revit structural connections 2017
Revit Structure Tips

Revit Structural Connections 2017 – Steel Connections

After finally installing Revit 2017 I was really eager to check out the new Revit Structural Connections 2017 feature. I immediately modeled some Steel Beams, found the Structural Connections button, only to find the generic connection is the only one I could use! I tried hunting around for some connection families to load, but alas I found nothing. Then after a little research I realized I needed to download the Autodesk® Steel Connections for Revit® add in from my subscription Account. (facepalm!)

So if you are having trouble like I was, you need to download the extension by either:

a) Opening the Autodesk Desktop App and finding Autodesk® Steel Connections for Revit and hitting download:

revit structural connections 2017

or b) Sign in to your Subscription Account, click on Products>Your Revit product> and click on Enhancements where you can then download the Steel Connections for Revit add on

You then need to click or double-click the file to start the installation process and follow the prompts.

Revit Structural Connections 2017

Now that you have installed the Steel Connections add in, click on the little arrow at the bottom of the ‘Connection‘ button on the Structure Tab.

revit structural connections 2017

This opens up the Structural Connection Settings window where you can add Steel connections to the project. Select the connections you want from the ‘Available Connections’ list on the left and click ‘add’ to load them into your project, once you’re happy click OK.

Now all you do is select Connection, then click the drop down in the Properties box and select the Type of connection you want. If you hover over a type you can see a preview or examples of the connection.

revit structural connections 2017

Next, Ctrl+click the Elements you want the connection to apply to, then hit Enter or Space Bar

revit structural connections 2017

From here you may not see anything! Check your Visibility Graphics and ensure the Structural Connections sub-catagories are checked to be visible:

revit structural connections 2017

Also make sure your Detail Level is set to Fine in order to see your new connections.

Now that you have created (and can see!) your connection, click on it and then select Modify Parameters

revit structural connections 2017

This is where you can edit your connections properties such as plate dimensions, No. of bolts, bolt size & centres etc. welds and a whole lot more. Quite a cool little extension which should definitely help Engineers and Structural Drafters accurately configure their steel connections.

An Issue I had which you should keep in mind:

At first I tried the Structural connections add-in in an existing project, and I kept getting warnings like this:

revit structural connections 2017

According to the Autodesk Knowledge Centre, this comes about from “trying to create a connection on input elements that are not from the new structural framing families (delivered with the 2017 Revit release)”. In other words I was trying to use the Steel Connections add-in on pre-2017 Families. Keep this in mind if you want to use the new feature in an existing project, as you will have to update the framing Families to make this work.

Also, a friend of mine has alerted me that the connection parameters are instance parameters, so even if you create a new type the connection will still revert back to the default parameters. And as far as i can see, there is no way to manage the default settings of each connection type. This from the Autodesk Knowledge Centre:

The detailed connection geometric parameters act as instance parameters. The Copy and Array commands can be used to copy a connection (after the connection has been configured) in other parts of the model.

So you can still copy and paste the connection, but that seems a bit lame. I would have preferred them as Type parameters so we could create very specific connection families for use within the project and also other projects.


So summing up, I’ve just had a quick play with Revit structural connections 2017  and so far it seems pretty cool. I usually use Steel Connection Families (as well as some custom families) to make modelling and detailing steel connections quick and easy. I think I will persevere with this new add in and see how easy it is to work with, and any new tips or tricks I find I will keep you guys in the loop.

If you have any questions, or you know some better features or methods for working with Revit Structural Connections 2017 then please leave a comment below!

If you found this post helpful, please feel free to share it.

-Talk soon

P.S – I’d love to connect with you on Twitter: here

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Article written by:

Structural Revit Technician and BIM/Drafting Manager from New Zealand. Founder of revitIQ.com

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  1. Pingback: Revit Structural Connections 2017 – Steel Connections - Revit news

  2. Ben

    Hi Karl,

    Thanks for your information.
    I also play around the 2017 structure connection and realize it is so easy to create and control but not good to construction documentation. What I mean is when in the section view u can not really do dims for the connection and the bolt type AS1252 need to be changed every time since the setting can not change to default and is not a type parameter.

