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AutoCAD MEP vs Revit MEP


Siberian
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I've noticed that there are two different things out there. One is called AutoCAD MEP, and the other is Revit MEP.

I'm just curious as to the difference? I notice that many standard Acad commands are still present i AutoCAD MEP, although the menus have changed a bit. Does this mean I can throw out my original Acad 2008 since this already has it built in ?

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I'm currently evaluating AutoCAD MEP. I spent many weeks learning Inventor Pro with it's piping module and was most disappointed in it's abilites. I am finding AutoCAD MEP has everything that I needed and I'm sure that I will eventually be able to include flow calculations for pipe sizing.

 

By all means give Revit MEP a try but from my experience with Inventor the time it takes to become productive is too great.

 

Also, yes - AutoCAD MEP does offer you the ability to work using all of your standard AutoCAD commands. It also has ACA included so you have a good collection of doors, walls etc to choose from too.

 

---------------------------------------

Pipework & Structural Steel http://www.3DCADMax.com

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  • 1 month later...

I'm corrently working as a CAD tech. within the building services sector. We're using AutoCAD 2008 and considering upgrading to AutoCAD MEP.

 

Is MEP the latest version of Building Systems?

 

Is it worth upgrading for 3D modelling (of pipework etc.) as the engineers would be using different calculation software?

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  • 2 months later...

hello guys, the big doubt here in my company and among my colleagues is which program to follow, should we choose "Autocad MEP" or Revit MEP", from one side we hear that Revit is the future and that we should invest all of our time developing and studding the as much as we can, from the other side we have a program that has a base that would be quite easy to everyone and that seems at least until now with many more options than "Revit MEP",

i would like to know your opinions?

cheers..

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  • 4 weeks later...

The company I work for is currently considering switching to Revit MEP. Considering the amount of time it took for myself to get comfortable with AutoCADs ins and outs, this being with three full length AutoCAD courses, makes me slightly uneasy in switching to a relatively new program with only a small user base.

 

I've read bits of the Revit manual and it seems like a solid program, but it also seems to boast a pretty steep learning curve. Taking into consideration the learning curve of Revit, the question of "Should we switch?" changes to "Is it worth the extra time and money spent on training?".

 

This is just my opinion on the matter and its quite biased considering I started out with Autocad before it had a solid graphical user interface. Ah the good old days of key commands and my 300+ page cad manual.

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The company I work for is currently considering switching to Revit MEP. Considering the amount of time it took for myself to get comfortable with AutoCADs ins and outs, this being with three full length AutoCAD courses, makes me slightly uneasy in switching to a relatively new program with only a small user base.

 

I've read bits of the Revit manual and it seems like a solid program, but it also seems to boast a pretty steep learning curve. Taking into consideration the learning curve of Revit, the question of "Should we switch?" changes to "Is it worth the extra time and money spent on training?".

 

This is just my opinion on the matter and its quite biased considering I started out with Autocad before it had a solid graphical user interface. Ah the good old days of key commands and my 300+ page cad manual.

1st of all you need to ask yourself one question: Is your company a Mechanical Engineering firm??

 

Revit is for engineering mechanical designs. You start with engineering data 1st, and then Revit fills in the blanks as you go along (like automatically calculating duct sizes, automatically configuring CFM distribution to S/A grilles, etc. only as long as you but the unit engineering data in 1st).

 

You cannot select a "line" and edit it to make it "look" correct when plotting to a plan set of paper in Revit as you can in AutoCAD. Plus, Revit is useful only if you're working on a Revit based architectural plan. So how many Revit Architectural plans do you recieve throughout the year?? :wink:

 

These are some of the things you have to know before moving to Revit. Revit is NOT a "drafting tool" such as AutoCAD. If you go into Revit with an AutoCAD mindset, you're already a step behind. However, here's the good news: If you go with the Revit MEP Suite, then you basically get 3 programs in one - Revit, AutoCAD MEP, and plain jane AutoCAD. And it's only a hundred dollars more to get the suite vs. plain jane AutoCAD, so you can gradually work yourself into Revit. This is basically what I did and it's going pretty good actually.

 

Hope this helps you some. :)

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Well, but basically what you mean is that Revit MEP its not a good choice now but it can be in the future, so better get used to slowly, isnt it? thats exactly what i think, doing mechanical projects with "Revit" today seems to me a bit difficult due to the lack of families. In my opinion for now "Autocad MEP" would be the best option in terms of giving a step forward to 3D. what do you think?

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I would disagree with saying that AutoCAD MEP isn't for Mechanical design. If you combine it with the .net samples that it ships with then you can pretty much drive it by the calculations that you use.

