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Revit vs. CAD, How is there even a debate about which is better

StarchitectAlpha

Okay listen up Mr. 35-45 yr. old PM who hates on Revit daily. I used to buy into the argument that Revit probably ended up taking as much time as CAD because you ended up doing more with it but after working in Revit for a year and then going back to starting a CD packet with CAD because one of our PM's refuses to learn revit because he thinks it's a waste of time, I couldn't believe how incredibly useless and outdated this program is. I mean the obvious ones first of drawing a floor plan, elevations and sections separately but then getting design changes and spending time double checking these drawings are lined up. Then of course realizing that framing in the section wasn't  actually lined up correctly due to human error. More time going back and making sure everything lines up. Then of course actual sheet set up consisting of creating a myriad of random files that link together and then of course the dreaded scale change of a viewport that's already been annotated. That alone wasted me two hours (changing a fully annotated shopping mall site plan to a different scale, would have taken 3 seconds in revit) and thank god we didn't have the extremely dreaded "can we flip the floor plan" add two days but in Revit, yup there's a button for that. Seriously this program is terrible!!! Not to mention you need to be a quasi computer programmer with knowledge of random command line texts to fix random bugs in this software that's been updated sporadically since windows 3.0. Stop being lazy and learn revit, it's better trust me.

 
Jun 18, 15 10:32 am
Non Sequitur

I use both daily.

... and complain about them equally.

Main complaint about revit/BIM: it makes ignorant grads think they know how to put buildings together because of "there's a button for that" mentality. If you know how to put together a cohesive drawing set then you should be efficient whatever tool you use.

Jun 18, 15 10:41 am

As someone who uses CAD poorly and Revit not at all, I'm going to borrow Miles' favorite gif and see what I can learn from this thread...

...carry on, please.

Jun 18, 15 11:03 am
Non Sequitur

Donna, I only entertain CAD vs BIM discussion over a Pint of Guinness... and only if there is promise of more Guinness to follow. I'm by far the most advanced software-wise of my fellow licensed architect friends and the above points made come up on occasion. I've found that a great deal of frustration in the "35-45yr old PM" department comes from kids touting a new revolution. It's not that simple, but what else can you expect from a someone who only knows the basics of the software?

Software is just a tool, like any other. Just don't get caught thinking a few presses of buttons makes one an architect.
 

Jun 18, 15 11:18 am
curtkram

Then of course realizing that framing in the section wasn't  actually lined up correctly due to human error.

this is my favorite part.  the assumption is that revit eliminates human error?  if you knew autocad, you could have reduced the human error by not screwing it up in the first place

creating a myriad of random files that link together

like families?

learn autocad, then you can set up your drawings better to start with :)

also, your pm probably doesn't give a shit about the 2 hours of time you wasted.  the most valuable asset any firm has, and their biggest cost, is their people.  ultimately it's the people that produce the product and it's the people's work that will decide the profit or loss of the firm as well as the reputation of the firm.  you'll notice when you start worrying more about the computer than the people, you'll probably end up with a pretty shitty firm.

Jun 18, 15 11:35 am
SneakyPete

Understanding the process of architecture makes fresh grads into better architects.

 

Understanding the process of the software makes crusty veterans into better architects.

Jun 18, 15 11:37 am
senjohnblutarsky

Revit is better for setting up drawings, because once things are modeled, you instantly have something to start from while detailing. 

Revit is lousy because.... well have you ever tried snapping a leader, making a generic legend, or... well.... just about anything involving text?  I shouldn't have to trick the program into making a legend by making a sprinkler riser schedule and changing the text.  That is idiotic.  Hell, you can't really even copy text into a drawing.

And heaven forbid the program actually move all your detail elements if you shift a section cut...
 

Autocad is a coordination nightmare, at times. Revit alleviates some of that.

Jun 18, 15 12:40 pm
SneakyPete

At the risk of sounding like a Revit apologist, details moving "automatically" is a horrible idea. When one moves a section cut, one needs to ensure that the detail is correct manually. The old CAD method of just leaving the detail alone without checking it is dangerous and leads to RFIs at best.

Jun 18, 15 12:47 pm
gruen

My two cents:

CAD is great for people who understand how drawing and construction really work. I love it for small projects, additions and simple interiors projects.

