Thursday, June 09, 2005

Starting with Revit

I am a new Revit User, and I thought I would share my experiences of Revit with those who are thinking of taking the same steps.....

I am experienced CAD user, starting with AutoCAD in 1985. I have been drawing full-time on CAD since 1987, and have forgotten what a drawing board is!

Over the years I have used Microstation, Sonata, and Archicad. My principal software has always been Autocad. I work as a cad-technician, contracting to architects from my home office.

For the past 2 years I have used ADT (3.3 and 2005) with great success. I have enjoyed very much ADT 2005's ability to co-ordinate drawing sets. I also end up with a bewlidering array of cross referenced x-ref files that are used to assemble the building model. But it works. However, the biggest probelm for me with ADT are sections and elevations. These have to be "cut" from the model, and simple plan updates can take a lots of time to regenerate into the elevations and sections. It's not only the regeneration time, but also the clean up needed after regeneration that leaves me frustrated with the way the software works. It's like a lot of hard work!

So, I was introduced to Revit. I cross-grade about a year ago, and it sat on my shelf for about 8 months.... I thought I should really start using this thing I paid for.

My first Revit project was a set of small apartments. It took me twice as long as it normally would document using ADT. But I was learning.

Revit I found very intuitive to use. It is similiar in structure to archicad. This is a single model file system where all details models and sheets are kept in a single file. Xref or linking models is only required for larger projects it seems.

I was immediately productive drawings walls, slabs and roofs. But I became booged down with windows, doors, bathroom and kitchen fittings.

Revit is an "assembly" process. Buildings are assembled in the software. You assemble walls and slabs and roofs, then assembly into these doors, windows and fittings. The assembly process requires a really good libray of parts. Revit comes with an ok library, but no-where near good enough for real world stuff. So, in my first projects, I became bogged down with windows and doors. I had to stop working on producing drawings, and "build" a particular window or door style, or try and find one on the internet. Or I had to stop and find bathroom fittings or handrail styles....

So, initially my productivity was low, not because of the difficulty of the software use, but because of a poor libray of parts.

I have now documents four buildings in Revit, and have invested time in collecting a solid part library. I can now confidantly produce drawings in revit that takes about 2/3rds the time as it does in ADT. So I am happy!

For the first time users, or those thinking about using Revit my advice is as follows:

1. Take a course in understaning the software, and know how to use all the basic commands.
2. Allow twice as much time for your first projects to document as in your old software.
3. Use this extra time to search and create a solid library of parts, filed in your own part library. Much sure it is easy to find your stuff!
4. The extra time in the intitial projects will give you tremendous productivity in your future work with Revit, guaranteed!

I now have a choice in my projects to use ADT or Revit. At first I was unsure about using Revit, because of my initial low productivity. Now, with a solid library of parts, I have no hesitation in using Revit first time, every time for my new projects. I am also enjoying very much the ability to see my buildings "live" in section, elevation and 3d at any time.

For me, Revit is beating ADT hands down!

Best wishes



Blogger reluctanttheist said...

Great post - I appreciate your honesty regarding building families. It's a skill every Revit user needs to develop.

11:46 PM  
Blogger John said...

I agree with your comments except as to relates to ADT. I NEVER found that program easy in any way. I use ArchiCAD and now Revit. I think ArchiCAD is a more refined program than Revit, Revit is easier. I do miss the refinments in detailing from ADT. I am hope AutoDESK will incorporate those elements.

Good article.

12:46 AM  
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