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Revit Sucks!

259
legopiece

Should i just say  for me revit doesnt suck.  I can do everything with it, from conceptual design to construction administration. If i had to summarize why revit sucks for most people it is simply because they don't realize that revit is not just a drafting tool, and it is also not everything.   We should know how something is conceptualized, and know how things are built. If you have years of project management experience, or are very passionate about creating,  Revit is a powerful tool in our arsenal, though it takes years to know every in and out of it, you can get up and running fairly easy though. If you find a so called revit guru in your company, more than likely this is a person that has experience, in sd, dd, cd, or ca.  and you should ask for their insight. in my case i had used all cadd, for 8 years prior to using Revit, now have been using revit for almost a decade. I was able to see what could be done better because i learned from other technology (cadd, etc..). Bottom line is if  you consider yourself a well rounded architect use revit it will help you do everything from concept to c.a.  If you are a so called designer, stick to whatever programs help you achieve your goal. I'm not saying revit is the only program to use I still use everything from hand sketches, old pdf's, cadd, rhino, photoshop you name it. It does require a certain amount of effort to be good.  Ok dont know if this helps anyone. good luck everyone.

Mar 4, 13 12:14 am  · 
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sameolddoctor

Lego, it also depends on what your design is...

Mar 4, 13 2:58 am  · 
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Snoopy316

@lego and sameolddoctor, simply put, if you're good at it then it doesn't suck, if you're bad it at then it suck. Same goes with everything else. You hear old school architects ripping autocad apart saying that it's shit and they can manually draw faster. Reality is that the program is way too advance for them to try to understand and bother to learn from scratch. Same with BIM. Sometimes it's not the program it's the user. 

Mar 4, 13 2:51 pm  · 
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snooker-doodle-dandy

shit in shit out....an old cowboy architect told me that once upon a time.

Mar 4, 13 7:45 pm  · 
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sameolddoctor

hys, I am trying to say that Revit is really not suited to design. Sure, it is very powerful but I find the program quite clunky and bloated.

Mar 4, 13 8:56 pm  · 
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johntstrahsmeier

I love Revit especially when engineers use it for their design models that don't work and generate us thousands upon thousands of dollars of change orders and pile of extra money! It is a real money maker for the construction contractors if handled properly. 

Mar 7, 19 12:12 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Just get better at coordinating with your consultants early in the process and establish common BIM standards in your contract. Easy-peasy if everyone knows what they need to do. Sure, plenty of folks don't care about the quality of their models but fuck them as they have nowhere to hide if the expected quality level is right there in the contract. We get this too often as well but there are so many less headaches when the BIM team sits together and discusses on an action plan before the first line is drawn.

Mar 7, 19 12:18 pm  · 
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Stasis

I can't agree more with Non Sequitur..

I don't think Revit sucks, but people using it can suck and derail the whole purpose of BIM.  During CA, I caught our people have drawn casework in 2D in floor plans and interior elevations separately.. So, floor plan and elevations didn't jive, and they weren't coordinated with sink, light and electrical fixtures... 

Moreover, we failed to capture the drywall soffit above the casework in RCP, so we ended up with 2' gap in between the top of the upper cabinets and the ceiling above them...  We ended up adding 2' faux panels filling the gap...  

When I assumed that my colleagues know how to use Revit...

Mar 7, 19 8:41 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Cheers.

Mar 7, 19 8:46 pm  · 
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Stasis

BTW, Non Sequitur, this was the same design build job i talked about in your thread... when other engineers were building their models at 400 LOD, we were doing this.. I got so embarrassed for several weeks during the BIM coordination.. I was so relieved my client didn't sit in those meetings.... He found out later when he was hit with the change order, but he doesn't know what actually caused it... LOL

Mar 7, 19 8:53 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Fascinating. We had something similar with the electrical model. We had a massive meeting with the client, all the senior/vice prez of the engineering office and myself together with a big PM company who took our model and mashed the consultants together. The vice electrical p.eng just could not understand that his conduit had girt when bending and that we had other shit, like elevators, where he expected to pass his stuff. Very embarrassing day for them.

Mar 7, 19 9:01 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

My latest battle was with the mechanical guys who just could not draw their flex ducts through my OWs joists. They just did not have the software “skills” to do it. Also just noticed earlier today that all the door operator motors are hosted to the floor slab.

Mar 7, 19 9:03 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

I am not lowering my ceiling 8 fucking inches because your team sucks at revit.

Mar 7, 19 9:03 pm  · 
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Stasis

Sadly, happens to every one of us... I actually became more lenient to others' mistake believing that I can be that person too. Even though you yourself didn't do it, but as a PM, I had to own my team members mistakes..

Mar 7, 19 9:04 pm  · 
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Stasis

Fortunately, our client did like that faux panels... :)

Mar 7, 19 9:04 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Wonderful. We're currently fighting with our MEP because instead of working with our decently built model, they took an outdated SITE PLAN CAD file as an underlay to position their shit. No grid lines or other references used. The only BIM work they did was to raise the equipment (some of it) to the correct level. I'm only BIM advisor (after the fact) on this one... I'd be livid if this would have happened during my coordination stage.

