Revit 2017 New Features

Autodesk Revit 2017 software for Building Information Modeling (BIM) includes navigation optimizations and improvements that deliver enhanced software speed and performance. New features help users model detailed design intent and connect design and detailing workflows. Revit 2017 elevates design communication and connects BIM features that drive more efficient processes for the extended workflow.


*Global parameters: Embed design intent in a model by using project-wide parameters to drive dimension and element instance parameters. Measure dimensions and calculate formulas to drive dimensions and parameter values in other elements in the project.

Global Parameters comprise two classes: driving (DGP) parameters pushes its value into an element or instance parameter. A reporting (RGP) parameter can pull a value from a dimension and use that value in other global parameters via equations.

Use equality dimensions to constrain any dimensions, including those that are non-adjacent. Associate global parameters with a type property for an element and with instance or type project parameters.

  • Automate the positioning of one element based on the size of another element. Use Global Parameters to capture formulaic relationships directly in a model.
  • Assign a global parameter to a group, move and sort global parameters within their assigned groups.
  • Filter a schedule by global parameter association to find all elements that have a global parameter association or are missing an association.  Transfer global parameters between projects.
  • Enhanced in Revit 2017 with additional controls

Modernized text layout and editing Communicate designs more effectively with new “what you see is what you get” editing and features that give you more control over text including edit incanvas, set all text to upper or lower-case, add spaces between bullets, ,create lists with multiple levels, indents, and numbers.

Text Editor and Layout Engine

IFC4 Support: Revit supports IFC4 Reference and Design Transfer MVDs for export and link.

Autodesk supports BIM interoperability and open source data exchange methodologies, including IFC. Revit 2017 has been certified by BuildingSMART International for IFC version 2.0 Coordination View import and export.

A360 Collaboration for Revit: Service that enables project team collaboration in the cloud installs with Revit 2017.  A subscription to Collaboration for Revit is required for use.

Dynamo graphical programming interface: Enhance and extend model behavior without having to know how to program. Dynamo provides a visual programming environment that is accessible to designers, letting you visually create logic that drives the geometry and behavior of Revit elements and data. The Dynamo graphical programming interface for computational design is fully integrated and installs with Revit, making it easier for you to take advantage of the power of the Revit API.

Dynamo Graphical Programming Interface

FormIt 360 Converter:  Convert conceptual designs created in FormIt 360 to Revit files, and continue to develop your designs in Revit.  Convert SKP, RVA and FormIt files for a fully integrated BIM workflow.

 FormIt 360 Converter

View templates for schedules: Simplify the reuse of schedules and share data with others.  If you need to change the layout of schedules, simply edit the template, and all of the schedules are updated automatically.

Combine parameters in a schedule:  Document projects with greater accuracy by combining parameters in a schedule to display the values in a single cell.  Specify a prefix, suffix, sample value, and separator to display with each parameter.

Tangency locks: Place locks to lines to drive tangential relationships

 Tangency Locks

Pinned annotation tags & Calculate values in annotation tags: Document projects more consistently and accurately with annotations that allow calculated values and obey pin restrictions. Create a tag with a calculation in it and use it with any tag type. When you reposition an element, a pinned tag remains in place while its leader adjusts to accommodate the new position of the element.

*Draw visible elements only: With this setting, Revit works only on displaying the visible elements of a view and does not draw elements that are hidden.  The result of this occlusion culling is better navigation speed, which is especially impactful with more complex files and views. The progressive view updates and occlusion culling performance happen at the GPU level instead of at the CPU level, helping Revit take better advantage of available hardware to help improve performance and user productivity.

*Export to DWF/DWFx: REvit uses several RevitWorker processes to export views/sheets to multiple DWF or DWFx files.

*Color fills: Revit processes color fills in the background, improving software performance when updating color schemes and the associated color fills. Revit updates room, space, HVAC zone, duct, and pipe color fills using multiple CPUs, which alleviates model interaction delays associated with these computations.

*Background processes: To see a list of the Revit processes that are running in the background, use the status bar.

Faster display of walls: Revit regenerates only walls visible on the screen and displays small views as simplified lines


Family Editor:

*Family visibility preview: Create a family with the precise behavior desired. Get a better view of design intent by filtering out geometries that are not viewed. Work more quickly by previewing geometries and making adjustments before loading a Family into a project. The preview visibility window allows you to view it when cut into an element and when not.

