By Olena Kryzhanivska, AEC Technical Consultant at SolidCAD
Getting started with Revit can feel daunting. It’s an unfamiliar program that may not work like your current software. But, like anything new as you become more familiar with it you will start to see the benefits of the basic modifying tools – Copy, Move, Align, Offset, Mirror, Array – as well as the special tools it offers like Systems, Analyze, and Collaborate all within a 3D environment. Layers, often an irritation, don’t even need to be thought about in Revit. Revit will place every object in the correct layer. You do not need to switch Ortho on/off or change Snaps. Revit will show alignment lines, angles, snap points on the go.If you are just starting out in Revit, here is some basics that you should know:
Revit creates a virtual 3D representation of the model with the established relationships between elements.You can create as many views as required by the project. Every view of the model is a live view of the parametric elements. If an element is moved in one view, the position of that element in all of the views is instantly updated. Therefore, changing the elements will change the model instantly and all changes will be reflected on each view and plot sheets.
All of the elements in Revit are Families and represent real objects. Families are grouped and sorted by category in the content libraries and in the Project Browser. The families, such as air terminals, plumbing fixtures, and mechanical equipment, are loaded into the template of the project or into the model from the Revit library or an external source. For example, from the manufacturer’s website or Autodesk Seek. All Families in Revit are parametric.
Instance and Type properties
Model elements in Revit represent physical instances in a model. When placed in a model they are visible in all views.
Type properties for the family are common for all types of the same family and contain information that applies to all instances of the same family type in the model. For example, type properties for an air terminal will be size – length x width. Changes made to type properties affect all instances of the family created from that type. Revit allows to change the family with a different type using the Type Selector. It is easy to create a new type within the family using the Duplicate function in the Type Properties dialog.
Instance properties contain information related to a specific placed instance of the family element in the model. For example, instance properties for an Air Terminal will be Air Flow. Changes made to instance properties affect only that instance of the family.
Annotation elements are also families that are used to add dimensions, notes, and tags to a view.
The first Revit project can be a frustrating one. You will be learning the program while you are working on your project. Even if you had some training, you’ll quickly find that not everything will work like it did in your training sessions in a real project. All the elements are drawn to real size and you need to be attentive to clashes while working on your model.