Friday, 30 October 2015

Autodesk Seek for Autodesk Revit Add-In Goes Live

After the 5 month the free* technology preview of Autodesk® Seek for Revit is nearly over and the Add-in goes live on Monday 2nd November 9am Eastern whatever that is in GMT.

Autodesk® Seek for Revit allows you to conveniently access high-quality BIM models, drawings, and product specifications for more than 66,000 commercial and residential building products, representing over 400 manufacturers, from inside Autodesk® Revit® 2015 or 2016 software.

Quickly search or browse over 66,000 products

Easily place RFA or RFAs with additional Type Catalogs

Preview product details before placement into your project

Conveniently specify the download location for your files and your search results page size preference

When seek started in 2007 the content was, shall we say very iffy, and no better than lots of other AutoCAD block and Revit family collections on the internet. As a CAD and BIM manager I didn't want users downloading and using content gathered off the web because of the problems they can bring with them.

In 2009 the Revit Model Content Style Guide or RMCSG was created .

Link to download the Revit Model Content Style Guide  If you do download it, typically Autodesk It’s all a bit catch 22 the instruction on what to do are in a readme.pdf file in the zip file that you download and extract, so here they are outside of the download for your information:-

1 Download the zip file

2. Extract the contents of the zip file to a local directory
3. Navigate to the Extract To folder you specified, and open the Revit_Model_Content_Style_Guide_v2_1 folder.

4. To begin, open the General_Guide\Revit_Model_Content_StyleGuide.pdf file. Review this document to understand the workflow and basic guidelines and standards for model creation.

5. Open the Category_Specific folder, and notice that there are subfolders for specific part types. Open a part type subfolder, and review the documents and cample content as required by your content needs.

In 2012 Autodesk actually started a QA system on the content being submitted to Seek and QA Badges are provided. To find out more about these see The Power of Badges at

The graphic below shows seeks use in providing quality content in the BIM Workflow

Despite the Autodesk QA system I suspect that a lot of BIM Managers will still want to vet anything going into their companies Revit models, until they have total faith in the Autodesk QA system and you have to face it there have been problems with Autodesks produced families in the past, and the system has to prove its self worthy of their trust.

That being said it's great to see positive steps being taken by Autodesk to improve the Seek service and quality of content. Hopefully it will mean a  faster rubber stamping by the company BIM Manager to use it. 

There are programs out there that assist BIM Managers in company content management but that's for another post on another day.

LRUG hope to be running some family creation sessions next year, and it will be good to get some feedback from members on the new Seek add-in and the quality and actual use of the content and any internal vetting systems that are in place.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Revit 2016 R2 New / Improved Feature Videos

View Underlay

View Filter

Mechanical Design

Isolate Solids Voids

Railing Preview

Thermal Zoning

Named Reference Plane

Thursday, 22 October 2015

More than 25 Updates and New Features to Revit Released Today

Great news for Autodesk Revit software subscribers.  Autodesk have released a major update for Revit today to both Maintenance Subscription and Desktop Subscription customers*.

Autodesk Revit 2016 R2 builds on the speed and project performance improvements that distinguish Revit 2016 and includes more than 25 updates, many requested by users. With further improved software performance and scalability, plus new features, the family of  Revit 2016 R2 releases enables subscribers to more effectively and efficiently capture design intent. 
Revit 2016 R2 is fully compatible with the existing Revit 2016 releases and has no file format changes so users can install the update without disrupting existing ongoing work in Revit 2016.

Autodesk state that "this Revit 2016 R2 represents significant incremental value for Autodesk Maintenance and Desktop Subscription customers who get immediate access to the most current Revit capabilities."

At the moment there are lots of questionnaires regarding the value of  Autodesk Maintenance and Desktop Subscription being asked on the Autodesk Advisors portal and Autodesk and their Dealerships have been warning of the impending end maintenance subscriptions and migrate to a total "rental-based" model. Autodesk are not the first to do this Microsoft have already gone there with Office and I really don't know why they keep asking for users opinions as they are going to do it anyway.

The real problem as I see it, is the burden it places on Autodesk to actually perform.  When we were all herded to jump on the subscription wagon rather than upgrade when significant improvement warranted such an upgrade we were enticed with Subscription Advantage packs half way through the year.

