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Re: Revit Structure (was Re: Concrete Reinf Diagram)

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I've used Revit on several projects and I don't ever want to go back to CAD. The thing that is a little different from my experience then maybe from those at larger companies is that I am the only one using Revit on the projects I've worked on. It's "easier" when the architect is using revit because they create most of the model for the structural engineer. But because I am the only trade using it I have to know how to build the model from scratch.

There is a huge learning curve when you start using it because it takes time to figure out all the different ways there are to model and draft something(yes, you still have to draw lines in Revit). Once you figure out how to work within the parameters of the program it becomes a lot less complicated. There is a logical pattern to how things are done in Revit. When I am on projects where I have to go back to CAD to draft lines I get as frustrated with CAD as I used to be starting out in Revit because CAD doesn't seem as logical to me (it never really did).

It's not to say there aren't things that need improvement in Revit. The program is very "smart" and productive for about 90% of the modeling and construction document creation process, but there are some things that need work and seem a little hokie for such a "smart" program. The 10% that is hokie may eat up about 25% of your time (the old 80/20 rule is alive and well) which is hard to explain to my superiors. But there are plenty of things the waste that time in CAD too (like layers, scaling text, etc.) so I think it breaks even.

Overall I'm not at the point where I'm more "productive" with Revit, meaning I don't get projects done faster than with CAD. It take me about the same amount of time to create a product in Revit as in CAD, but my product is a lot higher quality than what it would be with CAD.

I still have a lot to learn such as trying to coordinate with architects and their revit model on a project (I did once, but the project was so small that I don't really count it). I have successfully been able to export analytical models into Risa 3D. That actually works a lot better than I thought it would and it increased my productivity a bit because I only had to build the structure once in Revit. Although once I tweeked the Revit model I had to do things the "old fashioned way" and open the Risa model and make the changes.

So there are several aspects to consider. Modeling the structure helps coordinate complicated or unforseen details. Once the structure is modeled cutting and developing sections is quite fast. Exporting the analytical model to 3d analysis software can save a lot of time on the engineering part of the project. Creating construction documents is very easy and actually done in a more logical way, in my personal opinion, than using CAD.

On a final note. I used to think that Revit would only be useful for large projects, but it is very useful on small projects too. So I use it for every project where I am the leading engineer. Everyone else in my office still prefers CAD because they can't get past that initial learning curve and envision a day when they will be able to model in Revit as easily as they can draw lines in CAD. I'm at that point now so I am very comfortable in the program and I feel out of place when I jump on their projects to help them out.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but if you have any other specific questions feel free to ask.


Quoting Mike Jones <mike.maryjones(--nospam--at)>:

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:25 PM, Jeremy White <admin(--nospam--at)>wrote:


Thanks for the advice.

I think it would be wise also to terminate 50% of the bottom bars (maybe
hook them upward) before they enter the column to limit clutter, but the top
bars are going to be a nightmare.  I think I will require 2 layers for the
top bars even though the clear spacing is acceptable within the beam.  I am
modeling the structure in Revit so I can create the joint to scale and see
exactly how everything will fit together.  I'll attach a pdf of the
isometric when I'm done if anyone is interested in seeing it.

Thanks again,

Are you actually using Revit Structure for real projects?  If so, any
feedback as to the learning curve from a real world viewpoint (not a
salesman's biased babble).  Have you seen any advantages to doing the
switch.  Management at the firm where I am employed (thankfully) think it's
fine for the architects, but that it would do nothing for the structural
engineers document creation process.

Thank you for your time in this matter.


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