Revit Structure vs Advance Steel -Interoperability with Robot Structural.

Which is the best option for the designing and detailing of steel structures.

If you are reading this article is very likely that you have already some experience with Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional, or know it to some extend.

This software features indeed a powerful set of tools for the designing and analysis of both Steel and RC structures. Furthermore, it provides automatic generation and verification of connections between steel members, based upon the applied forces and governing design code.

And although it also offers the creation of some detailed diagrams for both these connections and the reinforcement steel for RC elements, its major focus isn’t to produce a detailed design for each of those elements, nor to create all the necessary documentation and detail drawings for fabricating them in the shop (in the specific case of the connections).

After all Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis Professional is above all...a structural analysis software.

So what happens if we need to produce a detailed design of the connections along with all the needed documentation?

Luckily we have some options, or interoperability between other Autodesk products, such as Autodesk Revit Structure and Autodesk Advance Steel.

Generally speaking, both software can be used for the same purpose, although there are some important points to consider.

Let’s begin with Revit Structure.

Revit Structure, many versions ago integrated with Revit as a single solution, is way more than just the detailing of steel structures, offering a plethora of design options in addition to its extensive BIM Environment.

Revit is practically a synonym of BIM.

A model generated and analyzed in Autodesk Robot can be imported to Revit along with the physical model of both sections and connections, allowing a quick transition and subsequent detailing of the model.

So and if that’s the case why bothering with Advance Steel at all?

What Revit offers in versatility lacks in specialization when it comes to the generation of documentation.

Revit effectively lacks many Advance Steel tools for the automated generation of detail drawings.

Through one single Template or Drawing Template, Advance Steel can produce a whole set of detail drawings for a particular structural element. From the orthogonal view of the main element or assembly, down to the section view of the last plate in a connection.

More than anything else that’s Advance Steel forte when compering to Revit.

Labels, BOM Tables, fonts, and views style can be fully customized and defined within one single template.

This allows the automatic generation of documentation for a whole structural model in just a couple of clicks. Reducing to minutes to what in Revit Structure could even take an entire afternoon.

Autodesk Advance Steel Level III | Trusses & Stairs | 2021

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Autodesk Revit Structural Detailing 2021 Tutorial

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Code checking of the Connections.

Another advantage that Advance Steel gives us during the design process is the code checking of the connections. And for which RSA data is used.

Namely, we can code check, or perform the integrity verification of the connections, based upon the internal forces found by RSA during the calculation phase of the connections design process.

Granted, if the connections were designed and checked in RSA this may be an unnecessary step, but the data produced by Advance Steel can be appended to the Calculation Report in RSA.

However, one considerable disadvantage of using Advance Steel is that the physical model of the connections won’t be brought in with the model.

And instead, we’ll just get its symbolic representation along with the data of the internal forces found in each node.

This last may be an argument for code checking the connections since we won’t be directly using the model provided and calculated by RSA.

So with all these points into consideration which software should you use?

As you can see it all depends on where your focus is.

  • If you looking to take advantage of the massive BIM environment that Autodesk offers, you should definitely go for Revit Structure.
  • But if what you need is the exhaustive and efficient generation of all the detail drawings and documentation of your structural models Advance Steel is hands down the best option.
  • Plus, if you already have experience working with AutoCAD then Advance Steel would be the most natural transition.