Getting More Results Out of the New Releases


July 10, 2019 | All, Software Update

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As we learn more about the new and enhanced features in the Autodesk 2020 products, collaboration continues to float to the top. Yeah, it’s a buzz-word in the industry nowadays, and that’s because it’s changing the way projects are constructed. Organizations are working together to resolve issues and deliver successful projects.

At the center of the collaborative movement are BIM 360 and Revit. So Revit usually seems to get more than its fair share of updates and upgrades when the new versions roll out each spring. With its “single source of truth” model, the BIM process provides a data rich model as the foundation for successful projects.

We asked Matt Dillon, Applied Software Core Services Director, what he sees as the standout features in the Autodesk 2020 products. He recently participated in Bridging the Gap with a half-hour interview on this very topic. Following are his insights on architectural, MEP, fabrication, structural, Civil 3D, and InfraWorks:


  • In Revit, you can now create true elliptical walls and curtain walls.
  • The software will now automatically calculate the “path of travel” for egress – how far someone has to go to get to an exit.
  • The new PDF import feature is huge. Many jobs have a lot of legacy data that’s not in a BIM model or any model. With imported PDFs you can help document an existing building, for instance in the case of a remodel. Even better, the imported PDF is “scale aware” – it imports properly scaled, and you can snap to specific points.
  • Improved view filters. You can control the visibility of multiple categories of objects at one time in Revit by filtering using a variety of criteria, and there are more filter options, so you can get much more specific with them.
  • Now you can copy and paste legends across sheets. For instance, you can propagate key plans.
  • SketchUp 2018 is supported, and SketchUp materials are better supported.
  • Cloud rendering performance has been improved. Very large models are essentially split into pieces and rendered on separate machines simultaneously, which drastically speeds up the rendering process. There are also filter-based quality metrics. You can tell the cloud renderer what level of quality you want in the rendering, and once it reaches that quality, it stops rendering, saving time. The rendering quality of materials is improving as well.


  • Electrical home runs are more customizable.
  • MEP components can be inserted using an “elevation from level” feature. They can also be set as “offset from a host.”
  • You can now connect electrical panels by feeding through lugs.


  • Change of service is improved. If you change to a different service, the duct does not have to change its shape.
  • An extension for fabrication is now available as a separate download – free for subscription members. Create a CSV or TXT file that can be used in other applications, like spreadsheets, for quantifications, nesting or procurement.


  • Rebar improvements. In a freeform concrete shape, you can control how the rebar maintains its shape during a copy/paste.
  • Improved annotation for freeform rebar. You can have multi-rebar annotation even if it’s not parallel to the current view plane.
  • Place rebar into any in-place structural object.
  • Steel connection definitions can be propagated to other conditions. And if you modify one, they will all update automatically.
  • Computations happen in the background, saving you time.
  • You can download a full-featured Dynamo package that gives functionality for steel connections.

BTW: A lot of these structural features are found in the Advance Steel Extension for Revit. Go to your Autodesk Account to download at no charge for subscription members.

Civil 3D

  • Dynamo is now available for Civil 3D.
  • There’s a new gravity network analysis tool.


  • You now have the ability to edit features in InfraWorks from an outside data source and then save back using the Esri data Collector for ArcGIS. For more information about the relatively new Autodesk–Esri partnership, check out Brian Hailey’s blog, “Who is Esri and Why Do They Matter?

But why upgrade to the new versions? It’s disruptive. It takes resources. It takes time. If you feel that your firm doesn’t have the time or resources to deal with change, you’re not alone. That’s a common feeling among firms. Maybe you don’t have the resources or the staff to upgrade your processes right now; or your capable staff members are busy with billable work. So how do you stay competitive while playing it safe? That’s when it makes sense to reach out to a resource like Applied Software. The industry-trained Applied professionals are available to work with your staff on developing standards and workflows, process analysis, and mapping out the best way for you to adopt technology. Then they help execute your plan, build templates, provide training – in short, they help you change the culture that might be holding your firm back. Sure, it takes money . . . but you’ll be investing in the future of your company. That investment is returned in cost savings and profit when you implement the new technology that’s right for you. Contact Applied Software today and find out what the new Autodesk 2020 products hold in store for your future.