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Revit MEP for Life Support Systems?


fkleiner
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Our discipline unfortunately does not fall completely under Plumbing. We design the piping and filtration for marine aquatic life exhibits. We use filters, pumps, sumps, skimmers, basins, PVC pipe and fittings (schedule 40 and 80), and HDPE pipe and fittings. Beyond those basics we use heat exchangers, chlorinators, ozone related piping and equipment, fractionators/protein skimmers, denitrification filters, carbon filters, cartridge filters, bag filters, yaddy yaddy yaddah. Obviously for each category there will be many sizes and configurations.

 

We currently are using AutoCAD to model everything by hand in 3D, then take a 2D flatshot and label all by hand. We own several copies of the Building Design Suite Premium w/subscription so we also have access to AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP. I have partially set up AutoCAD MEP for what we need to do, but my gut tells me it is not the future, that Revit MEP is.

 

I understand no matter what that there will be a long setup time because we aren't electrical or HVAC with many out-of-the-box options to work with. Does it sound like Revit MEP could possibly work for us, even if we had to create libraries/families completely by hand? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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I have partially set up AutoCAD MEP for what we need to do, but my gut tells me it is not the future, that Revit MEP is.
You could not be any closer to the truth. Revit is by far the greatest tool to hit the AEC market in decades. Although, since this is a message board that has a ton of AutoCAD users, you have plenty of AutoCAD fan boys who flame Revit and are in complete denial that Revit will very soon push AutoCAD out in many areas of the industry. Not all, but many. The reason why I have opinions on this is not to belittle AutoCAD, or its users, but because my company pushes the envelope in design engineering and construction, so we are actually apart of the movement of straying from "drawings" and moving towards "information modeling". Not only that I used AutoCAD for ten years to the fullest (including AutoCAD MEP) and I know both platforms very well. As of this moment in time, Revit is the only platform that can carry a total and complete collaborative environment from start to finish in a single project file, using the Revit Server technology.

 

I understand no matter what that there will be a long setup time because we aren't electrical or HVAC with many out-of-the-box options to work with. Does it sound like Revit MEP could possibly work for us, even if we had to create libraries/families completely by hand? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Remember that AutoCAD also took years and years to build content for many companies too. The same will most certainly apply to Revit. You start with a clean slate and you build content as you go, from each project or from downtime. With everything you listed in your first paragraph, Revit can certainly do. It's not about "specific catalog" of items, but labeling things correctly. You are in complete control of your piping and plumbing systems. Pipe is pipe, no matter what "industry" you're in. Equipment is equipment, no matter what "industry" you're in. Plus, you can always leverage the "Sub-Categories" of Revit to fine tune items that pertain directly to your industry. So under "Mechanical Equipment" you'd create a Sub-Category named "Life Support Systems" and all of your company's equipment would be created under that subcat, which enables you to differentiate from the globalization that Revit can suffer from sometimes.

 

Start Revit as soon as you can, and start on the simplest of projects. The sooner you can the sooner you'll reap the benefits. Ask anybody who's proficient in Revit and you won't find a single user that will ever click the AutoCAD icon on their desktop ever again. I'm not kidding either.

 

Hope this helps! -Tannar

Edited by tzframpton
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You could not be any closer to the truth. Revit is by far the greatest tool to hit the AEC market in decades. Although, since this is a message board that has a ton of AutoCAD users, you have plenty of AutoCAD fan boys who flame Revit and are in complete denial that Revit will very soon push AutoCAD out in many areas of the industry. Not all, but many. The reason why I have opinions on this is not to belittle AutoCAD, or its users, but because my company pushes the envelope in design engineering and construction, so we are actually apart of the movement of straying from "drawings" and moving towards "information modeling".

 

I can't agree with you that it is the greatest tool in decades.

 

Revit has advantages although it also has disadvantages. The training required to learn Revit being one of them.

 

Your company may push the limits if your opinion although this is generally not the case in most companies. What you think works for you and your company won't work for all.

 

If fkleiners processes work well at present then they do not necessarily need to be changed. The cost of changing (including software purchase, user training, user downtime etc) will be no small amount.

 

One has to look at the project budget and decide what level of detail one designs a project too and what tools are required to get to that level of detail.

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I can't agree with you that it is the greatest tool in decades.
Can you elaborate why you believe this?

 

If fkleiners processes work well at present then they do not necessarily need to be changed. The cost of changing (including software purchase, user training, user downtime etc) will be no small amount.
You completely missed the entire point of the original post. Notice he states "my gut tells me Revit is the future." He's not asking for a direct comparison of hard costs to do the same exact work in a new program, he's using logic and reasoning to rationalize that Revit may be a better choice for the company to invest in based on growing market interests. Key word, invest. Chalking up financial budgets as investments is completely different than expenses. I'm sure you've heard of the "It takes money to make money" phrase, correct? This is all the poster is inquiring about, while you constantly troll around and disagree with "me". What exactly is your motive behind following me around, constantly disagreeing with anything related to Revit?
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Thanks for the input TZ and Organic. I can see both sides to this, but fortunately for us we already own the software suite, so we do not have to pay that expense. It is obvious to me that way we do things is completely unintelligent and is a bunch of laborious steps that have no relationship to each other other than getting things to display properly. Revit appears to reduce many of the time-consuming and repeated tasks that happen every time there is a change, and we have TONS of them as probably anyone in any industry has.

 

A big hurdle I see is maintaining the intelligence in Revit with fundamental items like skimmers, deaeration towers, sumps, and pools. I wonder if I have a return pipe coming from a skimmer connected to a pump if it will intelligently know that it is in fact connected at the skimmer or not, and has a flow rate? Deaeration towers are complicated and the heart of many of our systems, I am hoping that it would be able to behave "intelligently" as well. Finally, we only work with clients who use Revit less than 50% of the time, are there major obstacles when working with 2D backgrounds that come from some other CAD platforms?

