Revit is known for being the most popular BIM software on the market. What many don’t know is how well it can act as a powerful design communication tool.
Revit has established itself as the most powerful and easy-to-use BIM software on the market. It trudged through the uneven road trying to convince long-time AutoCAD users that there was enough value in learning a new interface in order to make construction drawing files that provided real-time data about the building.
And while Revit certainly isn’t great at everything, there’s no doubting it as a production and construction documentation tool.
What might surprise you, however, is how it can be used as an effective design communication tool that may even replace other 3D modelers installed on your machine. This article aims to outline a few reasons why Revit can be more than just a 2D drafting program, and how to use it to its full potential.
1 | Notating 3D Views
Design communication comes in many forms, the most important of which is the instructions you’re giving to the contractor who is constructing your design. If they can’t understand what you’re trying to build and how you’re trying to build it, the end result could be a building that doesn’t hold up to the idea or concept it was conceived under.
Revit was designed as a piece of software to help bridge this cap in communication. By using 3D views pulled directly from the BIM model and notating them with clear direction or keynotes, you can create drawings that convey the idea in terms that are better understood by the contractor. 2D drawings don’t always give the spatial information needed to grasp how that detail might look from all angles at once. Revit provides the tools to melt 2D information with 3D information in a way that makes sense to builders.
2 | Detailed, Current Building Information
The Revit model is always the most up-to-date model in the office, but often not the one used to create 3D renderings and visualizations. This can create a disconnect between where the design currently stands and how the design is being presented to clients and the public.
Revit comes stock with it’s own rendering engine, which is, admittedly not the greatest. However, plugins for renderers like vRay and Maxwell transform Revit into a completely viable visualization tool - and one that represents best the current state of the design. It also incentivizes designers and drafters to populate the Revit model with as much 3D information as possible, which can help with the design and construction process down the line.
3 | Killing Two Birds
Chances are you’re going to be using Revit to build a detailed 3D model to be used in the production of construction documents. If this is the case, you might as well be using that model for double duty when thinking about visualization and marketing.
Especially for smaller firms, where the resources to produce renderings might be scarce, it’s imperative that other means are found for producing images that not only showcase the design of a specific project, but prop up the marketing opportunities for new business. Revit has the power to be both, and should be used as such to get the most out of your employees knowledge of the program.
4 | VR Integration
Virtual reality is making its way into more and more architecture firms, and it’s easy to see why. The ability to give clients and designers a real-world experience within an unbuilt work of architecture provides limitless design communication potential.
Revit models are perfect starting points for carving out a VR scene that gives people a first-person view of how the building might turn out once it’s built. The model is already constructed with accurate material and dimensional data in three dimensions. All that’s left is putting together the right VR setup and interfacing it with the model.
5 | The Best Way to Draft
I might be biased, but since learning and using Revit for every set of construction drawings I’ve ever done, I simply can’t imagine going back to using a strictly 2D drafting platform. I understand the drawbacks and general laziness that can come from using a program like Revit, but those constraints are overshadowed by the ability to geek out on a 3D model in the way you’d construct an actual building.
If used correctly, Revit can produce drawing sets that are not only easy to read and build from, they are visually stunning to behold. Using Revit is an artform unto itself, and treating it as such will lead to drawings that are as beautiful as they are informative.