The latest version of Autodesk’s multidisciplinary BIM software, Revit 2019, aims to deliver on features Revit users have been requesting as well as new functionality to help capture design intent and better connect designers and fabricators.
Design, Optimize, Connect
A few weeks ago Architosh sat down with Chris Yanchar, Director, Building Design Products at Autodesk, at their Boston waterfront office, and discussed what is exciting about this latest release of Revit. An 18 year veteran of Autodesk, Yanchar noted that users and their requests are helping driving innovation with Revit—via the Revit Road Map—within the context of overall Autodesk strategy.
“Revit 2019 is aligned around three areas of focus,” said Yanchar, “design, optimize, and connect.” The longer-term goal with Revit is to connect designers with fabricators at every stage of the process and building life-cycle.
In this release, users will find Revit 2019 enhances their ability to effectively create and communicate design intent, by giving them control over “view graphics” and a better modeling environment with more immersive 3D features.
Revit users demanded the “or” variable be added to View Filters and in 2019 they get it. With “and” and “or” complex filtering gives Revit 2019 users flexibility and power over setting up custom views based on nested sets of rules. When conditions meet filtered rules graphics change in response.
To enhance working in 3D Revit 2019 supports a new Levels in 3D Views feature, enabling users to visualize building levels in orthographic and perspective 3D views. This helps save steps by eliminating the need to switch to 2D views to orient the model. Now users have the ability to work with full-screen, uncropped perspective views. And Scope box improvements provide a more consistent behavior of levels across 2D and 3D views, aiding the design process in 3D.
Design – Visualize
Revit 2019 also now includes a new library of physically-based materials for use with its physically-based Autodesk Raytracer engine. And new complex (foreground fill and background fill) fill patterns are now supported, enabling users to better communicate design intent. They can be used in “graphic display” overrides as well as object overrides and when cutting materials in the building.
Yanchar said that optimize means many things in the context of Revit, including principally the ability to utilize analyses to inform design decisions. It also means scalability and performance with Revit itself.
To better support designers and engineering having front-ended or mid-ended process analysis tools, Revit 2019 now supports tabbed views and multimonitor support. Most architects and engineers now work with multiple displays and now Revit supports the ability to draft views out of Revit to a secondary display.
For more engineering-related users, Revit 2019 now makes it easier to create more complex piping networks. Using Revit 2019, engineers can also setup and analyze pumps in parallel in hydronic piping networks, and easily compute flow from duty and standby pump quantities.
Yanchar noted that this category of features is about the larger view of making teams more efficient, across domains, geographies and not just the office LAN. To do so has meant integrating some engineering tools into Revit. “We acquired Advanced Steel, a steel fabrication engineering tool and have now integrated that IP into Revit 2019,” notes Yanchar.
A more accurately defined design model in Revit enables better interoperability with Advance Steel for steel fabrication. With engineering documentation for steel, users can create accurate, in-canvas detailed engineering documentation for structural steel, including details with standard and custom steel connections to communicate requirements, layouts and to coordinate with detailers and fabricators.
To improve scheduling and annotation of rebar in documentation, free-form rebar in Revit 2019 now either matches existing rebar shape families or creates new rebar shape families from its bar geometry. This feature helps users better-communicate design intent and fabrication data in the form of bar bending schedules that show individual segment lengths and shape codes when using planar free form rebar.
IFC 4 Improvements and APIs
Connected workflows demand interoperability and Autodesk has advanced Revit 2019 with better IFC 4 support. Rhino geometry is now supported and Revit 2019 meets the very latest IFC standard.
The Precast for Revit API now lets third-party developers plug into Revit 2019 and enables the creation of custom-made configuration for modeling, shop drawings, and customized numbering.
Additional Info—Future Versions of Revit
There are additional engineering-related features added to Revit 2019. You can learn more about them here.
For Revit users reading Architosh, Autodesk has made the process of soliciting customer input via its Revit Ideas page, where customers propose and vote on features that will make them work more efficiently.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
Not mentioned above but key in our commentary is that Revit 2019 includes extended countrification of Revit for use in DACH regions (German-speaking countries, ie:, Germany, Austria and Switzerland). An entirely new content library for architects and engineers makes Revit work better for customers in DACH countries, as this content facilitates countrified multidisciplinary workflow capabilities. This is a key addition because Autodesk faces steep competition against native German AEC software companies, particularly the Nemetschek Group’s brands.
Revit 2019 looks to be a strong release with particularly strong updates on the engineering workflows side. The multiple display and views support is something Architosh has advocated for in the reviews of other BIM tools for year. Now BIM tools are offering a visibility feature set that is similar to what pro 3D apps have had for over a decade.
The Mac Question:
I asked Chris Yanchar directly if one of the features that Revit customers are proposing is a native Mac version of Revit and if it was high on the list. He said the request for a Mac version is not high on the list and that Autodesk Revit users utilize Boot Camp or programs like Parallels to run Revit on Apple hardware. The company is very committed to Apple’s users, however, and Autodesk staff are knowledgeable in explaining the many applications the company supports across macOS and iOS.
I looked up to see just how popular the request for a Mac version is, compared with other user requests. It turns out that Revit for Mac is about 1/10 as popular (109 likes) as the incredibly popular request for dual monitor support in Revit, (966 likes) which Revit 2019 now delivered. The image above shows a user stating his request for Revit for Mac by writing:
Please start producing REVIT for Mac. It is a must have application for architecture students and the Mac industry occupies a huge part of the computer industry. We really need the software.”
It is extremely hard to debate the two points made in that statement above. Architecture students see and acknowledge the industry importance of Autodesk Revit but nonetheless so many of them utilize Mac computers, particularly portables in college. Still, with Apple developing a new modular Mac Pro for 2019 and with a strong rumor that Apple is developing its own CPUs for its entire Mac line as early as 2020, it might be best that Autodesk isn’t developing a native Mac Revit, until they know for sure what Apple has planned.
The Revit Ideas Station, as Yanchar called it, is itself, a wonderful idea. It self-captures user-driven input, highlights popular ideas, and escalates attention by Autodesk staff. This is a neat feature that is worth emulating by other software companies.