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Conversation with Product Management: AEC Collection

by Michelle Rasmussen, AEC Content Manager, Autodesk on October 08, 2019

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Thank you to everyone who joined last week’s webinar with our AEC Product Managers. Here are several of the questions that came in during the broadcast along with their answers:         

Q: At one point there was discussion of making data from Civil 3D objects available to link to standard AutoCAD Text Fields. Is that still being considered?

A: While we don’t have a timeline for it, adding properties associated with Civil 3D objects to AutoCAD tables and text fields is still under consideration.


Q: In architecture, what is the interest to make better connect with Inventor ?  

A: We are focused on supporting custom fabrication workflows, where having the context of the building is important for the design and fabrication of the custom component where Inventor is the best choice to model and make a parametric piece of equipment.  An example might be custom equipment like escalators.   

Q: Is there information on new improvements to Map3D in the GIS realm?  It's been kinda stale lately.

A: The most recent, significant enhancement to Map 3D is support for the Connector for ArcGIS. Map 3D is one of three Autodesk products (the others being Civil 3D and InfraWorks) that have reaped the benefits of the Autodesk-Esri partnership.


Q: How do I sign up for monthly virtual meetup again, is there a link?    

A: There are several virtual meetups to select from. Use the appropriate link for your interest:


Civil Engineer

BIM Manager

AutoCAD Electrical Engineer

Plant 3d

Mechanical Engineer

Q: Hello, thank you for providing this venue. We are an electrical engineering firm and have a few comments and questions about that discipline. At what point today might you be delving into this topic? We are Revit users.

A: WE discussed some of the electrical enhancements we are working on.  For more details check out our public Roadmap at

Q: The conversation is about Civil 3d and Roadway design. This is interesting to us as designers of Street Light systems. (electrical consultants). Has there been any thought of providing features relevant to our work in this product? 

A: Electrification design tools isn’t on the near-term roadmap for our civil infrastructure products. We are doing a lot of work to make it easier to incorporate similar entities into a Civil 3D model, however. During the webinar, the Dynamo for Civil 3D video showed a railway design example, where a Dynamo script was used to place poles and cables along a railway.

Q: Are there any efforts to improve Revit's modeling tools?  They are quite clunky and unintuitive by today's standards - especially when compared to Rhino.           

A: [Harlan] We are working on making Revit’s modeling tools for geometry easier and simpler for complex geometry.  For example, we are working on walls to make modeling complex walls easier.  For more details check out our public Roadmap at

Q: When exporting from Revit to PDF, will it be possible to include sheets in multiple REvit files  

A: As we are working on this for the future, I cannot say for sure what will be possible or not.  If you are interested in testing and providing feedback, you can join our preview release program and join in on the conversations we are having as we develop Revit.  You can join by sending an email to

Q: any upcomimg changes to licenseing and installation? monitoring of license useage would be helpful and a more intuitive deployment and application of updates would be welcome

A: Hi Chris, our licensing team is not on the call today, but at this time they are not pursuing license usage monitoring. Installation does have some new research going into improved delivery and improved robustness in installation (including performance).

Q: any specialized toolset for structures?

A: The specialized toolsets are Electrical, MEP, Architecture, Mechanical, Plant 3d, and Map 3d. Nothing specifically for structure.

Q: can items be protected from purging?

A: Typically, objects that are "in use" are protected from purging, but in terms of unused layers or blocks that existed but were deleted as examples, you cannot protect them from a purge all. You would want to purge and track the objects that are being removed.

Q: will we ever have a viewer for rvt files?

A: We actually have two options today for viewing Revit files - 1 with BIM 360 you can view and share Revit files in a browser.  and 2, if you download any version of Revit you can choose to run it in "Viewer mode" which lets you open any Revit model and view the complete model in Revit just like you normally would, but without the ability to save edits or make changes. 

Q: Are we able to load company specific custom Content?

A: Thanks for the comment, we are looking at this in the future.  Someday, hopefully.  we are working on OOTB content first to ensure the service is scalable and resilient and works everywhere, then we will be looking at allowing companies to have their own libraries in the service as well.

