Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit is a building information modelling software for architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineers, designers and contractors. The original software was developed by Charles River Software, founded in 1997, renamed Revit Technology Corporation in 2000, and acquired by Autodesk in 2002. The software allows users to design a building and structure and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the building model's database. Revit is 4D building information modeling capable with tools to plan and track various stages in the building's lifecycle, from concept to construction and later maintenance and/or demolition.


Charles River Software was founded in Newton, Massachusetts, on October 31, 1997, by Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis, key developers of PTC's Pro/Engineer software for mechanical design, with the intent of bringing the power of parametric modeling to the building industry (PTC had previously tried and failed to market its recently acquired Reflex software to the construction sector).[1] With funding from venture capitalists Atlas Venture and North Bridge Venture Partners, Raiz and Jungreis hired several software developers and architects and began developing Revit in C++ on the Microsoft Windows platform. In 1999 they hired Dave Lemont as CEO and recruited board members Jon Hirschtick, founder of SolidWorks, and Arol Wolford, founder of CMD Group.

From the outset, Revit was intended to allow architects and other building professionals to design and document a building by creating a parametric three-dimensional model that included both the geometry and non-geometric design and construction information, which is also known as Building Information Modeling or BIM (1975 Eastman C.). At the time, several other software packages—such as ArchiCAD and Reflex—provided a three-dimensional virtual building model, and let the user control individual components via parameters (parametric components). Two key differences in Revit were that users created parametric components in a graphical "family editor" rather than a programming language, and the model captured all relationships between components, views, and annotations so that a change to any element automatically propagated to keep the model consistent.[2] For example, moving a wall updated neighboring walls, floors, and roofs, corrected the placement and values of dimensions and notes, adjusted the floor areas reported in schedules, redrew section views, etc.—so that the model remained connected and all documentation was coordinated. The concept of bi-directional associativity[3] between components, views, and annotations was a distinguishing feature of Revit for many releases. The ease of making changes inspired the name Revit, a contraction of Revise-Instantly. At the heart of Revit is a parametric change propagation engine that relied on a new technology, context-driven parametrics, that was more scalable than the variational and history-driven parametrics used in mechanical CAD software.[4] The term Parametric Building Model was adopted to reflect the fact that changes to parameters drove the whole building model and associated documentation, not just individual components.

The company was renamed Revit Technology Corporation in January 2000. Revit version 1.0 was released on April 5, 2000. The software progressed rapidly, with version 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 4.0, and 4.1 released in August 2000; October 2000; February 2001; June 2001; November 2001; and January 2002, respectively.[5]

The software was initially offered only as a monthly rental, with no option to purchase. Licensing was controlled by an entirely automatic process, an innovation at a time when human intervention and manual transmission of authorization codes was required to buy other types of design software.[6]

Autodesk, best known for its AutoCAD line of products, purchased the Massachusetts-based Revit Technology Corporation for US$133 million in 2002.[7] The purchase allowed more research, development and improvement of the software. Autodesk has released several versions of Revit since 2004. In 2005 Revit Structure was introduced, then in 2006 Revit MEP. After the 2006 release Revit Building was renamed Revit Architecture.[8]

Since Revit 2013 the different disciplines have been rolled into one product, simply called Revit.

In 2012[9] Revit LT[10] became the newest version of Revit on the market. It is a Lite version of Revit with a number of features such as rendering and multi user environments removed.[11]

With their Revit platform, Autodesk is a significant player in the BIM market together with Nemetschek (makers of ArchiCAD, AllPlan] and Vectorworks), and Gehry Technologies with CATIA based Digital Project.[12]


Since Revit 2013 all Revit functionality is available in one product.

In 2013, Autodesk released the feature limited Revit LT for the entry level market alongside the full featured Revit 2013.[13][11] That same year, Autodesk began introducing rental licensing for some of their products, including Revit.[14]

Autodesk sells several packages they call Building Design Suites and the Premium and Ultimate suites include Revit. Revit is also included in a newer Autodesk package - AEC Collection.

Revit is available in multiple language localizations: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Polish, Czech, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

With the release of Revit 2006 Autodesk dropped support for 32-bit Windows.

Use and Implementation

Revit can be used as a very powerful collaboration tool between different disciplines in the building design sphere. The different disciplines that use Revit approach the program from unique perspectives. Each of these perspectives is focused on completing that discipline's task. Companies that adopt the software first examine the existing work flow process to determine if such an elaborate collaboration tool is required.

A recent addition to use cases and implementation is the Apache Licensed Dynamo graphical programming interface. Dynamo is similar to and takes inspiration from the Grasshopper visual programming language and environment for Rhino. In addition to the node-based interface Dynamo can be scripted with the Design Script language and Python.


The Revit work environment allows users to manipulate whole buildings or assemblies (in the project environment) or individual 3D shapes (in the family editor environment). Modeling tools can be used with pre-made solid objects or imported geometric models. However, Revit is not a NURBS modeller and also lacks the ability to manipulate an object's individual polygons except on some specific object types such as roofs, slabs, and terrain or in the massing environment.

