This content is adapted from BIMuzer.
If you’re in the construction or building industry, you may occasionally be required to talk about building information modeling (BIM) and Revit®, a software package used to create BIM models. This guide will help you confidently dive in regardless of your experience.
What are the differences between BIM and Revit?
BIM is the overall process of creating a three-dimensional database in the form of a model of information that pertains to the design of a building. Revit is just one of many software applications under the BIM umbrella that lead to an efficient design of space. Revit is the main application that falls under BIM, but there are other applications designed to perform certain functions that Revit cannot achieve or is ineffective at tackling. The following are just a few examples of other BIM applications:
Is there more than one version of Revit?
There are three different discipline versions of Revit. Each one has tools geared to that particular discipline. Fortunately, all three are designed to speak the same language. Therefore, a model created in one version of Revit can be inserted into the modeling space of another. The following is how multiple disciplines typically work together in Revit:
How often are the various versions of Revit updated?
You’ll see multiple versions of Revit as Autodesk, the makers of Revit, releases updates. Each time an update is released, a build number is added to the end of the version name. If you’re collaborating with someone, you’ll need to use the same year and build version of Revit. These numbers are consistent from Revit Architecture to Structure and MEP. This is also important because once a model is saved in the current version, it cannot be saved in an earlier version.
Can I use Revit to create drawings?
There is no such thing as a Revit drawing. When a project is AutoCAD-based, each individual file is a drawing file. You can ask someone to provide drawings in AutoCAD format. When using Revit, you should ask for the Revit model if you require comprehensive project information. If you need individual drawing sheets, you can still ask for AutoCAD drawings. You can also ask for PDFs of the drawing sheets. If you’re working in Revit and are asked for drawing files, you can extract them from the model individually or as a complete set of drawing sheets in AutoCAD or PDF format.
Does Revit use multiple files?
While AutoCAD-based projects typically use many files, a Revit-based project relies on, in most cases, a single file. AutoCAD-based projects have individual files that represent individual drawing types (e.g. plans, sections and elevations) inserted into single files, representing individual drawing sheets. If you extrapolate that information for a large project, you will have many files.
In contrast, Revit-based projects tend to be a single-model file within which specific drawing types are set up as views of that model. Additionally, that same file includes sheets with those views. Since all of these sheets and views come from the single model, you can make changes to the model in a view (or sheet), and the change will be applied universally. With all information in a single Revit model, Revit project files tend to be large. Thus, more powerful computers are typically needed to use Revit efficiently.
Does Revit provide 2-D or 3-D views of a project?
When working in Revit, you’re working in two dimensions and three dimensions simultaneously. Even if you’ve created the wall in a plan view, if you switch to a three-dimensional, section or elevation view, you will see that the height is also represented. This is the case for all objects in Revit. Remember that “working in 3-D” isn’t limited to creating renderings or animations; if you’re creating plans, sections and elevations, you’re working in 3-D.
What are BIM standards, and what do they have to do with Revit?
When an office selects Revit as its standard platform, they also choose various graphical settings, known as standards. These dictate how drawings will look. Examples of settings include:
What are questions I should ask prior to the start of a Revit-based project?
Whether you’re an architect, consultant, contractor or subcontractor, asking these questions will be helpful when a Revit-based project is proposed or about to begin.
These tips should give you a basic understanding of BIM and Revit, and the questions you should ask as you begin your work. Revit Essentials and Project Manager training will only improve your knowledge and ability to make decisions regarding staffing, budgeting and scheduling of a Revit-based project.