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Top 10 Revit Tips for Beginners

There are plenty of BIM software on the market, but none are a better all-rounder than Autodesk Revit. For a design software too, it takes the cake. Are you planning to start working with Revit too? Then you should get a coffee and go through the following top ten Revit tips for beginners.

1. Get a Good System

As a design software Revit models can get quite large, and it also consumes a lot of system resources to properly calculate and render the model on screen. As a data-rich modeling software, it requires both huge amounts of RAM and a strong processor to just open the model, and a good graphics card to render it without lags.

Therefore, your first order of business would be to get a good system that can run Revit properly. You can check out the Revit system requirements here, and get a computer that at least matches with the minimum. Also, though it doesn't say there ? if you got a good enough graphics card, definitely invest in an UHD monitor for the best design space.

2. Get Trained

Revit is not just resource-hungry, it is also complicated. Attend webinars, read books, watch how-to videos, read tutorial articles ? any way you can, get the knowledge you need to know Revit and all its features. Otherwise, that expensive software would mean scarcely more than just an enthusiast's plaything.

Your Revit training should have a pincer attack ? one prong taking on the platform, meaning the software's general features, and the other dealing with the features specific to your trade ? architecture, structure, mechanical, etc.

3. Tackle Pilot Projects

The transition from a previous CAD to a serious BIM software like Revit is never easy. That is why you should take baby steps in this phase ? fire up small, relatively non-challenging projects that you could have easily finished in other software. Do them in Revit and get yourself familiarized with the system.

Going through pilot projects, you will almost definitely see issues coming up. Track your progress and note the issues that you notice, and find resources to fix them (or apply for training). Keeping note of the successes and the positive results would also help you in understanding and familiarizing Revit better.

Also, you should always keep yourself updated with the new features of Revit with each release, this will make sure you don't miss out on features that would help you a lot.

4. Setup your model for work sharing

Moving on to in-project tips, you should always set up the model properly before you start developing it.

The first thing you want to do is to enable work sharing, since that is the concept Revit is built around of. Set up work sharing so that multiple people can work on the same model at once. Everyone's local work is synched with the main copy every 30 minutes.

You can set up work sharing by going to Collaborate > Manage Collaboration > Collaborate.

5. Open the file properly

Make sure you follow the below points when opening an existing work in Revit:

A.) Revit is not backwards compatible. A Revit 2020 file will not open in Revit 2018.
B.) Revit will not allow collaboration on the same file among different version software. Make sure all your team has the same edition of software.
C.) Make sure the "Create new local" option is checked every time you open a file ? the central model should be left alone so that it gets synched without issues.

6. Careful with Levels, Sheets & Views

The Levels, Sheets and Views can get quite messy in Revit. You should get in-depth ideas about them so that you don't end up in a blind alley.

A.) Levels in Revit
B.) Sheets in Revit
C.) Views in Revit

Mastering the sheets, levels, and views in Revit is integral to a smooth workflow, so you make sure you got them well and practiced.

7. Familiarize with families

Revit does everything with families, and thus they raise the most issues. Basically, families are components, roughly said. As a data driven VDC software, each family contains metadata about that object, like manufacturer, material, or price. Families can be created by you, or they can be system families like walls, pipes, etc. These behave more like their real-life counterparts than you would think, thanks to the parametric nature of the modeling software, Revit. Optimize your model to make the best use of families and you will be the star.

8. Decrypting error messages

Like the Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy mentions on its front cover, "Don't Panic." Depending on what you (or some other guy) were doing, you may get many kinds of messages thrown in your face, like warnings, worksharing messages, software crash messages, corruption messages, etc. Some of these you can safely ignore, and some force you to stop your present action.

Repeat, don't panic! Most messages in Revit are related to worksharing and simple mean that whatever you were trying to work on is being worked on by someone else and need to be synced to go forward. Sometimes synching itself gets complicated throwing up all kinds of messages when two people try to sync exactly at once. A bit of scheduling around the team should solve most of these.

Crashes, on the other hand, are altogether a different issue. If they occur, you should contact the developers with the data.

9. Tech support blues

This next tip is about the crashes we mentioned earlier. You can and should get tech support for any system issues that happen with Revit. For this, there are three ways:

A.) Revit in-product help, that you can access by pressing F1.
B.) Autodesk Services Marketplace
C.) Autodesk Knowledge Network

You should add any pertinent information to the issue ticket, like what were you trying to do when that crash happened, the system information, the model information, any screenshots, etc. Autodesk's support is fairly good and they know the value of your time, so use the tech support for benefit.

10. A few interface tips

A.) Learn keyboard shortcuts and use them well.
B.) Disable double-click to edit element and select to drag; to preserve your sanity.
C.) Save your commonly used folders to Places.
D.) Use ribbon shortcuts ? modify them if need be.
E.) Tear out the ribbon panel for a different kind of workspace.
F.) Use the steering wheel well.
G.) Organize the project browser.
H.) Use the view cube to navigate and modify 3D view.
I.) Use the in-command converter ? type in any unit for your drawing tool and it will get converted to whatever unit type the model is based on.

Top 10 Revit Tips for Beginners