Revit Introduction: How to Use BIM software


Autodesk Revit is an incredibly powerful tool for architects, drafters, mechanical engineers, structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers, contractors and more. In other words, if you’re in the architectural business, you’re likely going to need a basic understanding of how this software platform works.

We’ve been creating Revit training videos for over a decade, so we know that it’s not easy to dive right into learning how to use a new tool. And that’s precisely why we created our Introduction to Revit course. Within these Revit training videos, we’ll cover everything you need to know to gain a basic proficiency in this tool. When you’ve completed your introductory course, you can move on to our videos that discuss more complex topics.

To get started, we’ve answered a few frequently asked questions about Autodesk Revit, what it does, and how to get started.

What is Revit?

Revit is a 3D parametric modeling software package for building information modeling (BIM). Parametric modeling means you can create each of the following from within the tool, providing a single database for all the elements involved in your design:

  • Parameters
  • Relationships
  • Properties
  • Model data

Through Revit training videos, you can learn how to design, analyze, and create documentation for every phase of the building process. In the past, you had to manually draw all files, and if something changed, you’d have to go through and update each sheet by hand. With Revit, you can make a change in one design, and the program will immediately update the other areas for you.

Because Revit lets you work in 3D, it’s easier for the client and builder to visualize the completed project. You can quickly create photorealistic renderings of your designs, perform digital walkthroughs, and provide rich presentation materials. This enables your team to correct any mistakes and update your model before construction begins. These functionalities reduce the risk of error or oversight, and you can quickly learn these key concepts by watching Revit training videos.

What is AutoCAD Revit used for?

Revit is a building information modeling software used across many professions, including architects, structural engineers, designers, and contractors. As an Autodesk product, Revit makes working with important AutoCAD drawings simple and easy. You can model architectural and structure components in 3D for building designs, create 2D floor plans and blueprints, model internal components in 3D, annotate designs for planning purposes, and much more.

Revit will help you create the designs for basically every aspect of a building, including but not limited to:

  • Creating exterior walls and interior walls
  • Adding floors, ceilings, and windows
  • Incorporating electrical systems and plumbing

One of the most important features of Revit is its ability to keep track of all the relationships between different parts of your model. For example, if you have a wall that goes all the way up to the second floor, and the height of the second floor changes, the height of the wall will automatically update to reflect that change. Pretty cool, right?

How much time does it take to learn Revit?

Revit training videos can get you up-to-speed on core concepts in a matter of hours. You’ll be able to execute basic functions and create working models. Getting to the next step of Revit understanding will take significantly more time and Revit training videos. Many experts report that it takes around two years of in-depth Revit training videos and instruction to become fully proficient on the platform.

Important Revit terminology to know before you get started

To get started, there’s some key terminology that you need to know. We’ve outlined those terms here, but you can also check out our Revit training videos for more information and examples.

  • Element: Each component or model item is called an element. This can include components like walls, doors, and windows, as well as datum elements like gridlines, notes, and dimensions, which are stored using a hierarchical system.
  • Category: Elements that have similar properties and functionality are organized into categories (i.e., all walls are organized together, and separately, doors are grouped in one category).
  • Family: Sub-groups of categories that have more specific requirements are called families. For example, the doors category can be broken into double-flush and single-flush door families.
  • Type: The type determines most of properties of the elements in the family categories and is usually based on shared dimensions. For example, within the double-flush door family, you can have a 30” x 80” door or a 36” x 84” door. The doors will have identical type properties except for their differing dimensions. This can be helpful when you’re placing more than one element into a design and you want them to have different properties.
  • Instance: Each element placed in Revit is called an instance. If you have multiple elements of the same type, you can change the properties of one instance. Every instance can be overridden if you change the type properties of the element. For example, if you have 15 doors of the same type and you want to change the properties of one door, you can change the properties of one instance without changing all of those doors.

Learn how to use Revit in record time with our Revit Introduction course

We’ve created dozens of Revit training videos to help professionals, students, and instructors get up-to-speed on how to use this power platform. These online Revit training videos are short and can be consumed anytime, anywhere.

If you’re new to the Revit platform, we have Revit training videos that will give you a thorough, and easy-to-understand Revit introduction. In this course, we will go over the common tools and features you’ll be using to create your projects, including how to

  • Navigate the Revit interface and work with drawing and editing tools.
  • Create standard architectural components such as walls, doors, windows, roofs, flooring, and interior components
  • Add new datum elements and import CAD files
  • Set up and annotate construction documents with different views, tags, and schedules

Introduction to Revit also includes 12 new hands-on exercises, covering each topic discussed throughout the course. These Revit training videos are available for Revit 2011, Revit 2016, Revit 2017, and Revit 2019.

John Farmer
About the Author

SolidProfessor Digital Marketing Manager and keeper of Rahn, the office dog.