Jump to content
nestly

What's the first step starting a residential dwelling

Recommended Posts

nestly

I have some free time to start learning Revit, and I'm finding resource material difficult to locate.

 

Most of the beginner material seems to start the user off drawing walls/floors on grid and elevation lines in the middle of nowhere reference to nothing else. Is this really where you start a Revit project with no considerations for the foundation, or is it better to start with the foundation/footers, basement walls (concrete or block), structure and jack posts to support large spans (if required). Also, "floor" seems so generic. First "floor" above grade for a residence in my area begins with a sill plate on top of the basement wall, then joists, then subfloor, then the "floor", then first floor walls. My initial impression is that Revit isn't really geared toward displaying the actual components that comprise the floor, rather it just combines all these components together and calls it a "floor".

 

Once past the "floor", I'm finding the same situation for "Walls". Doors and windows are pretty straight forward, but where are the individual components of a "wall" (ie the bottom & top plate(s), studs, jack studs, king studs, headers, etc.) How do you route duct and pipe through walls and floors if you don't know where the joists, trusses, and studs are? Ditto for electric wall boxes, their location is dependent on wall studs.

 

Last question for now... where do you set your "levels. Again, most of the reference material demonstrates a "generic" level1, level2 level3 etc, but where exactly is the "level" in relation to architectural components that make up a "floor"? (ie the top of wall, top of sill/plate/top of floor joist, top of floor)

 

Any recommendations for Revit reference material?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
steven-g

I did a course last year for 3D printing, which covered a variety of different programs ( when I say covered read that as skimmed over) we spent several lessons on Inventor, and I still haven't got a clue about even the most rudimentary points. Coming in from an Autocad backround the whole thing just looks alien and completely ilogical. Presumably it's similar with Revit, the ideas behind it sound great, the problem is, experience in other fields is actually a disadvantage. But still I seriously want to find the time to learn more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

I'm hoping that concentrating on the Architectural side of Revit will help minimize the "AutoCAD" mindset since I've done relatively little "architectural" work in AutoCAD. With regard to the specific questions I've asked above, I think those are questions anyone would have whether they have AutoCAD experience or not. I don't think it's possible to create accurate and coordinated construction plans if you're not able to locate and display the individual components of floors and walls, so I'm not sure why that seems not to be an intuitive process.

 

Regarding Lynda.com, I had watched a few Paul Aubin vids that referenced that site, but I had not specifically visited. Seems like a good resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
Most of the beginner material seems to start the user off drawing walls/floors on grid and elevation lines in the middle of nowhere reference to nothing else. Is this really where you start a Revit project with no considerations for the foundation, or is it better to start with the foundation/footers, basement walls (concrete or block), structure and jack posts to support large spans (if required).
Once you've established Levels, you can start anywhere. There's really no right or wrong way to start, however the order in which you do things do give you additional functionality. For instance, if you lay out a foundation first, and you move on to generate the exterior walls, the walls will have a selection option to pick a foundation slab and auto-magically throw the walls in. Just simple stuff like that.

 

And yes, this "really is" where you want to start in Revit - simple architectural components. It's almost required if you want a full grasp of Revit. The fundamentals are the most important part of Revit, things like Levels, Grids, Floors, Walls, Roofs, Doors and Windows. It just gives you a new approach at how you input things, how you manipulate things, and how you approach things.

 

 

Also, "floor" seems so generic. First "floor" above grade for a residence in my area begins with a sill plate on top of the basement wall, then joists, then subfloor, then the "floor", then first floor walls. My initial impression is that Revit isn't really geared toward displaying the actual components that comprise the floor, rather it just combines all these components together and calls it a "floor".
Well, in this case, you'd create a Floor but in the Type Properties, you can add the sub-structures. Since your area has basements and has joists, you'd then use Structural Framing and a wood joist Family if you want to get much more detailed.

 

Once past the "floor", I'm finding the same situation for "Walls". Doors and windows are pretty straight forward, but where are the individual components of a "wall" (ie the bottom & top plate(s), studs, jack studs, king studs, headers, etc.) How do you route duct and pipe through walls and floors if you don't know where the joists, trusses, and studs are? Ditto for electric wall boxes, their location is dependent on wall studs.
This is where you're getting too specific for Revit. Not that it isn't possible OOTB, but you'd then need 3rd party add-ons, such as StrucSoft to turn Revit into a design-to-fab software: http://strucsoftsolutions.com/mwf-pro/

 

You most certain can use the Structural Framing components to completely design a wood frame structure. It'd be a bit overkill unless a designer had a specific need for it.

