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

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I worked on one project where we had existing and new on the same job. It took a couple hours to figure out the most efficient way to get the line weights to look like the do in CAD. Now that I figured out an efficient way to do it I can set up future projects that way and it only takes a couple minutes to get the majority of things to look correct. Because the model is parametric I can make adjustments once (set it and forget it) in the beginning of the project. And if something doesn't look quite right because of the global settings I can adjust things on a case by case basis.

- Jeremy

Quoting "Gerard Madden, SE" <gmse4603(--nospam--at)>:

If you can, the way to do it is to not do any Revit until the CD phase

Budgets for schematics and DD are quickly used up because in revit you need
to supply so much information early on. If you're working with an architect
who changes their mind a lot (a rare breed indeed....not) then it can be
very tough to react fast enough in Revit.

It's also a big challenge for mixing existing and new construction.
Lineweights and the printed quality of the job takes a lot of massaging.

The learning curve is very steep, but for an engineer who does 3-d
structural analysis, the transition to BUILD the revit model isn't that
tough. It's very similar to working in Etabs or Risa etc.... It's all the
other stuff that's tough.


On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:35 AM, Jeremy White <admin(--nospam--at)>wrote:


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)


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
bars are going to be a nightmare.  I think I will require 2 layers for
top bars even though the clear spacing is acceptable within the beam.  I
modeling the structure in Revit so I can create the joint to scale and
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
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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