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Computer-aided design (CAD) programs all offer tools that let designers model objects in detail on a computer before they are made in real life. Despite sharing a similar function, though, not all CAD programs are equally suited to all kinds of design work. Some include tools that are used only to specific industries, while others offer more generalized options.

For example, there are several differences between AutoCAD and Revit, two essential programs for computer-aided design. Both are widely used by CAD professionals, and often for similar purposes. However, both software programs also offer somewhat different tools that make them ideal for different tasks.

To dig a little deeper, here are three of the main differences between AutoCAD and Revit.

1. Grads of a CAD Training Course Know Revit Is Better for Modeling

Both AutoCAD and Revit can be used to draw 2D objects, and both can also be used to create 3D models. The main difference between the two is that AutoCAD’s functionality is only meant to be used for design, whereas Revit is also used to understand how a designed model will function in the world.

For example, Revit allows you to apply the physical properties of building materials to a model of a building. This allows you to not only see what it will look like, but also understand how it would behave in terms of energy efficiency or lighting. While AutoCAD can design attractive buildings, this kind of information is not available.

If you need to include lots of information about a structure in your model, Revit might offer an edge over AutoCAD.

2. Revit Is Specifically Made for Construction; AutoCAD Is Used in Many Industries

After completing your computer-aided design training, you can expect to use AutoCAD in a variety of industries. That’s because AutoCAD can be used to design anything from buildings to prosthetics, making it one of the more versatile pieces of CAD software out there. If you need to design “things” rather than buildings, there’s a good chance AutoCAD will be your software program of choice.

Revit, on the other hand, was specifically created for building design. Industry-specific features include the ability for users to create a walkthrough of a designed building and to create a plan of the site where the building will be situated. Using Autodesk’s Green Building Studio with Revit also allows for analysis of a designed building’s energy efficiency—a big bonus for eco-conscious designers.

3. Revit Makes it Easy for Professionals With Computer Aided Design Training to Collaborate

There are many considerations for graduates of technical design programs to keep in mind when designing a building, such as essential utility work going on under the surface. When using CAD software programs, changes to a part of a project could cause unintended problems. For example, moving a wall from one place to another could disrupt ventilation or electrical work.

Revit's features make it easier for multiple professionals to work on a project

Revit’s features make it easier for multiple professionals to work on a project

Revit’s Copy/Monitor feature sets it apart from AutoCAD when it comes to collaborative editing of a project. Using it allows multiple professionals to be updated when parts of a design are altered, and warning messages can pop up when changes interfere with the intended functionality of a different component. If multiple professionals need to keep on top of several elements of a project, this helps make sure no changes lead to unintended consequences.

Both AutoCAD and Revit are useful CAD programs, but where AutoCAD’s features make it better for general use, Revit is a better option for most building designers. With in-depth training in both, graduates of CAD training programs can choose the software that best suits the needs of each project they work on.

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