This review takes an indepth look at the new version of Revit, the key product in the 2014 Autodesk Building Design Suite, to see what additional BIM capabilities it can provide to AEC professionals across all the three design disciplines it targets: architecture, structure, and MEP. These include several improvements made to the core Revit platform for enhancing user productivity and efficiency including displaced views and the ability to apply temporary views to a display, improved modeling and editing of stairs and railings, several structural and MEP BIM improvements including better visibility and greater control over the structural analytical model and the ability to divide MEP systems to make them easier to work with, and a new engine for point clouds that makes them faster to work with and provides greater control on their appearance.
I always look forward to the various articles and reviews posted by Lachmi. They are informative and interesting and they provide a valuable perspective on design technology for the AEC world. I was however surprised at a couple of comments in the summary of pros and cons in the Revit 2014 review.
The first surprise was the point about the Help documentation not being good enough to learn the product. Hopefully, this is just a misunderstanding as of course no one in their right mind would be well advised to learn a serious BIM product from Help documentation. This is where effective software user training comes in. Incidentally, effective training would also address most file size issues. Very few of our customers have experienced such issues with Revit over the past 10 years probably because we have advised them about modelling standards and how much detail they actually need to model in 3D.
As an aside, Lachmi also seems to take issue with the fact that there is nothing revolutionary in Revit 2014. If this is the case I would take this as a positive. In my opinion now is not the time for glitz. BIM, as a concept, is already revolutionary enough for many organisations in the construction industry. Now is the time to focus on the practicalities of BIM and making it work in the real world.
George, I completely disagree. Availability of training is not an excuse for poor documentation. If you have Help available, it better be good no matter what! On the issue of file sizes, this has been a constant complaint from many Revit users for years. Ideally, the software should be improved to guide the user to avoid adding unnecessary information to the model so the sizes don’t increase. “Please take training to reduce file sizes” is not an acceptable solution.
On the issue of “revolutionary,” I think Lachmi was looking at it from a much broader perspective. Autodesk acquired Revit quite some years back. As the industry leader, much more is expected from Autodesk than just incremental improvements. This has been the case with most releases for so many years since the acquisition. When is Autodesk going to infuse some fresh innovative thinking into Revit? How long is it going to live with incremental improvements? Much more is expected from Autodesk. Calling out their lack of innovation, and pushing them to excel is a great thing to do, IMHO. People are still buying gas guzzlers and getting used to hybrids, does that mean we don’t invent a Tesla?
Thanks for your feedback David. I didn’t realise I was going to be so contentious so maybe I didn’t explain my points very well.
Certainly they seem to have been misunderstood.
For example no one said that “availability of training was an excuse for poor documentation”, certainly not me. I was just commenting that Help documentation is not a substitute for training and should not be the main source of learning about any product let alone a serious BIM tool. The actual quality of the Help documentation is a completely different and separate issue.
As regards file sizes, you may or may not have experienced a problem with this. All I was trying to explain is that our customers who have received our advice and support about creating BIM models, do not generally have an issue with this. This is just a simple fact (and applies to small firms, large firms, small projects, large projects). We’ve seen a few over 10 years.
Finally, yes, worthwhile innovation is obviously essential. My point was simply one of timing, not principle. We are just beginning to crawl out of a difficult economic period, and BIM has still to be properly understood, let alone implemented, by most. I can guarantee that the conversations my customers are wanting to have with me about BIM and Revit right now are focussed on far more practical and ROI-related issues than any latest revolutionary new feature in Revit 2014.
When Autodesk stopped publishing Authorized Training Courseware we (users) lost the ability to understand the “new” software. Now we must search and pay high fees for in-depth training. Expanded HELP tutorials could meet this need.
Features and expanded capabilities are always appreciated as is the ROI. Instead of either/or let’s drive the TESLA.