16 April 2021
New Release for Revit: Designing for the Future With a Nod to the Past
Have you ever walked around inside a building and been struck by how modern it looks? Then you take a step back and think of the historical advances that are present in the architecture. It's like time-traveling while standing still.
In a move that draws a straight line from man’s earliest buildings to those that are going to dominate the foreseeable future, two new, dedicated BIM software suites, Wood Framing and Metal Framing, have been launched for Revit.
What happens when you combine the ancient and the modern in a blend of materials and techniques? Sometimes, truly remarkable things happen. With a little luck and a lot of talent, you might, for example, produce impressive structures such as the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House or the Burj Khalifa. In the right hands, these two new releases for Revit are poised to usher in a whole new era of excellence in design and execution.
From Humble Beginnings
Humans first used wood in construction roughly (pun intended) 10,000 years ago. (We’re going to assume there was no perfect dovetail joinery, no nail guns and no sanders in sight.) Evidence shows that it took another 4,000 years of human evolution before steel first appeared in construction roughly 6,000 years ago.
It's like time-traveling while standing still.
Thousands of years later, these materials, wood and steel, are still two of the top three most commonly used materials in modern construction around the world, proving yet again that quality materials will stand the test of time. Much more recently, CAD tentatively entered the game in the early 1960s and Revit, popular amongst BIM professionals, emerged less than twenty years ago, around 2007.
Tools for the Future
In February of 2021, AGACAD (a developer of BIM software for Revit professionals) released new, dedicated Wood Framing and Metal Framing BIM software suites for Revit, dramatically optimizing performance and increasing ease-of-use for Revit professionals
The Wood Framing suite features Revit’s BIM and 3D modeling software for prefabricated timber frame system design, with improved structural engineering, detailing, documentation and construction, while the Metal Framing suite offers BIM software for improved design, detail, estimation, coordination and automation of light steel framing in Revit.
Manually drawing every plate, stud, joist, girder, rafter and truss? Forget it. That’s so 2000’s.
Wood Framing: Set It & Forget It
According to AGACAD, top Revit users have hailed their Wood Framing suite as the most powerful and flexible BIM software on the market for designing timber-framed walls, floors and roofs. It also includes specialized framing solutions for buildings that are designed using structural insulated panels (SIPS), cross-laminated timber (CLT), or heavy timber (also known as massive timber, post-and-beam, or OAK). See a demo of the Wood Framing suite here.
Architects using the Wood Framing Revit extensions can frame out a rough 3D model rapidly, which allows time for key decision-making early in the design phase. All an architect needs to do is set the configurations and then literally sit back as the tool builds the model for you. Manually drawing every plate, stud, joist, girder, rafter and truss? Forget it. That’s so 2000’s. Structural engineers will be happy to know that since it’s a BIM model, shop drawings are automatically generated and if something needs to be modified, shop tickets will immediately reflect changes made to the drawings.
Metal Framing: Pedal to the Metal
For BIM professionals who design metal framing, the inclusion of advanced automation and built-in best practices in the new Metal Framing suite allows for optimal decisions to be made in the early stages of the design process, along with greater speed and the ability to avoid errors at every stage — from design and documentation to fabrication and construction. You can watch a demo detailing features of the new Metal Framing suite here.
These two new suites are designed to make your job in Revit simpler, less stressful and much faster. This could potentially result in architects and engineers being able to take longer lunches or actually leave the office earlier to get home on time, so if you can’t find the guys around midday or at the end of the day, just know that they’re not being lazy. The new software has enabled them to be more efficient. (And yes, there’s a distinct difference.)
While Revit is unquestionably a great CAD platform, like many similar platforms, it’s not without its quirks. It would be a crying shame to allow those quirks to shorten your lunch-hour or prevent you from leaving the office on time, right? So, what’s the workaround for that?
Allow us to introduce Microsoft Office Importer™ for Revit.
Rev That Import Engine
One of the quirks most frequently observed in Revit revolves around the issue of imports from Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. It’s boring, repetitive, challenging and downright frustrating when the data from your documents or spreadsheets simply won’t behave the way you want and ends up looking messy.
Office Importer easily and quickly imports Excel spreadsheets and Word documents into your Revit project files — wait for it — in one simple step.
Importing the data is one thing, but perfect formatting is famously elusive, right? Nope, not anymore. With Office Importer you automatically have flawless formatting. Yes, flawless. For example, text size, bolding, italics, fonts, column widths and row heights all import correctly, without requiring extra work from you to fix things inside Revit.
… how many word-class boxers do you know with three fists?
For most, these two features alone would be worth the “price of admission”, but Office Importer has one more tiny trick up its cyber-sleeve. It’s a feature affectionately referred to as Link and Sync (and most users soon feel the same way). Never again worry about how to keep the Excel and Word data inside your Revit file synchronized with changes to the same data outside of Revit. Office Importer automatically links them when you do an import. And if that ain’t worth the price of admission, we don’t know what is.
When it comes to imports, this is a world-class heavyweight three-fisted punch:
- link and sync.
And honestly, how many word-class boxers do you know with three fists? Ahem, just saying.