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Thread: Need expert advice!

  1. #1
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    Need expert advice!

    Before I begin, I must say that I have no experience with Revit or any BIM software for the matter, so excuse my ignorance. I have also just landed my first CAD job out of school.


    I work for a composite panel (ACM) company that is fairly new in the business. We are currently using AutoCAD for everything from prelims to final design and into fabrication. We are currently in the research stages for a transition to a BIM-3D program. We have narrowed it down to Revit and Microstation, as those are the two that are compatible with a program used in our process.


    If we were to go with Revit, will we have the capabilities to flatten out panels? Just like a sheet metal process. We would need to see where the bends/cuts/holes etc... would occur on each individual panel/sheet.


    I must add that using AutoCAD, it takes a long time to do everything in the design department. With one small change, comes 10 others! We are trying to speed up the efficiency of design.


    Any feedback is welcome!

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Please don't multiple post. Thread deleted.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT44 View Post
    Before I begin, I must say that I have no experience with Revit or any BIM software for the matter, so excuse my ignorance. I have also just landed my first CAD job out of school.


    I work for a composite panel (ACM) company that is fairly new in the business. We are currently using AutoCAD for everything from prelims to final design and into fabrication. We are currently in the research stages for a transition to a BIM-3D program. We have narrowed it down to Revit and Microstation, as those are the two that are compatible with a program used in our process.


    If we were to go with Revit, will we have the capabilities to flatten out panels? Just like a sheet metal process. We would need to see where the bends/cuts/holes etc... would occur on each individual panel/sheet.


    I must add that using AutoCAD, it takes a long time to do everything in the design department. With one small change, comes 10 others! We are trying to speed up the efficiency of design.


    Any feedback is welcome!
    I also do ACM panel projects and I use Revit to do so. AutoCAD for 20+ years and now Revit for 7+ years. That said I do not have to do fabrication layout output of the ACM panels that I detail and frankly "unfolding" of panels in Revit is not something that is available OOTB. If I had the responsibility for Model to fabrication dwgs I'd be looking at Inventor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    I also do ACM panel projects and I use Revit to do so. AutoCAD for 20+ years and now Revit for 7+ years. That said I do not have to do fabrication layout output of the ACM panels that I detail and frankly "unfolding" of panels in Revit is not something that is available OOTB. If I had the responsibility for Model to fabrication dwgs I'd be looking at Inventor.
    How was the transition from AutoCAD to Revit? I understand there's the learning curve to deal with and it takes time to learn the new software. I'm somewhat being the "pioneer" for research for a program. I'm getting mixed feedback from the design department - some think it's a good idea and others don't want anything to do with it. How do you design the panels in Revit? With the help of an add-on?


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT44 View Post
    How was the transition from AutoCAD to Revit? I understand there's the learning curve to deal with and it takes time to learn the new software. I'm somewhat being the "pioneer" for research for a program. I'm getting mixed feedback from the design department - some think it's a good idea and others don't want anything to do with it. How do you design the panels in Revit? With the help of an add-on?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The transition from AutoCAD was difficult for me. After 20+ years of using a software as a self employed detailer it was difficult to turn off the AutoCAD mentality which is a must when switching to Revit. You have to leave layers and blocks behind. I was lucky enough to discover a Revit tutor who I spent nearly a year with doing twice weekly training sessions. Because what I (and you) do is very specialized you're not going to get full value from a general Revit class learning how to model a house. Going to Revit is a bit of a steep learning curve, but you are obviously seeing the writing on the wall, 2D is dying and 3D is the future. I saw that writing 7 years ago Regarding the feedback you are getting: from the top "we don't want to spend the money for long term savings that we can't see". From the general workforce: "we're monthly or hourly salaried employees doing what we do now, why do we have to spend the time to learn new software that we can't see any benefit in?". These are some of the predicaments that all firms go through when thinking of spending the wad of cash that it's going to take to transition to Revit. When I decided to switch to Revit I budgeted $60k over two years for software cost, hardware upgrades, training, and lost time due to the switch. That's just for me, one person, and it wasn't enough. But you know what? I made my investment back in short order. I'm the guy that takes your 2D CAD drawings and converts them to a 3D model that your customer is required by the project BEP to provide. And I get every job that I want to do at whatever I want to charge because I saw the writing 7 years ago and others in our business have yet to make the discovery.

