Revit Tutorial: Quick Start Tips to Master Revit

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Quick Start Tips:
September 23, 2013 by
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The field of architecture has gone through seismic changes in the last decade. Modern construction projects demand speed and efficiency that goes beyond the capabilities of conventional CAD software and 2D drawings. Being able to plan and visualize every aspect of the construction project through BIM (Building Information Modeling) processes has now become a necessity.

This is where Revit steps in.

Originally developed by AutoDesk in 1997, Revit has grown to become the industry-standard BIM software. Powerful, robust and efficient, Revit has helped architects completely overhaul the way buildings are planned, constructed and even demolished. It can handle everything from initial 2D layouts and project visualization to final 3D renderings and eventual demolition.

With the recent resurgence in the construction industry, Revit technicians are in huge demand all over the world. It is also a necessary skill for every aspiring architect. Learning Revit, however, is not very easy. Fortunately, with courses such as the comprehensive Revit architecture for beginners, anyone can learn Revit with just a few months of hard work.

What is Revit?

In a nutshell, Revit is a BIM software program that helps architects and designers to:

  • Create 2D drawings of buildings

  • Organize building information into schedules

  • Render 3D models and walkthroughs of finished designs

Beyond this, Revit assists architects with supply chain management, risk management, scheduling, engineering simulation, and project visualization. It can estimate how long a project might take to build, simulate possible engineering complications, visualize every individual event in the construction phase, and of course, create 2D/3D drawings and models.

In other words, Rivet covers every aspect of a building’s lifecycle – from design to demolition.

Why Should You Learn Revit?

Revit has quickly become a fundamental part of any construction project design and deployment. As a result, the demand for Revit professionals is huge, especially in high-growth areas of the world like San Francisco, Dubai, China, etc.

Some of the reasons to learn Revit are:

Whether you are an experienced architect or a student wanting to break into the architecture field, learning Revit will give you a huge leg up on the competition. Courses like Learning AutoDesk Revit 2014 can make learning Revit fun, easy, and surprisingly affordable.

Tips on Learning Revit

Like learning a programming language or a valuable design skill, learning Revit requires time, commitment, and most importantly, the right lessons and resources. Following the tips given below will make your Revit journey a little easier:

1. Understand the Scope of Revit

Revit is powerful – as any project powering multimillion dollar construction projects should be. This isn’t a tool you can pick up over a week as a hobby; it requires significant commitment on your part.  Revit can help you visualize projects as big as the Burj Khalifa or the One World Trade Center in all its details – from the plumbing and the elevator shafts to the penthouse suites and the front lobby. Being aware of what Revit can do (and what it cannot) can go a long way in tempering your expectations from the software.

2. Understand the BIM Process

The Revit BIM model strays significantly from the CAD software you might be used to. In conventional CAD software, if you need to make a change to a design, you need to update every element manually. If, for instance, you want to change the height of the roof, you will have to manually change the height of the walls pinned to its underside.

With Revit, however, every element used in the design acts as a “smart” component. This means that every component is parametrically linked to other components (i.e. it can change dimensions dynamically) and holds its own data (properties, material type, etc.) independently.

If, for instance, you want to raise the height of the roof in a Revit design, the height of the walls will change automatically with it. Increase the dimensions of a window and the wall linked to it parametrically will reflect the change dynamically.

This BIM Model can save you countless hours in the design process; understanding it is an important part of learning Revit.

3. Find the Right Resources

There are hundreds of Revit training courses out there, both online and offline. Offline classes – which can stretch from a few weeks to year-long diplomas in architectural technology – are expensive and resource-intensive, but offer the advantage of a peer group and dedicated faculty. Online courses, on the other hand, help you learn at your own pace and cost significantly less than their offline counterparts. These courses can be as, or even more effective than offline courses, provided you stick to a schedule and follow instructions precisely.

You can also take Revit courses that target a very specific function, such as this course on Revit deployment and management for medium-sized offices.

4. Model Like You Would Build

Revit has very specific applications in the industry. Any Revit related job you might take would require you to create models that adhere to the construction norms and best-practices in your local area or relevant industry. Houses in South Beach, Florida, for instance, will have very different design guidelines than houses in Manhattan, New York. Designing a flamboyant Dubai skyscraper, on the other hand, requires completely different design aesthetics and skills than a minimalist San Francisco museum. It’s a good idea to get familiar with these best-practices in your target industry or local area right from the get-go.

In other words, create models that work in the real world.

5. Complement Your Skills

Powerful as it may be, learning Revit alone isn’t enough to help you become an architect. Complement your Revit skills by learning related software such as AutoCad, SketchUp and Photoshop to not only increase your knowledge, but also improve your employment opportunities.

AutoCad, the industry-leading CAD design software, is the tool most favored by architects for creating initial 2D drawings and sketches which can later be transferred to Revit. Learning AutoCad through courses such as this quick AutoCad crash course will help you make better designs faster.

Photoshop, on the other hand, is the tool of choice for adding finishing touches to 3D models. Photoshop is primarily used for creating detailed textures, adding images, graphics, and visual flourish to raw 3D renderings. Picking up Photoshop is relatively easy, as this popular Photoshop CS6 crash course will teach you.

6. Learn Architectural Theory

Learning a tool without understanding its theoretical basis will leave you half-equipped to solve problems. Picking up the basics of architectural theory – the hows and whys of building design – will make you a far better Revit practitioner. Getting a grip on major architectural design movements, from gothic revival and baroque to post-modernist and contemporary, will also help you design better buildings.

Mastering Revit will not only make you a better architect, but it will boost your employment opportunities. With courses such as this concise introduction to Revit essentials, you can learn this powerful software in no time.

How do you use Revit in your workplace? Share your tips and insight in the comments section below!