REVIT really shines for new ground up construction or large additions. Not so hot for projects that are primarily 2D anyway such as interiors projects. Yes, it can work for these projects, I know. 

My workflow in REVIT is to avoid detailing at all until the last days of the project - when everything is set in stone. Yes, I'll do the detail cuts and set up the sheets, and even hand sketch the critical elements of the details, but I won't commit to them until I know the building is tight. I hate seeing details get screwed when you make plan changes. 

I generally work this way anyway - try to "set the design in stone" as early as possible. It's a pain to make last minute design changes in CAD or REVIT. 

Jun 18, 15 1:07 pm

Sneaky Pete I agree with your post. I graduated into a firm that barely used CAD and we all learned it on the job over the next 8 years, so I do understand how understanding how the tools work can change how you approach the work. I know just enough about Revit to feel confident that it's an entirely different way of thinking about how to document a building, which means the design process in a firm is going to be very different, too.

Jun 18, 15 1:12 pm
StarchitectAlpha

Use pick lines in a detail view to block out your detail, copy into a drafting view, never worry again about shifting details. I love the comment "remove human error" okay cool, I'll get right on removing all human error from projects why didn't I think of that before? I was purely saying the program catches a lot of things that people miss even seasoned architects. Can't tell you how many times a seasoned architect will be like this section is wrong, and then you show them that's what is actually happening and then they freak out because they didn't realize it and fix things. With CAD, your hood vent would show up onsite and be sticking into plumbing, good luck telling your client why you need another mechanical permit with a wait time of a few months in a major city.

Jun 18, 15 1:18 pm
StarchitectAlpha

And two hours is a big deal if you promised something end of day to a new client with potential additional work and you send it an hour late instead of an hour early.

Jun 18, 15 1:29 pm

With CAD, your hood vent would show up onsite and be sticking into plumbing

But, wait, no. I know in my head, and can translate to two dimensions, how to place a hood vent so it doesn't interfere with the plumbing.

If I accidentally cut and paste the hood vent block (or entity or family member or whatever it's called in Revit) onto the plumbing does a red warning light start flashing on my monitor?

Jun 18, 15 1:34 pm
gruen

Donna - no it does not. 

Yes, REVIT can do some "clash detection" but you still have to do some work to get there. I'm usually doing my regular coordination work to make sure that plumbing or HVAC didn't design some boneheaded thing through structural. And we still have to deal with field issues when the trades just do whatever is easy for them. 

But REVIT will help fix coordination issues on your own drawings - like when you move a window in plan and forget to move it in elevation (CAD)

Jun 18, 15 1:37 pm
curtkram

it kind of does donna, but then i think you get enough false positives to ignore them all.

And two hours is a big deal if you promised something end of day to a new client with potential additional work and you send it an hour late instead of an hour early.

but that's not your PM's problem, that's your problem.  the PM will just let the others know you weren't able to fix it on time.

^-- i don't know if that's true, i'm just imagining a scenario of a screwed up office.

Jun 18, 15 1:39 pm
SneakyPete

Screwed up offices may get that way with a reseller promising too much (removal of human error, anyone?" and the leadership believing it. Then the rank and file get oversold and in order not to undelivered they work overtime. This then becomes expected by management because they're not comfortable being honest about the unrealistic expectations being placed upon them.

 

In other words: COMMUNICATE, people.

Jun 18, 15 1:59 pm
mightyaa

My main issue is more about the laziness with your thought process.  Those of us who handdrafted, are very purposeful in whatever goes into a drawing set.  That’s really the difference.  Us old guys who actually drafted (autocad was just an extension of this), think about drawings sets in reverse.  We think about the cd’s and what we need to show and how to do that, so what is built matches what we’ve got in our heads.  There was an end of DD and start of CD (also signifying ‘no more changes to design’).  We started at the final set and drew just enough to be able to fill that in.  You younger guys tend to bask in the glory of your electronic 3d creation as though that is really the work… thing is, they build off of the drawing set.  And you never really stop designing and moving into production as though the cd set is automated right at the end. My parallel lines say the same thing as your 'wall' in the end.

