Every year, the brain trust behind Revit sits down to comb through its users’ improvement requests. That’s when the so-called Revit Factory creates a new checklist and initiates a workflow for the next update. This year, the team has sourced 30 requests from Revit Ideas – the community brainstorming cloud that makes Revit one of the world’s most intuitive and user-friendly BIM software solutions.
Here’s what the team has come up with for Revit 2023:
We expected a lot in terms of rebranding, but Revit’s interface hasn’t changed much. One of the exciting new things is the improved Dynamo. The sleek new design was obviously aimed at rejuvenating Revit, and we think the results are pretty spectacular. The latest version of Dynamo looks and feels modern, boasting one of the most enjoyable UI solutions we’ve seen in years.
Of course, the updates aren’t merely cosmetic. Dynamo 2.13 solves a couple of issues that have been frustrating to Revit users in the past, like large-scale script deployment.
If you’ve ever tried and failed to use scripts across different versions, you probably know that the root problem here was the missing custom packages. Precisely, the fact that you could never tell which of them you’re missing. That’s solved now. Dynamo 2.13 offers a new Workplace References menu, where the missing packages are displayed, and you can install them right there.
Other Dynamo features that have been refreshed are a warning window, which you can finally dismiss, groups, both collapsed and nested, and wires, which have some new functionalities. There are 25 new unit nodes, as well as a faster, smarter, and more intuitive search.
Improved documentation and modeling tools
It sounds secondary, but it’s no less than essential. Discrepancies and errors in Revit’s documentation tools probably can’t break your projects, but they can delay them to infinity and beyond. Exaggeration or not, discrepancies can waste your and your clients’ precious time.
The Revit team recognizes this and works very hard to expand and fine-tune software’s documentation tools with every new update. The latest one is no exception.
For instance, Revit 2023 allows you to filter schedules by sheet. This is a small but significant addition to an already powerful tool. It makes sure that the right data gets to the right place, which will no doubt minimize errors and reduce the amount of duplicated schedules.
This version of Revit also has four new “cuttable” categories and helpful tags for model groups and link categories. Modeling tools are also updated in a big way, as Revit users finally get to measure in 3D views. It’s somewhat confusing that it took them so long, though.
Perfected analytical modeling
Structural analytical modeling for BIM coordination is now more versatile and allows better control. The capability that structural engineers will find most useful is the ability to develop the analytical models first, using requirements for anything from stairs to roofing structures. In addition to that, engineers will also appreciate updates for rebar and steel connection libraries.
Back to Revit documentation tools, we cannot but mention two new workflows available in the 2023 version of the software. The first offers integration with Inventor and helps create a smoother path from architecture to fabrication. The second is still in the shop, but Revit users will be able to try it out soon. For this workflow, Revit’s partner is Microsoft Power Automate. Together, the two ecosystems will help users leverage design data for business process automation.
All this and some smaller improvements reintroduce Revit as a clever document management & collaboration platform. With Autodesk Docs and Data Exchanges being updated as well, users can now manage and share BIM data within Revit and Revit-compatible applications without breaking a sweat. This is a huge deal for any BIM collaboration process.
3D view measuring
We’ve already mentioned 3D view measuring under “improved modeling tools,” but it’s such a big deal for Revit and its loyal users that it deserves its own slot on the list.
3D view measuring has long been a controversial theme in the Revit community. Quite problematically, one of the best BIM software in the world was missing a key feature – the lack of 3D views for measuring tools was not only a question of prestige for the brand but also a matter of usability. Taking measures without a 3D view is like taking measures with a pencil instead of a ruler.
Be as it may, Revit finally has this essential feature. It’s very much like SketchUp, so you’ll get used to it fast. You can even chain-measure, and you don’t have to set up work planes prior.
Improved data fidelity
Suppose you are a very tidy person who prefers efficiency over creative chaos (as most of us working in design and construction are). In that case, you’ll thank Revit for streamlining the FormIt Pro to Revit 3D Sketch workflow. As you might guess, it allows you to move your early-stage designs and concepts to a different environment without hiccups or data distortions. It’s also a huge time-saver.
New electrical analysis workflow
Last but not least is Revit’s new load analysis for electrical engineers. The new additions and improvements that make this capability possible in the first place are more than impressive. For one, Revit 2023 allows electrical engineers to base estimates on not only native but also PDF and DWS models. These three tools form a workflow that enables load takeoffs and allows you to generate preliminary calculations of both the building and the equipment load.
Revit’s own conceptual analysis is a big part of this. Instead of wasting time and resources on creating physical model elements, electrical engineers can now determine preliminary distribution systems and estimate the power requirements for the building in a conceptual way.
All in all, the new and improved Revit brings better productivity performances and tidier documentation tools. Integrations, new and old, have allowed the Revit Factory to build workflows that connect design and construction with other business options and processes.
Are you satisfied with Revit 2023? Is there a feature that should have been tackled but was left missing? Let us know about it. Or even better, bring it to Revit Ideas.