    • Karl Tanner

      Thanks Ben you made an excellent point. Copying and pasting the modified connection is the only way to keep the same connection settings. In regards to dimensioning the details I know what you mean, I will have a play around and see if there is a way to make it easier.
      Kind regards, Karl

      • Sean Spence

        Was so excited about this, started with Base plates, Got it set up, created a duplicated type BP-1, set all the parameters. Looking sweet… Look at that, “that’s awesome”. went to the next column applied BP-1…. Default Baseplate. Hmmm, thats weird, Match properites…. Nope…Copy. error Elements were deleted. Sniff. excitement level now, not so much.

        Is this something to do with integration with Advanced Structural detailing software or Robot? Is it an attempt to have us use Autodesk vertical software to have it work properly?

        • Karl Tanner

          Hi Sean, you need to use the copy and paste tools, otherwise it will just revert back to the default baseplate. To be honest I have given up on using the Structural connections tool, I just use families to model my connections. It’s too difficult to work with imo, for detailing especially they would much rather you use Autodesk Advanced steel.
          Kind regards,
          Karl

  3. Ivan Guevarra

    when i try to create steel connections between beams or a baseplate, my revit software suddenly close itself, why is that so?

    • Karl Tanner

      Hi Ivan, I’m sorry I don’t know why that would happen – I would try reinstalling the Structural Connections add-in and see if that works? Good luck!

  4. Greg

    Hi Karl,

    I have the error message “Invalid connection Input” and I cant do anything to get rid of it. I used the library 2017 for all my steel beams and columns.

    How can I solve it?

    • Karl Tanner

      Hi Greg, that sounds strange. I’m pretty sure the only time you get the “invalid connection input” is when the families aren’t certified for steel connections ie pre 2016. Check this link http://help.autodesk.com/view/RVT/2017/ENU/?guid=GUID-6244E741-5D14-4DAD-AE25-5069F71B69F3 and make sure you are using the steel families from this list. Other than that I’m not sure sorry.
      Karl

    • Rosana

      “Invalid connection Input” message always appears when used no-certified families . The certified families of european Steel profiles (Germany, France, etc) not working,…impossible to create connections with . Autodesk have a problem.

  5. Duy Lan

    Hi Karl. I have a problem with creating steel connections in Revit 2017. In a project, I load family for a beam, then i duplicated this beam to other size. I created connection for new beam size, When connection is created, that beam I duplicated, it came back to old size of beam I loaded at first! Can you solve it for me, thanks!

    • Karl Tanner

      Hi Duy, I had a play around and I understand what you mean. I think the issue is the Steel connections only work with the pre-set certified families, and they don’t recognize any new family types you create. If possible try sticking to the standard types available, i know that’s not ideal but I will keep playing around with it and let you know if I find a proper solution.
      Kind regards, Karl

  6. m.k.

    Hey Karl,

    you saved my ass. I’m a student from germany with a studentjob in a staticsoffice. I implement new revit features for my boss and i was quite helpless without the tip at the beginning.

    Thank you and kindly regard, Maxi

  7. Pingback: Revit Structural Connections 2017 revitIQ | BIM Bytes

  8. Steven Brown

    I am trying to add connections to a revit model I have created and am using certified beams. The problem is I select a shear connection, but it only puts in a generic connection and shows nothing. What am I doing wrong?

    • Karl Tanner

      Thanks for your question Steven, have you installed the Steel Connections for Revit add in? Are Structural Connections checked in visibility graphics? Your detail Level needs to be set to fine as well.
      Kind regards,
      Karl

  9. Maryam

    I am working with revit architecture 2014, and I need to create some structural model. I am requiring the steel bean connections, but I can’t find them in my Autodesk manager to download them. Is there any other way that I can download them?

    • Karl Tanner

      Hi Maryam, the steel beam connections described in this post only work for Revit 2017. I think you also need to have Revit structure as well.
      Kind regards,
      Karl

  10. orileys.com

    Either Steel Connections for Revit is not installed or it cannot be used on non-certified Revit families.

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