Looking back at the thirty years ADG Architecture, llc has been in business, we have seen many changes. We have seen the differences in architecture and design and the emergence of a more technological reliant world, including new software. When we first opened our doors in 1990, we primarily used the software AutoCAD, a drafting system that was unveiled in 1982 and an industry leader. AutoCAD works primarily in 2D, allowing you to prepare the blueprints of your design.
Emerging in the early 2000’s came another drafting software, Revit. Revit was acquired by Autodesk in 2002 and has now become on of the most used design software in the architectural and engineering world. While Revit and AutoCAD are owned by the same company, they are largely different in what they can offer to architects and drafters. Revit largely operates in 3D and uses the BIM 360 system that allows people in different offices or countries to work on the same model. Additionally, Revit uses real life data to help with the cost schedule and construction documents of the project.
Most architecture firms primarily use AutoCAD due to the familiarity of the program to most architects. However, some are switching over to Revit due to its ability to collaborate in real time with others and produce 3D models. While the transition to a new software can be frightening and overwhelming, we have just experienced this transition ourselves and would like to share some tips and tricks for those just dipping their toes in the Revit water. To be able to see differing opinions and options, we have asked three of our architects with differing abilities and levels of expertise on Revit to tell us about their experiences.
Jen, one of our Architects and Project Manager for one of our larger projects using Revit, has some of the most experience with this program. Before switching to Revit, Jen used CAD for around ten years on many projects. She observes that the biggest obstacles to overcome is that Revit is, “It is not like other programs where you draw using lines. It is a whole new language of creating and inputting information.”
While this may make some wary of trying this software, her biggest tip is to be patient! She explains, “Learn the basics of the vocabulary of Revit. Since it is not drawing lines and manipulating them to appear how you want, you need to understand where you input the information to get the results you want. Utilize the internet and tools to help you learn, chances are someone else has had the same question or issue and you will not be alone.”
Our next Architect, Ashley is working with Jen on the same project and has around the same experience with Revit. For Ashley, one of the hardest things for her with switching over to Revit was that she had been using AutoCAD for 15 years and had to break the habits and change the workflows that was second nature to her. Ashley further explains that, “It was frustrating at first but seeing a project come to life in 3D is pretty incredible.”
Once Ashley learned how to break these habits, she had to learn how to create a 3D model in Revit. Her biggest tip in learning the software was to try and learn as much about it before getting started. She explains that, “I took a week long introductory course and continued to further my understanding by watching online tutorials and reading articles whenever I run into problems/ questions.” Her tip for those just starting out with Revit is to jump in head first and embrace the challenge and transition with an open mind!
Our last featured Architect, Clarisa is our Director of Operations at ADG Architecture, llc. Clarisa, has been using CAD for a while and is one of the last in the office to transition over to Revit. To help with her transition, Clarisa has been working on projects big and small in the software to learn the absolute most about Revit. Her biggest piece of advice is to lean on your team members and ask questions if you do not understand something. She has been working closely with Ashley and Jen to learn the ins and outs of Revit and they are learning how to create shortcuts and problem solve issues together.
While Revit is like the cooler younger brother of AutoCAD, it does not seem like AutoCAD will be going anywhere soon. AutoCAD, is a key element in the design process along with Revit which shatters the glass ceiling that AutoCAD created. Trying to learn a new software in this ever changing world can be scary for some, but not for us. We are keeping up to date with the newest design solutions, including software. By doing so, we are designing the plans of the future for a brighter tomorrow. Stop by the office, give us a call, or shoot us an email if you have any more Revit questions or tips to share with us.