Q: Revit Electrical: 1)Will there be any progress made on the ability to circuiting through a linked model? This has historically been a problem in collaboration with other internal and external team members.           

A: We are looking at how we can improve collaboration overall and with electrical also being a focus this is something we are looking at. 

Q: 2) Panel schedules. Currently we have to work around the trying to figure out where panel schedules appear(or don't) on sheets. Can this be added to system browser functionality or anything Revit native? Another seemingly straight forward function that doesn't exist currently.

A: Thanks for the suggestion.  I will pass this along to our MEP product managers.

Q: Last question:  Technology Systems/Av/Telecom is in need of more tailored functionality. They are toughing it out with electrical functions and connectors but need a fiber optic connector and increased functionality to suite the growing need for these intelligent systems to be included in the BIM process.   

A: Hello, I will ask the ACE (electrical) team to pursue this direction. I know that they have been working toward having additional connections, but I believe this workflow in BIM is not on the roadmap.

Q: when i create a new sheetset, it should open that sheetset, or at least put it on the recent list

A: We are attempting to include sheetsets into the recent files list. It may not be right away, but dst files not showing in recent files is one of the items we have been discussing.

Q: eletrical mep autocad should allow you to enter Amps, voltage and phase and have it calculate teh va per phase. Is electrical for the electrical MEP package, or the electrical schematic version? Rrecent sheetset list

A: Neither MEP or Electrical allow a user to do load calcs as described here, for phases.  Electrical is primarily for schematic design, MEP is documentation for as-builts.  MEP does perform calculations on a volume basis, say, so that you could specify the right AC unit, but it won’t tell you the phase and voltage you should use in the electrical design.  If we didn’t answer the question well enough, we’d love to meet at AU to understand in more detail.

Comment: Thank you team. It was indeed a great input.

Q: How do Dynamo connections in Revit work with Advance Steel?       

A: We will see if Harlan can answer this at the end. Thank you for your patience.

Q: We need Google Drive connection added to the web app!     

A: Thanks Joel, we are working in that direction. Expect larger 3d party cloud storage systems to be usable with the Web and Mobile app as this feature comes online.

Comment: Incorporating the 3D-engine of Inventor would be a great step forward. In order to have really a 3D engine instead of a 2,5D system. Most of the editing is limited to 2D 

For Structure: entering columns and beams in wall correctly is still a pane. Please give us a solution.       

Thanks for the feedback.

Q: Is any work being done on Revit's text editing features?        

A: This is not in our plans right now.

Q: Can resellers get access to the specialized toolsets?  

A: Hello, the specialized toolsets are available to all subscribers. If a user is on an existing subscription but unable to see the toolset they can contact product support to have their account turned on for specialized toolsets.

Q: What are your plans for allowing Civil Property set data to be used in Labels (including vanilla CAD objects)    

A: In current releases of Civil 3D, you can create label styles that support property set data that is included on a Civil 3D object. Expanding this functionality to standard AutoCAD objects is under consideration.

Q: What are you plans for updating the Corrodr properties "direlog" box especialy for setting multiple surface targets    

A: The Corridor Properties dialog box (particularly the target mapping workflow) is one of the many user experience enhancements that are under consideration for Civil 3D.

Q: When will the civil tables be able to be exported as per vanilla CAD tables?   

A: If you are able to go to AU, Stacey Morykin has a class there that will talk about using Dynamo to create a solution for this.

Q: Interesting - not able to attend but presumably this will be available online after AU as usual?

A: correct.

Q: Can revit provide bill of quantity? Kgs of steel reinforcement for instance      

A: Yes, revit can provide quanities, number of items, and based on the properties of those elements, you can schedule and perform calculations, like totals on those elements

Q: Is there any parametric design in revit? Or it needs additional script/coding added to revit?   

