Having been a hardcore AutoCAD LT user for more years than I care to count, I’m currently in the process of switching over to Revit.
I’m beginning to think “Why on earth didn’t I do this MUCH earlier?”
I’ve dabbled with various 3D packages in the past, such as Sketchup and Rhino, and at a push I can knock up the odd (semi) convincing model but have always done all my working drawings in conventional 2D CAD.
Ok, so let’s go back a few steps, and answer the obvious questions, what are AutoCAD LT, Sketchup and Revit and how do they differ?
Well AutoCAD LT is pretty much the industry standard 2D drafting software, basically a clever electronic drawing board. Essentially you start off with a blank sheet and using various tools you “draw” your drawings in 2 dimensions inside the computer, but they remain very much 2 dimensional, and every drawing you need to produce has to be drawn separately – electronic lines on an electronic page.
With a 3D package like Sketchup, rather than just 2D images, you can create pretty impressive 3D drawings like these and while it can be fantastic for presentation type images when you’re looking for that wow factor, when it comes to getting into the real detail of the building, you normally have to revert back to a 2D package because the primary function of this type of software is to create visual impact rather than produce detailed design drawings.
Revit however, is different again. While you still “draw” the plans in a similar (ish) fashion as you do in AutoCAD, rather than simply drawing lines on a page you’re actually creating or “building” a model of your proposed building inside the computer. This might not sound very impressive, but take it from me, it’s a total game changer! You see, when you use AutoCAD, every plan, elevation, section and detail you need to draw has to be done separately, but with Revit, because you’re making a detailed model, all the different drawings you need are there waiting for you at the click of a mouse! Instead of drawing lines to represent walls and inserting blocks that represent windows, you actually build walls and place windows making the production of working drawings much simpler. Additionally because it’s a 3D model you’re also able to create stunning perspective type images just like you can in Sketchup.
I know I’m several years behind on this, but better late than never! There’s a steep learning curve to be scaled, but everytime I learn some new trick on it I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, it’s brilliant!
Having just written the most heavily cliche laden paragraphs I’ve ever written I’m gonna sign off!