Mar 8, 19 10:05 am  · 
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joseffischer

LOL, lowering ceilings because Revit... been there

Apr 18, 19 9:44 am  · 
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axonapoplectic

The problem with Revit/BIM is that there are very few people who really know how to use it AND also know how to design and document.  With CAD you could at least fake it if you knew only a few tools but knew how to put together a set of CDs.  With Revit there's so much more you can potentially screw up - and the issues become amplified if you have multiple teams who aren't as skilled with it.

Mar 8, 19 4:24 am  · 
1  · 
randomised

The people that know all the "latest" software lack concrete building documentation experience and the people that know how to put a proper set of drawings together content wise lack current software knowledge.
It also doesn't help that lots of the people that would by now have acquired both software and documentation skills were let go during the recent economic crisis. There's exactly that skills gap in many offices judging from all the ads out there.

Mar 8, 19 5:37 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

And judging by all the headhunter emails I get, I got that gap perfectly! I’m currently training other staff in revit with CD production as the big discussion item.

Mar 8, 19 7:57 am  · 
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axonapoplectic

I don’t think it’s just the generational skills gap - I know people who have been using revit for a decade or more who are still aren’t completely skilled in the software. With CAD it was a lot easier to just hand off some redlines to someone straight out of school. Now everyone is scared to let recent grads touch a model because the time it takes to fix problems and mistakes is much greater. The learning curve is far too steep, and I think this is preventing junior people from learning things as quickly as they used to.

Mar 8, 19 9:37 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Get your junior mitts off my model. I don't have the time to redo half of your work.

Mar 8, 19 10:01 am  · 
 · 

My personal favorite is when CADers use Revit like AutoCAD. 

Mar 8, 19 10:11 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

See my comment above regarding MEP guys "tracing".

Mar 8, 19 10:21 am  · 
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earlybimimplementors

LOL, 10 years of Revit Sucks discussion!

Apr 18, 19 2:29 am  · 
2  · 
earlybimimplementors

its 2019 and 

13 years ago, im pushing BIM to our office enlightening my lazy colleagues to learn.

10 years ago, big implementation kicks in and they are asking me to give them tutorial though im long gone in the office.

5 years ago i began scripting and still they are struggling for solutions on BIM office standards.

today, im auto-translating scripts to analytics along with automated BIM report to our global office HQ by PowerBI and they said: We really hate you and we stick to Cad.

my message is simple:

I Adopted Revit.


Apr 18, 19 2:40 am  · 
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huntzstrahs

I think it is a great piece of software and it is either the software or designers that create a ton of change orders and chances to make a killing charging extra due to all the mistakes made using it. I've seen it take simple projects and turn them into real money making deals because of all the errors made using it. Keep up the great work using it since it took a present job from 200,000 dollars to well over 350,000 dollars due to all the constant changes and obvious mistakes.  Keep us contractors smiling pointy heads! We love it! 

Jun 22, 20 4:41 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Found the sleeze ball contractor.

Jun 22, 20 5:47 am  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

keep on dragging them knuckles

Jun 22, 20 12:11 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

11 years on, and Revit still sucks.

Jun 22, 20 12:46 pm  · 
1  ·  1

Try harder.

Jun 22, 20 12:51 pm  · 
2  ·  1
Non Sequitur

yeah, revit sucked back in 2006 when I first tried it... but then I learned how to use it instead of throwing my hands up in the air and giving up.

Jun 22, 20 12:56 pm  · 
1  ·  1
gwharton

Look at these n00bs assuming I don't know how to use Revit and haven't been using BIM integral to my work for many years. Maybe consider that Revit actually isn't a very good tool for doing lots of things, design in particular. It's great for doing stuff which is narrowly confined to Revit's black-boxed conceptual logic, but anything outside of that is painful. Teal;Deer: use the right tool for the job. Revit is often not the right tool for the job.

Jun 22, 20 1:03 pm  · 
2  · 
Almosthip

Pretty sure it is you, as the rest of us learned how to use the program efficiently and effectively.

Jun 22, 20 1:07 pm  · 
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square.

gwharton, i tend to agree (though i wouldn't say it completely sucks), but most aren't willing to question the assumption that technological progress is always beneficial. imo, it's at least created as many headaches as it's solved.

Jun 22, 20 1:13 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

"It's great for doing stuff which is narrowly confined to Revit's black-boxed conceptual logic, but anything outside of that is painful." 

...for example?

Jun 22, 20 2:03 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Autocad was always so good at design. And sketchup? Also so great at design. Archicad? Superb designs come out of that. All of these programs are great at design. Especially without thought, they just pop out the design.

Jun 22, 20 2:36 pm  · 
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gwharton

I have a simple, two-word rebuttal to all you folks here who think Revit still doesn't fundamentally suck in the year 2020AD: Area Plans.

Jun 22, 20 1:45 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

I can make those without issue. What’s the problem?

Jun 22, 20 1:47 pm  · 
2  · 
gwharton

​This is why Archinect needs a laff reacc.

Jun 22, 20 1:51 pm  · 
1  ·  1
tduds

What's wrong with Area Plans?

Jun 22, 20 2:01 pm  · 
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Almosthip7

I also have no issues with creating area plans.