A: Yes!  Revit is a parametric design tool and doesn't require any coding or scripting to take advantage of it.  You can add contraints in your Revit model so that when oen thing changes the rest of the model updates.  This applies to everything in Revit from Modeling to Documentation.

Q: Is there any architectural analysis? Such as quantity of sunlight if we add more windows or quantity of air if we add more ventilation?

A: [Harlan] Yes, Revit has the ability to do both daylight and solar analysis and also sustainability analysis with Insight.  We also just released Path of Travel Analysis to help analysis how people use and move through a building. 

Q: Is civil 3D able to use parametric design? Or additional script is required to be added?

A: Yes, corridors and grading are parametric and you have all the parametric capabilities that come in AutoCAD.

Q: Do i need to upload the dwg for mobile use to autodesk cloud or can it stay in my onedrive   

A: The goal is to allow you to use the 3rd party storage you would like to - ie OneDrive. Upload features may not be fully available yet.

Q: Will there be any improvements concerning Revit and Vault, e.g. managing libraries, property mapping. BIM360 might be nice for a project, but not realy helps to manage all your Revit data...    

A: We are focused on BIM 360 Design for managing Revit projects and data right now.  The Vault product team is working on continuing to improve their product and I will pass this comment on to them. 

Q: I submitted a question prior to the webinar concerning being able to create hatches in revit natively - this is a feature that has been asked for for many years nad version to support practice working drawings in Architecture and Landscaping. Is there any plans to address this omission in the Revit features?           

A: We don't currently have plans to implement this natively in Revit. 

Response: I feel the lack of the native hatch creation feature in Revit leads to a lot of practices dismissing Revit as not being ready for the production environment - its a shame and I am disappointed that this is not a considered feature for implementation.         

Q: Bing maps are frequently old and not flexible. Any hope for improvements or switch to  Google maps? Thank you.     

A: We have no plans of making a change at this time.


Q: Is there any way to import plant3d pipe route model in revit with all properties?, as of now it comes as we want to make pipe support in revit by using plant3d model    

A: The best practice is to use exporting dwg format to use in Revit. But, I believe you are asking because the properties in Revit are not one to one. So, the answer is that it is not improved in 2020. You will get the same properties and import as previous years using dwg format.

Q: How to rotate in 3D any generic family? as of now we cant rotate     

A: Rotating of a family depends on how the family was created and the family template used to create it – the type of template used (hosted, face based, level based, etc.).  For help with families, we would recommend contacting your local partner or Autodesk Product Support for assistance. 

Q: We have been using plant3d for pipe routing and pipe support. Now we want to use revit for pipe support as on Revit output drawing and MTO are easy to extract as there is no such option in plant3d for structure output drawing and MTO. But We are facing problems regarding import our custom made pipe support as generic family in model as the process is time consuming for that is there any short cut way to import generic family in 3D view"       

A: It would be possible to use Dynamo for Revit or the Revit API to automate this family creation process.  Both have the ability to create families via the API from imported geometry – this could speed up your process.

Q: Another question is How we can make ref plane in 3D view?

A: I believe this is a Revit question –  I think this is asking if they can be visible in 3D as 3D elements.  This is not possible today. 

Q: Any progress on panel board schedules when we need to break out the MECH model from the ELEC model?  

A: [Harlan] We are working on electical improvments and one improvement is around editing of panel schedules, thanks for the feedback about this issue and we will pass it on to our development team. 

Q: How about Cloud-based content for INTERNAL standads?  For when users are out of the office and working on 360 projects? 

A: We are working on a general solution for cloud content that one day would allow your own content to be hosted in the service, we are starting with OOTB content to ensure the service is reliable and scalable for all content before we make it available for customer and your company content. 

Q: I might have missed this, but are there any planned updates to Robot Structural Analysis?     

A: You can view the public roadmap for Robot Structural Analysis for the latest information on what is planned for Robot in the future:


Q: I find that it is difficult to create custom parametric families in Revit. Are there plan to improve this capability in the future?   

 A: We don’t currently have plans in our roadmap ( to improve creating families within Revit.

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