Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Big Update - A List of Updates from Revit 2016 to Revit 2019

Are you using an older version of Revit? Perhaps you are using a version going all the way back to Revit 2015 or Revit 2016? The question I have been asked numerous times over the last month is, why should we upgrade?
The release of Revit 2019 last month is well worth consideration and the argument to upgrade from older versions of Revit, in my opinion, just got a lot stronger. 

This decision also needs to be weighed against signing up for a subscription licence. Autodesk hasn't been doing so well introducing subscription to it's business model. There are endless discussions in the forums and unhappy customers. The ever increasing cost of licences has made it a hard (& bitter) pill to swallow. That together with the long and well documented history of Autodesk's fairly slow development in general, has left many people happy to settle on there final perpetual licences of 2016 / 2017. (The new "Collections" don't help either).

There has been some improvement though, more transparency from the development team and since the Revit Ideas kicked off, more interaction with customers about what we want in the software. The Revit Blog also posts a roadmap, to let you know where development is heading.
So I think, for many offices, Revit 2019 may be worth a closer look in considering a possible upgrade as I 
believe the list of enhancements and day to day productivity gains since Revit 2016 to the now current Revit 2019, is too many to be ignored.

I have had to go back to using Revit 2016 for a number of months now in one of my jobs. I still use Revit 2018/19 regularly so going backwards so many versions has really made it obvious to me some of the updates and performance improvements I have taken for granted.

Out of interest, I decided to compile a list of all the note worthy Architectural & multi-discipline updates & enhancements to Revit since the 2016 "Release 2" update that was only available to subscription customers at the time. 
I enjoyed compiling this list, it was a good refresh and reminded me of a few minor updates that I had forgotten about myself.  

This turned out to be a lengthy post, so in an effort to keep it as concise as possible, I have simply listed the change/enhancement and only in some cases a short explanation. If you need more info on the update as well as a list of all minor, MEP & structural updates, I have provided all the links to the "What's New" articles as well as links to my past posts on new features. 

Detailed explanation of the R2 updates by the Revit Cat
  • Global parameters
  • Cancel print / export jobs (rather than previously only being able to cancel one sheet at a time)
  • Family editor - Visibility preview
  • Family editor - Filter voids & solids
  • Revit Links - Unload 'for me' option allows you to unload a link without effecting others when syncing
  • Worksharing - When detaching models, "_detached" is now appended to the file name instead of just a blank file name
  • Underlay - New properties and terminology has been created in the properties to make it more clear of the underlay conditions
  • Filters Dialog - Now listed alphabetically and sorted in a tree structure for rule-based and selection-based filters
  • Reference plane names can now be added directly in the model area
  • Perspective views - More tools becoming accessible while in perspective views
  • Wall joins can be nominated in the options bar prior to placing walls
  • Railings "preview" option added
  • Rendering - Autodesk introduces "Raytracer" a faster rendering method than the old Mental Ray. This now moves towards CPU rendering instead of previous GPU rendering. 
  • Energy Analysis tools improved & expanded
  • PDF Links - When you create a combined PDF in Revit, the references in PDF's create live links to the corresponding sheets
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Occlusion culling / Draw visible elements only - Best in 3D views
  • Colour fills now completed as background process

My previous post on the Revit 2017 release.
My previous post on the Revit 2017 text issues.
Detailed post by Revit OpEd 
  • Text editor & Text measurement - This was a big update. I wrote several posts following the 2017 release and they are well worth a read as there were many issues at the time relating to text measurement in particular.  
  • Depth Cueing - New graphic display option for elevations & sections
  • Rendering - Raytracer becomes the only method of rendering
  • Schedules - Combined parameters & full view templates for schedules
  • Family editor - Calculated values in annotation tags
  • Family editor - Sub categories for reference planes
  • Reference plane category for filters added
  • Keynote Legends - Only shows keynotes visible in the view
  • Global parameters - Further enhancements after the 2016 R2 release.
  • Hosted railings on components - Ability to host railings on faces of floors, slab edges, walls or roofs
  • Dynamo - Now included as part of the Revit application install
  • Worksharing - With the new inclusion of *'Collaboration for Revit' (C4R) the method to enable worksharing has changed. You now need to click the 'Collaborate' button on the collaborate ribbon. More info here
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Display of walls - Revit now regenerates walls only for those visible in the drawing area. If a wall is very small, it displays as simplified lines allowing for faster navigation. 

