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What is Autodesk’s Revit and why is it essential?

Updated: Jun 27, 2023


autodesk what is revit by s15studio

Are you considering the change?


Is it time to make the move?


Let me explain what Revit is with the aim of easing your transition from 2D to 3D, the benefits and why BIM is the future. If you already know how objects work in AutoCAD Architecture and you know how a building is put together, then you’re more than halfway there.


Before I get into what Revit is, I will quickly explain BIM and its benefits.


What is BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become an essential part of any design project by facilitating smarter, faster, stronger designs that make economic sense while reducing environmental impact. BIM provides support with every step of the way from design and visualization, to simulation and construction.


Autodesk explains BIM as - Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination, and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build operation and maintenance).


Pretty self-explanatory but to simplify it, previously we had 2D printed drawings created through CAD software by Architects and Engineers. A single project could contain hundreds of drawings and once a project had been signed off gets filed to never be looked at again. With BIM we enrich a 3D virtual model with endless amounts of data which can be used throughout its life cycle. Better project coordination and collaboration between the Architects and Engineers, for example, efficient workflows, 3D visualisations, and resulting improved project outcomes are just some of the benefits of using BIM process.


Revit background

Back in 1997, the original software was created by Charles River Software. In 2000, with the help of a public communication consultant the name Revit Technology Corporation was born. There are rumours the name came from a brainstorming session where the two words ‘revise’ and ‘instantly’ were chosen to define the most revolutionary aspect of the software: revising an element anywhere changes it everywhere, in any view. Whether this is to be believed or not, I find it to be very fitting for the software.

Then in 2002, Autodesk acquired the company shortening the title to Revit.


What is Revit?

Autodesk’s Revit is a BIM software specifically designed for AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) applications with the AEC Professional in mind and tools designed to act as the Professional would expect. Revit helps teams collaborate, innovate, and connect with clients in more productive ways.

Revit allows the user to model in 3D with accuracy and precision as well as automatically update floor plans, elevations, and sections as the model develops. Meaning, once you change the position of a window, the changes take effect on all relevant views, saving you countless hours of amendments and no room for error. Revit will handle the routine and repetitive tasks with automation so you can focus on higher-value work, something 2D CAD software doesn’t offer.


The three main disciplines that will model with Revit are:

  • Architects

  • Structural Engineers

  • MEP Engineers


Post-construction, the Revit model can still be used for many different purposes. In what is known as the ‘Operations and Maintenance’ section of the BIM cycle, BIM data can be used throughout the building’s lifecycle for cost-effective renovation or efficient deconstruction.


Benefits of using Revit

  • A Revit project builds one single 3D model, so all plans, sections and elevation views are generated from that model.

  • Provided all disciplines on a project are working in Revit, your documentation and coordination will be more accurate.

  • Revit’s BIM 360 Design, previously known as Revit Collaboration, allows all disciplines to work together on one single model regardless of their location, achieved via cloud work-sharing

  • The Architects, Structural and Electrical Engineers' models are combined into one, meaning clash detection of structure and services is picked up instantly making coordination much easier.

  • Used properly all your sheet reference tags for sections, elevations, or enlarged views are all coordinated automatically. If you change your plan reference tag, the corresponding reference tag also changes. A time-consuming, tedious task made easier.

  • Door, and window schedules and material take-off sheets are another time saver. Not only can you schedule your equipment, lights, furniture etc. you can add costing to these components to get an estimate of the job's cost. Throughout any stage of the project you need to change the size, price or material of a component, Revit will automatically update the relevant schedule.


How to get started with Revit

  1. Autodesk offers a free 30-day trial for business users, obtained by simply creating an Autodesk account. After the 30-day trial, you will no longer have access to the software

  2. Students can receive a 1-year free license, they must confirm this by having a student email address and student ID card.

  3. Stand-alone licenses are included in subscriptions with single-user access. A subscription with single-user access is a good choice for organizations that need one or more stand-alone licenses. Stand-alone licenses are then assigned to individual users. These subscriptions cost less than subscriptions with multi-user access. Users must connect to the internet every 30 days to validate their Autodesk ID, except for cloud-based services, the software works offline for up to 30 days.

  4. Network licenses included in subscriptions with multi-user access will no longer be available starting from August 7, 2020.


Ready to make the move?

Revit isn’t this daunting mega software that will take years of practice to push through the learning curve. I have created my courses in a simplified manner to make the transition as easy as possible. Once you have completed the beginner to intermediate level course or the beginner to advanced level course, you will be capable of undertaking almost every task.


Available courses from S15Studio











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