By John Flanagan
Here are some tips for a smooth transition from AutoCAD to Revit. If you are new to Revit you are most likely a former AutoCAD user. Revit demands more organisation than AutoCAD. Use the following list of things to bear in mind when starting the transition from AutoCAD to Revit.
1. Start with a small to medium sized project
A large project can be daunting when you are getting started with Revit. A smaller project is key to get all the basics. Smaller projects don’t necessarily require worksharing.
2. Don’t Overmodel
A major misconception is that everything needs to be modelled. Smaller objects don’t always need to be modelled, 2D items might be enough. Remember over modelling increases file size.
3. Don’t Undermodel
While newcomers sometimes model too much, some users just don't model enough. Skipping modeling and using 2D techniques can be a short-term time-saver, but in the long run it can create confusion and coordination problems between views.
4. Prepare a BIM plan for each project
Ask yourself these questions: How big is the project? What do I need to model? Will the model be shared with the client? Are the engineers also using Revit? How many team members will be using Revit on this project? What is the role of each team member? How will we organise sheets and views?
5. Get help from a Revit Guru
If you are a boss, tell your best Revit users to spend a few hours each week to coach other folks. If you are working on your own, see if your local area has a Revit community group.
6. Learn the difference between 2D & 3D
This is the biggest hurdle for novices. They are often confused if what they are doing is affecting a single view or if it is affecting the whole model. Make sure you are comfortable with this aspect. Importantly learn how grids and levels work and how their visibility can be controlled without ruining the whole model.
8. Don’t move and delete things by mistake
It is common for new users to delete and move things by mistake. Be sure to PIN elements as often as possible. Also deactivate "Drag Elements on Selection" and "Select Elements by Face" on the bottom right control bar.
9. Don’t go back to AutoCAD for detailing
Revit can be used to draft details much faster than in AutoCAD. You will also avoid countless hours lost trying to coordinate everything together.
10. Use 3D Views
Using 3D views reminds you that using Revit means building an actual model instead of just adding lines. Be sure to know how SECTION BOX works, which is the most useful tool in orthographic 3D view. Also try to use Consistent Colours visual mode with ambient shadows, it will make your 3D instantly cool to look at.
11. Clean/Purge your model
At least once a week take time to clean your model. Erase unused views and purge useless families. Have a look at warnings and try to solve them. A bulky and unorganised model can be overwhelming and frustrating. You want a clean, smooth and fast model.