Revit has quickly become a mainstay in architecture, engineering, and consulting firms around the world. And while it has yet to completely replace AutoCAD as the prefered industry standard for drafting software, it’s capabilities and potential as a Building Information Modeling platform greatly outweigh some of the growing pains it has endured over the past decade.
But, as with any piece of productivity software, there are add-ons, apps, and plug-ins available to help streamline workflow and make using the programs more effective and more powerful. Revit is no exception.
The following plug-ins are Revit’s most widely-used, and assist in making one of the titans of the architectural software industry even better.
Anyone who uses Revit understands how valuable schedules and legends can be for managing take-offs, schedules, and critical path workflow. However, the default tables Revit creates are often cumbersome and don’t give the full suite of options and capabilities a dedicated spreadsheet program might. Ideate BIM Link allows you to export Revit schedules into Excel to utilize the power of a mainstream spreadsheet manager. It isn’t cheap at $850 USD, but for large firms processing massive amounts of construction information, it’s a must-have.
If you’re using 3D viewports for construction documentation (and you should be) Coins Auto-Selection Box is a plug-in poised to speed up your work-flow substantially. It allows Revit users to quickly and easily create viewports of particular interest in 3D model space for use with construction documentation. Revit’s most powerful feature is the ability to use the three-dimensionality of the model to communicate design and construction information, and this plug-in streamlines that process and integrates it into other, two-dimensional drawings.
Managing viewports is an exercise in precise organization in order to get the most out of developing the construction model for any given project. Palladio allows Revit to maximize screen space for open viewports, resulting in increased efficiency when it comes to model building and documentation when working with multiple viewports at a time.
For individuals and firms working on a variety of projects at any given time, RTV Xporter is the perfect compliment. With it, users can build scripts that open several projects at once when Revit is launched, cutting down on time spent opening individual files and targeting specific views. Taking things further, RTV Xporter manages print files and schedules in a way that lets users batch export important project information for print or review quickly, easily, and accurately.
Revit is begging to be an effective 3D visualization tool. Unfortunately, the features and capability that comes stock with the program fall short compared to more dedicated rendering programs. Dynamo gives Revit the opportunity to create powerful visuals and diagrams natively without the need to export, render, post-produce, and otherwise spend time in auxiliary programs that might not otherwise be necessary. Dynamo is open-source, and constantly being improved upon by the people and teams that use it most.
For the visual learners among us, Color Splasher integrates with Revit and provides a much more informative, color-coded overview of 3D components within a model. It helps users process complex model information, and speed up their interaction with those components. It separates objects according to category, then breaks those categories down further into specific parameters.
Though Revit’s ability to create complex wall types are the industry standard, this plug-in from Clark Dietrich takes things a few steps further. Most importatly, it shortens the gap between architects and contracters when it comes to information contained within a wall type. For advanced construction techinques that require an automated level of wall information, this plug-in helps carry that data from the Revit model, through the construction documents, and into the hands of the people on the ground.