Eli5: Revit and autocad (or better yet, BIM and CAD). Please dumb it down for me like I’m 5.



I’m studying for a Diploma (associates) in architectural technology. Not sure which one to dedicate myself to.

I’m also a photographer I use photoshop and Lightroom. Maybe that random info could be used to help dumb it down for me? Lol.


Edit- I’d basically be a draftsman or a technologist. Not an actual go to school for 6 years architect.

In: Engineering

It’s design software. “Smart” or “simple”

I don’t know what there is to explain about it, and this is def the wrong place to ask. There are subs for both of them, if you have questions go there, or just watch a tutorial on youtube

When I was in school, I used revit for creating 3d models of buildings, autocad is simpler and is used for blueprints in my experience, and inventor is for mechanical shit. Revit is harder to learn than autocad but it’s probably better suited for architecture

Think of CAD as a digital version of a drafting table. You draw lines to represent objects (walls, doors, structural elements, plumbing fixtures, etc.) but the software isn’t smart enough to know that one line over here is part of a wall and another over there is a part of a steel beam, much the same way as ink on paper isn’t “smart” enough to know whether it is representing a wall or a beam.

BIM is intelligent in that each element of a building is recognized by the software as a different component. The software knows that a wall is a wall, it knows the height and width of the wall, how many studs are in the wall, what type of studs they are, what the thickness of the drywall is on the wall, etc. It’s the same for any building component, the software knows all the parameters of that particular component. This means you could ask “how many square feet of drywall are in this building” and the software would be able to calculate an answer. This is very powerful as it allows you to do things like quantity takeoffs to estimate material costs for a building.

BIM can also do clash detection. Because all components are placed in 3 dimensions and the software knows what each component is, it would know, for instance, that a beam should not be passing through a ventilation duct. If it sees a clash like that, it can alert you so you can reroute the duct around the beam. This helps reduce the number of changes that have to be done by a contractor in the field because of conflicts.

CAD will go the way of the dinosaurs, BIM is the future for architecture, and most architecture firms already use BIM over CAD

BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modeling. User is interchanging BIM (a process) for Revit which is a 3D modeling software. I recommend you learn AutoCAD, Revit and Navisworks. Yes, all Autodesk products, but they all work and play well together. I am the BIM Manager for a General Contractor. We receive AutoCAD and Revit files from Architects and MEP Engineers. Most Civil Engineers use Civil Cad.

Oh! Something I can help with! Design engineer by trade.

Revit, made by AutoDesk is an architectural design program, and a powerful one at that. Let’s say you want to draw a wall. Revit has “prebuilt” parameters about what *type* of wall you want, and will automatically make it structurally sound. Are you framing a house? Cool, it will put in the sheathing, insulation layer, water barrier, studs, and drywall. All from just a “line” that you drew.

I took an architectural class in college and use Revit. Since I went to the more mechanical side, I didn’t retain a lot of the info. But what I remember, you start “drawing” in Revit with a 2D sketch looking from top down. You draw your layout, select your wall type, and behind the scenes it’s building your structure. There’s FAR more too the program but that’s the jist of that one.

Now, AutoCad (also made by AutoDesk). For this purpose I will only discuss the 2D version. I do not have a lot of experience with 3D AutoCAD itself because….well I remember it sucking. There are better programs for 3D designing.

AutoCAD is a vector drawing program. There are many free alternatives (NanoCAD and Draftsight to name a couple). It’s very rudimentary in how it’s used. You’re really just drawing the “outline” of something with no 3D aspect to it. I’ve seen this used from everything to making dies for die cutting machines, to electrical and plumbing layouts. Where you don’t necessarily need to know the size of the material your using, but you need to know how to route it.

These are very, VERY simplified explanations of what each program can do.