Thursday, December 07, 2006


The more accurate the information in your Revit model the more you can do with it.

Here is a list of applications mentioned and demonstrated at Autodesk University this year that utilize Revit data exported in DWG, IFC, ODBC, gbXML, and DWF formats:

Navisworks – walkthroughs, advanced collision detection, timeline analysis, supports importing data from many different applications. Models from different consultants (who use software other than Revit to model) can be combined for analysis and clash detection. Data can be shared with Primavera and Microsoft Project for project scheduling.

Project Management Software (Primavera, Microsoft Project, Constructware, Buzzsaw) – Personal dashboard for reports, scheduling, cost control, storing and sharing data files, recording correspondence, bid management, submittal package tracking, rfi tracking, and other project management functions. Designed for managers, contractors, architects. Will interface with Navisworks and Innovaya. Design Review is imbedded in Buzzsaw.

Design Review – Export Revit models into the DWF format for project managers to markup.

e-Plan Check – This program takes Revit data exported in IFC format and tests the model for building code violations. This program is not yet available for building code in the U.S.

Impression – This is very new software from Autodesk that will take DWGs exported from Revit and render illustrations in a hand-drawn style. It will apply palettes to DWG layers in plan and perspective. Similar to Piranesi.

Inventor – This software will model complex shapes that are not yet available in Revit but can be imported into Revit.

E-specs – This software will interface with Revit to construct specifications.

Success Estimator – This software from U.S. Cost will do cost estimating. Interfaces with Primavera.
Innovaya & Timberline – Also does cost estimating and will interface with Primavera and Microsoft Project. Innovaya also does visualization, communication, quantity takeoff, construction simulating, and so on.

IES & Green Building Studio – These softwares will take data from Revit in gbXML format and test for energy efficiency and LEED certification.

Revit API Examples (API is for developing applications that interact with Revit model data):

One application demonstrated a search on amazon for information describing books. The data was then fed into an application that utilizes the Revit API to assign the book name, cost, reference number, publisher name, etc to model objects in Revit which in this case happened to be books on a shelf. The application was demonstrating the future potential to populate object data from online catalogs for scheduling, spec writing, and analysis.

Another application demonstrated an alternative approach to design options. Instead of using the design options tool in Revit this application uses API to instantly swap model groups. Let's say you have 10 roof designs. Build them all and group the designs individually. The 10 options are now available in thumbnail view within the application. Using radio buttons an individual can mix and match hundreds of design iterations provided the options are all modeled and grouped.

Another application will generate custom designed reports from a template and will fill the report with any Revit data exported in ODBC format.


Dustin said...

Any chance I can download the Revit API examples?


David Duarte said...

There are probably hundreds of great applications out there developed with the Revit API but I've found very few that are free to buy. Most companies tend to keep these applications to themselves.

If you register at AU Online ( go to BD24-1 Expanding BIM With the Autodesk® Revit® API and you can download two API examples already compiled. One of them is the Amazon search I mentioned in my post. And if you go to BD11-3 Basics of the Autodesk® Revit® API there are code snippets you can use to help you develop your application but you still have to program and compile yourself with Visual Studio 2005 (you should be able to get Visual Studio Express for free).

If you go to the Revit API section on AUGI there is a Find and Replace application already compiled. Just put the dll in your program folder, add a few lines to your Revit.ini, and run the application from Tools... External Tools.

barlas said...

how can I export data from Revit to Success Estimator? Do I need an extra application or by ODBC database?


Michael said...

BIMjet has a schedule connector that creates a bi-directional link between revit and MS project schedule.

There is also a free demo version.