A Necessary Tool With Downsides
December 06, 2019
A Necessary Tool With Downsides
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Revit
We now use Revit for almost every project from schematic design through construction administration. The firm previously used MicroStation for 2D CAD and some 3D BIM. Revit simplifies project document organization and keeps multiple drawings up-to-date simultaneously. Our consultants also use Revit, which allows for easy updates and complex visibility controls. We do not yet use BIM360, which I understand would make coordination even simpler.
We typically have a separate SketchUp model for design studies and renderings because 3D modeling in Revit is still cumbersome and inflexible. In some cases, the parametric features of Revit make simple changes into complicated headaches. Proper education for all users is critical because there are many pitfalls in Revit that are then synced back to the shared model.
- Documentation and organization.
- Central model syncing, multiple simultaneous users.
- Updates all drawings at once, cross-referencing.
- 3D modeling flexibility, speed, and view options.
- Duplicate sheets without plugin, and views on multiple sheets (especially design options).
- More view organization options, by custom folder instead of view type.
- Saves time on coordination.
- Saves time on design changes.
- Allows team to synchronize tasks easily.
Revit and SketchUp can be complementary products, although many promotional materials for Revit imply that it can replace SketchUp from your workflow. The promise is that you could complete all of your design studies in Revit, and not need to rebuild the geometry in Revit. The reality is that Revit is not flexible enough to quickly iterate through ideas, and the presentation tools are not robust enough to replace a separate 3D modeling software like SketchUp or Rhino. Luckily, there is some interoperability between the two. Specifically, SketchUp files can be imported into Revit as a family, which allows for some complex pieces to be modeled outside of Revit, and Revit files can be exported to 3D CAD and imported into SketchUp. Information is lost during this process, but the geometry can be easily adjusted for design studies.
Revit is a complicated program, even advanced users are constantly searching Google for solutions to seemingly simple problems. Between the official support forum and unofficial forums like RevitCity, answers are usually available within a few searches. Most offices hire BIM managers and try to have a BIM expert on each team to answer questions and take on more daunting tasks. Model maintenance must occur regularly, and it is best to designate someone with experience to take that on.
Do you think Revit delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Revit's feature set?
Did Revit live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Revit go as expected?
Would you buy Revit again?
Revit is the best tool I have used to document a project, especially synchronizing design changes between drawings, organizing sheets, coordinating with consultants, and complex phasing. It is less suited to design studies (prefer a more flexible 3d modeling tool like SketchUp) and graphic presentations (still need to export to Indesign for most presentations).