*Note: As of Revit 2019, C4R is now replaced with BIM 360 Design

  • Dynamo Player - Run dynamo scripts from the dialog in lieu of opening the application
  • Model in perspective views - More Modify commands available
  • Repair Central Model - New tools to attempt to fix corrupt central models
Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Support for 4K monitors
  • Model in perspective views

Minor fixes, nothing major in my opinion. See the 2017 article

My previous post on the Revit 2018 release.
  • New File tab - This replaces the application menu button (a.k.a "the big R")
  • Railings host to topographic surface (fantastic feature)
  • Multi storey stairs - Multistory stairs automatically adjust if level heights change (Stairs by sketch no longer available)
  • Schedule model groups & RVT links
  • Add parameters to model groups, RVT links and schedules - You can now create custom project parameters for these new categories. 
  • Coordination Models - Ability to link Navisworks models into Revit for coordination as an underlay
  • Railings & Type Properties - Dialog improved to allow access directly to top rail and handrail properties
  • Worksharing Monitor & Transmit a Model addins now installed with Revit 2018
  • Project Sub-categories for reference planes
  • Parameter tooltips expanded throughout the interface
  • Symbols in text notes now available
  • Print command added to the quick access toolbar
  • Labels now use rich text formatting, consistent with text notes 
  • FormIt Converter - Improvements in the FormIt converter all transfer of materials into Revit

Revit 2018.1
  • Browser organisation for schedules - Ability to sort the schedules list in the project browser, similar to views and sheets. (Still can't do this for legends)
  • Dynamo Player Upgrade - Dynamo player now supports running scripts with inputs. 
  • Railings re-hosted - The sketch of Re-hosted railings will now appear on the new host

Noted Performance Improvements:
  • Updated graphics & hardware options - This includes a new Hardware tab.

Revit 2018.2
  • Expand/Collapse Project Browser via new right-click commands
  • Fill Patterns dialog - The dialog has been improved including a new search feature and ability re-scale imported patterns. 
  • Section Box shape controls - Functionality has been improved to make selection of shape handles more reliable, resulting in less miss-clicks (of geometry behind)
  • Family loading - Revit remembers the last folder from which you loaded families during the current session. 
  • Family editor - Column widths in the family types dialog are now maintained in the current session. 
Revit 2018.3
  • Mainly fixes of reported issues and the introduction of Revit Cloud Worksharing (formerly Collaboration for Revit)

My previous post on the Revit 2019 release.
  • Tabbed views - Faster and easier navigation of multiple windows over single and dual file use
  • Multi-monitor support - Many offices run dual monitors, now the primary software in your office can maximise this investment.
  • Levels in 3D views (grids still not available in 3D views unfortunately)
  • OR in filters - More complex and flexible filtering rules can now be created
  • Uncropped perspective view - Allows you to work in full screen perspective views
  • Scope boxes can be applied in 3D views
  • Double fill patterns - You can now combine drafting and model hatch patterns. This change has been pushed through-out the Revit interface including the materials browser. 
  • Renaming level for corresponding views - This dialog box can now be turned off (Finally!!!)
  • Delete level warning dialog - If you attempted it, deleting levels was very time consuming. This simple dialog makes life much easier and deleting levels can now be done a little more confidently with a full list of effected elements. 
  • Slow double click to rename views available
  • Railings can be split outside of sketch mode
  • Software version of files now visible in Open dialog
  • Dimensions for curved objects in section views (perpendicular) now available
  • Materials & Physical assets - The improvement to the physcial assets in Revit will see your render quality get an upgrade courtesy of the factory. Enscape have also been quick to update their software to take advantage of these new materials. 

It's a long list isn't it!? Sadly, many would still not be impressed. This is always going to come down to how everyone uses Revit differently. 
One item of development that is typically overlooked though is performance. Whilst there are key performance updates that are noted above, it is the performance updates "under the hood", that have also had an impact in ensuring models remain speedy as the software improves (and hardware) improves. 

As I always say though, participate in the Revit Ideas forum and Autodesk Feedback Community if you want to have a say!