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RE: Reducing ACAD file size

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Like anything new there is a learning period and process.


I have been “learning” REVIT Structure for several months now and reading about how to implement its use. The AutoCAD website has several white papers to help understand how to integrate this new product into a working office situation. They describe some of the pitfalls (100% conversion) and suggest ways to migrate effectively.


Here are some of my experiences and opinions about how this new tools will work in my office.


First, it will be some time before we get REVIT building models from architects because quite frankly, they’re struggling with the same “it looks great, how do I get there” thinking.


My experience with using 2D CAD drawings as a base model for “growing” the structural walls and foundations has been pretty positive. The effort to trace wall elements is fairly painless and intuitive.


Likewise, building the floor and roof structures seems to take about as much time as it would in normal CAD work with the exception that the REVIT elements are smart and fit nicely onto walls and beams. If fact this is a much better way to draw a building and even if I only used the plan view it would take less time than regular CAD.


The detailing issue I probably agree with you about. The ability to generate construction sections off the REVIT building section is not as difficult as it sounds however I’ve also heard that this increases file size and probably isn’t the primary role of REVIT. FWIW I think even Autodesk suggests you use a separate tool for this part of the project. They are presently offering REVIT Structure 3 which includes a copy of AutoCAD 2007.


My intent is to take some fairly small steps on projects in the next few months. This would be for my continued learning.


Oh, one thing that is extremely powerful is the ability to build wall sections. (This is not your father’s wall sections) For instance, wood walls are components which include siding, sheathing, studs, plates and gypsum board. You can literally display as little or as much of this “wall” in your sections, so the issue of having rough models is not true.


Lastly, the product (REVIT) contains a tutorial in the help menu which is an extremely efficient way to learn its use. There are perhaps 160 lessons which walk through almost every aspect of the product. They are very easy to digest in small structured sessions and well worth the effort to investigate.


Barry H. Welliver


From: Mlcse(--nospam--at) [mailto:Mlcse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:39 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Reducing ACAD file size


Hi Dennis,


Its been awhile, but since your looking at the cad packages, one of the problems I hear about Revit is the impact on creating sections and details for the structural drawings and the time frame in which you have to finish your structural drawings to submit for plan check or progress sets.  I am not sure the owners/developers are going to give us more time to create the structural drawings to help avoid conflicts (beams, pipes, duct conflicts) that can be uncovered when using Revit.  We likely will have to do more in less time.


The structural drawing problem is that you can't cut sections through the building until the Revit model is done to generate structural sections and details as I understand it. I have heard of structural design offices that use Revit actually are drafting the building twice:


1. Draw once in Revit for the 3D model

2. Draw sections and details separate from Revit so you can start generating structural sections and details for the framing plans (allows you to have information for progress sets to architect, owner, contractor about wall sections, framing connections, etc) and determine what conflicts you find without the Revit model.  Hopefully once the Revit model is done and you cut sections using Revit they will match the ones you drew separately prior to completion of the Revit model.


So basically your drafting it still the same old way as you have always done it so you can have drawings ready to submit to someone instead of waiting for the Revit 3D model to be completed in order to be able to cut structural sections.  The Revit Model may take awhile in trying to coordinate things with the architect, leaving you very little time once the Revit model is complete to finish your structural drawings by the deadline that the architect promised the owner he would be done by.


So not sure how in the fast track world that Revit is going to help.  The Architect it helps, but as engineers now dependant upon the Architect to make sure the model is complete before we start doesn't leave us much time to get our stuff done.


Your Thoughts?...We don't have Revit yet, but will probably have to get it in the next year or so.  Just comments I have heard from other structural engineering firms that have started to use Revit...your experience may be different.


Mike Cochran