can now hide elements and categories permanently - a new "Show hidden elements" mode allows you to see the hidden elements and un-hide them if necessary. A simple, but very much needed improvement.

Stay tuned for more details on these, and more enhancements to the Revit platform...


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