Jun 22, 20 2:13 pm  · 
1  · 

gwharton - You're only having issues with the Area Plan process because you suck at creating Spaces and Assemblies. You probably have a bunch of open spaces not separated by Room Boundaries. Also look are where your structural / core boundaries you have for your exterior walls. You need to build Wall Assemblies and Area Plans so that it's creating a boundary at the walls exterior face - not the core boundary.

Jun 22, 20 2:32 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Area plans are fine. I'll just assume that gwharton wants a program that reads his mind as to whether an area is gross or net and puts lines in the right place automatically. You know, like autocad never did, nor did the pen in your damned hand.

Jun 22, 20 2:33 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

filters and view templates baby, filters and view templates. Knowing how to use the boundary tools properly won't hurt either.

Jun 22, 20 2:36 pm  · 
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Almosthip7

Love view templates !

Jun 22, 20 2:40 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

the thing i don't like is i feel like i spend half my time clicking through option menus (especially with view templates). one thing i liked about cad is that it relied more on drawing rather than information and spreadsheet management. i suppose if your office is large enough to have a bim manager it's not as much of an issue always, but then again the fact that bim managers are a thing is part of the problem.there's no doubt revit has made some things more efficient (e.g. i like drawing details in revit better) but it feels like we're heading towards a very strange relationship with the software that is making our architecture now.

Jun 22, 20 2:43 pm  · 
3  · 

We're a 12 person firm with a person who acts as a BIM manger - basically he sets the standards. Creating view templates isn't hard - you just have to do it one time, on one project then you can use it again and again.

Jun 22, 20 2:57 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

sure, of course we use them, but we're often having to change something in the view template to find something, like if an element has accidentally been placed on a workset that isn't shown, or if you need to switch viewtempates to see the area boundary in a view. if you do have to change one, it's an endless list of things to check and un-check. not every viewtemplate works from project to project either (you might need to hide certain section callouts on one, for example). overall it all just feels a lot less intuitive than any previous software, but i guess that's what happens as things get more complex.

Jun 22, 20 2:59 pm  · 
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gwharton

Lots of Stockholm Syndrome in this thread: hostages defending Autodesk for abusing them. I remember when they did that for AutoCAD too. How about we demand tools which work for and with us, rather than tools which demand we work for them?

Jun 22, 20 3:01 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

i think it's a fair point.. most offices are getting more and more pigeon-holed into software that requires a very specific skill set and training, one which they contributed little or nothing to the development of.

Jun 22, 20 3:04 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

It's always easier to complain and give up than learn how to adapt. I'm not about to write new software thus I've learned how to bend revit to work for me.

Jun 22, 20 3:07 pm  · 
 ·  2

Revit is a tool. It doesn't require you work for it - you just have to know how to use it. No different than AutoCAD or a pencil. The only difference is that Revit doesn't allow you to 'fake it' by drawing a bunch of lines then just changing the dimension instead of the drawing. ;)

Jun 22, 20 3:08 pm  · 
2  · 
gwharton

How about just using different software? Revit is not the only tool available. There are many, many others, which can do lots of things Revit can't. Just like there are some things Revit is better for than others.

Jun 22, 20 3:09 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Chad, I have one colleague who's figured out how to do exactly that (mostly detail lines and masks and 90% hidden model) because learning how to use the software properly is too much. It's very bad detailing and horrible BIM use.  We're working on very stringent house cleaning and standard implementation for whenever we're all back in the office.  Someone will have a very difficult time adjusting and I don't care one bit if they can't catch up.


Jun 22, 20 3:10 pm  · 
1  · 

I should of said that Revit doesn't allow you to fake it without destroying the BIM file and thus the project.

Jun 22, 20 3:14 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

i think it's absurd to equate revit to a pencil- there are all sort of metaphysical reasons as to why the two are very different. revit is software, that exists on a computer, both of which are not tools. a hammer is a tool. a saw is a tool. and yes, a pencil is a tool. it's like comparing the internet to a phone because they are both forms of communication, but we would all agree the internet has had a far more profound impact on the world than the phone.

there is more than enough to be examined in just the differences between cad and revit (in revit, the computer does the drawing for you after modeling, which is very different). i think it's a reductive metaphor that papers over the hard work of examining the effect something like revit has on architecture.

Jun 22, 20 3:14 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

gwharton, does archiCAD have an equivalent to Revit's central model/colaboration worksets? I've not touched ArchiCAD in over 10years.

Jun 22, 20 3:15 pm  · 
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gwharton

Which is why Revit is a terrible design tool, thought it's a good documentation tool if you use it strictly within its boundaries (e.g. 2.5D model space, floor-wall-roof concept model, precisely defined parameters, etc.)

Jun 22, 20 3:16 pm  · 
1  ·  1

GW - then just use a different program that is to you liking for the project and phase you're in. It's your process, do what you want. If you need an internet forum to tell you this you're not very intelligent or have way too much time on your hands. Try Harder.

Jun 22, 20 3:17 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

I do. And insist my staff do too. I just pointed out that Revit still has a lot of problems and got mobbed by Revit partisans in the coments, as usual.

Jun 22, 20 3:18 pm  · 
1  ·  1
Non Sequitur

you're getting mobbed because you're repeating a tired and dead horse pov that is easily countered by those who know how to design in revit.

