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RE: REVIT or (ArchiCad)

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I'm test driving Revit Structure at this very moment with a view to purchasing.  One of my ideas was to reduce the need for drafting services - (seasoned) structural drafters are hard to come by at the moment ...
The demo showed that it gloves well with RISA and the home page shows viable connection with a couple of other analysis programs.  Have only just started testing and it's too early to say if it suits my needs.  I have asked RISA if they know of any issues to consider.  A couple of local peers I spoke to are using it but some of the comment was that Revit is too "real" (?).  I.e. draws pictorially rather than stick-like, which many prefer for economy of drawing.  For me it might be OK because I'm a, "how about", or "what if", or "hang on, there's not enough detail here!", kinda injaneer .. ie the train sometimes has trouble reaching the station ... :^)
Interaction with others using it on the ground would be grand.
Thor A. Tandy P.Eng, MIStructE, Struct Eng
Victoria, BC
-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph Harouni [mailto:jharouni(--nospam--at)]
Sent: June 28, 2007 9:36 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: REVIT or (ArchiCad)

I started the BIM with ArchiCAD by Graphisoft about 3 years ago, as an Architectural & Structural tool which I am very happy with even for very small remodeling.

On Jun 28, 2007, at 9:07 AM, Donald Bruckman wrote:

About a year ago I let the board know that I’d started with this BIM software from Adesk, “Revit”.

So, briefly, a report. 

I am extremely pleased with the system, really like what it can do for an architect like me that works alone.  But rather than extol the virtues of the system from an Architectural standpoint, I’d like to let you know first impressions of its usefulness to engineers.

First, I don’t know a single SE that uses Revit Structural, so any questions about trading files and the like will have to wait.  Revit has a structural sister program that is supposed to be able to be plugged into analysis software, but I know nothing of what software or whether it works.  I will say that even on the architectural side, if I drop a 6x12 or a W24 into a drawing, the computer has the requisite section moduli, etc. already established so I can see how this might sometime be fed into some kind program that will eventually be able to juggle a lot of balls at once.  Dynamic analysis in wood?  Maybe this kind of program will eventually allow it. 

But here’s the thing.  The BIM system is stunningly good at recreating any issues or allowing the view of obscure areas of work that just can’t be adequately explained in a series of 2D drawings.  If an engineer is unclear about a specific area, I can cut, (or if he has Revit too), he can cut a section anywhere in seconds.  You can take perspective camera shots anywhere, anytime in seconds.  For this, BIM is unbeatable.  It’s been as large a jump for me from ACAD to Revit as it was from hand drawing to ACAD.  It’s THAT much better.

But there is some downside.  In order to get it to be able to see an issue, you have to have already drawn the entire building correctly.  This is a good thing for large buildings and even new small projects.  It’s not such a good thing for very small projects and particularly bad news for remodels and additions.  As I noted above, if eventually all this structural data can be evaluated by some kind of program, that means you need to feed all this stuff into the computer to allow it to effectively model an outcome that is relevant.  That means a lot of data entry for perhaps a very limited structural need.

But for anything brand new, I would heartily recommend it.  I would also let you know that for Architects, this is so much better than 2D cad that I don’t think many architects will be using 2D for much longer.  So, perhaps to get a jump on your competition, you may want to look into it.