Revit Architecture 2012: Part 1
by Lachmi Khemlani
This software review takes a detailed look at Revit Architecture 2012, released in March 2011, to see how much progress it has made since the last two releases. This two-part review starts here by examining improvements to the core Revit platform and new tools for construction modeling. —Editor
Key Enhancements to the Revit Platform
In Autodesk's 2012 product release, individual applications have been packaged into "suites" for different industries, which are available for installation on a single flash drive. Thus, Revit Architecture 2012 is available both as a stand-alone application and as part of the Premium and Ultimate Building Design suites.
I installed it as part of the Premium Building Design Suite, which also included the 2012 versions of the other two disciplinary BIM applications, Revit Structure and Revit MEP, as well as 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, Autodesk Showcase, and Autodesk SketchBook Designer. I was indeed able to install all of these applications from a single USB key — it took several hours because of the number of applications, but it was very convenient not having to install by cycling through multiple CDs/ DVDs, as I have had to do with large applications in the past.
Let us start by looking at the main enhancements to the core Revit platform, which are available in all the three Revit disciplinary BIM applications, including Revit Architecture.
Revit can now import point clouds, with snapping capabilities that allow Revit elements to be accurately modeled in reference to imported laser scans, which is very helpful for renovation and retrofit projects. Prior to the 2012 release, Revit users had to rely on AutoCAD for point cloud support, which had been introduced in AutoCAD 2011, released in 2010. Revit now supports point clouds natively, using the same point cloud engine as AutoCAD.
There is a new Point Cloud tool in the Insert tab, which can be used to import raw point cloud data in eight different formats, covering all the popular laser scanning devices.
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This article is excerpted from "Revit Architecture 2012" by Lachmi Khemlani, copyright © 2011, with permission of the publisher, AECbytes.
Revit Architecture 2012, the newest version of the building information modeling (BIM) software from Autodesk, includes support for importing point cloud data sets, such as this one, captured by laser scanning.
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As with BIM models, a clipping plane can be used to temporarily hide part of the point cloud as a way of exploring the data set.
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