Jun 22, 20 3:20 pm  · 
1  ·  1
square.

"revit partisans"

only on archinect.. it's a good usename

Jun 22, 20 3:21 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

No Sequitur: the next architect I meet who really and actually can use Revit as a design tool will be the first, and that includes all the Revit Partisans who insist they can use Revit to do literally everything no matter what and anyone who says otherwise is just an ignorant n00b. Even the hardcore Revit jocks I work with (and this includes people who do high-level BIM consulting on major projects all around the world) all admit it's not good for that. It's funny to see people trying to say it is. Software tools are designed for specific kinds of tasks and projects. Revit is designed for a very specific way of thinking on very specific kinds of building projects in very specific ways. If you are working inside those boundaries, it's fine. If you want to go outside those boundaries for any reason, you will wind up tying yourself in knots trying to implement workarounds and fighting the built-in, black-boxed mindset of the platform's programmers. I do not like being boxed in like that. Apparently a lot of people here are just fine with it, and are very happy in their boxes.

Jun 22, 20 3:28 pm  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

widen your professional circle. It's not all black and white as you describe.

Jun 22, 20 3:30 pm  · 
1  · 

GW - where did anyone say that Revit dose it all? I use trace and marker, physical models, Sketchup, Formit, Photoshop, Nscape, and Revit for design work depending on the process. I think you just don't know much about how to use Revit as it seems to work well for aiding in the design and CD's for single and multi family housing, commercial, hospitality, educational, medical office, hospital, correctional, stadiums, elder care, and food truck renovation projects. They did for me at least.

Jun 22, 20 3:54 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Chad, ditto here. It's almost like you somehow knew something about something. Probably won't matter as you'll be crucified as an autodesk fanboy.

Jun 22, 20 4:10 pm  · 
1  · 

Meh, I've picked up a few tid-bits of knowledge in 15 years of being an architect.

Jun 22, 20 4:28 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

I am very pro-Revit. I would not recommend it as a 'design' method.

Jun 22, 20 4:49 pm  · 
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I wouldn't recommend any computer program as a 'design method'. Maybe a design tool.

Jun 22, 20 4:55 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

I don't see anyone who jumped on you in this latest thread saying revit is a design tool. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Jun 22, 20 5:04 pm  · 
1  · 
square.

you're a design tool

Jun 23, 20 9:09 am  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

I like to think so...

Jun 23, 20 12:22 pm  · 
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tduds

I have a simple, two-word rebuttal to all you folks here who think Revit still doesn't fundamentally suck in the year 2020AD: Vague Complaints.

Jun 22, 20 2:34 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Good one. The complaint emphasis should be on the user rather than the tool. BTW, it's 2020CE in the rest of the developed world.

Jun 22, 20 2:38 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

I'm not following. I googled and found this: "In the younger patient it usually means there’s nothing seriously wrong. In the older patient it usually means there is! Often the “vague complaint” represents a change from normal and thus an indicator of something new, and potentially serious."

Jun 22, 20 5:06 pm  · 
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liberty bell

Revit fundamentally sucks *for what architects do*, absolutely. I can see why engineers love it.

Jun 23, 20 12:15 pm  · 
3  · 
square.

exactly. it's called "building information modeling" for a reason.

Jun 23, 20 12:18 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

the p.engs I deal with are afraid of BIM... it requires them to make an effort.

Jun 23, 20 12:24 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

Structural has gone full BIM as far as all the consultants I work with. It's the MEP folks who seem to be permanently stuck in the CAD world. But hey! Ducts go where ducts go!

Jun 23, 20 12:28 pm  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

sorry, commented too soon. GW is correct, MEP are the worst. Structural is fine as long as you agree on coordination rules ahead of time.

Jun 23, 20 12:31 pm  · 
3  · 
square.

glad to hear it's not only us.. it seems MEP would benefit the most from using revit yet we're stuck doing all of our coordination between revit and cad which just.. sucks

Jun 23, 20 12:37 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

We're lucky if we get drawings with more than single line duct runs.

Jun 23, 20 12:44 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

Finally! Something we can all agree on!

Jun 23, 20 12:45 pm  · 
3  · 
liberty bell

I’m currently having good and easy coordination in Revit with structural and MEP but the civil and landscape are still in CAD. The foundation details are really.........challenging.

Jun 23, 20 1:58 pm  · 
2  · 
liberty bell

Speaking of this, has anyone had good experiences with hiring a template development consultant? Imagining, Viatecnic, etc?

Jun 23, 20 1:56 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

we briefly considered it (don't remember the company name) but decided it was better to do in-house based on our current drawing standards. We realized that we had greater expectations than what was being offered (mostly graphics) and thus I became the creator of the template, most families, and in charge of staff training... but I refuse the role of BIM-anything. I'll teach someone how to do something but unless there is a fire, I'm not stepping in and doing the work if it's not one of my projects.

Jun 23, 20 2:05 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

The challenge will be communicating your needs to the consultant if they don't have a method to get the information from you. Lineweights at the core of the program can be really tricky, since they shift based on the drawing's scale, something that CAD didn't really get into.

