Autodesk Revit 2015 Subscribers Get Slew of New Capabilities with “R2” Update

Autodesk is making an updated release of Revit software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) available today to Maintenance Subscription and Desktop Subscription customers*.

Autodesk Revit 2015 R2 includes over 30 user-requested features that add powerful capabilities, enhance software performance and improve user productivity for architects, MEP and structural engineers.

In addition to addressing customer requests, the family of Revit R2 releases represents more value for Subscription customers who get access to the most current Revit technologies.

“Our customers are constantly looking for greater productivity and capabilities from the technologies they rely on to meet their own business needs.  We are releasing this update to Revit to help deliver on those needs and help our subscribers exceed the expectations of their clients using the latest, advanced technologies from Autodesk,” said Jim Lynch, Vice President, Building and Collaboration Products, Autodesk.

Coinciding with this release, Autodesk is also delivering on a continued customer request for access to site planning tools within Revit.  The new Site Designer Extension for Revit® 2015 software, available through the Autodesk Exchange store to select Subscription customers**, is based on an acquisition of site planning software formerly known as SiteWorks from Eagle Point Software Corporation.

1Figure 1: Site Designer enables architects, designers and planners to shape the terrain for building sites and communicate design intent with civil engineers.

- See more at:

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FormIt – Getting Started – Part 2

In this click saver I want to talk about some recent updates to Autodesk FormIt. Some of you might have been trying out FormIt already since I last wrote about it, or I at least would hope :0). Starting August 29th there was a significant update with some enhanced features that takes FormIt to another level. FormIt can be used on multiple platforms; IPad, Android, or through your browser. Autodesk has been working hard to make all of the platforms behave the same way and have the same features in it. For this article I’m going to be using the browser version.


The website to get started is: and from here is where I’m going to start building a conceptual design model. Take note that you will need an Autodesk 360 account which is free: The reason for the Autodesk 360 account is for saving the FormIt models. Along with saving the conceptual design model as an AXM file it also automatically converts it to a RVT file. With that said, Autodesk is bridging the gap on being able to take the conceptual design model directly into Revit, no more throw away models.


Here are a few examples, if you pick on the Gallery button on the website you can see many more. FM3 As for navigation most of it can done though the mouse. The wheel does the normal zoom that we all know and love, holding down the wheel will do pan, and pick and drag on the drawing plane will orbit. There is a toolbar on the right that you can also use.

All of the main tools are at the top. When drawing lines to create a closed shape remember that it is just like any other design software, take advantage of the alignment lines and the ortho like mode. If trying to create a line from an existing line just hover your cursor over the endpoint and pick. FM4 One thing to add is take notice of the alignment lines as you are drawing. These are familiar and behave like other design software. You can also hover over an object snap for a second or two to develop a new alignment line. FM4B Once you have a closed shape a surface is created, just click on the surface and then click and drag it to turn it into a solid. While dragging to create the solid you will notice a temporary dimension. You can pick on it so a dialog box pops up so you can type in an accurate dimension.

What is also nice is you can use the “tab” key on the keyboard to open the same dialog box. Also as you drag to extrude you can hover over a existing edge of an object so the extrusion aligns to that edge.FM5 You can also click an edge and then click and drag the edge to taper it. FM6

FormIt automatically detects when you are on a surface when you draw lines. With that in mind you can create recesses or additions to the model by drawing additional closed loops or use the rectangle command. FM7 You can add levels to the model so you can start to get information for cubic feet and total square footage. On the right is a tab to open the properties palette. Pick on the top right tab to start adding or editing the levels. FM7B To add the levels to the model double click the model and open the properties palette. Now pick on the properties tab on the top left of the palette and check mark the area by level option. FM7C Notice how the model now has blue lines encompassing your model. What is really nice is you can draw lines to the level line edges or align items to those edges.FM7D As for selection of objects you have the standard drag to the left or drag to the right selection boxes but you also have a lasso. By right-clicking outside of the model you will get this option.


You also have the standard array feature to help with creating items like curtain wall or sun shade objects. By developing an object and either double clicking it or using one of the selection window you can right-click to activate it. You can array a single line like I did to get the curtain wall effect or select a entire extruded object like the sun shade.FM7F This will help you start modeling in FormIt but let’s put some context to the shape that you are creating. On the bar at the top is the ability to set the location of your design which will give you accurate shadows. FM8 Once this is done you will probably want to move the model to the desired location. Just double-click on the model to highlight it and right-click to see the editing tools. You have the standard move, copy, rotate, and array. You can also select two solids using the CTRL key and Join them together as one object. FM9

You can adjust the sun settings using the top bar to get a real-time daylight study. FM10 One of the last things to look at is adding materials to the surfaces to make the model a little more lifelike. On the right is a tiny vertical bar that if pick on it will open the material manager. To use a material first click on a surface and then select the material that you would like to use.

You can use the create button to create a custom material from any image file. You can also drag and drop a image file from windows explorer onto the FormIt drawing space to create a custom material on fly.


The great thing about FormIt is when I want to take the model into Revit I just need to login into my Autodesk 360 account and download the RVT file. FM13

Hopefully next month we will look at taking the model into Revit and the tools to covert the mass into building objects. This year Autodesk is really getting focused on bringing us conceptual design tools that easily come into Revit when we want to move further into design development. See you in class or at your office, Jarod

Posted in Early Design, Software Tips and Tricks | Leave a comment

Construction Spending in July Reaches Highest Level Since Late 2008 with Monthly and Year-Over-Year Gains for All Major Categories

All major categories of construction spending increased in July and total construction reached the highest level since December 2008, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials welcomed the robust spending figures, but cautioned that growing demand will put new pressure on an already tight labor market.

“It is encouraging to see signs of a broad-based recovery in private construction along with a recovery—at least for now—in public construction investment,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Private nonresidential construction should remain strong through the rest of 2014 and beyond, while residential spending is likely to keep growing, though at a more moderate pace. However, funding is still inadequate for needed public infrastructure improvements.” Read More

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