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Workshop3 Report AutoCad - AutoCad Architecture - Revit

Vincent Sontani | ARCH380 | Summer 2011 | Rob Corser | Workshop 3

AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture AutoCad is the flagship program of the programming company, Autodesk. It is founded by the company in early 1983 and it is constantly being developed and improved to suit the changing needs of its users over time. The program is basically a CAD (Computer-aided Design) program that is used for the creation of both 2D and 3D design, as well as drafting. AutoCad Architecture, on the other hand, is a modified version of the normal AutoCad program, created to better suit architects. This program has the same basic layout of AutoCad, which is a big advantage for people that had used AutoCad before and already are used to its commands and features, they will be able to learn about AutoCad architecture easier. Even though the basic layout is the same, AutoCad architecture obtain much more features that are more suitable for architectural design and drafting.


AutoCAD VS AutoCAD Architecture: Differences AutoCad Architecture has all the features of the normal AutoCad program, but it’s adjusted for easier use for architects. The units in AutoCad Architecture are already set to feet and inches, which are the standard measurement that is used by architects, but can be changed anytime. It also has several new features including new navigational tools, such as ViewCube and SteeringWheel in 2D wireframe visual style, Smart Positioning command, corner window, point-cloud support and many other features. The most crucial difference, however, is that AutoCad Architecture relies on “object” rather than just linework. What is meant by “object” is that it is not just another thing or block that is created using linework, but something 3 dimensional that has its own identity and purpose. This “object” is connected and can relate to-

another “object” as it has its own identity, property and intelligence. The most common example for this concept is a door and a wall. In normal AutoCad, you can definitely make both door and wall easily using lines. However, they didn’t know that they are actually a door or a wall; they are only another object composed of lines. You can, however, add attributes to the created door and wall. But it means much more work to add different attributes to every different door and wall. If you drew lines to create a wall shape without any attributes and inserted a door block, you would need to erase the lines that are on the door’s place. If you decide to move the door, you would again need to trim the door away and make another line to cover the hole on the wall caused by the moved wall.

This problem is solved by AutoCad Architecture, where the “object” already has their own attributes already. The door will know that it is a door and the wall also will know that it is a wall. The door knows that it belongs in the surface of the wall, and it cannot be placed on top of another door or a window. When the door is placed in the wall, the wall will know its job as well, which is creating an opening automatically so that the door can fits in. If you decide to move the door again, the wall will fills up the space again automatically.


New Features in AutoCAD Architecture - Walls, Doors and Windows: Using this program, making a wall is very easy, and you can also easily change the type, material and pattern of the wall. It is also easy to insert doors and windows, as you have a complete placement control. The objects know their own purpose, so if you move the door or window, the wall will mend itself automatically. If you move any wall, the walls that are connected to it will also automatically update. - Design Details: This software has a comprehensive library of detail components and keynotes. When you finish your project and want to add some explanation to it, you can directly choose the style you want from the library instead of making it yourself. - Spaces: Automatically tag every room in a drawing, alongside with room areas. If the bounding elements are changed, the spaces will be updated automatically so that your calculations are always up to date. - Display Themes: This program also enables us to make a colorfill plan, complete with the legends. You can use the predefined display themes to create color-fills that marks space type or different areas. -

Point Cloud Support: Bring your 3D scans to life, streamlining time-consuming renovation and restoration projects. With support for up to 2 billion points, you can quickly visualize and snap to the surface of your scanned objects directly within your modeling workspace. New to this release is support for larger point set displays, the ability to extract shapes, and API enhancements.

- Corner easily walls. design

Windows: AutoCAD Architecture makes it possible to add a single window in the corner intersection of 2 Corner tools also provide you with the flexibility to a corner window with or without a frame.


New Features in AutoCAD Architecture 2 - Productivity Enhancement: AutoCAD Architecture includes enhancements to improve your drafting and modeling productivity. With this release of AutoCAD Architecture, you can import Autodesk® Inventor® files and convert models to 3D blocks, and create associative arrays with AEC objects. - 3D Design Tools: The power of multi-functional grips has been extended to more objects including lines, arcs, elliptical arcs, dimensions, and mleaders, as well as 3D faces, edges, and vertices. Access relevant options for the selected object by hovering the cursor over a grip. - Content objects current network

Search: Quickly find design files, content, and with a new Search panel that allows you to search drawings, Autodesk® Seek® web service, and local and drives from within AutoCAD Architecture 2012 software.

- IFC Support: AutoCAD Architecture 2012 software allows you to export drawings in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) file format, helping you to create, manage, and share data with other members in the design process. - Web-based Collaboration Tools: Now you have access to the AutoCAD® WS web service through a plug-in for AutoCAD® software to support web-based collaboration among team members. View, edit, and share your DWG™ files on web browsers or mobile devices - Column Grid Enhancements: Now you can modify custom column grids and create new custom column grids using previously inputted data. More easily add columns along a grid line by choosing this new option within the user interface.