Jun 23, 20 2:19 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I got fed up a few weeks ago with some of our staff's less than stellar detail families that plague many projects and which are basically copied from CAD files 5+ years ago that I remade a few. One of them was a simple joint filler + optional spray foam fill that can be adjusted numerous ways. Nothing special or difficult but I kept giggling that someone will use it in a +50mm gap (instead of modeling the assembly correctly) resulting in a great picture for a future resurrection of "show us your caulk".

Jun 23, 20 2:26 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Reminds me of a project at a firm I once worked at which a sealant joint on the exterior approached 3 inches. Not a gasket, mind you, sealant.

Jun 23, 20 2:48 pm  · 
1  · 
curtkram

I recently put a 2" sealant joint on a project

Jun 23, 20 9:39 pm  · 
 · 
proto

is revit LT worthless?

or does it have a significant enough core to be useful for most projects?

small office wants to know

Jun 23, 20 3:30 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

Good

Jun 24, 20 9:30 am  · 
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thisisnotmyname

I meant to say this:

Jun 24, 20 9:42 am  · 
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thisisnotmyname

We find Revit LT acceptable for producing CD sets for new construction jobs with regular plan and roof shapes. The Revit LT bundle is markedly less expensive than all other Autodesk products and is really the only fairly priced thing they sell. The limitations we run into vs full Revit is the lack of a) worksharing b) you only get crashy, 2d-only ACAD LT in the bundle c)no solar study capability d) no decals in your models e) no point cloud capability

Jun 24, 20 10:08 am  · 
2  · 
proto

thx, appreciate the input

Jun 24, 20 12:21 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

I will add that we are currently doing all jobs in ACAD right now. The level of Revit skill in our local labor pool is very low and WFH is making it harder to keep an eye on the younger staff.

Jun 24, 20 2:58 pm  · 
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liberty bell

I’m looking, right now, at this  dimension on a full floor plan  for a 35,000SF project: 6’-11-135/256” 


Why. 

Jun 24, 20 2:31 pm  · 
2  · 

Because that's how it was modeled. Some morons will use a dimension style with rounded tolerances so all their dimensions will come out clean instead of modeling things correctly.

Jun 24, 20 2:34 pm  · 
5  · 
Non Sequitur

because someone should have modeled it to 2121.6mm

Jun 24, 20 2:52 pm  · 
6  · 

Bugger off with that metric junk! 'Merica! 'Merica!

Jun 24, 20 3:04 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

Garbage in, garbage out.

Jun 24, 20 3:23 pm  · 
3  · 
liberty bell

Chad, that shouldn’t be a problem? As long as you round for large scale drawings like plans, and keep the tight tolerances for details, it’s not a problem to round your dimensions IMO. A 7’ floor plan dimension will always have at least 3/16” of play in it anyway, no matter how perfectly you draw or dimension it.

Jun 24, 20 3:55 pm  · 
1  ·  2
Non Sequitur

Donna, we have a zero-rounding policy in our office. We draw things at their correct size. If it's 142mm... then it's drawn at 142.0000mm. Why it's 142 and not 150 is another topic.

Jun 24, 20 4:03 pm  · 
1  ·  1
threadkilla

'cause imperial sucks. I can tell you from my days at a metal fab shop that 17/32" is a measurement that crops up with surprising frequency- so yes in some instances that 1/32" seems to be key. We're talking precision stainless work, custom sinks, tiny drip trays that must fit exactly into industrially manufactured kitchen equipment.
However, 99.9% of the time it's only there because someone is too lazy, or modeled the thing in sketchup, or just plain sucks. In this case it's pretty pretty pretty clear that the dimension should read 7'

Jun 24, 20 4:35 pm  · 
1  · 
threadkilla

also, in my days as a commercial installer (post architecture degree) - I ignore all of the clearly dumb measurements and notations on the drawing set. You have no idea how many times I have seen sets where a three-wall project (retail store, mostly off-the-shelf shelves to install) is literally annotated backwards (east wall labelled as west), and I'm the only person on site who is bringing this up, because clearly the fire exit door is physically in that corner, and I really don't care that the drawing says it's on the opposite wall. GC and on-site PM be damned, if they disagree. In those instances I have zero care for what software was used to create the drawing set, but would absolutely shoot off an email to all PMs and designers involved to point out the absolute inadequacy of the annotations on the sheet

Jun 24, 20 4:48 pm  · 
2  · 
tduds

"I ignore all of the clearly dumb measurements and notations on the drawing set." 

I once pointed out in an interview that this is how people in the field actually act, and the tone of the interview immediately changed. The PM interviewing me seemed offended by my attitude. I didn't get an offer and, if that's why, I'm happy I didn't.

Jun 24, 20 5:11 pm  · 
5  · 

Donna - don't round - just model it the correct size. That's what BIM is for.


Jun 24, 20 5:23 pm  · 
 · 
threadkilla

@tduds - that attitude always raises some eyebrows (usually the on-site PM from the design office), but after they find out I hold an M.Arch and review the offending items, I've usually been thanked and asked if I want to come in to pick up the deficiencies (presumably because at this point they realize my attention to detail surpasses that of the person who made the drawing set, and all the persons who reviewed it, including the GC, to whom I am essentially a sub in this scenario)

Jun 24, 20 5:39 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

My philosophy is that the person on-site installing a product understands it better than I do, and my job is to work *with* their recommendations to maintain the design intent. I have little patience for designers who fight against practical criticism because their imagination, however brilliant, conflicts with reality. Reality always wins, whether you admit it or not.

