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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Revit 2015 - BORING...?



So for those that have seen the Revit 2015 new feature list, its pretty boring.  I'm not against a release that aims to fix up a lot of minor limitations and/or bugs, but pick some decent ones!  And at least address 1 or 2 major ticket items.  I consider major ticket items like:
  • Finishing Railings/Ramps/Stair tools
  • Upgrading the Text tools to match those of just about every other CAD/BIM Software
  • Integrated Graphical Door/Window & Curtain Wall Schedules
  • Fixing Groups
  • Making Assemblies do what they need to, IE: Be easily reusable, have the concepts of a fabricated element, sub-assemblies etc.
  • Library Management - detect what families have been updated and allow us to quickly reload.
  • Improve Worksharing to allow more users to work simultaneously and more robust!
  • And there are many more I can list out
I think Structural got the best improvements this year...

Lets take a look at them:
  1. Link IFC's: Okay this is a good BIM feature, but for me it needs to be a high fidelity link.  IE: No geometric conversions of the content to Revit elements, give me the raw geometry as defined in the IFC associated to the correct family category.  I don't want to have to worry about possible conversion based issues which plague IFC conversion between platforms.  If that's what it is then awesome.
  2. Trim/Extend Multiple Elements: This is a much needed feature, being able to window select the elements to be trimmed to the reference will be a large time saver for me.
  3. Family Parameter Order Adjustment: This bugged me a lot when I first started creating families, but I've gotten used to the Reverse Alphabetic ordering.  I don't think this is going to save many people a lot of time...
  4. Tooltips for Family Parameters: As someone who creates a lot of families, some of which can get quite conmplicated, being able to include some instruction on what parameters do will be very useful.  No longer will I have to create an extra instruction parameter.  Pretty happy about this one.
  5. Reinforcement for parts: IMHO this should have been in the parts tool from day 1, so glad this has been completed.  But what about reinforcement in families!  That would save me the most amount of work, as I could set once, rather than have to place everywhere after the fact...
  6. Presentation in Rebar Sets: This would be useful if we could document and display reinforcement to our standards.  Many of my clients are now building their own Rebar families, with built in symbology just because this is so inflexible.  EG: Area Reinforcement doesn't have the control we need, but has symbols.  Rebar does have the flexibility required (for the most part), but you can't easily get it to display how you want to see it in documentation...
  7. Reinforcement Numbering & Multi Rebar Annotation: More ways to tag is useful, but if doesn't look right in the first place it still only part of the solution.
  8. Structural Section Properties: Useful and avoids manually input data, which is always good.
  9. Calculation methods for pressure drop: Not being a systems engineer, I'm not yet across the benefit of this.  So I'll reserve judgement on this until I have some feedback from engineers.
  10. Great Structural Beam Join Control: This is a much needed feature.  I just hope that they've allowed us to set either family level defaults for setback and snapping, or at least project level defaults.  This would enable us to get the majority of joins correct using the defaults and then individually edit only a few.  However, based on other similar tools, I doubt this got implemented.
  11. Assembly Code Settings: On a couple of occassions it would have been useful to be able to easily customise the Uniformat classifications, so some may find this useful.
  12. Pinned Element Enhancements: Deleting a pinned element no longer just provides a warning and deletes the element.  This is how it should have always worked!
  13. Show Hidden Lines in 3D: Good to see Autodesk are realising we use 3D Views in documentation.
  14. Revision improvements: Finally they have done away with the horrible click fest that is clouding!  It also means the clouds have some consistency in spacing, so look a lot neater.  Deleting a revision isn't something I've had to do a lot in the past.  But why didn't they add a new parameter for Revision Classification/Stage and allow us to have prefix/suffix!  This would finally give us the ability to use the revision numbering we need...
  15. Enhanced Schedules/material takeoffs: It's great that we have a few extra boxes to filter with, but what about an OR condition!  Also, we can customise the Grand total text, but what about footer sub-total text?  And then being able to use the totals, in other places in Revit...
  16. Images in Schedules: I have a lot of clients that have needed this feature.  The issue then becomes though, how are these images managed.  We don't want to bloat our file sizes, simply because someone didn't optimise the size of the image before associating it to the family type.  I realy hope these images can be linked as opposed to embedded.
  17. Keynote Settings: Woopdidoo...
  18. View References: Repathing a section/elevation using Reference other view to an alternate view without having to delete and recreate, is welcome.  But its not going to save me hours in my day.
  19. Duplicate View Default Names: Certainly an improvement over the old behaviour, but I would prefer they dropped the word Copy...  I've never wanted a view to have the word copy in it ever...
  20. Tapped duct and pipe tags: Very useful to be able to get correct values along the length of a duct.
  21. Anti-aliasing by view: A much better approach to manage performance...
  22. Sketchy Lines: They're here, they work, people will use it.
  23. Ray Trace improvements: Another bug fix to get rid of noise displaying in the result image
  24. Shared Parameters in View Titles: I've certainly needed this in the past.  Just wish we could have graphical scales that were automatic as well...
  25. Manage Links Dialog: Can't say that I'll use the ability to add link in this dialog...
  26. Tag improvements: Finally some consistency in leaders between tags and text...
  27. Double click to Deactivate view: Useful
  28. Structural Element Graphical Display tweaks: Okay...
  29. Performance Improvements: Many tasks seem to have been streamlined and now take less processing time.  This is great, we need to get to a point where we can successfully have up to 20 people working in single file without spending 50% of your day saving/synching!
All in all, there are certainly features in here that I welcome.  I guess along with all this I was expected a couple of other major items.  Who knows, perhaps Autodesk and realising that its better to withhold these new features sometimes until they are finished, before implementing them into the software and frustrating all the users who nag them every year about finishing them off...