 

Here's a link from the labs that allows sizing of equipment for both Revit MEP and AutoCAD MEP:

http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2008/07/mep-analysis-to.html

 

I would look at both the sales figures and what the companies that you deal with are using. Nobody outside of Autodesk really know where the products are going in the future.

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Well, but basically what you mean is that Revit MEP its not a good choice now but it can be in the future, so better get used to slowly, isnt it? thats exactly what i think, doing mechanical projects with "Revit" today seems to me a bit difficult due to the lack of families. In my opinion for now "Autocad MEP" would be the best option in terms of giving a step forward to 3D. what do you think?

Any of the vertical AutoCAD products (such as AutoCAD MEP) are a great way to get in the mix of the 3D working world. It's tough at first trying to figure stuff out, but when you do you can really streamline your work. The only difference is, if your office has a particular quality control of design look, that can be a real chore to make everything sustain the look you have always had. That was a big problem at first here at my company. :lol:

 

But like I said, you still get the plain jane version of AutoCAD so you're not stuck with a new program that you can't use. :)

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I'm not apart of the Revit MEP testing team so my say doesnt really matter all that much anyway. I was just basing my opinion on what I had viewed and read. I personally see little use in switching because it would take far too long to train everyone and make the senior staff switch. It wouldn't be one of those Imperial to Metric switches that happens over night.

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I would disagree with saying that AutoCAD MEP isn't for Mechanical design. If you combine it with the .net samples that it ships with then you can pretty much drive it by the calculations that you use.

 

Here's a link from the labs that allows sizing of equipment for both Revit MEP and AutoCAD MEP:

http://labs.blogs.com/its_alive_in_the_lab/2008/07/mep-analysis-to.html

 

I would look at both the sales figures and what the companies that you deal with are using. Nobody outside of Autodesk really know where the products are going in the future.

Well I didn't say AutoCAD MEP isn't... but the topic was really about Revit so I just kept it at that. AutoCAD MEP still uses gbXML data from 3rd Part engineering software for loads as well, much like Revit. but Revit is still considered a true BIM package while there's still debate for AutoCAD MEP. :)

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I'm not apart of the Revit MEP testing team so my say doesnt really matter all that much anyway. I was just basing my opinion on what I had viewed and read. I personally see little use in switching because it would take far too long to train everyone and make the senior staff switch. It wouldn't be one of those Imperial to Metric switches that happens over night.

Basically, everyone would need to have engineering knowledge to work Revit to full capability. If not then the "drafters" would have to stop, and let your engineer do some calculations and then they can continue running ductwork and grilles and so forth. Keep this in mind if anyone asks you your opinion on moving to Revit in your company. :)

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Most people in my office are either educated designers or have enough background with design to handle calculations. I'd let the higher ups know how I felt but I'm a relatively new staff member so to run in shelling out opinions to people with more experience is pretty much job suicide.

 

If we do switch over it wont take place for years and I'm currently reading the Revit MEP manuals so I'll already be half way there.

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I've touched upon this in another thread, though I forget which:

 

The '09 programs (MEP) are very similar, except that Revit is "intelligent"; it ties circuits to panel schedules and vice versa, calculations can be made, but Revit controls your design to some extent.

 

If it says that you cannot fit a duct-turn right where you want it, it will NOT allow you to override it's decision. You may keep the duct/connection broken (but close enough to look connected when plotting), but at this point, you might as well have just done it in CAD, because at this breakage point, CFMs, static pressures, duct sizes, and all the 'intelligence' that comes with Revit are pointless.

 

Think of AutoCAD being to Revit what MSAccess is to MSExcel (or any database system compared to just spreadsheets); it is more integrated, making it (potentially) a VERY powerful tool for design/drafting, but in my opinion, Revit has too many hiccups. At the end of the day, you're sending out 2D drawings; the calculations are going to have to be double-checked by an engineer anyway, and the contractors are going to do what they do out in the field to suit the necessities that may not have been presented on paper.

 

I would say that it is worth getting Revit; I could see it meeting the hype I've heard about it eventually. Like I've said a million times, though, the program is too young/unrefined to dedicate more than 25% of your team/workforce. The classes are alright, been to two of them. But they know the system like the back of their hand; you'll be at your desk a week later, remembering how the guy at the seminar laid out the duct system in about 10 steps, and wonder why it's not working for you. It's because they won't go over the scores of other variables that come into play. Maybe some of the major points of interest, but there's always one kicker.

 

If you get Revit, have a couple of people be the main people. Educate them, get them decently aquainted, but people that will stick with it so that they can explain to other workers in their own words. Not the words of a salesman/programmer, but your average Joe, no BS, and patience.. PATIENCE is a virtue.