Revitology: The Evolution of Revit over AutoCAD

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Revit, which stands for ‘revise instantly’, is infiltrating into the AEC industry and is encroaching on AutoCAD. Top-notch architectural firms and construction companies rely on Revit Architecture when precision and efficiency are of utmost priority. Members of Global Fraternity of Architects (GFA) and industry experts affirm that Revit is the “future”. Despite all the bold assertions about Revit and its innovative features and flexibility, the scenario remains intact – architectural designers still slip into old “AutoCAD habits” when using AutoCAD Architecture & AutoCAD MEP. AutoCAD precision is great for mechanical or industrial application. “AutoCAD is a great tool for some things, but too many things can be “faked” with it”, concerns a veteran architect.

Why Should You Revit(alize) Your Firm? “AutoCAD was originally designed for the manufacturing/mechanical design industry…Revit was built for architects from day one”, corroborates Shobhit Baadkar, Principal, TITAN AEC. Agreed Ricardo Khan, Integrated Construction Manager, Mortenson Construction, “Revit is set up for the AEC industry, while AutoCAD is too broad of a tool”.

Comparing Revit with AutoCAD is like “sculpting with a hammer and chisel vs. sculpting with a big lump of clay on a spindle”, symbolizes Michael Coston, Project Manager/VDC-BIM Architect. He continues Revit allows a team to mold the sculpture simultaneously and monitor the developing results completely in a 3D environment. It brings together effective synergy of plans, sections, elevations, schedules, etc. “Of every construction project in the world, the owner spends 5% on design and 95% on construction. Surprised to the fact the success of the later depends on the former.

Revit can identify the potential spatial conflicts and forecast the building performance at the early stages of design more efficiently than AutoCAD. We see BIM process as the main way forward the AEC industry, and Revit works as the backbone of the BIM process”, avers Ravi Khanna, MRICS, India Head, Brack Capital Real Estate.

“Revit allows for a higher degree of collaboration and communication, and vastly improves a team’s ability to be better coordinated”, substantiates Gary McLeod, BIM Provocateur.

“The in-built flexible features and parametric facilities in Revit offer the project team greater agility and help them make informed decisions, synchronized design, and accurate construction documents. A successful BIM implementation results in well-managed RFQs, accurate quantities, change management (automatic changes), earlier visualization, detection of potential spatial conflict before construction, better project planning using 4D and 5D techniques, improved energy analysis and collaboration with different project disciplines. BluEnt believes that Revit offers clear advantages for all project stakeholders and is therefore keen to provide 100% Revit solutions to its clients”, corroborates Sajeel Khanna, Director- Outsourcing, BluEnt, Global Architecture and Technology.

Learning Revit

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Building Information Modeling software Revit has become a household word in the AEC community since 2002. Combined together Building Information Modeling (BIM) process and three-dimensional modeling, Revit has changed the architecture design, drafting and modeling processes. There are large numbers of Building Information Modeling software vendors. Autodesk’s Revit suite has the highest market share in the pie of BIM software industry, indicating its acceptance and popularity among the global fraternity of architects.

Building Information Modeling is poised to be a major innovation in architecture industry in the 21st century, and Revit supplies oxygen to this wonderful innovation. There are considerable numbers of reasons behind the increasing acceptance of Revit software in architecture industry. BluEnt, a globally leading construction documentation firm, has observed the following advantages of Revit Building Information Modeling software:

  1. Preview the Future Home in 3D BIM Modeling: Revit Parametric modeling is a significant tool for conceptual design. With Revit software, architectural designers can quickly sketch a rough layout of the floor plan, or make changes to the standard set of building designs and instantly let their customers preview their future homes. 3D design views give designers to try out different design ideas and guide their design decisions at early stage.
  1. Quick Changes to Design, No Repetitive Tasks: During the design phase, the building structure and floor plans needed to be modified frequently. With Revit BIM software, architecture designing and drafting becomes very fast and accurate. In Revit architecture model, all building components such as plans, sections, and elevations are intelligently connected to each another. Whenever a change is made to the model, the software automatically updates every related component, affecting the whole building model.
  2. Vast Library of Parametric Building Components: BIM authoring tool Revit software comes with a full set of parametric building design components. It also allows quick changes to the existing components. It stores the newly created or customized parametric objects to be reused in other projects. While designing a new project, architectural designer can use the stored parametric building objects for quick references to the prospective clients.
  3. High Quality Construction Documents: 3D modeling capacity of Revit architecture enables designers and drafters to easily identify the clashes and areas of congestion, and resolve them early in the process. It results in error-free and high quality construction documentations.
  4. Accurate Estimation of Quantities and Cost: One of the most important advantages of building information modeling software is the automatic generation of bill of quantities (BOQ). BIM modeling software like Revit produces accurate material quantity takeouts as a by-product, with less-efforts.  This advantage helps the contractors and owners to determine if the project adheres to budgets.
  5. Improved Coordination: BIM drafting software Revit unifies design, drafting, construction and facility management processes in single environment, allowing all stakeholders to remain updated and aware of their responsibilities, and thus improving overall coordination. A total understanding by everyone on the project of what’s happening removes the design conflict and risks.
  6. High Level of Flexibility: Unlike AutoCAD, Revit allows all project data to be stored in single project file. It allows multiple users to work on the same project file and merge their changes with every save. Besides, Revit exports and imports DWG, DXF, DGN, PDF, JPEG files.

The list of BIM advantages continues. It is proved that BIM approach is “significantly more efficient” than the traditional drafting-based approach. A significant numbers of architecture design and drafting company are realizing the implementation of BIM software. For example BluEnt, a leading BIM construction documentation company has started drafting in Revit BIM software for large and complex building practices, and delivering the clients significant benefits in terms of TIME and COST.