 

Last question for now... where do you set your "levels. Again, most of the reference material demonstrates a "generic" level1, level2 level3 etc, but where exactly is the "level" in relation to architectural components that make up a "floor"? (ie the top of wall, top of sill/plate/top of floor joist, top of floor)
Levels are visible only in an Elevation or Section View. Generate one of these two Views and you'll see them visible. One thing to remember, Levels do have a finite extense since they are planes. This is important because if the section or elevation is out of the range of the Level's extense, you won't see it. Section and Elevation Views themselves have a Clipping Extense to them. To follow "my way" I usually use Elevations, and turn the Far Clipping option to None, so that it's infinite, which as long as the Level isn't "behind" the Elevation's view direction, you'll see it.

 

To create Levels, copy or create new. Either way it's the same. Name them accordingly and don't "over do it", but you can always add or take away so don't be too scared to try different methods out. For the record, MEP guys don't have to worry about using Levels more than what they were intended (like top of parapets, or grade beam depths, etc) so simple "Level 1, Level 2, Roof" works just fine.

 

Any recommendations for Revit reference material?
Paul Aubin books are the better ones out for MEP, pick up any "mastering Revit" book for basics. I also have a ton of jobs I've saved through the years, even simple stuff like my personal house, or my sister's house I designed, that I can share with you if you want to download and pick around at. Just PM me.

 

-TZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
I'm hoping that concentrating on the Architectural side of Revit will help minimize the "AutoCAD" mindset since I've done relatively little "architectural" work in AutoCAD.
1,000,000% accurate, especially for MEP guys. We usually aren't involved in Walls, Doors, Roofs, Architectural Elevations, etc so this is absolutely true since the architectural components of Revit are truly a "fresh start".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

This is where you're getting too specific for Revit. Not that it isn't possible OOTB, but you'd then need 3rd party add-ons, such as StrucSoft to turn Revit into a design-to-fab software: http://strucsoftsolutions.com/mwf-pro/

 

You most certain can use the Structural Framing components to completely design a wood frame structure. It'd be a bit overkill unless a designer had a specific need for it.

 

-TZ

 

If there's no native support for wall framing, how do you generate material lists for framing?

If those components like stud, joists, and trusses aren't drawn/displayed as individual objects, how do you avoid conflicts, such as placing a wall directly on top of a joist (especially a TJI joist) which will make that wall unavailable for use as a pathway for domestic water, drain, and ductwork? Same with toilet and shower drains, it's easy enough to make sure they're not directly over a floor joist, but only if know where each joist is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

There is native support for wall framing, within the structural areas of Revit. The only thing is, structural framing isn't associated with the actual Wall Family, meaning that if you stretch a wall longer in length, it won't automatically generate new stud framing in the process. The wood framing Families are more than capable of generating a complete framing system.

 

Which version of Revit do you have? Revit MEP, or Revit OneBox with all three flavors (Arch, Strc, and MEP)? If you have OneBox, then load in some stock Structural Framing and Column Families and have a run with it. Everything you need is there to generate a wood frame for a residential home. I'm just saying it's not magically connected to the Wall Families.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

It's just "Revit".... I almost got burned by the reversed naming convention. I think I'm gonna need some time with my nose stuck in a book, to get familiar with the options available for each tool/command

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

Okay, you have OneBox then. I will admit, I myself was a bit too pedantic when I first picked up Revit, as many people make the mistake of doing. It was when my friend brought me way back down to the basics that I began to "get it". There are many parts of Revit that are so simple, they seem too simple to be taken seriously. Starting absolutely ground up with the basics is key. Tackle the finer detail type stuff later on as you become more familiar with the functionality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tyke

I've been looking at Revit recently for completely different reasons but as you said Nestly, I find it a completely different mindset. Fortunately my Autodesk dealer does a "Brunch 'n Revit" every month which I find very useful even though much of it is right over my head.

 

What Tannar said is the best advice that you could get at the minute. Just forget AutoCAD and step into a new world. One thing that I have seen is that with Revit you step autmatically into BIM and then your BOM is easier than a piece of cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hertz hound

I am by no means proficient in Revit but I have finished Revit architecture "no experience required", and one third the way through Paul Aubin's mastering RMEP. The Revit architecture "No experience required" book was a good place to start for me.