    As for the nuts and bolts of modeling ACM panels, there are several ways to accomplish the task in Revit. It mostly depends on the complexity of the panel system(s) on the project. Simple box building? I use Revit curtain wall. A building with lots of ins and outs, sloped walls, angles, etc, I use panels built from parametric Generic model families. Regardless of how the panels systems are modeled they all have the ability to be scheduled by values that are important to us: count, panel type, width, height, thickness, material type, out of square sizes WxHxAngles of sides, finish, and whatever else you need. It's just needs to be built into the panel components with Shared parameters for whatever Category involved. And a bunch more important stuff that I'll bore you with further when you decided to make the Revit jump. Again, to my knowledge there is no way to unfold modeled components in Revit OOTB. There may be 3rd party apps that can do this but as I don't do fabrication output I've not done any research about them.

    I hope this helps you. Even though in theory you are my competitor, I seriously would rather have you be on the correct road to Revit use and modeling. That makes us on equal footing for quality of output. Then I'll out compete you with my work ethic and 70+ hour weeks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    The transition from AutoCAD was difficult for me. After 20+ years of using a software as a self employed detailer it was difficult to turn off the AutoCAD mentality which is a must when switching to Revit. You have to leave layers and blocks behind. I was lucky enough to discover a Revit tutor who I spent nearly a year with doing twice weekly training sessions. Because what I (and you) do is very specialized you're not going to get full value from a general Revit class learning how to model a house. Going to Revit is a bit of a steep learning curve, but you are obviously seeing the writing on the wall, 2D is dying and 3D is the future. I saw that writing 7 years ago Regarding the feedback you are getting: from the top "we don't want to spend the money for long term savings that we can't see". From the general workforce: "we're monthly or hourly salaried employees doing what we do now, why do we have to spend the time to learn new software that we can't see any benefit in?". These are some of the predicaments that all firms go through when thinking of spending the wad of cash that it's going to take to transition to Revit. When I decided to switch to Revit I budgeted $60k over two years for software cost, hardware upgrades, training, and lost time due to the switch. That's just for me, one person, and it wasn't enough. But you know what? I made my investment back in short order. I'm the guy that takes your 2D CAD drawings and converts them to a 3D model that your customer is required by the project BEP to provide. And I get every job that I want to do at whatever I want to charge because I saw the writing 7 years ago and others in our business have yet to make the discovery.

    As for the nuts and bolts of modeling ACM panels, there are several ways to accomplish the task in Revit. It mostly depends on the complexity of the panel system(s) on the project. Simple box building? I use Revit curtain wall. A building with lots of ins and outs, sloped walls, angles, etc, I use panels built from parametric Generic model families. Regardless of how the panels systems are modeled they all have the ability to be scheduled by values that are important to us: count, panel type, width, height, thickness, material type, out of square sizes WxHxAngles of sides, finish, and whatever else you need. It's just needs to be built into the panel components with Shared parameters for whatever Category involved. And a bunch more important stuff that I'll bore you with further when you decided to make the Revit jump. Again, to my knowledge there is no way to unfold modeled components in Revit OOTB. There may be 3rd party apps that can do this but as I don't do fabrication output I've not done any research about them.

    I hope this helps you. Even though in theory you are my competitor, I seriously would rather have you be on the correct road to Revit use and modeling. That makes us on equal footing for quality of output. Then I'll out compete you with my work ethic and 70+ hour weeks
    Most of my schooling was in 3D mechanical programs. Inventor, solid works and ProE ( I very much dislike that program). So I was taking a step back, so to speak, in the CAD world when I got this job lol. One of the owners is actually pushing us to get into 3D and to my knowledge, budget isn't a concern. He's willing to pay for classes or on site training after hours. I rather enjoy 3D and find it much more useful and makes things (large buildings) much easier to comprehend. I had no architectural experience upon getting this job haha but it's coming easy to me. Anywho, the resistance isn't coming from the top, it's from within the design department itself. It's mainly the guys that have used AutoCAD for years, like yourself, that don't want the transition. That's my take on it anyway.

    I'm still very "green" in the CAD community and a lot of these terms mean nothing to me right now haha. Can you explain what "families" are? I've watched videos and have seen that come up every time. My assumption is that it's a general group of information, data set, of which to choose from for specific areas of the building and then it populates that family into the area? Are you able to have details (window jamb, head, sill, etc.) in families that will work throughout the project?