I'll leave the aforementioned firm nameless, but suffice to say a lot of their buildings, after as little as 3-4 years, look a lot crappier than their (very well renowned) opening day photographs.

Jun 24, 20 5:44 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

Draw things accurately or not at all. Tolerance set as high as possible. No excuses for lazy drafting


Jun 24, 20 5:45 pm  · 
2  · 
tduds

Lapped membranes and flashing begs to differ.

Jun 24, 20 5:47 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I provide 1:2 scale details for membrane laps and flashing profiles. Ditto for jamb/head seals.

Jun 24, 20 6:07 pm  · 
1  · 

Accuracy in modeling isn't the point. Accurate communication of the information is the point. I'll point out that this is an existing building being remodeled, so...if a new opening needs to be 44" clear but the existing opening is 10'-7-135/256" wide then the new wall is going to not quiiiiiite be 7' long, right? I realize that in this situation one should dimension the critical information only but sometimes there are continuous dimension strings.

Jun 24, 20 10:12 pm  · 
3  · 
gwharton

This all goes back to my earlier point about Revit being good for some things (detailed documentation, coordination, execution) and not others (uh...everything else). Using it effectively requires continuous levels of very high precision with no tolerances. That is exactly the opposite of good practice for doing design.

Jun 25, 20 11:52 am  · 
2  · 
tduds

"Using it effectively requires continuous levels of very high precision with no tolerances." 

This is true of all computer tools.

Jun 25, 20 12:18 pm  · 
 · 
gwharton

"This is true of all computer tools." -- Some more than others.

Jun 25, 20 12:21 pm  · 
 · 
square.

yes, it's a post-digital problem.

Jun 25, 20 12:21 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

Circling back to what I think was the original point - I can work easily with tolerances in programs I know well, but not in programs I don't know well. The 'tolerance' is an artificial layer over the precise base in either case, it's just a matter of how fluent I am in managing that layer.

Jun 25, 20 12:23 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

And, again, I'm not saying this means you should want to use Revit, but that it works for some people and your complaints are your own, not inherent to the tool.

Jun 25, 20 12:24 pm  · 
 · 
gwharton

It's also a matter of how tolerant the concept model of the program itself is in handling ambiguous or imprecise information and the development of evolving layers of change in process. Revit can be set up to tolerate ambiguity and imprecision, but it takes massive effort and all sorts of contortions to make it do so. It's not set up to do that as a path of least resistance. The parametric category system built into it makes doing system- or precision-agnostic input and modification a nightmarish exercise.

Jun 25, 20 12:29 pm  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

"precision-agnostic" I'm thoroughly going to use that term as much as I can. Love it.

Jun 25, 20 12:32 pm  · 
3  · 
Almosthip

Its very easy to be accurate. Sometime I feel like drafters have to work very hard at being inaccurate. Do you all just randomly click everywhere, or are you actually inputting real numbers?

Jun 25, 20 12:35 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

" It's not set up to do that as a path of least resistance." What is?

Jun 25, 20 12:44 pm  · 
 · 
gwharton

The problem with precision like that, particularly in earlier stages of the design process, is that accomplishing it requires making lots of decisions too fast, and then baking them in. This leads directly to over-design, which makes the project very brittle and intolerant of change. That leads to lots of extra re-work when changes are inevitably necessary and the over-designed, brittle, over-precise, over-specified design blows apart due to interconnected knock-on changes and lack of tolerances. This is a very common way that architects work against ourselves and lose money. Using computer tools inappropriately encourages that, and I've seen the problem get much worse as firms have gone fully computerized. In fact, despite the huge productivity and efficiency gains the software tools have made possible, we've wound up giving all and more back because it has made our design process so inflexible and over-precise.

Jun 25, 20 12:44 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Gw, care to give an example? I've had this discussion with the partners in my office numerous times and it's the same thing you say. My position remains that, and unless you're trying to design complicated geometry, NURBS or very custom stuff, schematic design can be done in a BIM environment if you have staff that know the software. The problem is that digital modelling a la sketchup has given us unrealistic expectations and too many demand immediate gratification when making design changes. It's no secret that a 8 second move in sketchup can take an hour or more in revit, but it's manageable if expectations are reasonable. If that's too much, then your design process needs to evolve as well. I can typically make major design changes during CD phase with minimal effort in my models and I've built common families to use as place-holders for SD.

Jun 25, 20 1:18 pm  · 
2  · 
gwharton

My basic response would be "prove it." I have said that before to staff taking your position on this, and they have attempted to prove it, and have all failed. Now, you would probably say at this point that it was user error or something. But let me ask you this in return: if these platforms are so finicky and difficult to use that you have to be a 99th-percentile user simply to make them work in situations where other tools are much more accessible to everyone and work provably well, why should we bother?

Jun 25, 20 1:30 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

Get better staff then if you can't adjust your expectations.

Jun 25, 20 1:31 pm  · 
 · 
gwharton

I only hire top-quality, highly creative people with great technical skills and very high standards. Including high level Revit experts (everyone on my team is expected to be able to pitch in and be productive on any task, and that includes full integration of BIM into our production processes. You insulting them (and me) doesn't do your case any favors. It just makes you look childish and petulant.