Ooh, the rapid editing isn’t necessarily a blessing either.  It changes everything, so maybe you had some specific little detail somewhere… and your change elsewhere screwed up that important aesthethic because you, basking in your glory of technology, lost that foresight to know if you change “A”, then B, C, D, and E also change; you are just thinking you won’t have to go back and edit all those other details and pages and don’t even review them again knowing there’s no reason to re-coordinate since it was automated.… so maybe it never occurs to you that you shouldn’t change “A”.  One little click to solve one problem adds multiple more.  If you were in autocad… by the time you got to fixing the detail for B, you’d be foreseeing this domino chain.

Either way… they are both tools.  I just fear the more automated the process, the less you’ll actually ‘think’ about what you are doing and why.

Jun 18, 15 2:01 pm
Larchinect

I feel like you're conflating several issues.

Larchinect

Oops...

Larchinect

Obsession with the model is the same as obsession with the sketch, concept, idea. People get fixated on the craft and lose sight of purpose and intent. Human nature dictates that some people will be lazy, some people have little sense of pride in their work, etc. Most offices today are siloed in their thinking and communication. All of this can be exhibited in any workflow. I say use the tools you've got, train your eye, take pride in your work, and yes, communicate!

Good_Knight

Non Sequitur said, "

Donna, I only entertain CAD vs BIM discussion over a Pint of Guinness... and only if there is promise of more Guinness to follow. I'm by far the most advanced software-wise of my fellow licensed architect friends and the above points made come up on occasion. I've found that a great deal of frustration in the "35-45yr old PM" department comes from kids touting a new revolution. It's not that simple, but what else can you expect from a someone who only knows the basics of the software?

Software is just a tool, like any other. Just don't get caught thinking a few presses of buttons makes one an architect."

^This.  Young Grasshoppers think linear algorithms (CAD or BIM) + reckless speed + inexperience = architecture.  The best possible result of this formula is some illegible low quality linework.  Silly grasshoppers.

Jun 18, 15 2:10 pm
SneakyPete

"I just fear the more automated the process, the less you’ll actually ‘think’ about what you are doing and why."

 

YES.

 

But it separates the wheat from the chaff.

 

I can't tell you how many times I've pointed out that we were spending time "cleaning up"* the 3/8" wall section when the contractor was going to build from the plans and details and that the wall section was simply a road map to the details...

*by cleaning up I don't mean making look competent, I mean adding notes and detail items that were found in the detail.

Jun 18, 15 2:20 pm
chigurh

OP: A-mother fuckin-men!

CAD is for Luddites.  

Jun 18, 15 2:53 pm
curtkram

textile mills are for luddites

Jun 18, 15 2:56 pm
Good_Knight

"OP: A-mother fuckin-men!

CAD is for Luddites.  "

Obvious Grasshopper is obvious.

Jun 18, 15 3:30 pm
StarchitectAlpha

"Silly Grasshoppers" - Old timers think, artistic sets and hours of unbilled time = a profitable business. Silly Old timers

all these arguments above = why architects are increasingly getting left as just drafters and other businesses are moving in to take away higher paid services and the youngest and brightest leave the profession seeking something actually worth their time. 

Jun 18, 15 3:31 pm
chigurh

grasshopper my ass, I'm am the Mr. 35-45 yr. old PM...Stick with CAD and go the way of the dodo.  BTW, who all is drafting by hand nowadays?  Those guys really stuck to their guns though.  

Jun 18, 15 4:27 pm
StarchitectAlpha

And to the old timer who comes in with "you're just an arrogant little recent grad" to that I reply, so the profession totally isn't crashing and burning under your stewardship? Of course we look at things and go, "hmm most people work for free and hate their career choice....pretty sure i could do things at least a tad bit better, i'll start by not playing with a 1970's rule book in 2015."

Jun 18, 15 4:27 pm
SneakyPete

It's not an issue of old vs. new. Respect practitioners who know construction and design. Learn from them. Then educate them about new methods to get to the same result. Don't dismiss their doubts, address them. Don't sit back and bitch. DO something. You think you got what it takes? Step up and DO IT. Think Revit is better than CAD? So what? If you can't get it done, it doesn't matter. Take these complaints to the culprits, don't fling shit on an internet forum and expect your situation to improve.

Jun 18, 15 4:33 pm
mightyaa

Lol..

