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AEC TECH NEWS: Autodesk Revit 2018 release strengthens support for multidiscipline design

AEC TECH NEWS: Autodesk Revit 2018 release strengthens support for multidiscipline design

Figure 1: Automate tasks with one-click scripts. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Autodesk said the release of Autodesk Revit 2018 software is the latest step in the continual evolution and development of its software for multidiscipline connected BIM.  Delivering tools for consistent, coordinated, and comprehensive modeling for architects, MEP and structural engineers and detailers, and construction contractors, Revit 2018 reflects the priorities and plans set out in the public Revit road map published by Autodesk. This road map defines forward-looking themes that help guide and prioritize the development of Revit features and functionality with input coming directly from software users via the Revit Ideas Page.

As Autodesk moves to a subscription model, Revit delivers more frequent value with multiple releases per year. Accordingly, Revit 2018 includes and builds on new features and functionality that were first made available to subscribers in the Revit 2017.1 and 2017.2 point releases.

Revit 2018 features solidify its role as a tool for multi-discipline design that extends design towards detailing for MEP and multi-material structural models. It helps designers and engineers provide more accurate design intent models and gives detailers the ability to develop models to a higher level of fidelity for fabrication and installation purposes.

“Revit 2018 is optimized to be part of a foundational BIM portfolio that serves the major design disciplines of architecture, MEP, and structure, and the major material trades with MEP, steel, and concrete,” says Autodesk vice president of BIM products Jim Lynch. “This enables designers, the trades, and contractors to model with greater levels of detail that can help drive the fabrication process more seamlessly.”

With more features that free users to focus on design rather than on the software, Revit 2018 helps improve design intent creation with improvements that support productivity by automating workflows and simplifying painful multi-step processes.

Key new or enhanced features include:

  • The Dynamo Player, released with Revit 2017.1, is now part of Revit 2018, offering a utility that plays scripts created in the Dynamo graphical programming interface, making it easier for users to apply scripts that can enhance and extend Revit model behavior.
  • Revit 2018 extends the power of global parameters, which help embed design intent in a model to also apply to radial and diameter dimensions and equality constraints.
  • New coordination model linking lets users use a Navisworks file as an underlay in Revit, making it easier to coordinate with outside teams that might not be working in Revit.


Figure 2: Use a Navisworks file as an underlay in Revit to compare with a non-Revit model for coordination purposes. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • Meeting a long-time user request, Revit 2018 now includes Schedule and add parameters for links and groups, helping users to better understand and quantify a project.
Figure 3: To better understand and quantify a project, select Model Groups or Revit links as categories when creating a schedule. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • Connecting conceptual design into the Revit design environment, Revit now supports SAT and Rhino file import.

For structural engineers

With tools for additional control over steel connections, Revit 2018 improves the workflow between engineers and steel detailers, helping to reduce errors with more accurate estimating and detailing. Key new or enhanced features include:

  • Revit users can create steel connections between columns, beam, and bracings using any families, including those that are user-defined. In addition, the Steel Connections for Revit add-in brings in more than 100 new connections for detailed steel modeling. Engineers can now model not only the steel frame in a BIM environment, but also hundreds of types of steel connections and details that more seamlessly integrate with Autodesk Advance Steel to automate steel detailing and help make models fabrication-ready.
Figure 4: Additional tools to control workflow between design and detailing. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • Revit 2018 features increase rebar modeling versatility with functionality that helps users define a more accurate reinforcement for non-standard shapes of concrete elements. With Revit, you can place rebar in concrete elements that have complex geometry such as curved piers or decks and architecturally demanding building objects. And users can now reinforce imported concrete elements from SAT files or Autodesk InfraWorks software.
Figure 5: Increase 3D rebar modeling versatility to define reinforcement for non-standard concrete elements. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • In Revit 2018 graphical rebar constraint management is available in 3D views, helping users define complete models more quickly. You can use Revit to transform a concrete design into detailing that connects to fabrication, allowing concrete engineers and detailers to work closely in a BIM environment.
Figure 6: Get better control of rebar placement in concrete formwork. Image courtesy of Autodesk.


Fabrication modeling improvements in Revit 2018 help users to more efficiently model fabrication-ready elements using routing capabilities, and now supports detailed modeling of sloped piping elements.

Figure 7: Model MEP fabrication elements with multi-point routing by clicking on points in the model in Revit. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
Figure 8: Model sloped pipe part-by-part, apply slope to elements that have already been modeled. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Key new or enhanced features include:

  • Mechanical design improvements help you capture early stage energy requirements more effectively with outdoor air settings for user-definable space and building types.
Figure 9: Define your own space types and include outdoor air inputs in energy analysis. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • Hydronic system capabilities include new analytical connections to facilitate easier design iteration. Improvements for mechanical engineers include closed-loop hydronic piping analysis — connecting flow and pressure-drop data to pumps — and utilizes a new analysis engine that computes in background processes, improving model editing performance.
Figure 10: Calculate flow and pressure drop in a network before physical connections have been made. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
  • Electrical design improvements include new capabilities to edit circuit pathways to better capture more accurate voltage drop and analytical design data.

For Architects

Revit 2018 introduces a Multistory Stair object that enables faster and easier modeling of complex stair towers for buildings with many stories.  By connecting stairs to the levels in a project you can model one stair and expand it to the entire building.

Figure 11: Add and edit stair towers in multi-story buildings by creating stairs that connect to levels in a project. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Further improving stair design for multi-story buildings, railing tool enhancements let designers add accompanying railings to an entire stair tower with one click and propagate edits from one instance to all in a height group. Beyond modeling railings associated with building staircases, with Revit 2018 you can also attach railings to elements such as topography to model fencing, road barriers, or outdoor handrails.

Figure 12: Add railings to a stair tower with one click. Attach railings to topography to model fences or outdoor handrails. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Also for architects, the ability to model in perspective view released with Revit 2017.1 reduces the need to switch views to perform everyday modeling tasks and work in the view that best supports your workflow.


Active subscribers to Revit, suites containing Revit or the AEC Collection get access to all updates released during their subscription term and can access the new 2018 release via their Autodesk Account now.

Revit 2018 is available globally for subscribers to Revit, or via a subscription to the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering and Construction Collection.  Revit 2018 is available in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Czech, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.  Availability, pricing, and related cloud services vary by country.

More information on new features in Revit 2018 is available at https://www.autodesk.com/products/revit-family/features/all.