Autodesk Revit is a building information modeling program. Through all the ArchiCAD vs Revit arguments, it is still one of the most popular applications in that discipline. Whether you’re an architect, structural engineer, contractor, or similar, you’ve almost certainly heard of Revit, and probably even used it.
While the application is extremely capable on its own, there are countless tools that open up a whole new world of capability. If you’re new to the application or looking for BIM workflow enhancement options, knowing the best Revit plugins is a solid place to start.
Understanding Revit Plugins
There’s a whole world of Revit plugins that can drastically improve the way you work. But before we can get into that, let’s learn more about these plugins.
What Are Revit Plugins?
If you’re learning Autodesk Revit, you’ll find that it has a full suite of features needed for building information modeling but it can’t do everything. Those aspects where it doesn’t do enough or anything at all have been filled by third-party developers making plugins.
With these, you can add functionality, conform to a specific workflow, integrate better with external software, and customize your Revit interface.
Streamlining BIM Workflows
Between an architect and an MEP engineer, the features needed from Revit differ significantly. However, with the right set of plugins, any professional using Revit can streamline their workflow and become a lot more efficient.
For instance, a cool plugin like PyRevit can make it possible to automate repetitive tasks and increase your efficiency.
Enscape is one of the most highly-regarded plugins for Autodesk Revit. It is used by some of the biggest architectural and design firms worldwide to visualize the building models being designed. Changes in Revit can be seen in the photorealistically rendered models instantly.
Dynamo doesn’t fall into what you’d traditionally call a plugin since it’s a standalone application, but it adds functionality to Revit, so let’s consider it one. Dynamo can be used for visual programming, meaning you can create scripts to enhance your workflow, automate tasks, analyze data, and more, without having traditional coding expertise.
Visualization and Rendering Plugins
V-Ray is another extremely popular rendering engine for Revit. If you’re after photorealistic renditions of the models you’ve so painstakingly worked on, this will do the job. And since it’s a plugin, you can do all your rendering straight from Autodesk Revit.
Twinmotion is a great option if you’re ready to go the extra mile for the best-looking renders. This does what most others do, but it can be linked to Unreal Engine, which gives you the potential to take your building renders to a completely different level. This requires a lot of juice, so here are some tips for faster rendering.
Automation and Productivity Plugins
#5: Ideate Software
Ideate Software is a company that offers a large selection of collaborative Revit plugins that boost productivity. Their products include Ideate BIMLink which makes data extraction into an Excel spreadsheet easier than ever, Ideate Explorer which replaces and improves the project browser, and IdeateApps which are different tools that improve Revit-related work efficiency.
#6: Agacad ARKANCE Dock
ARKANCE Dock is a plugin that adds an interactive window to your Revit interface. This window, or dock, contains Agacad products for Revit (e.g. Wood Framing, Cut Opening, CLT Panels, etc.) that will speed up your workflow.
Structural Analysis Plugins
#7: SCIA Engineer - Revit Structure Plugin
SCIA Engineer is a piece of standalone software that excels in multi-material structural analysis. The best part is that with an offered plugin, you can link this software to Revit and pass your models in for industry-grade structural analysis.
#8: SOFiSTiK Analysis + Design for Revit
Similar to the above, SOFiSTiK develops standalone structural analysis software that can be linked using their Analysis + Design for Revit plugin. Whether you’re designing simple apartment buildings or architectural marvels, this plugin will keep you secure on the structural side of things.
MEP Design and Analysis Plugins
#9: MagiCAD Connect for Revit
Do you need to work with ventilation, electrical, and piping? It’s important to make sure that all of these are integrated into your building according to standard and MagiCAD Connect is a plugin that can take that stress off your shoulders.
MEPworx can connect to Revit via MEPlinx, allowing you to design and analyze HVAC and electrical systems in your building model. It doesn’t focus on plumbing, so keep that in mind.
Advanced Detailing and Documentation Plugins
#11: Agacad Smart Connections
Precision is critical in BIM and detailing plugins like Smart Connections can help ensure that your architectural and structural elements are accurately detailed. It’s one of the best options when you need consistent and adaptive element adjustments.
#12: RTV Xporter PRO
BIM work always needs accurate and high-quality documentation. Plugins like RTV Xporter PRO provide additional features that can make things a lot easier in that regard. For instance, you can print to two printers simultaneously, export to file formats like PDF, DXF, DWG, etc., and even program a naming syntax so your file names take care of themselves.
Integrating Vagon for Enhanced Performance
Knowing the right plugins for your needs is one thing. Integrating them with your copy of Autodesk Revit is another. But one thing most people don’t consider is that Revit is a performance-intensive application, and as expected, so are most of its plugins.
To make sure your productivity is uninterrupted, you’ll need a lot of computing power. Fortunately, using Vagon for Revit projects will let you run Revit smooth as butter, without needing to invest thousands of dollars in computer components. Plus, if you have a Mac, it makes running Revit as simple as ABC.
Choosing the Right Plugins for Your Project
If you’re using BIM software, you could be an architect, a structural engineer, or a contractor, and you could be working on any of a hundred different categories of work.
You know your project the best. Try to use only Revit productivity tools that are necessary for your workflow and design needs, as this will ensure you optimally manage resources and keep your project moving seamlessly.
If Autodesk Revit is a major part of your architecture work, at least one of the many plugins above can be of major help to you. Check them out.
And while you’re at it, give Vagon a try. Your BIM workflow will get the chance to operate on a completely different level of power.