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What’s Revit, and why do we need plugins for it?



AutoDesk Revit


Revit is a 3D modeling software used to create replicas of buildings, used by architecture, engineering, and construction industry professionals. Revit is considered one of the most advanced data authoring tools which can be used for communication, information management, sheet generation, and more.


More and more companies, including small boutique firms, are shifting away from more traditional, 2D print paper based workflows to communicate with the site and operations teams, which is what makes it such a useful tool.



Revit's limitations


Revit has limitations. Even though it’s one of the most heavily used building authoring tools, it still has limitations in what it can do with real world functionality. AutoDesk releases a new version improving its functionality every year, but still falls short of users expectations, especially in edge cases. With the advent of even then Dynamo has its own limitations.


There are two ways of improving the functionality of Revit and connecting the functionality of Revit to some other application:



Dynamo scripts


The first way is through Dynamo scripts. Dynamo, Revit’s own “build your own Revit workflows” tool, which automates a lot of manual workflows - whether it be drafting, modeling, extracting information from excel and back, or sometimes even just changing text from UPPERCASE to lowercase in the entire document. All of these types of workflows can be created in Dynamo.


But, Dynamo works only inside the Revit environment. It has very limited access to system tools. That means, even though every operating system can do a lot of operations with data, you are limited to what the Dynamo and Revit UI provides, unless you go to Revit API, which offers access to system resources.



Custom plugins


Building a custom plugin with Revit APIs is the second way of improving Revit functionality. Revit API is one of the most powerful ways of interacting with how to author and extract data out of Revit, so you can convert data from Revit data formats to any system-readable formats.


Can you translate that to English please?


It’s a little difficult to explain the usefulness of these plugins without giving real life examples. In each of our case studies, we talk about how we build several custom plugins that benefit each of our clients in unique ways. What’s the obstacle in your team’s workflow?


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