We've jumped into Revit!

In a prior post I explained how I build up plans with the MEP version of AutoCAD. It turns out that this was an incremental step in my quest to find (and create) the ideal platform for plan development. .

Just before Christmas I've broke out the business credit card and ordered a license for the AutoDesk Building Design Suite Premium. This includes AutoCAD MEP, Revit MEP, and a bunch of other stuff I probably won't look at for at least a year. It is a pretty big investment for a little engineering shop but I believe it is a good decision.

Our first project using Revit MEP will be the new York Machine Shop, up in Campbell River. Tom Dishlevoy is the architect and also works in Revit. I've managed to link to his model and things are moving along fairly well. I am also using the project for the renovation to the curling rink, and this is what the electrical room is going to look like:

Rink Electrical Room

I seem to be picking it up pretty quickly, thanks in part to the excellent training videos at www.lynda.com, and by posting questions to the the Revit forums on the AutoDesk site. (And, once in a while I bug Tom my friend Shawn who also knows his way around Revit.)

There are a couple of pretty interesting things about working in Revit compared to AutoCAD. Sure, it is 3d, but for the most part my work is in plan, so that isn't really all that big a deal. One of the big items on that list is the way Revit handles layers. It doesn't! Revit does not support placing an entity (wall, device, line, whatever) on a layer. Instead, entities can be assigned to types (i.e. you are a wall, and you are an electrical device), and phases (this wall is existing, and that wall is new construction), There are a few other classifications that can be assigned as well.

Views can be built up that leverage the various classifications, so, for example, you can make a view that shows items of interest to electrical, existing. This can be set up to hide all new construction, turn off some architectural details, and make all the plumbing appear light gray in the plot.

I have yet to encounter a problem I used to use layers to deal with that I can't address in some other means with Revit, and generally the way Revit does it makes a lot of sense to me.

Another neat thing about Revit is the way it handles pages intended for plotting versus the actual content. That is a bit of a topic in itself and I'll save it for a future blog post.

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