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AUTHOR: Roger Liucci

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What’s New in Autodesk Revit 2021.1

Revit 2021.1 delivers new features and upgrades to extend capabilities while reducing friction on BIM projects. I’m going to highlight a few specific feature improvements that are probably effecting all of us.  The Revit 2021 updates and hotfixs are cumulative and include all changes from previously released Revit 2021 updates.

Some of my favorites are the new sample studies for generative design in Revit. One can determine the best workstation layout that allows for proper minimum distance while considering the shorter distances to exits. The new path of travel tool, now includes the People Flow Toolkit, which includes the ability to improve upon the Path of Travel tool with multiple paths, one-way indicators, people content and a spatial grid to help visualize and understand the space. Here is a video on this enhancement.

Revit New Technology Preview: People Flow Toolkit

There are interoperability improvements in and Data Exchange. For instance one can see improvements when importing  SAT files, Rhino, and Sketchup 2020 files. They come in with higher fidelity than ever before. We no longer need a separate app and can now export STL files natively from Revit. As Microsol is a 3D Printing service provider, seeing STL files with color from Revit is exciting.

Collaboration and Coordination improvements. We hope to see up to 30% faster download times when opening, syncing, and reloading Revit models in the Cloud. This is important, because more and more of our client’s teams are obviously working from home.

Our IT partners are testing out the ability to create deployments within the autodesk account, manage.autodesk.com. We have to, I guess, I recently had a support case where we found the installation media available for download, did not have the classic deployment options.

We can now include our project stakeholders that are not using Revit with the new ability to quickly create and share 3D views with all project stakeholders without having to share the Revit model.

We always get questions about upgrading Revit models, now the entire project can be upgraded in one move. Check out my blog on the topic. https://microsolresources.com/blog/tips-and-tricks-for-upgrading-revit-projects/

I’ve included links to short topic specific videos;

Here’s the entire list of videos on the Revit 2021.1 release.

After this hotfix is applied successfully, the build number specified on the Help > About dialog will be:

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Tips and Tricks for Upgrading Revit Projects

Many of our clients hesitate to upgrade their Revit projects to the latest release. There are many reasons for the delay, cost, project member concerns, time, or even loss of work. There are many benefits to upgrade to the latest version of Revit. Security, stability, and new features are enough for me to want to upgrade. Here are some tips and tricks in upgrading your Revit projects.Host Models vs Linked Models
It’s best to upgrade the linked Revit projects before upgrading the host. if not, the host model will temporarily upgrade the links in order to load them in the upgraded host model. I open the host, unload all the links save it, then upgrade. Be sure to check the paths of the other linked elements once upgraded and reload. Instruct all team members to synchronize with central, relinquish all elements, and close their local copies of the central model. Backup the models and archives. It’s recommended to audit the model at this time. Why not perform the Revit project maintenance as outlined in my blog, Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines.

Upgrading Beyond 2017
The most important aspect to understand when upgrading a project is, what will change. In most cases nothing, but when our clients upgraded to Revit 2017, we noticed text problems, correction, changes. “The method for measuring text size has changed so that the Text Size parameter more accurately represents the height of a capital letter (similar to AutoCAD).” In Revit 2016 and earlier, text size is measured by the ascender height – the height of lower case letter ‘h.’ In Revit 2017 size is measured by the cap-height – the height of the capital letter ‘M.’Measuring the baseline of the top of a capital letter

After upgrading a model, review all views and sheets to verify the changes to your text instances. Note: Be sure that the proper fonts are installed when opening an upgraded model. Substituted fonts further will change text due to the font sizing changes. I recommend Bluebeam for a before and after, full set comparison. This way no changes that occur as a result of the upgrade will be missed.

Revit Collaborative Projects
When a project has work sharing enabled, the Central Model can be upgraded as we’ve discussed. However, as discussed in the Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines blog, we should make sure all parties are aware of the upgrade work being done. A new Central model will be created, then everyone can be instructed to create a NEW local file from the upgraded central.