14 comments:

Jeremy Deal said...

Revit, the new Madden football? Electronic Arts had no competition and innovation stalled. Pretty much puts some more makeup on it and straight to the bank. I wonder how the R & D budget has changed in the last few years. I will reserve judgement until I have used it for awhile. Lets hope Autodesk keeps pushing the envelope and stays focused.

Hayden said...

I fully agree with your comment on making assemblies work the way they should. It makes no sense for them not to be able to have sub-assemblies. It would also be very nice to be able to create a group of components with the same geometry and make them into assemblies and then allow one to be the template with the rest updating to match the template. As it is now if you find an error in a group of assemblies that are all the same and make a change it creates a new one instead of updating the others.

Unknown said...

Thank you for your write up and comments on the various new features/ improvements.

Even though what I believe Revit needs is a very, very boring new realease. One that does not introduce anything new but fixes up the poorly implemented 'new improvements' from the last few years.
And to be fair with their customers they should not charge us for that one.

I hope Autodesk are realizing that their customer satisfaction level is dropping year after year...

Ryan said...

So basically if there were more architectural updates, even trivial updates, the change list would be less boring?

Agree they need to fix up the text editor amongst other things, but that aside you have to remember everyone needs a little bit of love, not just architects.

You're probably looking at Autodesk moving to a tick-tock release schedule. Odd years with minor updates and features, even years with bigger changes.

Chris said...

I, for one would not consider it a boring release if they fixed the bulk of the half done/poorly implemented tools and I'd happily pay subscription for it.

Chris said...

@Ryan, not at all. In fact 5 of the 7 suggestions I made effect all disciplines not just architectural...

Unknown said...

That is very generous of you Chris.
If you had commissioned and paid someone to - let's say - paint your office and they are doing a 50% job (you know the way Autodesk have realized they can get away with implementing new features).

Would you also we willing to pay them again for doing the same job - but only properly this time please.

Maybe my expectation on workmanship, pride of your work and decency is too high?

Chris said...

Well, so if you were Autodesk and your customers gave you the choice of fix the stuff you haven't finished and we won't pay you for it, or add new stuff and we will pay you for it. What would you choose?

Unfortunately software development isn't really comparable to many other industries.

For one, its not a matter that they have tools that don't work. They have tools that don't offer the options and flexibility to suit the many different ways people all over the world operate. That's the hardest part with software development, getting the right balance of features and options.

Brian Myers said...

This release isn't boring, but I can certainly argue that it isn't impactful. That also does not make it a bad release, but it isn't the type of release that would make a person run out and purchase the software due to the added features. This release, it won't have that impact. The impact it will have is that it could be a nice "filler" release between major software releases. The idea is that Major improvements just can't be made every year, but individuals need progressive improvements between major impact releases to stay on subscription. This happens to be, for most individuals, one of those releases.

R. Robert Bell said...

The MEP improvements are so disappointing. There is a huge list of electrical issues that have been around since the major MEP 2011 release that still plague us, not to mention the lists for mechanical and plumbing. Frankly, it is inexcusable that most of these electrical bugs are still with us 5 years later.

Chad Bradley said...

@Brian Meyers,"The idea is that Major improvements just can't be made every year, but individuals need progressive improvements between major impact releases to stay on subscription."

So why is it that Graphisoft can knock out major improvements and new features every year for the last 5 years straight, while Autodesk can't. And doing that on two platforms too. Arguably this is the worst release I've seen since Revit 9.

Anonymous said...

I have been using Revit since 2002 and for as long as that, Railings (for example) have been lacking in functionality and ease of use, and here in the proposed Revit 2015, they are still way short of being fixed, let a lone developed.
This is unfortunately (it seems to me), symptomatic of how AutoDesk work. I don't see myself as an AutoDesk hater, but I have learned from watching year to year, how they seem to operate across a basket of their products and Revit Structure, is now seen as the one to milk, because they have got a critical mass of Revit Architecture subscribers locked in, and now they are targeting the Engineers and later, the MEP market, depending upon how the world recovery goes, and how far Engineers run with Revit.

We have seen Revit Architecture development, stagnate but for a number of smaller and always incremental fix ups and this time we have unimportant things like "Sketchy Lines" which to me are a waster of time, already look crappy and remind me of the failed experiment with AutoDesk Impressions 3, and now maybe attempts at integrating some of that into Revit as if it can make users not use SketchUp, so AD can try and remove that worfklow from customers mindset.

It is these policies of not developing Revit Architecture and still ripping its code and ideas out to generate new product lines / revenue streams, that made me decide 5 years ago never to buy into another AutoDesk product and I still feel the same way this year as I read the pre-release Revit 2015 stuff. There is almost nothing been done of progression.
Yes larger firms will welcome schedule improvements, but are they ? The new work still won't show you the actual unconnected shape area is etc., and so this is just another example of a tool lacking in functionality, poorly implemented and is (unfortunately) typical of how AD works.
I am once again, very disappointed with a lack of progression in Revit Architecture and the Railngs tool has become an icon of that lack of progress.




GPR_MN said...

the perennial question remains, is this enough of an update to warrant yet another tier of version incompatibility. Granted we are now in the Revit only via Design Suite/Subscription era, but even if one is a subscriber, implementation of the latest version does not seem to happen as readily across the board.
From my interpretation of the Autodesk LSA, you would be in violation by having multiple versions of Revit installed out of necessity as to work with other contractors on multiple projects. Which is Bologna Sandwich if you ask me.

Mike nowson said...

We are pretty excited...linking IFC...we have been waiting for this...
As for value on the sub...I suspect we are paying for R&D of other apps more than maintenance/upgrade on the current release!

Mike NOWSON
Http://www.3idarchitecture.com.au