What's New in Autodesk Revit 2017.1

By Bill Adams, Redstack

A Mid-Year Revit Release for Autodesk Subscription Customers!

Autodesk has provided a treat of its own with its October release to students and Autodesk subscribers with the Revit 2017.1 Update release.  Named the R2 release in previous releases, this “dot one” release follows its tradition with a little something for everyone.  Here’s a rundown on some of the new features…

Multi-Disciplinary Enhancements

  • Dynamo Player:
    Dynamo Player
    One of my favourite enhancements is the new Dynamo Player located on the Manage tab.  What is Dynamo?  Dynamo is a visual programming tool accessible to both programmers and non-programmers.  Personally, as a non-programmer, it was just what I needed to begin scripting my own custom behaviours for Revit.  The Dynamo version installed provides new nodes for more Revit functionality and better list management.  If you’re new to Dynamo and visual programming, don’t worry.  There are a few scripts ready for you to use in the Dynamo Player that are sure to get you thinking of other possibilities. 
  • High resolution screen support: For architects, engineers, and designers using high resolution screens (such as 4K monitors, Surface Pro), Revit provides increased picture quality and clarity by leveraging the advantages of high resolution technology. The behaviour now works as expected, and the user interface components are scaled to be clear with high DPI settings (>=200%).
  • Import 3D shapes: This mid-year release expands Revit’s 3D model library with the inclusion of Rhino and SAT files.  It was possible to import SAT files in previous releases, but this new capability allows you to assign a Revit category to your model on import.  This provides greater visibility control, element overrides, scheduling, and properly cut sections.   No material assignments yet, but I’m hopeful that will come with future improvements.

    Revit 2017
  • Energy optimization: Get fast, clear, and reliable guidance to better building energy performance for the whole design team from concept to detail and design to operation of new and existing buildings.  Energy Optimization automatically creates and energy model based on your Revit model.  It is uploaded to Insight 360 where the simulation engine are used to provide an Energy Performance Analysis that represents many potential outcomes in one report.  Building energy, heating, cooling, daylighting and solar radiation simulations are all available to you.

    Revit 2017
  • Sync with Central detailed progress for Collaboration for Revit: When you use Collaboration for Revit, the Sync with Central dialog provides more detailed status messages. 
  • Repair a corrupt central model: Hopefully none of you will need this next enhancement, but in the unlikely event that your model becomes corrupt, Revit detects the problem and prompts you to repair (non-workshare environment) it or notifies the users (workshare environment).  This can be very useful in fixing problems immediately instead of sending your files to Autodesk support.

Architectural Enhancements

  • Model in perspective views: Listed as an architectural enhancement, but includes structural elements too, is the new ability to model in a perspective view.  You can add geometry, align, move, copy and rotate.  There are no changes in the navigation of perspective views, so I would use this feature for quick small changes while you are in a perspective view and leave major changes to ortho, plan and section views.  There is no support for MEP as the system tab remains greyed out in perspective view but, hopefully this is on the schedule for future development.

  • Railing Type U: When modifying a railing, access type properties for the top rail and handrails (continuous rails) directly from the Railing Type Properties dialog. You can also view your changes in its Preview pane.  The Top and Handrail properties can now be accessed directly from within the Railing Type Properties dialog - by clicking on the “browse” button link to the right-hand side of the property. Click on that link and it takes you to another dialog box:  the Top Rail Type properties (for example).

  • Stairs Parameters Tooltips: Certainly, for new users of Revit, these new detailed tooltips include illustrations and helpful hints for stair elements settings and controls" could prove useful.  However, it only works if you have Tooltip Assistance options set to 'High'.  The “Tooltip Image takes a few seconds to load, so be patient.


Structural Engineering Enhancements

  • Split structural columns and framing elements: Use the Split Element tool on structural columns and framing elements while respecting joins, justifications, and the location of hosted objects. Openings, details, attached elements, and joins maintain their geometry and locations as expected.
  • Code checking for Steel Connections for Revit: To ensure that structural connections from this application adhere to the latest standards, the code check for AISC design was updated from the 13th to the 14th edition, and each calculation includes code references. The code check reports include references to highlight the chapters to which the verifications belong, per AISC standards.

MEP Enhancements

MEP Fabrication Modeling

  • Resize connected parts: Resize runs of connected fabrication parts using the Properties palette or the Edit Parts dialog.
  • Exclude parts from auto fill tools: When using certain automatic fill tools, you can specify fabrication parts to be excluded. 
  • Change service: Easily change the service on MEP fabrication parts in a model using the Properties palette. 
  • Change the diameter of hanger support rod: Change the size (diameter) of a hanger support rod while maintaining accurate costing data. 
  • Add or modify damper: Add or remove a damper or change the damper type on fabrication parts that support built-in dampers.
  • Split fabrication part: Use the Split Element tool and Split with Gap tool on any fabrication straight. 
  • Route and Fill tool: The Route and Fill tool now supports adding mechanical tees and pipe traps. 

MEP Engineering

  • Space naming: Formerly an add-in, the Space Naming tool is now incorporated into the software. Use this tool to rename spaces in the MEP model using space names from a linked architectural model.

These are just a few of the new features and enhancements found in the Revit 2017.1 update available only to students and Autodesk subscribers.  If you are already running Revit 2017, the upgrade is quick and will not disrupt any existing project work.  You can install using the Autodesk Desktop App or from your Autodesk Account.   For a complete list of all the enhancement, head over to the Autodesk Knowledge Network.

You can subscribe to the latest version of Autodesk Revit today at

For more information contact us on 1300 667 263.

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