All project contributors must have the save Revit version and Build. Refer to this Autodesk article, How to tie the Build number with the Revit update to make sure all project members are on the same version and build. When the project is being hosted on BIM 360 we can upgrade the project via the tools within BIM 360 DOCS.

Go to docs.b360.autodesk.com, sign in, and navigate to the project that you want to upgrade. Find the Navicon, Waffle, or nine dots in the upper left-hand corner of BIM 360 DOCS. go to Project Admin, you will find Revit Cloud Model Upgrade.

If you have any questions or need additional help in upgrading your Revit projects, please reach out to our technical team and Contact Us


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Top 12 Tips for Utilizing Revit Groups

Here are my Top 12 Tips for Utilizing Revit Groups. 10 was just not enough. In my opinion groups can be the most abused tool in the toolbox. So why do we use them?  Well, it seems to be a no brainer. Just like in AutoCAD, architects, MEP engineers and construction professionals create groups of elements that are repetitive and yet still quantifiable as if they were individual elements. Modify one instance of the group and it will be updated every instance of that group in the entire project. One can even exclude an element from a group instance to make an exception. Of course, groups can be made in CAD, but in Revit, groups are broken down into model groups and detail groups. Detail groups for annotation, text and detail items like 2 dimensional detail components. Think clips, brick or flashing. These groups can be exported out to the library and imported as groups into other projects. Model groups typically hold Revit families. The two group types, detail and model, cannot be created in the same group. They are managed separately. Over the years, Autodesk and the Building Information Modeling team have improved upon this awesome tool, but they have not made groups more flexible. If we create a group the wrong way, Revit gets upset. You don’t want to see Revit upset. In actuality, Revit actually gets confused. The main problems occur when groups contain elements that are constrained outside the group. In the simplest form, if one was to create a group of elements including a door, the wall where the door is hosted would need to be within that group. And in many instances the wall could have a top constraint that is not applicable for all instances. It is also common to create groups for casework that rely on the walls for placement, but the walls are not part of the group. In class, you may have heard me say, groups should be “self-centered”. These types of constraints can also cause problems in Design Options. That being said, yes, there are restrictions that one should be aware of when implementing the use of groups throughout a big AEC project. Here are some tips.
  1. Put elements and their hosts in the same group.
  2. Ensure all elements in the group are hosted to the same level.
    • Some elements may not behave correctly. Line based families for instance.
  3. Don’t constrain elements outside the group. There are many kinds of constraints.
    • Un-constrain the elements within the group, so the no longer tied to elements outside the group.
  4. Large numbers of elements in a group will hinder performance, and possibly cause corruption.
  5. It is better to have many small groups than a few large groups.
  6. Don’t nest Groups. Don’t have groups inside groups.
  7. If you see a warning asking you to fix the groups, don’t.
    • Fixing the group really doesn’t fix the group. It actually explodes it or creates a new group that is no longer referenced to the first group.
  8. Name groups correctly. Don’t make copies of groups called Group1.
  9. Although we are now able to mirror groups, some elements with constraints still cause problems when mirrored. Ceilings in groups get confused when mirrored.
  10. Take ownership of the group type workset when editing
    • All elements in a group reside on the group instance workset.
    • Be aware of the ownership of type properties.
  11. Be cautious putting floor or stairs in groups. Don’t lock the sketch lines to other objects.
  12. Groups can be used to distribute elements and then can be un-grouped.
    • For instance, we use the array command to make multiple copies the default option is to “Group and Associate”. Un group them when complete.
In a previous post, I discussed “What Causes Revit Data Corruption?” and some model maintenance suggestions, “Revit Project Maintenance Guidelines”. I hope you find this article and those listed here helpful. I welcome you to reach out with questions or comments anytime. Credits: Best Practices with Revit Groups: Rule #1 http://www.seandburke.com/blog About Best Practices for Groups Autodesk Knowledge Network
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