Revit includes categories of objects ('families' in Revit terminology). These fall into three groups:

  • System Families, such as walls, floors, roofs, and ceilings, built inside a project
  • Loadable families/components, which are built with primitives (extrusions, sweeps, etc.) separately from the project and loaded into a project for use
  • In-Place Families, which are built in-situ within a project with the same toolset as loadable components

An experienced user can create realistic and accurate families ranging from furniture[15] to lighting fixtures,[16] as well as import existing models from other programs. Revit families can be created as with dimensions and properties. This lets users modify a given component by changing predefined parameters such as height, width or number in the case of an array. In this way a family defines a geometry that is controlled by parameters, each combination of parameters can be saved as a type, and each occurrence (instance in Revit) of a type can also contain further variations. For example, a swing door may be a Family. It may have types that describe different sizes, and the actual building model has instances of those types placed in walls where instance-based parameters could specify the door hardware uniquely for each occurrence of the door.

Due to the copyright nature of project work, it is rare and impractical to be able to buy fully 3D modelled Revit project models. Indeed as most projects are site-specific and bespoke, obtaining an existing model is in many instances unsuitable. However, there are circumstances where new practices or students that are training to learn Revit, do have a need to refer to completed models. Sources for these are limited, however, they can be purchased at websites like BIMGallery and downloaded from websites like GrabCad. Revit model files have also been located using google search string "index of" + rvt" + "central" -html -htm -php .[original research?]

Although Revit software comes with a range of families out of the box (OOTB), they are limited, so users can find a need to build their own families or buy them from online stores such as Plansort, Bimbandit or Andekan. A number of websites offer families for free including Revit City, AUGI, BIMobject, BIMsmith, National Bim Library and BIM&CO.

In 2011 Dynamo[17] was released in beta form allowing first glimpses of directly programming the behavior of hosted components through a drag and drop node interface. This is similar to the way the visual programming language Grasshopper 3d works on objects in Rhinoceros 3D.[18]


When a user creates a building, model, or any other kind of object in Revit, they may use Revit's rendering engine to make a more realistic image of what is otherwise a very diagrammatic model. This is accomplished by either using the premade model, wall, floor, etc., tools, or making her or his own models, walls, materials, etc. Revit 2010 comes with a plethora of predefined materials, each of which can be modified to the user's desires. The user can also begin with a "Generic" material. With this, the user can set the rotation, size, brightness, and intensity of textures, gloss maps (also known as shinemaps), transparency maps, reflection maps, oblique reflection maps, hole maps, and bump maps, as well as leaving the map part out and just using the sliders for any one (or all or none) of the aforementioned features of textures.

Cloud-based rendering with the experimental plug-in dubbed Project Neon, located on Autodesk Labs is in the beta phases and allows for the user to render their images through their Autodesk account instead of locally through their own computers. Revit models may also be linked directly into Autodesk 3ds Max (release 2013 and later) for more advanced rendering and animation projects with much of their material and object information maintained. need to modify

See also


  1. ^ Crotty, Ray (2012). The Impact of Building Information Modelling: Transforming Construction. London: SPON/Routledge. p. 72. ISBN 9781136860560.
  2. ^ Bergin, Michael S. "A Brief History of BIM". Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "What does full bi-directional associativity mean".
  4. ^ "Patent: Graphical object generation and regeneration". Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "The History of Revit - The Future of Design". Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Patent: Software usage/procurement management". Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2012.
  7. ^ Autodesk to Acquire Revit Technology Corporation, 2002 Autodesk Press Release
  8. ^ Arkin, Gregory K. "The History of Revit - The Future of Design". Retrieved September 2, 2012.
  9. ^ Smith, Brett. "Autodesk Announces Autodesk Revit LT". Autodesk, Inc. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Autodesk Revit LT". Autodesk, Inc. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Compare Autodesk Revit LT and Autodesk Revit". Autodesk Inc. Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  12. ^ Martin, Richard. "Building information modeling Market to Reach $6.5 Billion Worldwide by 2020". Pike Research. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Autodesk Revit LT". Archived from the original on March 4, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  14. ^ "Autodesk Rental Plans". Autodesk. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  15. ^ "Revit Architecture content". Autodesk Seek. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "Revit MEP content". Autodesk Seek. Archived from the original on December 12, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  17. ^ _tom. "Revit Spaghetti". Inside the Factory - Designing the Revit Experience. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  18. ^ Keough, Ian. "Dynamo for Revit?". Grasshopper - generative modeling for Rhino. Retrieved June 16, 2012.

Further reading

  • Dzambazova, Tatjana; Eddy Krygiel, Greg Demchak. (2009). Introducing Revit architecture 2010 : BIM for beginners. Indianapolis, Ind.: Wiley Pub. ISBN 978-0-470-47355-9. OCLC 319209677. xvi, 480 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.

External links