Break out the party hats, order some pizza, it’s time to celebrate! This is the day we all knew would come, we just didn’t know when. If I had to list the top 3 things I would like to see added to Revit MEP they would be:
- Conduit and Cable Tray
- Customizable Panel Schedules
- Copy/Monitor MEP fixtures
Every one of these features, and more, have been added to Revit MEP 2011! So they added these new tools, but really, how good are they? I will share with you my first impressions of each of these tools:
In a BIM project, 3D Conduit and Cable Tray can be critical elements in large projects where space is more valuble than gold. Using previous versions of Revit MEP, engineers and designers could see what a powerful tool it was, but when a project called for these elements to be modelled in 3d, struggled with cumbersome workarounds such as using the plumbing tools to represent conduit or creating their own set of line-based families for cable tray.
When I first heard conduit was getting added to Revit MEP I thought, the tool better not be just a modified version of the pipe tool with larger radius elbow families. They needed to give us the ability to do bent conduit, and they did! The new conduit tool has two families: Conduit with Fittings, and Conduit without Fittings. The Conduit without Fittings family is for bent conduit. This seems to work very well. There are actual Revit fittings that are inserted at the bends, but as you can see from the image the bends are continuous without any visible break. As you are drawing conduit there is an option in the Options Bar to adjust the mininum Bend Radius for the bent fittings.
There are several different type of conduit such as Channel, Ladder, and Mesh Bottom ready right out of the box. And much like the conduit, there are two cable tray families: Cable Tray with Fittings and Cable Tray without Fittings
Of course both conduit and cable tray have their own categories in Revit MEP, but there are two additional categories, Conduit Runs and Cable Tray Runs. These special categories give us the ability to calculate length of entire runs within a schedule instead of just individual segments.
Two new connectors have been added to the familiy editor for creating objects that Conduit and Cable Tray would need to connect to. These connectors also have the ability to place them as “surface-based” which makes it possible to connect to any part of the surface of the object you need to connect to. This way you are not limited to just one single connection point.