Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Autodesk Announces Revit 2017 and a Host of Other New Product Releases
April 20th, 2016 by Susan Smith
Typically, Autodesk announces the latest version of its software in the spring of each year, and this year is no exception.
Each new release signals an increase in performance with new and enhanced features. In this case, Autodesk announces Revit 2017, with increased performance and the ability to better model and communicated design intent in a BIM software that is designed for MEP, architectural, structural engineering and construction professionals.
At one time Autodesk felt that it was important to users to have products specific to their usage, but the company has now evolved away from that perspective. Users should know that the following Autodesk products are being discontinued: Autodesk Revit Architecture, Autodesk Revit Structure, and Autodesk Revit MEP software. The “all-in-one” version of Revit 2017 includes all the functionality of those former individual products in one standalone product.
In addition to Revit 2017, the announcement includes the latest in many other primary products from Autodesk: AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017, Infraworks 360, Navisworks 2017, Autodesk Structural and Autodesk Advance Steel.
In this case we will just address Revit 2017 as the other products will most likely require their own article.
According to Autodesk, Revit 2017 is the fastest and best-performing release yet. That is made possible by behind-the-scenes optimizations and improvements to more than 100 functions that allow the software keep up with the most demanding users, even as they work with large, complex models. Each year better processing power and the cloud make it possible to have a better performing release. Software performance is improved by as much as 20%, due to the multi-threaded capabilities. Another feature that helps with speeding up the process is that Revit 2017 displays only the visible elements of a view and not drawing elements that are hidden and do not need to be viewed, making refresh and user navigation up to 4.5 times faster.
One of the great new features in Revit 2017 is the Global Parameters feature which really gives users the tools to make models that represent more honestly what will ultimately be built, by allowing the design to be connected to fabrication workflows. With this feature, users can encode and capture design intent within a model by making it possible for them to define relationships between building elements, then use parameters to push the dimensions and values across a project.
The ability to include a lot of detail required in downstream fabrication and building is a high point of Revit 2017. The fabrication model layout can be automated by mechanical detailers and then design level model elements can be converted to the fabrication level of detail elements. This speeds up the time it takes for contractors to ready a model for detailed coordination fabrication and installation. In the same way the definition of design intent or level of detail for structural steel and reinforcement modeling can be improved for structural engineers to be able to connect steel structure to detailing workflows.
The new WYSIWYG Text Editor is really helpful for documenting project details and provides new options for text placement that users have been seeking.
IFC4 is supported in Revit 2017. With the new Autodesk FormIt 360 Converter provided with Revit, users can convert FormIt, Revit Families (RFA), and Sketchup (SKP) files and continue to develop designs in Revit.
A Depth Cueing option allows users to add depth to elevations and sections in architectural or coordination views.
Autodesk Raytracer rendering engine is the default visualization engine in Revit 2017 that allows quicker rendering. Raytracer provides quick photorealistic results for architectural rendering.
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