 

It really sucks when we're in the 11th hour, and I have to answer to bossman who's screaming "WHY ISN'T IT PLOTTING YET!?!?!"

 

"Because it's not showing...

or

"It's showing... when it shouldn't be...

And the natural reply is, "Well it isn't that complicated!"

And it honestly isn't. But the damn program wont' let you do this because of that or that because of the other or ... b/c of...

 

Seriously, what would take me 10 minutes in CAD can sometimes take up to 3 hours in Revit. Laying out lights on an RCP and circuiting them.... so simple, yet so complicated.

 

You gotta match poles/volts/panels, and heaven help you if you're going to use Revit schedules and need to switch that lighting circuit from the 3rd pole to the 7th if there are circuits in between. ...if you've ever done this, you know what I'm talking about.

 

One step forward, 3 back, 2 forward, 1 back, 4 back, 2 forward....etc.

 

It's not all bad. I can say this; on this latest project we sent out, it was a definite godsend when coordinating our mechanical and plumbing systems. We had about as small a room as code would allow for clearances, insulation, and allowing maintenance to safely work in the room when needed. It probably coulda been done in CAD MEP, but this was the first time I was actually happy to utilize Revit.

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And Revit is a good program to test the creativity of the drafter.

 

"work-around" will be a common phrase when using Revit.

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I downloaded revit MEP on my home computer to test out the electrical side of the program. As far as I can tell it is quite a handy program. Unfourantely, a large amount of work recently entered my office so the revit testing team seems to have been put on hold, meaning Revit MEP is far away from being used by myself for work purposes.

 

Is revit MEP more geared towards mechanical? Or is it even between electrical and mechanical?

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I downloaded revit MEP on my home computer to test out the electrical side of the program. As far as I can tell it is quite a handy program. Unfourantely, a large amount of work recently entered my office so the revit testing team seems to have been put on hold, meaning Revit MEP is far away from being used by myself for work purposes.

 

Is revit MEP more geared towards mechanical? Or is it even between electrical and mechanical?

They have different software packages for different trades. they have Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, & Revit Structure. Chose the one that will adhere to your specific trade.

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I find Revit MEP to be a bit overkill for electrical. It's a bit time-consuming if items aren't compatible (like panel ratings and their distribution systems with equipment or other components) and you have to go back and figure out a way to make it work; but it's the simplest discipline for Revit.

 

I wouldn't say that it's necessarily geared more towards Mechanical, but mechanical was the first place I thought Revit can really be worthwhile. As much of a headache as it was, Revit was pivotal in helping us to resolve some major conflicts with clearances and HVAC design on a handful of projects. It hasn't really "wow"d me like that for electrical. It gets the job done.

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  • 3 years later...

hello everybody, i know this thread has been dead for a long time, but i decided to come a long and askyou one question. Which program are you currently using? Have you figured outwhich one is best, Autocad MEP or Revit MEP? From my personal opinion, AutocadMEP is perfect to meet the ends that i need and i could really deliver aperfect project with few problems, but some guys in my company still insistthat Revit is the answer and that we must start using it now and produceefficient projects, but then we received a formation to start working with itand just doesnt work as it should be, plus, in order to make a simple thing youmust waist a lot of time, this after you teach everybody in the company out itworks, because nobody is comfortable with the program, which demands againloads of time to put some features working. i just dont understand why to persistso much with this option of Revit MEP, when on a few time we could put AutocadMEP working on the flow.... anyway, just tell me your opinion, becausesometimes i feel that i just need a real motivation to dive deep on Revit MEP,otherwise i just feel like i will be losing my time.

 

thank you guys... 3 yearslater, let's see if anyone has something to say :lol:

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Well, I wasn't in the original conversation but the firm I work for has been using Revit MEP since it initially came out. Because of that, we've seen it grow from an extremely buggy, slow, and hard to work with system to what it is now. Revit 2012 has made many, many improvements over the previous versions. I mainly do HVAC design and I HATE going back to AutoCAD. Coordinating with fire protection sprinklers/piping, plumbing piping, and lighting fixtures is a snap. It's even a cinch to coordinate with structural when they're working with Revit Structure. Revit works it's magic when you need it for coordinating a large project and when the entire design team is all using Revit.

 

Yes, it can be used with CAD backgrounds, but ultimately it's biggest advantage is the fact you have less CA changes in the field because you didn't have time or wasn't able to coordinate with other disciplines.

 

If you want to build smart models (that can even tie directly into your specs using e-spec) that are mostly coordinated (re: big ticket items, not 3/4" piping), then you want/need Revit.

 

If you just want to put together quick, 2D sheets and hand draw your sections/enlarged views/elevations then stick with AutoCAD MEP.

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