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Struggling to Switch to Revit? Here’s What You Need to Know

Revit BIM Architecture Model

Two female contractors from Herrero Builders and HoloBuilder work on The Hamlin School in San Francisco

Whether you’re an architect, engineer, or general contractor, odds are, you’ve taken advantage of the 2D capabilities of the tried-and-true AutoCAD. But have you ever thought about making the switch to Autodesk Revit?

It seems that in the architectural industry, more and more architects are beginning to switch to Revit. So, where does that leave you? Let’s dive into what a transition may be like for you and how you can overcome some of the hurdles that come your way.

What is Autodesk Revit?

Revit’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) software helps architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) teams create high-quality buildings and infrastructure. Architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, builders, fabricators, computational designers, owners, and more use Revit to achieve their design, construction, operations, and maintenance goals.

It is worth noting that there is a Revit LT version with limited features around modeling tools for architecture, structure, MEP, construction, and documentation. We will cover the LT version at a later date.

The Transition

For Architects

There is a reason an increased number of architects are making a move to Revit software. Architects can quickly generate floor plans, elevations, and other design documentation in both 3D and 2D views, with excellent collaboration capabilities.

The challenge in switching to Revit for architecture firms is overcoming the “this is the way we’ve always done things” hurdle. Truthfully, Revit is a much different beast when compared to the line drawing features of 2D CAD software that you may be used to. When introduced to the 3D CAD environment and elevation typical with Revit models, there is an entirely new way to think about things.

Throughout our discovery with many architects, some say having experience with 2D CAD software may even negatively impact the learning curve on Revit. We know, crazy, right?

The reason for this is simple. You will have to break the old habits of drawing in a 2D world and manipulating lines to fit how you want them. You will need to learn the vocabulary of Revit and where to input information in the software to get the result you are looking for.

The good news for you? Autodesk Gold Partners, like TPM, offer virtual and in-person training for the software.

Revit BIM Architecture Model

For Structural Engineers

For structural engineers, Revit offers quite a few capabilities around structure features. The software allows structural engineers to design everything digitally before panel production, including concrete reinforcement and steel connections. This results in more accurate and detailed documentation of the design.

Although traditional CAD software, like AutoCAD, can generate 3D models, Revit allows for models to be more comprehensive. Lastly is the ability to leverage automation within the software, meaning if you add more material or change anything in view, Revit automatically updates references.

Revit BIM Structural Model

For MEP Engineers

As an MEP firm, we know how vital producing excellent projects on time, and on budget is, and Revit’s BIM modeling process is for you. Saying that you will make the transition and doing it are entirely different things. To be successful as an MEP firm with the software, being able to commit and see the change through will be a significant factor. It will only hinder your success if you jump back and forth between AutoCAD and Revit during your shift.

Further, we know that it is even quicker to do certain things in 2D software in some situations, especially when familiar with it. But the beauty of Revit is the ability for MEP Engineers to conceptualize a mechanical or electrical project from design through engineering, maintenance, and more.

Overall, the key for MEP firms moving to Revit is to stay committed to the switch. Once you have decided that Revit will be the future software for your firm, commit to that journey entirely.

For Builders and Contractors

The construction industry is one of the most challenging industries to switch software. Many features of Revit massively benefit construction firms, and many coordinating disciplines have already integrated it into their workflows. Adopting Revit as a construction company would provide smooth transition and communication throughout the construction process.

Construction professionals can leverage data-rich 3D models to plan better, even in the pre-construction phases of a project. The software’s detailed capabilities allow you to model steel connections with a high level of detail, connecting design to detailing. This reduces the need for change orders and improves fabrication time.

Revit BIM Construction Model

Final Thoughts

We know it can be difficult to uproot the way your firm or organization has worked for years. But, as the adage goes, you either keep up or get left behind, and nothing rings truer than with CAD software solutions.

Remember, when you decide to make the switch, you need to commit to the switch to see ultimate success. The biggest challenge is the learning curve involved with Revit. However, you should not feel like you are on your own in adopting the software. At TPM, we have trained thousands of firms like yours on products ranging from AutoCAD to Revit.

Are you looking to transition your firm to Autodesk Revit? Let’s talk.