    It does help and I appreciate your input! I wish I could go into further detail about our process so I could pick your brain, but that's a big no-no lol.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Jones View Post
    The transition from AutoCAD was difficult for me. After 20+ years of using a software as a self employed detailer it was difficult to turn off the AutoCAD mentality which is a must when switching to Revit. You have to leave layers and blocks behind. I was lucky enough to discover a Revit tutor who I spent nearly a year with doing twice weekly training sessions. Because what I (and you) do is very specialized you're not going to get full value from a general Revit class learning how to model a house. Going to Revit is a bit of a steep learning curve, but you are obviously seeing the writing on the wall, 2D is dying and 3D is the future. I saw that writing 7 years ago Regarding the feedback you are getting: from the top "we don't want to spend the money for long term savings that we can't see". From the general workforce: "we're monthly or hourly salaried employees doing what we do now, why do we have to spend the time to learn new software that we can't see any benefit in?". These are some of the predicaments that all firms go through when thinking of spending the wad of cash that it's going to take to transition to Revit. When I decided to switch to Revit I budgeted $60k over two years for software cost, hardware upgrades, training, and lost time due to the switch. That's just for me, one person, and it wasn't enough. But you know what? I made my investment back in short order. I'm the guy that takes your 2D CAD drawings and converts them to a 3D model that your customer is required by the project BEP to provide. And I get every job that I want to do at whatever I want to charge because I saw the writing 7 years ago and others in our business have yet to make the discovery.

    As for the nuts and bolts of modeling ACM panels, there are several ways to accomplish the task in Revit. It mostly depends on the complexity of the panel system(s) on the project. Simple box building? I use Revit curtain wall. A building with lots of ins and outs, sloped walls, angles, etc, I use panels built from parametric Generic model families. Regardless of how the panels systems are modeled they all have the ability to be scheduled by values that are important to us: count, panel type, width, height, thickness, material type, out of square sizes WxHxAngles of sides, finish, and whatever else you need. It's just needs to be built into the panel components with Shared parameters for whatever Category involved. And a bunch more important stuff that I'll bore you with further when you decided to make the Revit jump. Again, to my knowledge there is no way to unfold modeled components in Revit OOTB. There may be 3rd party apps that can do this but as I don't do fabrication output I've not done any research about them.

    I hope this helps you. Even though in theory you are my competitor, I seriously would rather have you be on the correct road to Revit use and modeling. That makes us on equal footing for quality of output. Then I'll out compete you with my work ethic and 70+ hour weeks
    I almost forgot to ask! When you receive 2D .dwgs from the architect/customer, how easy is it to build a 3D model from that? And how much time do you save when it comes to the entire process of elevations, plans, sections and details? And furthermore, making revisions to set areas of buildings - once you make the change in AutoCAD, you'd have multiple other changes to make to plans, elevations, sections and details. Revit automatically makes those changes for you, correct?


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  8. #8
    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Good write up Dave.

    -TZ

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzframpton View Post
    Good write up Dave.

    -TZ
    thanks Tannar, it's appreciated!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT44 View Post
    I almost forgot to ask! When you receive 2D .dwgs from the architect/customer, how easy is it to build a 3D model from that? And how much time do you save when it comes to the entire process of elevations, plans, sections and details? And furthermore, making revisions to set areas of buildings - once you make the change in AutoCAD, you'd have multiple other changes to make to plans, elevations, sections and details. Revit automatically makes those changes for you, correct?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    well, from the way you're asking the questions I suspect that you already know the answers. But, here's my $0.02USD. How easy to build a model from 2D documents? Depends on your skill level. For me it's easy because that's all I do, all day, every day. I assume that the question about time savings is related to model to documentation value? Frankly, I'm so far down the Revit road now I really can't quantify (if that's the right word) that. To me, it doesn't matter. The fact that an accurately modeled scope of work creates accurate, I can depend on it, output...that's what's important to me. And with Revit instead of AutoCAD I can sleep at night not having to worry about the accuracy of the drawings. And regarding making a change in one place and have all associated things change in all other places (views), this is where, IMO, Revit blows AutoCAD out of the water. My life used to be spent checking drawing after drawing because I changed a door number somewhere. Is it still scheduled correctly, did I update the door mark in the floor plan, and on and on. And I'd invariably miss one somewhere. With Revit if you select a door and change its door number that number changes everywhere in the model automatically. If you have details 1, 2, and 3 on a sheet and you decided to add a new detail 3 making the old detail 3 now detail 4. Where ever on the project detail 3 was referenced it updates to detail 4. And, on and on....

    Revit Rocks!

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