Revit Architecture Revit architecture is a BIM (Building Information Modelling) program that is owned and developed by Autodesk. This program allows user to design both 2D drafting and 3D parametric design at the same time. Revit is a BIM program, meaning that it allows us to also make 3D object that has its own intelligence, representing real-life tools (Doors, Windows and Walls). Revit is a complete, discipline-specific building design and documentation system that supports the whole phases of design, including construction documentation and even fabrication. Revit is very powerful software, if you make 2D drawing of something, then it will also automatically create the 3D views, sections, elevations and schedules for it. Moreover, all of the parametric 3D objects in this program are related to each other, so if you change a thing, it will update the whole project as well. This program’s database for the project contains information about a project at various stages in the building's lifecycle, from concept to construction to decommissioning. Therefore, this program is sometimes called 4D CAD where time is the fourth dimension


Revit VS AutoCAD Architecture


Revit's strength lies on its fully coordinated parametric change engine that means that a change in one place automatically change the whole project. All changes in Revit are coordinated across the entire project. On the other hand, AutoCAD Architecture's biggest strength is in its familiarity and tight integration on the AutoCAD platform and the pervasive DWG fi le format. Revit begins projects in a single integrated database file. If the project is small and only one person is working on it, then the project can all be stored in a single file. However, if multiple people need access to the same file at the same time, the fil e will be broken up into pieces using linked fi les or work sets. Therefore, we can call Revit "subtractive" in its approach meaning that the whole project is broken into smaller pieces for better coordination and collaboration. Revit manages all the pieces and keeps all pieces synchronized; updating the project everytime there is a change. On the other hand, AutoCAD Architecture approaches projects using the more familiar XREF system. Project includes a series of related fi les linked together via a tool in Architecture called Project Navigator. The process is "additive" - many files add up together to create the project. Revit products are not based on AutoCAD. Revit is a Building Information Modelling program. On the other hand, AutoCAD Architecture is as its name would imply, based on an AutoCAD platform. It includes the full functionality of AutoCAD within it in addition to all the architectural tools unique to AutoCAD Architecture.


BIM (Building Information Modeling) Building Information Modeling (BIM) was introduced to the world of architectural design nearly ten years ago to scale up the traditional 2D drawings into an intelligent 3D modeling that is more accurate and smart. BIM is basically the creation of coordinated, internally consistent and computable information about a building project in design and construction. Some programs that are considered a BIM software includes Revit, MicroStation, AllPlan, ArchiCad, vectorworks, etc. BIM allows objects to represent what they are in real life; example includes doors, windows, roofs, walls and curtains. The objects are related and connected to each other objects. Therefore, changing one object will automatically update the whole project. The ability to keep information up-to-date and accessible in an integrated digital environment gives architects, engineers, designers, construction managers, builders, and owners a comprehensible general vision of their projects and contributes to the ability to make better decisions faster, helping to increase both project quality and profitability.

BIM VS Non-BIM Even though it’s much harder to learn and use, BIM oriented software have many advantages when compared to those that are non-BIM. The first advantage that is most recognizable is that a BIM system will recognize an object and its use just like in real life. For example, doors are only able to be put in a wall; it can’t be put over another door or window. However, non-BIM program only uses building geometry, lines, arcs, angles and areas to define an object, so a wall is simply a block made out of lines. Moreover, a non-BIM system only recognizes the relationships between geometric points such as midpoints, end points or tangents; it doesn’t recognize the nature of the building

elements. However, using BIM means that the program will recognize the relationship between the built elements. For example, a wall can only be put in horizontal plane. Another great advantage is that BIM is using a database of known elements, therefore making things such as planning and cost estimation much easier, you can for example, estimate the number of bricks needed for a certain area of wall. Another advantage of using BIM is that it is easier to adjust, fix or replace small parts in the project as the program will recognize how the new element is going to affect the whole project, and it will update it right away. Using non-BIM for this task is harder as the whole thing is not adjusted automatically, so you have to

fix it one by one. BIM also promotes better teamwork, as the program is able to constantly update the effects of changes that are made by others, so less error will happen. One of the most important advantages is that BIM basically combines all plans and drawings for a project into a single database, so anyone that are involved in the project can explore the project according to their own need. All of these advantages will lead to better productivity, better long tern result and lower production cost.


Before the Invention of BIM and Revit Long before the invention of BIM and Revit, on a few occasions, representative from the Architecture department and the Construction department would meet in conferences in order to discuss about the quality of the drawings and how to improve them so that it will suit all parties involved better. Usually, there are several drawing problems that are often encountered due to usual pressures of a busy architectural work environment, missing information, coordination issues and many other human errors. Later, the CAD system is invented and it’s a very big advantage for architects. The AutoCad program can be used easily to create 2D drafting drawings and simple 3D drawings. However, AutoCad is not a BIM oriented program, and if an update is made in some elements, the program won’t automatically update the whole project, so it’s still prone to human errors and it takes more time to produce drawings.

