How To: Generative Design with Revit

9 June 2022Architecture and Engineering, autodesk, Computational Design, Revit



Generative design tools were added to Revit with version 2021. They can automate the execution of generative design studies in an iterative way. You can focus your attention on other areas of your model while Generative Design runs in the background. Then you filter the results of the generative design study to find the outcomes that match your goals.

How It Works

Using Generative Design in Revit, you leverage Dynamo graphs to explore outcome-based solutions for designs as follows:

  1. You define criteria and constraints for the design problem.
  2. Generative Design uses this information to iterate multiple possible solutions.
  3. The solutions are presented to you for further evaluation.
  4. You decide on the optimal solution.
  5. You click a button to integrate the solution into the model for further development.

Generative design allows you to explore a great number of potential solutions for a design problem – more than you could through the use of other methods.

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If you need a partner to help you investigate or implement computational design, contact Applied Software today. The experts of Applied will help you champion the solution that is right for your company.

The engine for a generative design study is a Dynamo graph, which provides the logic to integrate your design criteria and generate alternatives. Each Dynamo graph addresses a particular design problem. In Revit, you can find several sample study types (Dynamo graphs) located here:

C:Users<username>DocumentsAEC Generative Design

You can also develop your own graphs to address unique design challenges.

The Generative Design tools allow you to enter your design criteria without using the Dynamo visual programming environment. The tools also automate the execution of generative design studies in an iterative way. You can focus your attention on other areas of your model while Generative Design runs in the background on your design problem. This especially saves you time when exploring many possibilities. When the iterations are complete, you can review the potential solutions.

Getting Access

The Generative Design tools are located at: Manage tab -> Generative Design panel ->

  • Create Study
  • Explore Outcomes

Note that direct access to Generative Design in Revit using these ribbon tools is only available to subscribers of the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection. You can access similar functionality using Dynamo for Revit. If you’re using Revit LT, it does not have generative design capability.

Use Create Study to select a study type and define the goals and study criteria. Then click a button to start the study and generate design alternatives. While the process is running, you can continue to work on your model.

When the process is complete, use the Explore Outcomes dialog to see the design alternatives. You can filter the outcomes for specific criteria and narrow down the possible choices. After you select the solution that best fits your criteria, just click a button to integrate it into your model.

Usage Example

On its Revit 2021 page, Autodesk describes how generative design techniques were used to redesign the layout of a restaurant to meet physical distancing guidelines. In the case study, MASS Design used Generative Design in Revit to see multiple options for table layout in a small space. A layout was selected that best fit the criteria for the design. In addition, the Path of Travel tool was used for further analysis, enabling the best movement through the space.

The case study showed that even small projects can benefit from generative design techniques.

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