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I can see both sides to this....
fkleiner, please be advised that Organic does not have a "side" because he does not use Revit at all. He is a civil engineer that uses only AutoCAD.

 

I wonder if I have a return pipe coming from a skimmer connected to a pump if it will intelligently know that it is in fact connected at the skimmer or not, and has a flow rate?
Yes, and yes. Revit knows when a Pipe Component connects to an Equipment Component by use of "Connectors" in the Equipment Family. Since Revit is also an engineering tool, it can calculate fluids as well and every pipe segment you select can display the calculation info (Flow Rate GPM, Pressure Drop, etc). You can open Revit and go to Manage Tab > MEP Settings > Pipe Settings > Calculation to see the formulas it uses. If this is not correct to your calculation needs, Revit 2015 now has opened this area up to the API so you can have the calculation values adjusted to fit your own company's standards.

 

Finally, we only work with clients who use Revit less than 50% of the time, are there major obstacles when working with 2D backgrounds that come from some other CAD platforms?
Easy. In Revit go to the Insert Tab > Link CAD. Model on top of the 2D AutoCAD DWG links to your hearts desire. Easy as that!

 

Feel free to respond back with any more questions you may have.

 

-Tannar

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I'm not going to get on a soap box and tell you Revit is the greatest anything. From down here in the trenches, by having Revit and not using it, you are losing valuable learning time.

 

BTW, I'd love to be drawing those systems. I made a meager living working with animals for many years and tropical fish was a specialty for me. My first drafting job was drawing in-ground pools and the associated systems. Mash them together and it could be my dream job.

Edited by RobDraw
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Revit will not replace AutoCAD as there are way too many users who do NOT need what Revit has to offer to do their job effectively. Revit does have its uses but it will never be a substitute for AutoCAD.

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Although, since this is a message board that has a ton of AutoCAD users, you have plenty of AutoCAD fan boys who flame Revit and are in complete denial that Revit will very soon push AutoCAD out in many areas of the industry.

 

With statements like that, it's obvious he is targeting certain people on this forum and is just looking for an argument. And I'm the one that gets accused of flaming posts?

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While I admire your enthusiasm for Revit Tanner please refrain from trying to shove your choice of software down our throats.

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The original question was if Revit would be a viable option for the OP. Tanner, having experience with Revit, responded with his opinion that it is. Others, with other experience respond differently. I don't see how this is shoving anyones opinion down anyones throat.

 

If you all stop taking this Revit Vs AutoCAD vs The world so personally, these kinds of discussions can still be had on this board.

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Maybe a couple of us took exception to his opening statement. When one fires the first salvo they should be prepared for a return of fire shall they not or is there some kind of immunity implicitly granted? Wait there....I'll check the rule book.

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IMHO, with statements like,

plenty of AutoCAD fan boys who flame Revit

it's much more than a constructive opinion.

 

BTW, I did not feel targeted. I was sticking up for the "flame boys".

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My statement was not directed at you Rob. You are a Revit user and you do enjoy the program I can tell.

 

ReMark's first post in this thread is an example of my statement. ReMark has no experience in Revit therefore in my opinion cannot give an accurate comparison between the two platforms based off of personal experience. ReMark is one of the most valuable member's of this forum, and he has helped me through the years countless times and I have much respect for him, but my statement is factual and should not be taken personally.

 

Ultimately, the statement prepares the poster for the Revit flaming that has been all too familiar as of late now that the Revit section is gaining popularity. The 1st time poster's who are inquiring about Revit for the first time should not be exposed to such inexperienced opposition from non-Revit users, so I try and do my best to neutralize the possible fervent responses from those handful, so the forum as a whole does not suffer and instead be welcoming with accurate information from an experienced user.

 

-Tannar

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One does not have to be a Revit user to say that in their opinion Revit will replace AutoCAD. That statement is ludicrous beyond belief and shows your naivete.

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That statement is ludicrous beyond belief and shows your naivete.
On the contrary, it's actually the other way around. I can recall hearing examples from an identical industry-wide scenario back in the 80's when people in the hand drafting industry that had the same responses towards AutoCAD verbatim..... how many hand drafters are around today?

 

It is ludicrous for you to actually believe that AutoCAD is a platform that can not be replaced. The fact is, in many parts of the industry, it already has been replaced.

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How many AutoCAD users are there? Most likely it numbers in the millions.

 

How many Revit users are there? Probably far less than 250,000.

 

Did you know that last year AutoDesk derived 44% of its income from full AutoCAD and another 36% from LT? You think AutoDesk is going to replace a product that generates almost half of its yearly income? You're delusional.

 

Can you name for us the file format that represents the majority of the world's CAD data?

 

Can you accurately predict the point in time the world is going to give up 2D?

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How can Revit replace AutoCAD?

 

They are different animals and both, for the time being, have a strong place in the industry. My bet is that someday, in the not too distant future, there will be a platform that combines the best of both worlds into one. It may even be significantly different than either of them but similar at the same time.

 

In the mean time, I'm off to finish up a couple of views with some good drafting.

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When you figure out how AutoDesk is going to replace that revenue stream and at the same time keep the installed base of AutoCAD customers happy you let me know. I'll bet you $100 it won't happen in my CAD lifetime.

 

BTW...I just found a press release from AutoDesk saying there are over 100,000 Revit users. 100,000 versus a few million AutoCAD users. Yeah, that tells me AutoDesk is going to deep six its flagship program any day now. I think that day passed already.....April 1st.

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