Partner logo

Revision control

Keeping track of changes during the project revision stage


Often, during the review stage of a project, different changes might be necessary such as:

  • New details (views) added on the drawing to provide additional information
  • Model modifications such as element geometry, element position, material, new elements

Model modifications affect the existing drawings. Since there are several people involved in the review process, it is useful to keep track of the changes made.


Standard practice

According to standard practice in maintenance of engineering drawings, changes made in the model during the review stage of a project are identified using a number or a letter code and are listed in the revision table on the affected drawing. For each revision level, the revision table lists the reviewer (author) and a short description of the change made. Additionally, revision clouds are used to draw attention on modified areas of the drawing.


CAD techniques

Using simple CAD software, the elements are modified and revision clouds are drawn manually - a task that requires patience and significant attention to mark and then locate the changes in the drawing. The revision table is drawn using simple entities (lines and text) and updated manually. Additionally, a document management system can be used for drawing revision control.


Autodesk Advance Steel - Easier revision management

Detailing software like Autodesk Advance Steel allows keeping track of the changes in drawings similar to traditional revision control, but with a lot of improvements in the workflow.

Due to the link between the drawings and the 3D model, the revision information is controlled directly from the model dwg. During the drawing update process, the changes are automatically listed in the revision table on the drawing.

Thus, the user takes care only of model modifications while Autodesk Advance Steel takes care of everything else:

Drawing update

The outdated drawings can be automatically updated to suit the model.

History and backups

  • The updated detail dwgs are automatically saved with a revision letter in their name
  • Automatic backups of files are created before it is given a revision mark, avoiding several related revision mistakes.

Tracking of changes in the revision table

The revision table is automatically updated with the list of revision notes for all changes made in the model.

Marking changes using revision clouds

Starting with the 2011 release, in Autodesk Advance Steel, revision clouds are automatically drawn around the modified elements to easily locate the changes. In addition, several cloud-marking methods are available, allowing highlighting the necessary information on the drawing.

  • Mark only the modified objects with clouds, not the affected labels. If necessary, the modified labels can be displayed with a different color
  • Mark only the modified labels with clouds, not the objects
  • Display in a different color the dimension and labels changes relative to the last revision
  • Revision changes of dimensions and labels can be highlighted with clouds of a different color
  • Display the revision index next to the cloud
  • Option to show / hide revision clouds

Autodesk Advance Steel provides an efficient method of processing the changes during the review stage due to its revision tracking methods automatically controlled directly from the model. In practice, this results in less time spent for tracking and marking the changes.


How it works? - Let's see an example!

GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control

For a small model - a portal frame with the necessary connections - all elements are detailed on a single drawing.

The initial drawing is assigned the revision level A. After issuing the drawing to the customer, some changes are necessary to correct the model. When the first change is made in the model, the revision level is changed to B.

In our example, during the second revision (level B) the distance between the two bolt groups and the width of the rafters' end plate must be modified.

  • New distance between the two bolt groups: 100
  • New end plate width: 200

The required modifications affect several details containing the modified end plate. Since the plate size changes, the existing dimensions change accordingly.

Revision level A

Using the Document Manager, assign the revision index A to the first drawing.

Make the necessary changes for the revision level B

In the model dwg, modify the start distance for the second group of bolts and the end plate width.

Update the necessary drawing and the revision table

In the Drawing Manager, the affected details are grouped in the Update required branch.
To keep track of the changes of the modifications made in the model, select the drawing and click Update Revision.

GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control
GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control

Assign the revision index B and enter the revision details:

  • Author name
  • Revision date
  • Description of the modifications made in the model.

The drawing is updated to suit the model.

Keeping track of changes during the project revision stageView the result: updated drawing, with automatically updated revision table
To see the effect, open the updated drawing.
You can open it directly from the Drawing Manager, with a double-click.

The revision table is updated with a new revision mark and also contains the list of all the changes.

For example, for the modified plate (the rafter's end plate) the following information is displayed:

1007 The single part number of the rafter's end plate
Geometry changed The plate width was modified
Processing changed The distance between holes was modified
Name changed The name displays the new size of the plate

Clouds surround the changes made during the revision level B.

In this example, the changes affect the end plate dimensions on the drawing. Advance marks these changes with revision clouds too, but the drawing might be difficult to read.

GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control

Select another cloud marking method

In our example, for a clearer view, the changed dimensions will be displayed with a different color.

GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control

The modified dimensions are displayed with a different color.

The software behavior is controlled by a default, in Management Tools: Option to show revision changes for dimensions/labels with clouds of different color.
New value: 3 - all with different color

After changing any defaults close the Management Tool and update the defaults in Autodesk Advance Steel.
Update the drawing using : Keeping track of changes during the project revision stage

Additional clean up methods:

  • All revision clouds are created on a layer that can be switched off in order to clean up the drawing
  • Revision clouds can be hidden for a selected element
GRAITEC Autodesk Advance Steel | Revision control

Advance Steel Related Technical Articles

Read more about different functionalities of Advance Steel in the following articles:

Other products you may be interested in

PowerPack for Autodesk® Inventor®

PowerPack for Autodesk® Inventor®

Add-in for Autodesk® Inventor® that increases productivity, speeds up modelling and improves workflows.

Advance Design

Advance Design

BIM software for FEM structural analysis

PowerPack for Autodesk® Vault®

PowerPack for Autodesk® Vault®

Speed up your everyday Vault® data management tasks and improve your workflow

PowerPack for Autodesk® Advance Steel

PowerPack for Autodesk® Advance Steel

Productivity add-on for Advance Steel - practical tools for everyday needs

    Visit the Advance Steel YouTube playlist


Advance Steel - Share your ideas!


Contact us

GRAITEC GROUP 2021 | WE'VE UPDATED OUR PRIVACY NOTICE - Click here to find out more about how we collect, store and handle your personal data and your rights.