If you follow any sort of Autodesk news, you probably already know that Revit 2017 was released last week. Even though Autodesk only officially announce the release this Monday, the new features have been somewhat public for the past week since the Revit 2017 online help documentation was discovered.
Besides the change in the logo, Revit 2017 seems to be following the trends of Revit 2015 and 2016, with little fanfare and quite a few smaller changes (and no really big changes). In the architectural world, the two features that seem to have risen to the top of the list are the Text Editor and Depth Cueing.
While I can certainly appreciate those two features, as someone who is concerned with site and landscape workflows, they do not quite make the top of my list. My top two features would have to be Hosted Railings and Calculated Values in Tags.
Hosted Railings now allow Railings to be hosted on the top faces of more than just Stairs, Ramps, or flat Floors and can also host to Slab Edges, Walls, or Roofs. And Railings will also adjust to varying slopes and surfaces.
This is particularly useful in the landscape, since we frequently work with irregular slopes both with shape-edited Floors and Wall profiles. So instead of having to break railing paths into segments and manually edit each segment slope, a Railing like this can remain a single segment and simply be hosted to the Wall:
I haven’t done extensive testing on the new hosting capabilities, but with Walls it seems to be limited to hosting the Railing to a single Wall segment.
This is understandable, but if you have multiple Wall segments under a single Railing, you will either need to split the Railing or split the segments and slope the rest of the Railing manually.
With Floors, the new hosting is a bit more versatile, since a shape-edited Floor is a single object and thus can be picked as a single host.
Though, I have still encountered a few glitches along more steeply sloped curves…
And Hosted Railings can, of course, be used to create Curbs:
Since these Railings still have a few glitches, they are not entirely perfect as Curbs, but they do seem to be much better than In-Place Curbs (which will twist along steeply sloped curves). Here they are in section:
If you look closely at the second section, you can see that both curbs do not quite align with the Floor edge. I think this might still be a result of the steep curve. Hopefully this is an issue that will be fixed as they work out the glitches with this new hosting.
After Hosted Railings, Calculated Values in Tags comes in at second place among the new features of 2017. It is a long overdue feature and will be incredibly helpful if you use Areas for area plantings, but unfortunately it still has a few flaws.
To start off, the calculated values in a Tag are entirely separate from any calculated values in a Schedule. This is not a deal-breaker, but it does leave room for human error, which is never a good idea. In theory, once the calculated values are set up (hopefully correctly), this lack of coordination should not cause any problems.
The second issue is more related to the fact that you cannot use Shared Parameters in Area Style Schedules. So if you use Area Styles to create Area “types” you will need to leave the ‘Spacing’ Shared Parameter as an instance parameter or manually manage the ‘Style Spacing’ parameter between the ‘Spacing’ Shared Parameter (this is the same issue with planting key names in Area Styles).
And of course, you could use Dynamo to automatically manage the spacing parameters, but either way it is less work since spacing is a type parameter and counts are an instance.
The result looks the same, though it should be quicker and have less human error:
The other new features that I am pleased to see are Global Parameters (partially rolled out in 2016R2), Reference Plane Subcategories, and Depth Cueing. And to round out the list, there are some “new features” that seem more like necessary fixes to me, including enabling In-Place Stairs, View Templates for Schedules, Combining Parameters in Schedules, and a better Text Editor (though to be honest, I don’t really understand all the fuss over this last one).