Chicken and the egg argument.  I’d say, because you and the sales people of Autodesk have convinced the public; “Look how quick and easy this is!” has caused tons of problems.  To blame my stewardship?  I used to have no problems negotiating a 15% fee and produced a 10th of the documents and paper.

CAD and the idea that we can produce ten times as much in half the time has seriously damaged the profession and my ability to pay well.  “Deliverables”.  The thought behind it all still takes just as much time, unfortunately you are judged against a ‘paste/clip autocorrect’ generation that produces as many spamish type details and sections as real content because it’s easy as hell to generate multiple sections and details...  You are young; you don’t remember what it was like.         

You know “now”.  “Now” is your client believes the software practically designs it for you, so why pay you big bucks?  Isn’t that what you are trying to convince us of since you tout how it shows conflicts, fixes everything with just one edit, etc.?   You’ve convinced the client of this… the pay reflects it.

Jun 18, 15 6:22 pm

Stop being lazy and learn revit, it's better trust me.

Tool of choice for a career as a CAD monkey.

Jun 18, 15 6:33 pm
chigurh

dunno miles...this profession has changed, for one to be relevant you have to know all facets of practice, even production.  There has to be a distinction between somebody that knows CAD/revit that is becoming an architect vs. those that are straight out of ITT technical institute with a 6 month drafting degree that don't want to become architects and don't even give a shit enough to learn.  You do your own drawings correct?

Jun 18, 15 6:46 pm
Good_Knight

mightyaa said"Lol..

Chicken and the egg argument.  I’d say, because you and the sales people of Autodesk have convinced the public; “Look how quick and easy this is!” has caused tons of problems.  To blame my stewardship?  I used to have no problems negotiating a 15% fee and produced a 10th of the documents and paper.

CAD and the idea that we can produce ten times as much in half the time has seriously damaged the profession and my ability to pay well.  “Deliverables”.  The thought behind it all still takes just as much time, unfortunately you are judged against a ‘paste/clip autocorrect’ generation that produces as many spamish type details and sections as real content because it’s easy as hell to generate multiple sections and details...  You are young; you don’t remember what it was like.         

You know “now”.  “Now” is your client believes the software practically designs it for you, so why pay you big bucks?  Isn’t that what you are trying to convince us of since you tout how it shows conflicts, fixes everything with just one edit, etc.?   You’ve convinced the client of this… the pay reflects it."

^ Bingo.  I think those who are arguing CAD v BIM are missing the point when some of us who are not impetuous young grasshoppers argue in favor of either one.  CAD has its merits and so does BIM.  That said here is the larger point lost in what amounts to a pissing contest:

Thousands of years ago there were no doubt armies of Egyptian drafters slaving under Imhotep et al who thought the latest version of Papyrus paper was going to save them countless hours of thought effort.

There have been generations of drafting monkeys who came before who thought the latest iteration of pencil hardness or fancy new electric motorized eraser or stylish T square or new chair or new desk lamp was going to save them countless hours of thought effort.

There was a generation of CAD monkeys who came before who thought CAD was going to save them countless hours of thought effort.  'AUTO' CAD ROTFLMAO!!

Now there is a new generation who, of course, thinks BIM is going to save them.

None of these people are architects in the original meaning of the title.

The thing they all have in common is the absurd notion that something of legitimate quality and quantity can be created without putting in as much time and thought effort or proper process as before.  I.e. you can get something of equal value with less time and less thought effort.  Wrong -all of them before and wrong -all of them now.

Stop confusing the drafting of linework with the architecture.  The architecture is not in the product or the deliverable.  Its the thought process of which the drafting product (however its derived) is merely the incidental digestive product.  Its pretty crazy, actually, the number of architects who don't even seem to get this principle.  Still, I think those architects who confuse the drafting with the architecture is pretty minimal.  I was talking with an architect the other day who had it backward for years and he'd argue the product (drafting) was the architecture and not vice versa.  He said that he finally 'got it' a few years ago and has now started arguing the opposite (the thought process = the architecture, product = the drafting/ deliverable).

The poop from the dog is not alive.  The dog is.  And the poop color might change but the excrement is still the excrement.  Layers are just plain ridiculous.