That worked fine for the first couple of years and then the quality and return in investment dropped significantly and many users and bloggers were wondering was Revit dead. No it's very much alive but still has a crap text editor which has been high on the users wish list for some time.  

Can Autodesk keep up the quantity and quality of improvements to Revit on a regular basis, and actually give the users what they need rather than fluffy stuff, who knows but they have set themselves one hell of a target to perform, and this time they really have.     
Here is a view into just some of what the Revit R2 update delivers:     

Faster: Revit 2016 R2 features continued improvements to software performance and scalability: 

o    Orbit, pan and zoom more quickly with the new Draw Visible Elements Only option. Revit improves navigation speed by working only on displaying the visible elements of a view. This occlusion culling is especially beneficial with complex files and views in which regeneration of a significant amount of content is suppressed.  
We Bloggers had a preview of the before and after versions side by side and the speed increase is significant, especially on large models

o    Keep working during update of color schemes and the associated color fills with Color Fill Background Processing. Revit 2016 R2 updates room, space, HVAC zone, duct, and pipe color fills using multiple CPUs, which alleviates model interaction delays associated with these computations.


Revit 2016 R2 updates room, space, HVAC zone, duct, and pipe color fills using multiple CPUs. Image courtesy of Autodesk.

Smarter: Revit 2016 R2 has new and improved tools to help users better-capture and embed design intent in a model.

o    Embed design intent in a model by using project-wide parameters to drive dimension and element instance parameters with the Global Parameters feature.  A global parameter can measure dimensions and calculate formulas to drive dimensions and parameter values in other elements in the project.

Embed design intent in a model by using project-wide parameters to drive dimension and element

o    With Family Visibility Preview, get a better view of design intent by filtering out geometries that are not viewed. Work more quickly by previewing geometries and making adjustments before loading a Family into a project.

Better:  We’re always striving to improve Revit based on user feedback. Over 20 user-requested enhancements include:

o    Unload links per user to increase performance and improve memory usage without affecting other project team members

o    Copy/Paste commands in perspective views

o    Cancel print or export of multiple views and sheets with one click

o    Filter solids/voids in separate entries to more easily multi-select the geometries to make bulk changes

o    Enhanced rotation controls and insert part option in fabrication part modelling

Unload links per user to increase performance and improve memory usage without affecting other project team members. Image courtesy of Autodesk.
Autodesk state "As an incremental install, Revit R2 can be less disruptive for users and administrators by spacing out changes vs. incorporating larger annual updates. Any downtime or disruption to work processes can be more easily out-weighed by the gains in performance, usability and stability." 

Autodesk Revit 2016 R2 is available to Maintenance and Desktop Subscription customers worldwide starting today, October 22, in the following languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

*Autodesk Revit 2016 R2 is available to current Subscription customers of Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium and Ultimate, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Ultimate, Autodesk Revit Collaboration Suite, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure, Autodesk Revit MEP, Autodesk Revit LT and Autodesk AutoCAD Revit LT Suite software

For more details and videos showing the features on an Autodesk web page follow this Link


The Autodesk Revit team has posted the Revit 2016 R2 videos to YouTube. Use this link to see the set of 20 short videos organized with what the team feels are the most important features listed at the top of the set:

Thursday, 8 October 2015

React Structures is a free technology preview of structural analysis for BIM

Autodesk® React Structures software is a free technology preview of structural analysis software for BIM that provides intuitive tools to quickly analyze a variety of structure types within a single software platform.

Autodesk® React Structures is intuitive structural analysis software that connects to the BIM process. Download the technical preview for free.

Autodesk wants and need your feedback.  This is an early look into what they are building.  It is by no means complete and you will see things that are not enabled or maybe even missing.  Rest assured, they will be coming.
The React team will be providing frequent updates which will expose new functionality and features, incorporate your feedback, and fix issues that you identify.  They will be asking for your opinions on the things they are working on, and they might even ask you to test out a workflow or two and give them some feedback on how it went for you. 
This is the opportunity to tell Autodesk what you need from your next analysis tool.  Great customer feedback is one of the most important building blocks for a great software product.

The React Structure web site, forum and blog can be found at

More information can be found at the In The Fold Blog