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What are the pros/cons for using AutocadMEP from an engineer into Revit Arch?

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    What are the pros/cons for using AutocadMEP from an engineer into Revit Arch?

    I am looking into the pros/cons for an architect to use an engineer who is using AutocadMEP 3D rather than RevitMEP. I have heard some architects say they will not use engineers who dont use RevitMEP, though a lot of MEP consultants seem to be using AutocadMEP 3D. Are there any issues with importing a 3d cad drawing or conflict checking or creating views, etc? Are there issues with exporting a file for use by AutocadMEP 3D?

    #2
    The issue is BIM. Revit is a Building Information Modeling platform. RAC, RST and RMEP all work together in an "Information rich" 3D environment.

    AutoCadMEP does not have any of the "smart" ability found in Revit MEP. So when AcadMEP objects are linked or imported into Revit, they only provide limited 3D geometry--none of the power/intelligence of Revit MEP is available.

    So if the expectations and requirements of the Project dictate true BIM, then Revit MEP will provide the necessary tools, whereas AcadMEP will not.

    For instance, if Revit MEP is used, there are tools for system design built-in and automated for sizing of heating/cooling equipment, and then main trunk ducts, diffusers/CFM supply and return amounts, etc. Then all of these individual components can be automatically scheduled. Rooms/Areas in Revit have their Area/Volume automatically calculated. When changes are made to walls, ceilings, etc. which alter the Area/Volume, the Revit MEP tools are "intelligent" and revised calculations are automatically updated.

    Energy analysis can also be done more effectively in a true BIM environment. Amounts of glazing, orientation of the building on the site to sun and elements/weather data are automatically provided by the Project Location in Revit, and "Cloud" based tools can then be employed for quick conceptual analysis early in the design phases, and later refined/revised as the project progresses into later stages of development. AutoCadMEP can not function in the Revit workflow to provide these BIM advantages.

    So it's not a "Cadd Brand Name"/interoperability issue, as with AutoCad and Microstation for example. It is more about the software's ability to provide information and automatically update the information, all 3D views , schedules, Area/Volume calcs, etc.

    Hope this helps. Good luck! I'd vote for Revit MEP all the way.
    Cliff B. Collins
    Registered Architect
    The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
    Autodesk Expert Elite

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      #3
      It's plain and simple: AutocadMEP is autocad. NOT Revit. Don't care how you call your design process (BIM, IPD, Virtual Building, whatever). I wouldn't be able to work with any CAD user (from any trade or kind), period. Whether it's the architect, MEP consultant, Structural engineer, Interior decorator, or the guy who picks out the color of the toilet seatings... Not when it's supposed to be a coherent, intelligent model which even begins to use the advantages this kind of software has to offer...

      Are they working in Archicad? Allplan? Bentley Microstation? All good. We'll work it out in Navisworks, Vico, Solibri or some other software that can blend it together. But not cad...
      Martijn de Riet
      Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
      MdR Advies
      Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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        #4
        AutoCAD MEP actually models intelligent objects with a TON of Property sets in them... Just nothing we can read in Revit. BUT, if your clients are requiring COBIe data, AutoCAD MEP will work fine. It can also model at a way higher Level Of Detail that Revit MEP can. When we get subcontractors to engage earlier in a Design Assist role, they tend to move out of RMEP very quickly.

        What it WONT do, is perform worth a damn while its linked in to your Revit model. If you want to Link it in, you can, but be prepared for everything in Revit to grind to a halt any time that DWG is loaded... assuming you can get all the correct Modeled Geometry in to Revit through a CAD link of that file. I know they go in to Navis wonderfully, but Navis has object enablers....
        Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
        @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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          #5
          You probably won't be able to just Link in the AutoCAD, either.
          If you just Link as you would a Floor Plan DWG, you won't be able to do Section Cuts on the MEP DWG. It's an all or nothing deal.
          You'll have to create a Mass or a Family, then Import (since its a family, you can't Link it) the DWG, then Load the family.
          Going through that whole painful process will allow you to make Section Cuts.
          However, now you need to EDit the Family, re-Import the DWG, and re-Load the Family
          Every time you get an updated DWG.
          Dave Plumb
          BWBR Architects; St Paul, MN

          CADsplaining: When a BIM rookie tells you how you should have done something.

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