Anyone who doesn't understand this principle, architect or not, frankly: is a linear-algorithm loving simpleton only slightly more evolved in intelligence than an worker bee (which also loves linear algorithms)

Jun 18, 15 7:10 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

in the last 6 months I have used all three tools of production: hand on graph paper, CAD, and Revit. In all 3 cases I used the appropriate tool for the task to maximize my output while minimizing my time with production work.

Jun 18, 15 7:22 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

Revit for early design stages of New Building. CAD for renovations and very detailed work. Hand on Graph for simple single family additions and decks with details, plans and elevations.

Jun 18, 15 7:24 pm
Good_Knight

^ Nicely done.

There are no violations of the first law of thermodynamics.  Quality thought energy + quality time = Quality architecture.  Its interesting, now that this is mentioned, what the motivations likely are behind all the drafting monkeys who champion the latest drafting technique (an attempt at covering for a lack of an ability to produce quality thought or the discipline to put in quality time?), that is: lazy dumb dums?

One thing that can said about handwork:  You really can't lie your way to demonstrating your intelligence, experience and talent.  On the other 'hand' intelligence + time + experience is obvious to even the moderately intelligent untrained eye.

One major flaw of the computer from the architect's point of view (master builder) is that it makes the sins and idiocy (not having the intelligence and/or experience of the master builder) of the moronic drafting monkey that much easier for them to hide ("oh it printed to pdf or a plotter: it must be intelligence crystallized in time on this sheet").  This has all but been a death blow to the profession's relevancy in the marketplace, thereby rendering it rather impotent in its ability to increase the quality of the built environment.

Jun 18, 15 7:31 pm
natematt

I don't necessarily have a problem with either, I appreciate aspects of each. I would hate to work on some of the extremely large projects that I do with AutoCAD though.

It's the misunderstanding of the difference that is frustrating. Revit is very front-heavy, and this does not seem to be well understood by a lot of management. If you don't understand the broader implications of a program it causes workflow issues. It is a tool, but like any tool it impacts the process. Revit requires some decisions to be made in orders that seem to deviate from previous methods of practice.

Jun 18, 15 7:49 pm
Good_Knight

^ This.  Managers of the "git er done" type are grievous to process.  And of course, such managers who are constantly trying to shortchange the process in terms of cost and time and effort are extremely detrimental to the profession and its products.

As Taco bell is not producing high quality life enhancing food, Drafting cannot sustain a high quality profession.  Zombies love Taco Bell and the latest iteration of BIM but then again they are not alive at all.

Jun 18, 15 7:56 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

a deck or a single family addition does not need front heavy production tools unless of course you are in the business of doing a 100 decks or additions a year then the extra time spent on setup pays out eventually........for the hell of it once and since the engineer i was producing the Revit model for to determine hits etc...I did a model of existing conditions of a basement in an old NYC building, I forget the exact Revit term "in-place" i think, but eveyhing was custom, in other words nothing that makes Revit useful was helpful, might as well have done it in sketch-up, but for the engineer it was great to have a real background......same engineer has been complaining that all the kids that can do revit do not understand a damn thing about MEP systems, so no time saved there.

Jun 18, 15 8:22 pm
empea
@goodknight: what I appreciated most of your last post is that you for once did not quote, verbatim, someone else's lengthy post adding a couple of your own words at the end. This one actually contained a full self standing argument. Not one that I agree with, but an argument all the same. I'd be interested in knowing your general experience and field of specialization. It may help explain your rabid and not just a little bit patronizing stance towards "drafters". Sounds a lot like workers vs talkers if you ask me.

The drawing production is for all its flaws central to the quantifiable deliverable of architects and engineers. It's granted a very screwed up paradigm we're stuck in in which a 3d world is flattened into 2d by one and then reinflated again by another, never without things getting lost in translation. To that point, anyone who seriously argues that any slightly complex design is best done in 2d will never cease to amaze me. There is always - ALWAYS - a better tool for a specific job, in line with Chris Teeter's point, and to argue that any one tool is always good, now that if anything is myopic. That being said, BIM is the best shot albeit not a perfect one towards delivering the actual project, not a series of pictures of the project. Do you people arguing the merits of cad know that 3d project delivery and shop drawing review and all the rest of it already exists and has proven to work? Sometimes it's overkill. Sometimes, though, it's the only way. "Only" in the sense that projects don't work like the pyramids or St Peter's Basilica anymore, so sometimes it is really the only way you n the modern world. The fact that there's currently a disconnect between where the building experience in the industry lies, and where the majority of the digital skills reside, is a totally time dependent thing and has nothing to do with the tools themselves, just as it has nothing to do with the architecture itself to the above point about confusing the design for the drawing (or the map for the territory, as it were). There are equally small minded and arrogant people on either side of the digital divide in my experience. Good work is the only way to prove any side's position, ultimately. They can both be, and are at varying times, right.
Jun 18, 15 11:14 pm
StarchitectAlpha

