How long to build a usable model by a good Revit user?  

Active Member

I'm a Senior Technician with 25yrs experience. Just caught then end of drawings boards, then onto AutoCAD and SketchUp. Realised I couldn't avoid the Revit tide any further and have recently been plugging away and slowly getting there. I see all the benefits but it's just so cumbersome at times that it makes creating the simplest of things a huge undertaking, at the moment at least.

I was recently asked to join a small practice and agreed to on the condition that we started using Revit (which they have licences for) on all projects going forward. They've been using AutoCAD for a decade.

As a practice we're trying to work out if it's economic long term to use Revit on all projects (including domestic) once we're all fully trained and up to speed on Revit or whether sticking with AutoCAD would be better. We're prepared to take the financial hit in the short to medium term to allow us all the time to get fluent with Revit but, as always, it boils down to available fee and whether it will stretch far enough to build and utilise a Revit model in the future by a competent Revit user.

So what I'd like to know is roughly how long it would take to create a usable (accurate and useful) Revit model for a particular example project (I'll send over the CAD files) by someone who is well trained in the Revit. I'd simply like an idea of the number of days it would take to draw up the measured survey to create the existing set then the proposed set.

Any help from anyone would be very much appreciated.


Posted : 09/06/2017 7:16 pm Ian liked
Reputable Member Admin

Hi Simon,

'Really hoping that many others jump in and give you feedback on your question- as I'd love to hear a range of replies.

Just to add my input: In my 14 years of Revit use, I have only come across (literally) 1 person who tried it and then stuck with AutoCAD. Everyone else who got through the learning curve (6-8 months realistically) never looked back or would even contemplate going back to AutoCAD.

A competent Revit user will pull away from a competent AutoCAD user in terms of productivity / speed- simply by the coordination, scheduling, etc that Revit does for you.

As I say, I'd love to hear from others on this.

Kind regards,


Posted : 09/06/2017 9:56 pm
Alan Down
New Member

We're very much still finding our way with Revit in our firm. The main issue is the deadline pressures and the amount of work often forces users back to CAD just to get something done and out the door. What I'm finding is that any progress I make in Revit often generates a ton of further questions - keeping track of what I need to figure out just to get to a point where we're producing work to the same level/quality as in CAD is a task in itself! 

But! Having said that, as with anything, the more I play with Revit it naturally becomes less opaque and finding solutions to the problems we encounter becomes quicker and easier. I now know just about enough to begin to match the previous CAD output in visuals, if not quite in timescales yet. As a test I recreated a relatively simple CAD project in Revit - a simple stripout of a retail unit with new stair being installed and found that whilst it took longer than the equivalent CAD time, considering it was a first proper crack at doing something 'real world' it wasn't catastrophically longer. So for example, it took me 2 hours in CAD, which included roughly designing the new stair  to comply with the regs. In Revit it took me maybe 4 hours, but bits of that were spent googling how to do certain stuff; but elements like creating the stair, producing sections etc were vastly swifter with Revit, and vastly easier to make alterations to.

With time/practice/familiarity comes speed and I'm hopeful that gradually Revit will start to compliment and enhance our workflows, even if on occasion there is stuff that CAD simply does better/more intuitively. I envisage a time in the immediate future where we are utilising both sets of software; maybe further in the future we could phase CAD out once we have a level of proficiency and aren't going to find ourselves stuck

What also takes time though (and this isn't Revit specific, just new software generally) is trying to ensure everyone is learning at a similar pace. Its of little use if we have a single Revit power user and a load of guys who don't know how to navigate around the interface. We need to maintain the same level of manpower/resource that we have for CAD, for Revit which is proving to be trickier. 

Posted : 26/07/2017 1:03 pm

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