Autodesk this week has announced the new Autodesk Revit 2022 release. The BIM platform delivers on features that users have voted for over 8,000 times under Revit Ideas, the company’s feedback website.
Importantly, Revit 2022 has new technology that makes it more open as a BIM platform, enabling new data and file format interoperability with McNeel’s Rhino 3D file format, FormIt Pro, and importantly IFC 4 for BIM industry interoperability.
New and Key in Revit 2022
Users can now link Rhinoceros 3DM files directly into Revit 2022 and round-trip workflows between Revit and Autodesk’s preliminary modeling tool FormIt Pro are now possible. The Rhino link means once a model from Rhino has been inserted or linked into Revit it can be updated through a simple relink process. Rhino files can also be hosted in Autodesk Docs.
FormIt Pro has a round-trip functionality enabling the early stage conceptual modeler to prime Revit workflows and still have fidelity workflows or otherwise known as “round-tripping.” Autodesk Inventor 2022 can now be exported as RVT files creating a direct connection for AEC manufacturing and importantly for complex assemblies of real products for buildings.
Revit 2022 is now the only BIM solution on the market with IFC 4 architectural and structural export. This new feature addresses the large number of users who are asking for better open BIM workflows—workflows that span beyond Autodesk’s own AEC applications and serve critical components of the overall project process. With Revit 2022 Autodesk is noting that the company is making it easier for teams to use Revit across software platforms. IFC 4 export certification for MEP is next up on the road map.
Revit 2022 offers numerous improvements in the realm of documentation. There are new improvements with schedules, annotations, and tags. You can now display structural grids in 3D views and you can alter their appearances, make individual gridlines not appear, use them to snap to when creating other objects (eg: walls), and they get truncated to the visibilities windows when sectioning a BIM model.
Revit 2022 now offers tapered walls and slanted wall profiles. There are also new features for generative design with more out-of-the-box study types for generative arrangements of elements in a building. Dynamo nodes are also integrated into the study types and their input values. Revit 2022’s generative design tools democratize computational design (aka: algorithms-aided design or AAD) so that architects and other users don’t need to learn how to visually program in tools like Dynamo or Grasshopper.
Structural engineers gain many of the same documentation improvements into their workflows as well enhancements for steel connections and further rebar improvements. MEP engineers and fabricators benefit from the many schedule tools upgrades, and mechanical systems analysis is benefitted by the ability to view energy analysis models in 3D views along with detailed loads and sizing reports directly in Revit.
Revit is Powered by Users
Autodesk is emphasizing that Revit’s roadmap and new features are driven by its users, something particularly important to architects after the Revit Open Letter event that took place in 2020. The company notes that this release reflects the company’s input from users via Revit Ideas and on the Revit Forum, or in Preview Community and Futures Briefings. Over 8,000 votes towards ideas in Revit Ideas informed Revit 2022.
To learn more about Revit 2022 you can visit here and watch all the many videos.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
One of the more interesting aspects of this release is the new FormIt to Revit improvements. Revit 2022 can now import (.axm) FormIt files directly into Revit. This new “high-performance functionality” as Autodesk calls it enables FormIt files to come into Revit preserving many elements, including materials, layers, stories, and group definitions. As FormIt technologies advance and as this workflow improves it will be interesting to see if FormIt begins to displace SketchUp for early-stage design not just in firms but in architecture schools.
While Revit itself has concept-stage modeling tools they never took off and architects routinely revert to SketchUp. Meanwhile, while SketchUp enjoys mass use across architects and students, FormIt—a similar feeling and functioning software—has often been overlooked. Architosh awarded FormIt a BEST of SHOW award nod in back-to-back years ending in 2014 for our AIA National Convention technology coverage. Initially, the compelling aspects of FormIt involved its combined power of mobile + cloud. We wrote in 2014: “In its latest release it also contains early-stage building performance capabilities tapping into local climate state data.” Back in 2014, it was exciting to see front-ended analytics right at the site (as in taking the iPad to the site to do conceptual work).
A lot has changed since 2014. And a lot has changed with SketchUp in just the recent three years. Trimble is well aware of the threat posed to its dominant conceptual modeling software by not just Autodesk but other BIM solution providers too like Vectorworks which continues to push on more capable push-pull modeling features. Autodesk is making Revit more like a canvas or hub and choosing to enable integrations of other applications and their data into Revit. Whether this is McNeel’s Rhino 3D or its own FormIt, the expansionary aspect, and at least selective openness will please many Revit users and firms.