LOD, Autodesk Revit, and Autodesk Advance Steel

Martha Hollowell

 By Martha Hollowell

Thank you to everyone who attended our whirlwind webcast tour of our latest training guide: Autodesk Advance Steel 2018 Fundamentals. We are excited to add this to our growing list of titles.

In the webcast, I gave an overview of how Advance Steel works by walking through several exercises from the training guide including how to create a basic 3D model with columns and beams that are connected using tools in the Connection Manager. From there, I showed how to create 2D drawings from the model using the quick document palettes tools and view these drawings using the Document Manager.

Working in a 3D Model

 If you were not able to attend or want to review the webcast you can visit our ASCENTctk YouTube channel to watch it here: From Model to Drawings Using Advance Steel.
 

Advance Steel vs. Revit Structure

Several questions came up in the Q&A. They all had a primary theme – Advance Steel vs. Revit Structure

  • What advantages can be obtained compared to Revit Structure?
  • Will Advance Steel be used instead of Revit Structure?
  • I played with Advance Steel connections in Revit. How different is the functionality in Advance Steel vs. Revit?

Which software you should use depends on the Level of Development (LOD) to which you are designing. LOD is a standard that states how much information is stored in a BIM Model at different points in the process. Conceptual design starts at LOD 100 and full fabrication drawings come in at LOD 400. As you can see from the graphic below Revit is not quite as detailed as Advance Steel.

Working in a 3D Model

Revit to Advance Steel Workflow

It may also help to see who uses each software in a typical workflow:

Engineers/Designers produce the design models and construction documents in Autodesk Revit. It is important to use Revit so you can work with the architectural model and other disciplines.

Steel Detailers and Connection Engineers work in Autodesk Advance Steel to create the fabrication model, shop drawings, and CNC output.

Two Important Add-ins

If you want to be able to share models between Revit and Advance Steel install the Advance Steel Extension for Revit. You can then export the Revit model to the Steel Markup Language (SMLX) and import it into Advance Steel. You can also synchronize the models using this add-in.

  • Not all elements can be exchanged. Stairs, Ladders, and Railings do not translate between the two products.

To produce even more detail within the Revit model you can load Steel Connections for Autodesk Revit. This allows you to add actual connectors rather than default connection element. While this gets you much further along it is still not the full level of development you need for fabrication. It can also be more cumbersome to add the connectors. In Advance Steel the Connection Vault macros edit cutbacks and coping and such that you would need to do individually in Revit. You cannot do the miscellaneous steel elements such as ladders and railings to the same level.

Working in a 3D Model

 

Conclusion

The software you use will depend on the Level of Development you need at that time. Revit and Advance Steel are both excellent tools but they do not do exactly the same thing. So, which one you use is up to you.

Don’t forget you can watch the webcast again here: From Model to Drawings Using Advance Steel. And be sure to check out our latest training guide: Autodesk Advance Steel 2018 Fundamentals.

Let us know if you have any additional questions. You can email us at feedback@ascented.com

Model on!

Martha Hollowell

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