After the Invention of BIM and Revit Then, the BIM system and Revit software are invented. The use of Revit really helps architects and other parties involved in creating projects. The program is BIM oriented; therefore a change in some element will automatically update the whole project. This way, teamwork in architecture offices is able to improve significantly and it takes much less time. Other parties, including construction managers and builders are also getting the advantage as they can also explore the projects easily according to their needs, because the program will also automatically create 2D graphics such as sections and elevations, and the schedule as well that can be used for cost estimation. Revit really seem to be the perfect solution Revit Architecture seems to be the perfect solution that Autodesk claims I to be as it provides a lot of advantages all in one package. However, this program is still not perfect as it’s relatively new to the architecture world. There are debates about how BIM is going to benefit everybody except them since it deals a lot with construction document and schedule, meaning that this program is less suited to those who are more design oriented. However, this is still a very good and powerful program that definitely will increase productivity and decrease production cost.


Revit Competitors There are several other BIM oriented programs that is also widely used and become competitors for Revit in the field.

1. 2. 3. 4.

VectorWorks MicroStation V8 ArchiCAD AllPlan

Those programs works under the same system, which is the BIM system. Therefore, the program all has its similarities in its core. However, those programs differ with each other in terms of visual display, options, tools, office setup or libraries


Revit Limitations The Revit program seems to be a very strong program that didn’t have any flaws. However, I found some limitations during my tryout for this program. The first limitation that I notice is that this program may not be comfortably used by everyone. As I tried to use the program for the first time, I realized directly that the layout is overwhelming; there are so many features that are not familiar at all, it’s not really user friendly. Moreover, the program is more focused towards design accuracy and design documentation instead of creating good graphics, therefore I think that Revit is not suitable for a more design oriented firms and students, who usually do a more conceptual projects. The rendering in Revit is also not as good as some other rendering programs, but it can be easily solved by using 3DSMax. All in all, Revit is still a very good program that is widely used as its advantages override its limitations.

Training and Resources Learning about Revit might be overwhelming at first, but there are so many training and resources tools that are very easy to find. For me, the easiest way to seek basic training for the program can be found online, from Youtube, various blogs and even online courses. For beginner tutorials, training are extremely easy to be found in Youtube, blogs and other websites, and it’s usually free of charge. However, the more in depth tutorial is harder to find. To find advanced tutorial, there usually is an online course available, but they charged for it but it’s usually not that expensive. In depth lesson about Revit can also be easily found in books, but it usually cost more to buy books. This powerful program is still considered new and it will keep on developing over time, adding updates and more features to the program, therefore a refresher training is crucial for the mastery of Revit. Compared to other softwares such as Google SketchUp and Adobe Suite, Revit is harder to learn and it has an overwhelming layout at the same time. This program provides tools that students are usually not familiar off. It might be daunting at first, but I realize that this software is extremely important in the field of AEC and I feel the urge to learn more about it. Too bad however, that this program is so expensive and there is only a 30 day trial available if I want to install it in my computer.


Revit Tryout This is actually the first time I ever used Revit. I didn't have any experince with program like AutoCAD, AutoCAD ARchitecture and Revit, so it was very daunting the first time I tried. I'm well aware that the Revit program is a very smart and powerful program that has so many useful features. Here are some snapshots of my first shot using Revit.

On the left, its a screenshot of me adding a wall around the building as well as some trees. I found out that here, it is very easy to add several additional things like trees, collumns, tables or sofas, I just have to choose from the libraries of component and drop it on the 3D view On the right I tried to play with the form of the roof. It was pretty cool that I can randomly change the shape of the roof and when it gets impossible to be built, the program notified me.


Revit Tryout

Here is another screenshots of me trying to add windows in the wall. It is very easy as I can just place the window anywhere and can edit its size or move it later. I also tried to place a door but when I overlap it with the window, a warning came out. The object knows what they are, the window knows that it can be placed anywhere in the wall, but the door can only be placed in the start of a level and it can't overlap any other object. Using revit, it is also easy to change the type of the wall. I can easily change it to brick, concrete and many other options.


Summary To wrap up this report, I would say that both AutoCAD Architecture and Revit are strong program that are very crucial to the world of AEC. Using Revit has been very hard and overwhelming as I didn't have any experience about it before. However I understand the importance of the program in architecture and I really am excited to learn much more about this program. I will try to study harder about it from blogs, forums and videos, and later maybe take a class for Revit. I think this program will develop much as time goes by, just now its still a new program but its already this strong and developed. Revit will be a key in computers in architecture in the future.

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Workshop 3  

AutoCad Architecture and Revit