Sorry no time to argue today, another deadline and had to resize detail sheets, so now I'm manually hunting down and changing detail references...no there's not a button for that. Revit just does it....

Jun 19, 15 12:47 pm

natematt you said this: Revit requires some decisions to be made in orders that seem to deviate from previous methods of practice.

Can you give me an example? This sounds intriguing and is the kind of thing I want to know more about (anyone can give examples, too, not just nate, of course).

Jun 19, 15 12:53 pm
natematt

"Zombies love Taco Bell "

I feel like that says something very questionable about Taco Bell's sourcing for meat...

Everyone should learn sketchup, then they can just design... >_>

Jun 19, 15 1:14 pm
juneping

I don't understand why there's a debate about revit vs CAD. revit is the way to go. first of all, revit doesn't allow sloppy drafting to begin with. you will have to know certain things to start drafting. It's easier for coordination. it does require whoever doing it actually knows what they're doing. I don't get why people hang on to CAD like their own dear lives.

Jan 3, 18 8:48 pm
Non Sequitur

Revit absolutely allows sloppy drafting... I've actually found in practice that it encourages it, specially when used by fresh grads who think themselves software superstars.

oneLOSTarchitect

I work at a firm that only does AutoCAD and it blows. Owners just do not want to switch over cause of our legacy CAD drawings from the late 80s. Like who gives a fuck! Let’s go and move on to the new technology. I honestly pull my teeth out with AutoCAD every day and find I am so slow doing something that could have been done so fast. Then I get bitched why I am so slow. I will never forget I was working on a new project and this was supposed to be our first Revit job... we were getting our studio kick off meeting and everyone was pumped! CEO comes barging in the meeting room and asking questions and why we are doing Revit. We gave him all the pros of the software. His response was that one of his employees who is 50 years old only knows AutoCAD. Well fuck me... maybe it’s time to tell the fuck it’s time to sink or swim mother fucker! I quit that job a month later... and left for a even more shittier job. I literally left a boiling pot for a frying pan! Fuck!!!!

Jan 4, 18 12:05 am
Non Sequitur

I keep coming across the old drafter type thing all the time. On the last project we just said tough balls to our consultants who claimed the same thing, figure it out, project description stated BIM from day one. From your other posts, I gather you need a change of scenery. 8-)

BulgarBlogger

sorry- my favorite software now (even better than Revit and used by BIG): ArchiCAD

Jan 4, 18 12:12 am
Non Sequitur

I rank archiCAD in the same group as FormZ: Unnecessary software.

oneLOSTarchitect

archicad downloaded the demo... extremely drsutrating to use! 

Jan 4, 18 12:20 am
BulgarBlogger

Non- my only qualm with ArchiCAD is that it has layers. Other than that, it is EAXCTLY like Revit. Your comment about it being like FormZ is similar to saying chicken tastes like beef- ignorant. ArchiCAD is a BIM software that has all the Information tools Revit has- scheduling etc. It is indeed unfortunate that Revit and Autodesk got the head start in marketing, because these two softwares would definitely have been head to head. 

Jan 4, 18 8:42 am
Non Sequitur

I'm not ignorant, I know how to work both in archiCAD and FormZ... I just don't see the value when Revit or 3DS is so prominent in the marked. I don't value selecting a software just because it's not the monopoly.

randomised

I really like ArchiCAD, it feels like BIM software made for architects, whereas Revit feels like BIM software made for engineers and forced upon us architects. There is something pleasantly intuitive when I am doing a project in ArchiCAD that I only had before when working with Vectorworks, both obscure softwares that won't get you on top of the pile when applying for jobs. So it really depends if you can afford to not work with the so called industry standard or that you have to surrender to the BIM dictatorship to get hired or keep your job. Personally my focus has always been more on the conceptual and idea side and less on the engineering of other peoples' ideas, so that helps.

