Nobody can compete with David Light's great overview of the upcoming features for Revit 2012. In any case, I will list some of my personal favorites:
- Worksharing Enhancements - One can now color their plan based on various worksharing settings. Who owns items, model updates and the big one "Display Workset Assignment". This will help, "Quickly", to see what objects are on what workset. An added benefit to this is that one can also hover over an item and see who owns it, who created it and who last modified it. The management possibilities are endless!
- Parts - One can now break an element into its sub-parts. So if the project had a floor with the metal deck and concrete fill, these can be separate "parts". One of the huge possibilities with this for floors is to create a thin finish layer which can be modified to show the finishes throughout a floor. This tool, built for the contractors, will probably prove to be just as valuable to the Architects.
- Worksharing Disable - One can now disable and therefore remove worksets such that it is back to a one user file. Bad if you control visibility with worksets but there are benefits also which probably include archiving.
- 3D Tagging - With this comes the ability to lock a 3D view which is almost as beneficial as the 3D tagging. This allows one to use the embedded object information to actually use Revit tags in the 3D view. Pretty Cool! Locking a 3D view now helps in keeping your cover artwork consistent.
- Family Enhancements - There are a bunch that I can't wait to put into production. Rounding, Type Catalog and Save All Families. As a formula man, the rounding just makes my life easier. One can now use Round, RoundUP and RoundDOWN in a formula to control how a parameter deals with a number. Saves a lot of work arounds. The Type Catalog is also another great addition. It can either be used to start your framework of a type catalog or allow one to export all options and then simplify the number of options in a family. This can all be done with a simple export/import. Save all families is a way to do a complete dump of the families used within a project. This can be used to troubleshoot or gleam families for adding to a central location or use in another project.
- Ghost Surfaces - When one clicks on an object, that object will turn 30% transparent. The ghosting can be applied to the entire view, by category override or object override. Neat feature but can also really help with things like a cropped down 3D of a room where a wall obstructs part of the view. Transparent was too much and ghost surfaces might prove to be just right.
- Link Enhancements - Finally, we can tag Rooms, Spaces, Areas and Keynote. For me, the ability to tag a room in another file is probably one of my top 3 since it was a huge limitation when working in multiple files.
- Point Clouds - This will lead the way to new ways of working. Point Cloud integration within Revit allows for a higher level of accuracy with existing projects.
What I don't care as much for but there are some out there that could benefit:
- DWG Interoperability Improvements - I don't really see the purpose of AutoCAD in a Revit BIM world other than opening up a file that is sent to you. It is just a crutch for those less committed. For those of you who utilize a Revit/Autocad relationship, you will have a lot more control over DWG fidelity.
- Assemblies - This is like a group but also not. It allows one to take multiple elements and make an assembly of them which also allows for assembly drawings. Assembly drawings are sheets and views of just that assembly. This is just version 1 of the tool and there is a tremendous opportunity for expanding on this tool. The downsides right now are: Modify one assembly and another that is exactly the same does not edit automatically and views cannot be placed on regular sheets. Great concepts and I cannot wait to see how this tool develops.
- Autodesk Vault Collaboration - Feel the same about this as the focus on DWF (Autodesk Design Review). Good thought but just never 100% there.
Few small ones that sometime miss the features lists but are great additions:
- Rotate - A new place option for the point of rotation instead of trying to grab the little rotate symbol.
- Manage Links - Revit is now the first tab on manage links, now AutoCad can go to position two.
- Worksharing Name - The active worksharing selection on the bottom of your Revit window will no longer start with "Not Editable" which makes it easier to see the name and the box has also gotten a little bigger.
- Workplane Viewer - Now in the project environment, not just in the conceptual tools. This will make editing so much easier. Have you ever tried to sketch on a sloped roof and have issues with how, this will help.
- Starting View - Ever want the ability to have Revit open a particular project in the same view no matter what view the user had open when they last saved? Now you will be able to which will reduce that long wait since someone saved on a shadowed 3D view.
There are many more little things and some videos are needed to explain a few. Stay Tuned for more!
As Steve Germano commented, there are some impressive new API enhancements also. Each year the new features get added to the API and a decent chunk of previous commands/tools get access through the API. The access through the API is critical to expanding the abilities of BIM and allowing Revit to be as efficient as possible.