Since its launch in September this year, Revit LT continues to confuse many existing and potential consumers of Revit technology, but early adopters and traditional 2D AutoCAD stalwarts are already reaping the benefits of the technology, which is of course no surprise given the many benefits the technology delivers.
From the outset though we believe even its name does not help potential clients (many of whom will garner significant benefits from using the software) to understand what the product is, or where Revit LT actually sits in the market place.
But one thing is very important to point out to potential purchasers though, and that is Revit LT is simply not all about BIM, and not even all users of full Revit software are solely involved in delivering BIM projects. Many practices have adopted Revit technology due to productivity, the need to deliver 3D data in a changing market and of course the reduction of project costs therefore increasing profitability.
Revit as a full license offering is broken down into three areas (Revit Architecture, Revit Structures and Revit MEP) and, although suites may contain an all-encompassing version of Revit, it is still really a workflow optimised version of these three products.
Revit LT however is a light version of Revit Architecture only, and as such contains mainly features that full Revit Architecture would contain which is where its usefulness comes in even for practices working on smaller scale or private projects.
As a light version of Revit Architecture; it is still just as simple and quick to produce standard architectural content (walls, door and windows etc.) as it is in full Autodesk Revit versions, and when clients invariably request changes altering and manipulating existing geometry is just as quick and therefore a major productivity benefit of the software even in non BIM centric projects.
Similarly as the model builds in 3D, whether the user chooses to view it in 2D or 3D, all the 3D elements are being created in the background; so Sections and Elevations, along with any number of 3D Perspective Views can be produced in seconds, a far cry from having to manually recreate multiple existing drawings or spending hours creating isometric views if the client or planning requires it.
This alone allows non BIM centric practices to either save hours compared to traditional workflows whilst charging out at the same rates, or even to reduce client’s costs enabling them to be more competitive and win more business.
The drawn content also contains the same large amount of data as can be found in the full Autodesk Revit version. This is in built information contained within the Architectural elements (families); of say a door for example. This can then be scheduled quickly within Revit LT which can save hours compared to manual scheduling process, and produced schedules are automatically updated in seconds as the project progresses.
With online resources becoming increasingly available, families and content is very easy to acquire and modify to aid production and speed up results also enabling you to increase your client deliverables and put your design ideas across.
Equally in a world becoming ever more visual and client’s expectations increasing, the ability to produce 3D visualisations directly from the model will be a clear separator between practices choosing to stay with older 2D technology, and those understanding the need to move forward and give their clients what appeals to them the most.
Let’s face it most clients would love to see the potential realistic end result as opposed to a flat 2D drawing and although Revit LT does not have a built in render engine like its big brother, it does have access to the Cloud via a 360 account through subscription which is yet another massive benefit.
This means users will be able to produce near photo realistic renders in a fraction of the time it takes on a local PC and as further business benefit a practice will not need to invest in high end rendering hardware.
Cloud rendering also has the added benefit of being able to render multiple views which could be uploaded to render simultaneously without any interruption to the users workflow, all of which would then be readily available within your online Autodesk 360 account, and accessible anywhere.
Importing and exporting of DWG details, whether existing from AutoCAD or newly produced is effortless. The ability to link files allows an intuitive connection between AutoCAD drawings and existing Revit or Revit LT models, ensuring that any updates flow across the project reducing the risk of errors.
The importing of DWG’s which contains Z values (height data), which is becoming more commonplace now, also allows you to create a 3D typography by the touch of a button.
To the average 2D stalwart that may be unfamiliar with the advances and the ease of use of modern 3D CAD technology, it’s understandable that certain benefits may not be immediately apparent, but with increased knowledge comes increased understanding, so below are a few key areas that are well worth noting, and where Revit LT excels:
Although the above list is not exhaustive all of these features and benefits really do add up to Revit LT being an extremely powerful tool for any use driving productivity and increasing profitability, and a must have as the architectural software and traditional workflows shift into new paradigms.
And if coordination in BIM projects and Building Information Modelling is not on your radar (yet!), it does not matter, as investment in the technology and process change even at Revit LT level will bring you excellent returns on investment.
And as a final thought if you do find your practice expanding or becoming involved in BIM in the future, using Revit LT now will give you a solid foundation to move forward quickly when the need arises.
If you would like to explore the value of Revit or Revit LT in greater detail please give us a call.