*Filter voids and solids: Isolate void and solid geometry when using the Filter tool in the Family Editor.

*Revisions: Additional information is available for revisions to make it easier to see exactly how the revision number will be generated, and to select revisions to include in a revision schedule.

*Revit link options: A new positioning option, Auto – Project Base Point to Project Base Point, two options are available to reposition a Revit link after it has been inserted: Reposition to Project Base Point, and Reposition to Internal Origin. When you are working in a local copy of a workshared model, the Unload command offers options to Unload For all users or Unload For me

*View range: dialog provides visual descriptions of view range terminology.

*Underlay: The Underlay properties more clearly define what they do.

Filters dialog: The Filters dialog has been improved to make it easier to find specific filters in the list. Filters are listed alphabetically and sorted in a tree structure with headings for rule-based and selection-based filters.

*Copy/paste in perspective views

*Spot slope: place a spot slope annotation in a linked model.

*Wall joins: allow or disallow wall joins with the Join Status option, select multiple wall joins and change the configuration of all selected joins to Butt, Miter, or Square Off.

*Cancel print/export: Cancel button cancels the print jobs or export operations of all selected views and sheets


*Autodesk Raytracer rendering engine: Render more quickly and accurately with Autodesk Raytracer, the default visualization engine in Revit 2017.  Based on physically accurate lights, materials, and reflected lights, Raytracer generates faster and more accurate visualizations.

As the default rendering engine in other Autodesk applications, Raytracer provides consistent visualization results across all Autodesk products.  Set custom quality rendering settings when using the Autodesk Raytracer rendering engine. Render by Level, Time or Until Satisfactory.

Autodesk Raytracer Rendering Engine

Depth cueing Add depth to elevations and sections to create stunning visuals that better communicate your design.  Use depth cueing with shadows on realistic, hidden lines, sketchy lines, ambient shadows, anti-aliasing and more.  Control where the depth starts, stops, and define limits to add pop to elevations and sections in either architecture or coordination views.

Depth Cueing

Improved railing placement: Model railings that more closely represent how they will be built by hosting them on the slope, curvature, or elevation of elements such as the top of walls, floors and roofs

Improved Railing Hosts

*Preview railings: When you edit the Type properties of a railing, you can now use the Preview pane of the dialog to view your changes.



Fabrication detailing: Convert generic, design-intent Revit parts to LOD 400 fabrication parts.


Create fabrication-ready models inside Revit using content from Autodesk Fabrication CADmep, Fabrication ESTmep, and Fabrication CAMduct for a more coordinated model, for MEP contractors and detailers. Fabrication components provide detailed connection definitions, more granular control on fitting definitions, and standardized segment lengths, leading to more accurate lengths, quantities, and coordination. Gain greater certainty that the model accurately reflects the intended fabrication and installation. Model and coordinate MEP LOD 400 components within the Revit environment.

Route and Fill: Simplifies the process for completing a fabrication model by stepping through possible routing solutions. Preview which fittings will be inserted in each option and specify required fittings and force only solutions that incorporate those fittings.


Quick Connect: simplify the process for filling a gap between a fitting and a straight.

Trim/extend: fill a gap between two straights

Swap fabrication parts: Use the Type Selector to quickly swap fabrication parts.

Fabrication parts optimization: use in-canvas controls to reposition short straight segments and to extend fitting extensions. Review warnings to find fittings that are longer than specification-defined lengths.

Hanger bearer position: To avoid clashes in the model, use the hanger controls to modify the length and position of the hanger bearer and its corresponding rod location.

Hanger placement: Place a fabrication hanger on the straight portion of a fitting extension. Hangers can be placed on other hangers to model trapeze conditions or in free space.

Tag fabrication parts: To support workflows for construction documentation for fabrication, use additional fabrication parameters for tagging fabrication parts.

Fabrication parameters: To improve tagging, scheduling, and filtering capabilities for MEP fabrication modelling, several parameters are now available for fabrication parts.

Fabrication family categories: To improve annotation, scheduling, and filtering capabilities for MEP fabrication modelling, family categories have been added for MEP Fabrication Containment, MEP Fabrication Ductwork, MEP Fabrication Hangers, and MEP Fabrication Pipework.

Hidden lines for fabrication parts: fabrication parts now display hidden lines.

Insulation and lining: Fabrication parts display separate sub-components for insulation and lining for duct and pipe elements, allowing more control of display properties.