Jun 25, 20 1:34 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

If your staff can't do SD in revit, then they are not high-level users as you claim. Not the software's fault.

Jun 25, 20 1:37 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

You guys are only looking at the elephant from one angle, and you're both on different sides of the elephant. What I have noticed is most prevalent is that the impressions that sketchup or whatever equivalent is "better" than revit generally ignores the hours that other people spend suffering in (foolish) silence when they lead designer signs off on a great looking design which has no constructability or rigor in it. Revit isn't going to solve the problems of sloppy bullshit designing any more than sketchup does.


When a skilled designer makes a sketch, they integrate their knowledge of design and construction into the sketch, making its translation into contract documents easier. When an inexperienced or ignorant individual makes a sketch, it's bullshit, and adheres to no realities. This is independent of HOW the sketch is made.

Jun 25, 20 1:43 pm  · 
6  · 
square.

not a fan of revit in sd.. can be done, but we prefer starting with cad. i can design layouts much more quickly in 2 dimensions (moving elements in 3 dimensions takes a fair amount of time), and have several iterations going at once

Jun 25, 20 2:28 pm  · 
3  · 
gwharton

Our policy is to be as platform/tool agnostic as possible in concept and schematic design, so long as a fully change-tolerant and inter-operable process is implemented with whatever tools are being used by team members and it produces very high-quality output for client communication. The important thing is the design idea, not the tools used to communicate that idea. As a practical matter, very few design team members even choose to use Revit in those parts of the project process, going with other options instead even if they personally are highly-fluent with Revit. In those few cases where they do try to use Revit early, I have yet to see it be done successfully. We always wind up having to do a total reset at the end of SD and rebuild the BIM model anyway, just for quality control purposes, and those projects which started design in BIM always have the same sort of constrained look to them (sort of like how it's usually easy to tell if somebody used AutoCAD to design something from the early stages).

Jun 25, 20 3:02 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

I agree with that Gw.

Jun 25, 20 3:06 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

"It's no secret that a 8 second move in sketchup can take an hour or more in revit,"

Therein lies the whole problem - unless you can convince me that spending that 59:52+ in schematic will save me at least 50% more time later on, then Revit is subtracting value, not adding it.

Jun 25, 20 4:31 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

How long does it take you to draw cad drawings from that sketchup model? Your suggestion that ONLY Revit adds time between fantasy (sketchup) and reality (CDs) is disingenuous.

Jun 25, 20 5:30 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

I didn't suggest any such thing. I am quite certain that having an accurate* model from SD to move straight into DD/CD would save some time - the question is whether the time saved would be greater than the time spent.

*As others have mentioned, getting a model out of SD clean enough to use in DD/CD is an issue - but that's not the software's fault.

Jun 25, 20 6:21 pm  · 
1  · 
gwharton

The model should always be rebuilt from SD to DD anyway, no matter what platform it was created on. That's a basic quality control requirement, moving from design to detail and documentation.

Jun 25, 20 6:24 pm  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

gwharton - I remember a somewhat heated discussion with a principal, when I was job captain, when I told him, as politely end deferentially as I could, that the CAD files from SD were unusable.

Jun 25, 20 6:29 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

"It's no secret that a 8 second move in sketchup can take an hour or more in revit,"


Something I hear time and again from people who don't use, never learned, and instinctually hate Revit. In their defense, most of them hate anything new.

Jun 25, 20 6:34 pm  · 
 · 
zonker

the sophistication is there as long as the designer has the architectural sophistication to leverage it 

Jun 25, 20 1:54 pm  · 
2  · 
tduds

I can write a letter or give directions in several languages, but I can only write poetry in the language I know fluently.

This is a metaphor.

Jun 25, 20 2:08 pm  · 
6  · 
SneakyPete

I really like this.

Jun 25, 20 3:05 pm  · 
 · 
gwharton

Conversely, most people can't write poetry worth a damn in any language.

Jun 25, 20 3:06 pm  · 
2  · 
tduds

And most architecture sucks. On this I believe we can agree.

Jun 25, 20 3:13 pm  · 
7  · 
proto

We do a lot of reno work. Another part of the dimensioning puzzle is subs, usually concrete or framers who want everything dimensioned (where "everything" = their specific trade).

With renovations, I sure as hell do not close dimension strings. But we do indicate where dims are crucial.

It further ramps up the anxiety when we provide finish dimensions & the framer just wants to set his wall. We acknowledge that's frustrating, but the framer (& more importantly his GC) needs to be a part of the solution to getting the finish dim correct. The end goal is to serve the owner with a space that is rendered the way it's intended, not to make the installer's job easier for simplicity sake. We're happy to be a part of the solution, but we don't control a lot of the moving parts in the way the GC does.

Jun 25, 20 3:02 pm  · 
7  · 
gwharton

We do the same on new construction as well, since many downstream trades are effectively coming in to work on something already built before they got there, and you never know if it's going to be built right or not. If it's critical, it gets a clear dimension for emphasis. Every place something might be tight automatically gets a couple of inches added to it, just in case. And closed dimension strings always get redlined out in QA reviews. Because the drawing is just the intent, not the final product, and we are not the ones building it.

