Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Revit MEP - Heads up for First Time Users

It is never easy to change, especially when you know you can do it the old way and the new way seems riddled with problems. Well I hope to point out some of the potential problems you might encounter if you are going down the Revit trail. I hope to follow up this out line with some "how to do it" posts that will give you a little more detail on getting the Revit train a rollin'.

One way to figure out where the bumps might be is to step through your current process and ask your self "Can Revit do this?"

Here's what I wondered about.

First define the expectations

  • What is the goal? To just get the documents out on time or a complete interactive BIM model?
  • Make sure your engineers and design staff know what to expect.
  • Communicate with your architectural partners. Make sure the correct expectations exist there as to how you can best collaborate and what level of collaboration can be achieved.

Get your infrastructure in place

  • Create Template files that address the different needs of Electrical and Mechanical design.
  • Set up all your necessary line weights and get some typical test plots to look correct.
  • Think about plotting.
  • View templates for Lighting, Power, HVAC, Piping, etc.
  • Create content - Learn the Family editor first and start checking out sites that share families.
  • Annotation - flag notes, title blocks, section cuts, etc. You will need to accept what comes with Revit or customize for your office use.
  • Schedules - Optimize them too for appearance, but also consider how you will now schedule considering Revits capabilities.

Find Your Champions

  • Your first time out be looking for the right job and the right people to make it happen.
  • Drafter drafting or engineer engineering?

Is your hardware up to it?

  • System requirements

Learn then teach

  • The Tutorials are fair to start, but don't really address an engineering process in my mind.
  • Colleges and Tech Schools may offer Revit classes.
  • My real advice is to contact your reseller or Autodesk about an implementation and training. You or your boss may not like the cost of a good Revit implementation/education but consider this, you need a colonoscopy. Do you see the guy who read the tutorials or would you rather see a physician that took the time and money to learn from professionals. I know where I put my money. Your client may feel the same as me.

Plan for the worst

  • You may have to bail out of Revit. Projects have a life of their own and anything can happen. Pull the plug if it makes sense. Learn what you can and go on.

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