 

Before I started Revit I wanted to have AMEP down so good that I would not loose it if I started Revit, and then have a job came up that needed AMEP. One way to do that was to by books on Acad Architecture.

 

From what I see Revit and Acad Architecture are very similar in roof slabs, floor slabs and walls.

 

In Acad Architecture I made TJI structural member styles and roof rafter structural member styles. I don't think anyone would normally waste their time doing this. for me it was all just practice. I made the sill plate and the box plates also. The floor slab was then made to represent the sub floor and hard wood floor. From that I built a model of my house.

 

I am sure something like this could also be done in Revit. Stick by stick. Either way the overhead to the drawing would be large.

 

Revit seems like they handle it with drafting views to reduce the overhead. I know I should not compare the two but a drafting view is the model with a wipe out or masking block and then detailed on top of that. This way you you can have the detail of all the components without having to build it into a family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

Thanks hertz hound. It sounds like we're on somewhat parallel paths, however after several months, I abandoned AMEP, as it became apparent that for me, it wasn't going to be able to fulfill my needs. Initial observation is that Revit MEP will similarly not be a viable option for me, but Revit Architecture and Revit Structure may be useful, (but now that I'm looking at Autodesk/Graitec Advanced Steel, I'm not even sure about Revit Structure.)

 

I haven't even opened Revit since I started this topic, instead I signed up at Lynda.com and I'm 5-6 hours into Paul Aubin's Revit Architecture Essentials, which I'm finding very helpful. I also have Aubin's Revit MEP 2015 sitting here next to me, but I'm not sure if/when I'll get around to it.

 

Sill Plates, TJi's, wall studs, rafters/trusses, etc. are all features that I must have in the model, so it remains to be seen whether Revit will be practical, but right now I have the time and ambition, so I'm going to find out. You mentioned drawing overhead and that does seem to be a potential problem. I still don't understand why Revit files seem to be so large compared to an AutoCAD files, even when the AutoCAD is a full 3D model containing much more detail than the Revit model. I haven't really gotten into drafting views, but I do hope that details are generated directly from the Revit model, not just static drawings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
Initial observation is that Revit MEP will similarly not be a viable option for me....
Why not? Virtually anything you can do in vanilla AutoCAD you can do in Revit, as generic models. Not everything you can do in AutoCAD you can do in AMEP with AMEP-specific components (therefore it's just AutoCAD).

 

Either way, with a preexisting commitment to some minuscule "initial observations", it may mean that you'll never allow it to be a viable option for you. Revit is different in almost every way than your current comfort zone, AutoCAD, which puts Revit automatically in the negative bias department with you. Sometimes, it's not about what something can't do, but what it can do. In my experiences of both programs, I've never circumvented from honesty between the two platforms. I've always stated there will be give and take, and I'll tell you now like I've told everybody else - there will be things you'll miss from AutoCAD and you'll hate from Revit, but there will be things you love about Revit so much you'll shun AutoCAD.

 

The answers I give all depends on what you ask. If someone asks, "which do you prefer overall, Revit or AutoCAD, for MEP design?" I'll say Revit. If you ask "which do you prefer to model a Fender Squier guitar?" I'll say AutoCAD.

 

It's all give and take. If you want infinitely robust and accurate Solid modeling capability with no information-rich scheduling and lackluster view creation, keep using AutoCAD. If you want an unprecedented view of architectural and structural coordination (when available) with MEP components, and information-rich model view generation, use Revit.

 

I still don't understand why Revit files seem to be so large compared to an AutoCAD files, even when the AutoCAD is a full 3D model containing much more detail than the Revit model.
From what I know, AutoCAD's modeling capabilities in Primitives and Solids are far more efficient than any other CAD software available. It reins king in this area, bar none. Furthermore, the RVT file format also includes a robust database, so anything added or included will add more weight to the file. There's a lot more going on under the hood of an RVT file format than DWG. Every item modeled is accounted for both spatially and informationally. Even the *.txt journal files from Revit can be gigabytes in size, just for a text file!! But, there was a time in the earlier days of AutoCAD that an 800KB DWG file was probably massive, so I feel this is relative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly
Why not? Virtually anything you can do in vanilla AutoCAD you can do in Revit, as generic models.

 

I think "generic" is the operative word. I don't work in a generic world. Everything I do that's related to piping and plant layout is very specific, which is to say the structural design and pipe routing I encounter in the real world probably isn't designed the way a software engineer would have designed it. Don't get in a twist about that statement, I'm not very deep into Revit yet, these are my initial observations.