Jun 25, 20 3:57 pm  · 
1  · 

I'm  really enjoying this discussion.

Jun 25, 20 3:27 pm  · 
4  · 

It's comforting in a way to see that the same arguments we had about software use in school are still prevalent in practice. But not in a "school prepared us for practice" way or in a "some things never change" way. Really it's comforting to me in that I made a conscience effort to stay out of the software tools world in practice and I no longer have any stake in these discussions. Still fun to watch from the sidelines though.

Jun 25, 20 4:01 pm  · 
5  · 
Non Sequitur

You got to use software while in school? Lucky... I only have one undergrad studio (ArchiCAD) and my M.Arch (Rhino) which were produced with a computer. Everything else was hand-drawn/rendered. Perhaps there lies my attachement with understanding the tools since I take as much pride in my revit models as I do with my precious 6mm 6B lead un-varnished canadian maple holder.

Anyways, we don't have an office structure that allows some to not be involved in the CD phase... licensed or not... and most of the partners draft on occasion.

Jun 25, 20 4:17 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

I found my niche in the CD / detailing part of the process, with knowledge of Revit enough to have informed opinions but with too much use as a "how to draw / build" to be relegated to the revit squad.

Jun 25, 20 4:30 pm  · 
 · 

NS, my school basically let us use whatever we wanted. We did have classes in 3DSMax and AutoCAD, but that was it and they barely scratched the surface of the programs. For me, it played out as outlined below, but for others it was completely different based on their comfort level and ability: 

  • First year was mostly hand drawn for process and presentations. 
  • Second year I started using AutoCAD (I had background in it from HS) and SketchUp but still a lot of hand drawing for process and presentation. 
  • Third year, slightly less hand drawing for final presentation but still a lot for design process and desk crits. For presentation it was mostly AutoCAD for 2D drawings (plans, elevations, sections), and SketchUp and 3DSMax for modeling, using Vray for renderings.
  • Fourth year, started playing more with 3D AutoCAD for process and final presentations and I quickly found out it sucked (still worked through ideas on paper by hand). Failed a studio that year because I let the tool dictate the process and ultimately the design. Also started to get into Rhino but only for basic concept modelling. 
  • Fifth year (now grad school) was mostly Rhino and Grasshopper for design process (still significant amounts of hand drawing too to work through some things), AutoCAD, Illustrator, and Photoshop for visualizations. 
  • Sixth year, I forced myself to use Revit because I knew I'd start using it in practice once I graduated. Also used it for rendering because I wanted to try it out and never really liked the results. Still peppered in some Rhino, AutoCAD, Illustrator and Photoshop for process and process visualizations probably less hand drawing this year compared to the rest too. 

Third and Fifth years were probably my favorite for process and outcome. Ironically, in spite of me forcing myself to learn Revit in sixth year, I've yet to really dive in on Revit in practice. First jobs were all still using AutoCAD and Sketchup. I was really good at AutoCAD, but didn't want to end up as a production drafter. So I pivoted and leveraged a background in construction and my ability to research and detail in order to get more into quality assurance, contracts, specifications, constructability, building science, and construction administration. 

The latest firms I've worked at all use Revit exclusively for drawings in DD and CD phases, but I don't produce drawings anymore. I can still "design" through detailing while redlining in DD and CD phases. I was never that good at coming up with the concepts and schematic designs anyway. I was always much better at carrying out the vision in detail and problem solving issues in CA. So most of my drawing work is through hand drawing details on trace, and marking things up in Bluebeam. I don't even have Revit installed on my computer. 

There is always a chance I'll get laid off and have to find work in more of a production role requiring I get back into Revit. I'm not really worried about it though. Any firm hiring me will be hiring me for my other skills and will likely deal with training me in Revit if it's necessary for production. 

I will never be a power user, but I'd never want to be. I was close to being, if not actually, a power user in AutoCAD and I could see the writing on the wall as firms were switching over to Revit. I was getting less and less exposure to other tasks and was being tasked more and more with simple production because I was so efficient at it. Not for me, and not for what I wanted my career to become.

Jun 25, 20 5:40 pm  · 
3  · 
archanonymous

EA - how do you stay out of it? Just do the work required in whatever tool the employer provides? I like that agnostic approach...

Jun 25, 20 5:40 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

This just came up in my Facebook memories from this day 6 years ago:

Fuechsel: Garbage in, garbage out.

atelier nobody's Corollary to Fuechsel: Same garbage in over and over, same garbage out over and over.

Jun 25, 20 3:50 pm  · 
 · 
earlybimimplementors

its 11 years now since this post started. This software saved me, my family and my job during pandemic and were working in the cloud. 

Jun 27, 20 1:52 am  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

You realize the cloud as a technology can be applied to many things, and Revit being the only viable option is a BAD thing, right?

Oct 14, 21 11:46 am  · 
1  · 
tintt

Uh, derp.

Oct 14, 21 1:10 pm  · 
1  · 
archist97

Yeah...Revit sucks.

Oct 14, 21 2:34 am  · 
4  · 
atelier nobody

Yes. Yes, it does...still.

Oct 15, 21 1:42 pm  · 
 · 

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