Two years after the original post: I'm using Revit on a big project right now - poorly. I'm learning it a bit better but I'm still like a three-legged dog trying to lift a leg to pee.

But the office is moving that way and I want to know the tools better. SO, a question for those comfortable with both programs:

I'm about to start a significant remodel/addition to an existing single family home.  About 75% of the project scope will be new construction, the remaining 25% remodel (including the kitchen), on a sloped site, two levels, roof changes.  This is a project type I'm *very* familiar with and skilled at, so the project itself doesn't concern me - I could do it in my sleep. Would this be a good opportunity to try doing the entire project in Revit? If so, any suggestions for building the existing conditions building model in a way that will make my new addition work simpler?

Jan 4, 18 8:49 am
Non Sequitur

Donna, the best advice I think would be to first determine exactly what the revit model will be used for. You do not need to model every single thing through BIM if it will not serve a purpose and since you're still learning, there is value in recycling old CAD details into detail groups instead of creating new families. (hopefully the revit terminology is clear). Second to this is, set up plan and elevation views solely to set guides and specific critical dimension locks at 1:1 scale. Leave yourself plenty or margin notes in case you, or someone else, need to figure out why something was locked a certain way (variations in offset from slab edge for example). Third, write out your assembly types spereate from the wall families generated from revit. You'll likely have several unique instances which require a modified sliver of another wall type... no need to coordinate 15 versions when a few notes can suffice. Bob Borson has an excellent series of discussions on revit drafting. They are brilliant.

Stine has the best books for someone who knows how to document things. The hardest part is the initial setup of the file/model Hope this helps. Lots of Black Spectacles you-tube videos. Also the folks from Back spectacles should be an interesting guest on the next Archinect Seasons if you can get them. https://www.amazon.com/Books-Daniel-John-Stine/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ADaniel%20John%20Stine

chigurh

depends on how skilled you are at using phases (existing, new, demo) in revit and how detailed you want to get modeling the existing home and how detailed your as-built measurements/info is - I find remodels to be the most tedious and heavy up front in terms of revit set-up. Whats nice about doing a project like this in CAD is you can pick and choose what is important to detail and show, where is in revit you have to go all in - especially on the existing building to make it useful and worthwhile, that being said, if it is only 25% remodel there might be a way to use both CAD for that portion and Revit for the other 75% that is new construction. For a ground up new building - no question revit is the way to go.

Non Sequitur

Yes, phasing, absolutely. How did I forget that one in my earlier response.

null pointer

100% yes on your question. I do smaller projects very often (small restaurants, commercial build-outs, 1-5 apartment renos for developers) and Revit is worth it every time. A few times, I've said "ah, it's only 500 SF", and only come to regret not using Revit for those.

joseffischer

Interested in your process and how you feel about it. My experience is almost entirely rehabs, etc. I'm now 3 years into revit at a firm that does a lot of schools. I've tried to convince people, and have given up, that for a lot of school work, we should be doing Cad techniques but still in Revit, an example would be roof plans. If I ever did get to go back to single family work, I'd never touch revit, as the out of the box revit software doesn't come with very many families to use for houses, and the Anderson window or other manufacturer families I've downloaded are a mess and too complex to work with. Plus, in Atlanta, plans and elevations and some REALLY boiler plate stair sections and deck details are all that's required to permit. Otherwise, for our larger complex remodels and additions to schools, I really like revit.

Bench
Second the black spectacles guys as a guest on sessions
Jan 4, 18 10:22 am
littleboxes

20yrs from now this thread will be dead.  Revit (and some annoying people pushing ArchiCAD) will have won and we will have progressed.  The serious discussion will be over to IFC standards between Archicad and Revit--which this thread shouldn't get started on.

For those older Luddites that say, "I can just do it faster in Autocad," no sh** sherlock, it's because you've been using it for 20 years. 

For those that say, "for small projects CAD is just easier," is also a ridiculous statement.  One competent BIM/Revit user could knock out a small house project with plans, elevations, renderings, (automatically generated) schedules, and material takeoffs before you could probably "plot" a sheet.