Rise drop symbols: Rise drop symbols for a fabrication run in Revit are defined in the Autodesk Fabrication products, and are mapped to the rise drop symbols used for duct, piping, and electrical containment systems in Revit.

Tooltips for fabrication parameters in the Properties palette: Tooltips provide descriptions for fabrication parameters in the Properties palette.

Fabrication settings: specify a fabrication profile.

MEP Fabrication Content for Revit: This fabrication configuration is now available as part of the Revit installation.


MEP User Interface and Workflow Enhancements

New annotation families: annotation families are now available for tagging ductwork and pipework. Tags for offset, elevation, spot elevation, invert elevation (pipework only), set up, and set down to tag generic and fabrication elements. Use the Mechanical Settings dialog to customize the labels for the tags.

Electrical settings: Specify the load calculation method for how Revit sums electrical loads.

Temperature Difference family parameter type: The Temperature Difference parameter is now available for HVAC, Electrical, and Piping families.

Calculate pressure drop for taps: associate an ASHRAE table for duct tap fittings.


MEP Performance Improvements

Duplicate marks: To improve performance, the Mark parameter is not populated when placing elements for the multiple MEP categories.

Volume calculations: To improve performance, Revit performs pipe system volume calculations as a background process.

Faster display of ducts: Revit regenerates only walls visible on the screen and displays small views as simplified lines

*Energy Analysis: Advanced thermal zoning.  Improved accuracy and appearance of analytical surfaces resulting in better and smaller XML file.

*Electrical settings: specify a default rating to use for creating circuits in a model.

*Distribution system assigned automatically If there is only one distribution system applicable to an equipment instance.


Reinforcement connectors: Improve the level of detail for reinforcement modeling and documentation with family-based and fully customizable reinforcement connectors. Structural engineers can use schematic connectors to define requirements. Detailers can use them to produce shop drawings. Manufacturers can go into full detail, precisely modeling and representing reinforcement connectors to create installation instructions. Add the connectors to groups, assemblies, and partitions with unique coupler numbering, and export them to various formats.


Graphical Rebar Constraints Manager: Experience an improved reinforcement workflow with new in-canvas tools that replace the Rebar Constraints dialog.  Place rebar more precisely with the graphical constraints manager.  Place standard rebar shapes that snap to adjacent standard rebar or constrain them to host faces. The user interface highlights each rebar segment that can be constrained, along with available targets. The snap constraint maintains its relationship when you place, move, drag, or copy rebar.


Bent sheets reinforcement:  Accommodate varying shapes of concrete hosts by sketching and editing bent sheets when placing fabric reinforcement sheets. Detail and document structural elements more accurately.


Variable rebar distribution:  Fit rebar for non-standard or complex shapes. Define accurate reinforcement for non-standard concrete element shapes by fitting rebar for complex shapes with rebar sets that vary along inclined faces. Use multi-rebar annotations, customizable numbering settings, and accurate schedules that display varying lengths. Define inclined rebar sets.


Structural connectivity: Provide information about desired connections and define the relationships between the elements by placing a structural connection that specifies how to connect multi-material framing elements such as beams, columns, or bracings. Store pictures and links to further documentation about the connection such as connection requirements or design reports. Show symbolic connectors in drawings, use colors based on approval and/or code checking status parameter for an easier review/approval workflow. The connection between framing steel elements can be extended with detailed steel connections if required.


Column split: Split a vertical column at a desired point to specify precise and accurate design intent. Improve workflows and extend usability for fabrication models.


Improved structural foundations: Attach structural columns to isolated foundations and footing.  Column length adjusts in response to changes to the foundation height.


New steel profiles catalogs: The new Steel profiles catalogues for Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Poland, US, India and according to Eurocode are available. This extends the previous content offering, reducing the need for users to seek alternative sources of content.


Autodesk® Steel Connections for Revit®: this Autodesk add-in provides access to a variety of parametric steel connections in Autodesk® Revit® software, enabling connections to be modeled with a higher level of detail. The application also includes a built-in steel connection design engine based on US and European codes.


 *released in Revit 2016 R2


Jeremy Peters


Jeremy is a BIM Consultant who has worked with all parties to the AEC industry for the past 7 years. He brings particular expertise in Revit Architecture, Revit MEP and Navisworks to his role. He has a keen interest in how this new technology is fundamentally changing the way in which the AEC industry works together at every stage of a project.

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