Reacticon’s Joonas: AGACAD Precast Suite Unlocks Revit’s Potential
This Northern European engineering practice says AGACAD’s software for modelling precast concrete elements in Revit® has no peers on the market in terms of guiding users to optimal workflows and enabling quality BIM results.
Jörgen Joonas runs his own civil engineering firm, Reacticon OÜ, out of Estonia. His focus is on buildings and other structures that use precast concrete.
When starting his engineering company, Jörgen found that AutoCAD, which he had used until then for projects, was no longer sufficient or efficient. He saw that the path to the future, and to better workflows today, was building information modelling (BIM) in an Autodesk® Revit® environment.
Jörgen’s goal was to eliminate the brainless work – “dragging lines across the screen all day” – to have time and energy “to do the real engineering stuff.”
That was not so easy. He soon discovered Revit lacks important functionality, and he himself lacked the know-how to optimise workflows. Working with precast assemblies in plain Revit requires a lot of manual work on view layouts, dimensioning, take-off, and inserting elements to achieve good detailing. Dynamo, the visual programming language for Revit, looked promising to automate routine tasks, but writing scripts was complex and time-consuming.“I decided it was very much worth paying for professional productivity tools,” Reacticon’s founder recalls.
So Jörgen began searching for expert BIM tools. “Googling I found some videos by Valensas Balsevičius [a BIM Application Engineer at AGACAD] about AGACAD’s precast package. My jaw dropped. The rest is history.”
AGACAD Precast Concrete is a suite of tools for modelling prefabricated concrete walls, floors, columns, and beams with real-time project updates in Revit. AGACAD is an AEC Industry Partner for Autodesk, which features the suite as third-party software that is helping make Revit the environment of choice for BIM precast work. It offers split, update and modify options, as well as rules-based batch insertion of connection details, plates, grout tubes, etc., and easy element renumbering/marking. It generates views with dimensions and bills of materials and shop drawings for combinations of structural and architectural elements, ensuring quality production and accurate assembly.
In short, the set of AGACAD tools promised to “reduce the grind factor, direct me to optimal workflows in Revit, and was very fairly priced,” Jörgen Joonas says. “There was nothing comparable on the market.”
Jörgen says the Precast Concrete package has delivered on that promise.
“It took a lot of manual and repetitive tasks off my plate. There is now time left to be an engineer. I can do a lot more work,” he says.
Even more, the set-up and user training process gave him a deeper grasp of how Revit works and all its vast potential: “The knowledge gains have been remarkable. This has benefited me and my workflows in so many ways.”
Asked what functionality is most useful, Reacticon’s proprieter said he was first amazed by the Smart Connections tool, which automates LOD 400 modelling in Revit, enabling easy batch insertion of grout tubes, cast-in plates, anchor bolts, lifting bolts, and cuts on any surface of beams and walls.
Later he found Sort Mark is an even bigger “time saver and ‘brain fog’ reducer.” It can sort and renumber elements and grids for any parameter and also add information. Jörgen says that works great with Smart Assemblies, which combines hosted or nested concrete and steel elements into a single Revit entity and generates views, dimensions, and assembly sheets.
Other tools in Precast Concrete include Floor Panel Layout for planning and splitting prefabricated floor panels, Smart Walls for easy wall and join management, Floor+C to create slabs using structural framing families, and reinforcement tools for placing rebar in beams, walls and columns.
Finally, Jörgen has been impressed by the constant ongoing development of AGACAD’s products, with “significant updates multiple times a year adding new functionalities and improving existing ones,” and by a customer support team that “writes me several times a year to ask how it’s going,” noting: “I can’t recall ever seeing such dedication anywhere else.”
Written by Bryan Bradley of Textus Aptus.
This client relationship exemplifies the AGACAD ideal of “Building BIM Together!”
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