1. START WITH A SMALL PROJECT
A huge project can be overwhelming when you are getting started with BIM. If you get thrown on a 12 person team, 60M$ fast-track building as your first Revit project, you will probably get quite mad. A smaller project is key to get all the basics.
2. DON'T OVERMODEL
New users with lots of enthusiasm tend to model everything. Including things that are the size of a mosquito. A major misconception people have of Revit is that everything needs to be modeled. Smaller objects don't always need to be modeled, 2D items might be enough.
3. DON'T UNDERMODEL
While newcomers sometimes model too much, some users just don't model enough. Skipping modeling and using 2D techniques can be a short-term time-saver, but in the long run it can create confusion and coordination problems between views.
4. PREPARE A BIM PLAN FOR EACH PROJECT
Before starting a project, ask yourself these questions: How big will this project be ? What do I need to model ? Will the model by shared with the client ? Are the engineers using Revit too ? How many team members will be using Revit on this project ? What is the role of every Revit team member ? How will we organize sheets and views ?
Then write down the answers and give a copy to everyone on your team. Revit demands more organization than AutoCAD. Being clear from the beginning can avoid frustrations.
5. EMBRACE THE "HIDE" AND MASKING REGIONS
One of the main source of irritation I've heard from former CAD users is they have a hard time controlling elements visibility when making sections and elevations. With the use of HIDE and masking regions, almost every case of visual oddity can quickly be solved.
6. GET HELP FROM A BIM CHAMPION
Having access to someone who is a Revit pro can help get past the early frustrations. If you are a boss, tell your best Revit users to spend a few hours each week to coach other folks. If you are working on your own, see if your local area has a Revit community group.
7. LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2D AND 3D
This is the biggest confusion for new users. They are not sure if what they are doing is affecting a single view or if it is affecting the whole model. Make sure you are comfortable with this aspect. Especially learn how grids and levels works, and how their visibility can be controlled without messing up the whole model.
8. DON'T MOVE AND DELETE THINGS BY MISTAKE
You know you are working with a new Revit user when you open a model and the 3rd level floor is floating in the middle of nowhere. It is common for new users to delete and move things by mistake. Be sure to PIN elements as often as possible. Also deactivate "Drag Elements on Selection" and "Select Elements by Face" on the bottom right control bar.
9. DON'T GO BACK TO AUTOCAD FOR DETAILING
Using Revit on a project for everything except 2D detailing is a terrible idea. There is still a living myth that Revit is bad for detailing, therefore it is reasonable to resort to AutoCAD for wall sections and other details. When using proper techniques, Revit can be used to draft details much faster than in AutoCAD. You will also avoid countless hours lost trying to coordinate everything together.
10. USE 3D VIEWS AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN
3D views are fun to work with. Having fun is a great way to learn. It also reminds you that using Revit means building an actual model instead of just adding lines. Be sure to know how SECTION BOX works, which is the most useful tool in orthographic 3D view. Also try to use Consistent Colors visual mode with ambient shadows, it will make your 3D instantly cool to look at.
11. CLEAN YOUR MODEL
Every Friday, take 15 minutes to clean your model. Erase unused views and purge useless families. Have a look at warnings and try to solve them. A bulky and unorganized model can be overwhelming and frustrating. You want a clean, smooth and fast model.
12. LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME
While Revit is ultimately faster than AutoCAD, having a tight schedule when creating your first project is not a good idea. Try to have a schedule that is bit looser, especially early on. You need enough time to mess around with your model and get the grasp of the major ideas.
13. FORGET ABOUT THE PAST, EMBRACE THE FUTURE
Yes, we know you reminisce the good old golden CAD days, when lines and layers were masters of the office. But you need to forget about AutoCAD forever. The tide has turned and BIM is being embraced everywhere. Holding to the past is a waste of time and energy. Try Revit with an open mind. Experiment with it. Use it for every project, even your personal shed. That will make you fall in love with the BIM.
You liked this content ? Have a look at our BASICS package, made for Revit beginners. Download a sample chapter by entering your email address.