This is nothing but a comparison of Paul Bunyan and his CAD partner Babe the Blue Ox, vs a chainsaw. 

Apr 11, 18 11:03 am
Grumpy Grizzly

I used to work for Alaska Computer Brokers in Anchorage, AK and we were an Autodesk Dealer.  Well, pretty much, I was the dealer, tech support guy, meeting setter-upper, chief cook and bottle washer.

I had a guy named Jerry Jackson from Autodesk come up to do a three city tour (Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau) and I followed him to all three places and learned a really neat presentation that he did at each one.

He'd open up Revit, the he'd create a floor plan, then put in an elevation, and run a cross section, then he'd make a wall schedule.  Then he put it all in Tile Mode and each view shared 1/4 of the screen.  

Then he'd draw a wall using the rectangular command in the plan view, making sure his wall layout crossed over the section line.

When he hit the esc key, all 4 windows showed what he'd done.  One had the floor plan, one had the elevation, one had the section, and one had the wall schedule with the walls placed in the schedule.

I took that lesson and filed it away and one day, I had an 80 y/o architect come in to renew his subscription for Autocad Architecture and he asked me "What's this Rivit program I've heard about?"  I said "If you have 5 minutes, I'll show you."  I went through the steps and when all four windows popped open with information in them, I felt him tapping me on the shoulder and he said "I want it."

Another Architect in Juneau, AK said "I wish you wouldn't give all these presentations about Revit.  It takes away my advantage I have over the Architects still using Autocad Architecture.

The hardest thing about learning Revit is, you have to take off your Autocad hat and put on your Revit hat.  In other words, don't sit there thinking about how you can do what I just did in your customized version of Autocad Architecture.  Just listen and learn..

I had a tagline at the end of my messages on AUGI Forums that said:

Give a man Autocad and he'll draw you a floor plan, 

Give him Revit and he'll build you a house.

Revit was the only program I could guarantee that if you deleted a window, a door, or a wall, or anything else in your model, that item was GONE.. It's no longer in the schedule, the elevations, nowhere.  

The first versions of Revit after Autodesk bought it were a little shaky but, in the past 10 years they've been working on it, they've improved it to where it's an industry standard.  What used to be Revit Arch, Revit MEP, and Revit Structural are all in the Revit Suite now.  Much easier to support problem issues if everyone can use the same program..

Apr 14, 18 1:59 am
joseffischer

Delete a room or area... still there. Delete a ceiling, whoops, lost the light fixtures that were hosted. Delete a window or change a window, but the drafted details are still on the set with the wrong tags showing the wrong information. Oh, and lets spend hours correcting the wall intersections all the time because it doesn't show what is really happening by default and every time you move something, it resets to default. Revit WANTS to be what you say, but too many architects keep doing things custom, or not learning the software at the depth it requires. The best thing a firm can do when using revit is devote time to real training and protocols, and have dedicated family makers to handle all the custom stuff. Otherwise, you get people taking shortcuts when revit won't do what they want.

jason.p

I use both Revit and AutoCAD on a daily basis. Both have there uses in the Structural consulting office I work in. I am not blind to the fact that Revit is becoming more of the go to program, but to think that AutoCAD will soon be "dead" is just not true.

I am the CAD manager (20 years experience), and deal with young designers and drafters all the time that think they know it all, and use all the bells and whistles that Revit has to offer, but then when it comes time to issue construction drawings, they are lacking information, proper layout and in general are just not all that good. Since they have no idea as to what drafting and detailing is about. Yes revit creates plans, elevations, sections etc, quickly, but they are not detailed and still require impute and line work, and if you do not know what all needs to be there, you just can not produce.

 I have started to call people in the office who we have on Revit projects either modelers or detailers. Some can model like there is no tomorrow, and some know details and construction and constructability (just because you can model it does not mean you can build it). The future says revit, but that day is not today nor tomorrow, so until then we still need to be able to do our jobs and do it well, as well as learning and advancing our technology and work flow. Revit and BIM are not an over night happening. 

So I like everyone to do a AutoCAD job from time to time, so they have to think about the project and the ideas and concepts behind what they are modeling is. Revit does a lot, but just because it does it does not make it right 100% if the time. 

Apr 18, 18 3:30 pm

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