 

So I just finished the stair tutorial, and while the Revit stair tool looks very good for laying out stairs/railing, my initial observation is that while they look pretty in the Revit model, they seem to be lacking the detail that would be required to actually fabricate the stairs/railings. (ie no specifics about stringer/tread material, no specifics about the connection between stringers and treads, no specifics about the connection between the stairs and the railings, and no details about either the top or bottom connections. Again, this is my initial observation, but it looks like to get proper working stair drawings, you either have to draw/model it manually in Revit, or use another program that's better suited to modeling fine detail. It seems as though this may be typical of what I'll encounter using Revit for pipe supports and pipe routing as well, which is the basis for my initial observation.

 

Again, I'm just in the initial stages of evaluating Revit, so I'm far from drawing any conclusions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
I think "generic" is the operative word. I don't work in a generic world.
I believe you misunderstood what I meant by Generic Model. My apologies in advance if I wasn't specific enough - I know you are fresh to the program. 3D Solids in AutoCAD are all "generic 3D geometry" in the sense that AutoCAD doesn't know if it's a pipe fitting, a pipe, an aluminum bracket, a wood column, etc. "Generic Model" is an actual Family Category in Revit for things that do not fit into the other specified Family Categories. Each Family Category, once specified, has sub-parameter values that are specific to the Category itself which can either add valuable extra functionality, or pigeonhole the Family's functionality. Generic Models is the Category type that allows the greatest overall range of parametric solid modeling which simulates the AutoCAD environment.

 

Again, this is my initial observation, but it looks like to get proper working stair drawings, you either have to draw/model it manually in Revit, or use another program that's better suited to modeling fine detail. It seems as though this may be typical of what I'll encounter using Revit for pipe supports and pipe routing as well, which is the basis for my initial observation.
Revit is not a fab software. It doesn't advertise to be one, however depending on the approach a designer most certainly can use it for fabrication. Revit MEP lacks most for OOTB fabrication for native Pipe and Duct Families. But my shop drawings only show detail to the point of column grid to center of pipe, or BOP elevations for heights, CtC pipe offsets, etc. So it's a field installation coordinated set. Given my background, I certainly can set Revit up for fab level spool drawings but it wouldn't be as efficient as purchasing a 3rd party add-on. Other things, such as stairs, however, can definitely go fab level. My boss' stairs are fab level for sure. When we get deducts from our subs to help with BIM, design or fab, he makes them so detailed in our projects I have to hide his stairs because they make my views lag due to the performance hit, haha. He's also been using Revit since it's launch in 2000 before Autodesk bought it so he's been at it for a long time.

 

Also note, people who use Revit for extremely high detail usually take certain Family components so far, then add extra 3D geometry to finalize it in the form of Generic Models or any specific SubCategory. So minuscule things like brackets, nuts/bolts, trim, etc. can be added in, AND scheduled. Things like hangers and such are usually done as Generic Models as well. Here is one of our trapeze unistrut supports: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4989089/Hanger_Trapeze.rfa

 

Load it into a Project, select it and have a play with the checkboxes and widths/heights. This hanger is technically simple. We plan on going much further with it. But placing these hangers around the project for pipe racks and ducts gives a great deal of efficiency when generally coordinating it throughout the job, and especially helpful when we populate the schedule which gives us a pretty accurate BOM estimate for ordering bundles of unistrut and threaded rods. You simply cannot create schedule-able, parameter driven geometry like this in AutoCAD. It's a painstakingly manual process for AutoCAD to recreate this hanger, not to mention capture the data automatically that creates your takeoff.

 

Hope this helps.

 

-TZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

Fab drawings are just as important to me as overall design, so it looks like I'd have a fair bit of customizing to try to use Revit for what I do now. With regard to the stairs/high detail components, that too could be a problem. Basically anything I model is true-to-life in so much as if you can interact with it in the real world, it's included in the 3D model. Tight quarters often mandate this. Turning the head of a valve so the wheel doesn't clash with something else, or spinning a MOV so the lever for manual operation is accessible, but also considering what affect that will have on the location of the electric connection. The question isn't going to be just whether Revit "can" do it, but whether it's practical. Using you boss's stairs as an example, it's not going to make sense for me to model that much detail if I can't display everything at the same time because of excessive lag. That was kinda what caused me to abandon AMEP. Automation was great, but way too much overhead trying to have both high detail and automation. After I got familiar enough with AMEP to understand its' practical limitations, it was an easy decision to give it up.

 

Last question for now, are you linking to any external drawings/models, such as ASD or Advance Steel, etc. or is everything (such as Boss's stair details) native Revit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

Point taken on the excessive lag, however this was subsequently resolved by setting things to Coarse, Medium and Fine Detail which brought it back down to normal performance. And for the record, the only reason why the stair lagged so much was because the risers were a perforated aluminum plate, in which he used an Adaptive Component with Voids to create the perforated effect. In other words, TOO much detail, lol. But Revit is still fast if you're in wireframe mode, which is common for AutoCAD users. It's only when in Hidden mode that performance begins to be affected, and most Revit users do not ever use the Wireframe Visual Style for self evident reasons.

 

On to your last question: Linking is straight forward, however there are ways to Link things into Revit for best results. Anytime we receive steel files, we try and export as IFC first (using an AutoCAD vertical product), then in Revit go to File > Open > IFC. This runs the IFC file through a conversion process into native Revit objects. You'll get mixed results with this. But Revit 2015 allows native IFC linking as well, which is an options we've used lately with great results as well, although you can lose visibility control on isolated and individual objects. Again with this, mixed results.

 

Another way is to use a sacrificial Revit model and import the DWG file inside an In-Place Model component under a relative Family category, such as Structural Framing. Save this as an RVT file, and then Link (aka "XREF") this file into your main project. This gives you the most versatility for a few reasons... number one, native DWG files do not inherently support Revit's infamous cutting functionality in Plan, Sections and Elevations. You'll see the entire file in all Views which kills functionality and ability to show rich levels of detail. So embedding a DWG inside a cuttable Revit Family, the DWG can now support cutting ranges. Number two, you have much more flexibility in controlling your Views, View Templates, etc, since the DWG models inherit the Family Category it's embedded within. There are a few other reasons why this is the preferred method but those two are the main points.

 

Basically anything I model is true-to-life in so much as if you can interact with it in the real world, it's included in the 3D model. Tight quarters often mandate this. Turning the head of a valve so the wheel doesn't clash with something else, or spinning a MOV so the lever for manual operation is accessible, but also considering what affect that will have on the location of the electric connection. The question isn't going to be just whether Revit "can" do it, but whether it's practical.
I understand your stance on this point. This is what will make or break Revit for you. I can tell you now, when you start getting down to very fine level of modeling you will hit serious road blocks that you'll find frustrating. Revit doesn't allow things to be modeled at the 100ths of an inch. It's not that it's incapable of it mathematically, it's that the program intentionally doesn't want you to get down to that level of precision. It drives a lot of people nuts when they're used to AutoCAD creating a line that is 0.0025" long, even though they don't need it, they want to be able to. But tackle the tight-quarters with a different approach is all I would suggest.

 

Benefits of Revit aren't in the super fine-detail areas of modeling as much as it's the intuitive areas of modeling. A for instance in your case would be bolt sets for slip-on and weld neck flanges. You can build a flange to flex per ANSI standard sizes, use Voids to create the bolt holes (that flex and add/subtract bolt holes when sizes change), then add a shared nested Family of the nut and bolts that can follow the bolt pattern, add/subtract as needed and quantify the bolt sets as you place each flange in the model, including the gaskets. Every Family has a cost and material parameters for BOM and scheduling purposes. These are the benefits that Revit offers, not an infinite free-form solid modeling environment that AutoCAD is known for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton

Nestly, I thought this may be of interest to you:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4989089/Images/misc/SysQue_Market_Report_2014.pdf

 

Supposedly this document is an independent study of the SysQue product line with real-world names of users involved in the report. The different User Types noted on page four are particularly interesting.

 

The main reason in showing this to you is I'm projecting Revit will not be good enough for your personal standards right out of the box. So this may be your only alternative without spending countless hours laboring in Revit to get it to work the way you need it to. But this document gives some good insight at the bare-bones Revit in comparison with SysQue Revit to help you understand both products better.

 

-TZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nestly

Thanks Tannar

 

I'm still continuing to familiarize myself with Revit via Online courses and now a very large Revit MEP book, I'm just trying to avoid even opening Revit for now. Very busy and no free time right now, but I've bookmarked your link for later in the week when my schedule gets back to normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...