Revit Vs Cad

Revit Vs. AutoCADWhat is the Difference?

Revit and AutoCAD are two world-known design programs created by Autodesk that have taken over architecture and engineering firms, yet they have enormous differences in both use and application. Here is a little background on both. 

AutoCAD has been around a lot longer than Revit; it was first released in December 1982. AutoCAD was created by Autodesk, when it was originally released it was a desktop application running on microcomputers with internal graphics controllers. This was a first for AutoCAD software’s back then, as they normally would be run on mainframe computers, with every individual AutoCAD operator working at a separate graphics terminal.  It is known worldwide as the software that has fundamentally changed the design world, as before AutoCAD you would use pen and paper and drafting was very much considered an art form. AutoCAD is a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application that you can produce 2D and 3D drawings with. It allows you to conceptualize ideas, produce designs to a high level of accuracy, and it can even create rapid design calculations and simulations. The software is used by interior designers, architects, graphic designers, and engineers all over the world. 

Development on Revit officially started in 1999 by Charles River Software.  Revit was finally officially released on April 5th, 2000.  It was not until 2002 that Revit got acquired by Autodesk. Throughout the years, Revit has grown to be industry-standard BIM software. With it having the ability to render 3D models and walkthroughs of finished designs, it is a very powerful software changing the way engineers, architects, and designers plan and construct buildings. Revit even goes beyond the extent of just helping plan and construct buildings but also helps with supply chain management, risk management, scheduling, engineering simulation, and project visualization. The demand for Revit has surged as BIM adoption in the construction industry has grown from 17% in 2007 to over 70% in 2021.  

Now when it comes to differences, the biggest and most well-known difference between Revit and AutoCAD is that Revit is BIM software. BIM is known as building information modeling, which in simpler terms means that you are using a set of software and processes to design, construct, and operate a building in a virtual space where it is all a 3D process. AutoCAD is a AutoCAD platform. AutoCAD is a computer-aided design where you design the building, and then from there take your designs to be generated from the model. With AutoCAD this can be a 2D or 3D design. Going on from the fundamental difference between Revit and AutoCAD is the fact that Revit is more detailed oriented focusing on all the different phases and disciplines involved in creating a building. While AutoCAD is more focused on the general overview of drawing/designing the building. Revit will also give you data about the construction of the building, while AutoCAD will just give you data about the design of the building.   

When it comes to using the software, there are differences as well. When using Revit from the start it is a lot harder to learn than it is to learn AutoCAD but once you know how to use Revit it is more time-consuming and difficult to use AutoCAD and make modifications than it is to use Revit and make modifications. Revit is also only available to use on Windows, versus AutoCAD you can use on Windows and Mac. A lot of Revit users have come up with the solution to use a virtual environment on their Mac to use Window’s technology, as they wait on Revit to release a Mac friendly version.

A direct example of how Revit is overtaking AutoCad is how I am helping a firm that has recently transitioned to Revit. While Revit has already been around for years, the past few releases of it have made it much more desirable. Previously, AutoCAD provided complete control over your 2D drawing and offers flexibility for 3D objects. Its ability to easily manipulate geometry means an infinite ability to make anything. Which is a big reason many would stick to AutoCAD. But now new Revit and BIM360 tools come out some of the additional features that led firms to stay with AutoCAD such as customizable workspaces and integration of PDF files have become weakened the argument to continue to stay on AutoCAD.  

Even with their differences, both software’s will normally be used hand in hand, as many will use an AutoCAD design to incorporate it into a Revit project. They both are powerhouse design tools, that are very effective in what they do for the user. The bottom line is when it comes to the drawing and design of a building AutoCAD is better, but for the overall construction of a building, Revit is better. 

One major thing AutoCAD and Revit have in common: they’re both supported by UNIFI’s industry leading content management system. In fact, BIM, AutoCAD, and any file type can be stored and distributed in UNIFI which ultimately saves your designers an hour a day and empowers seamless collaboration across your team. Click here Get Started with UNIFI – UNIFI ( to try UNIFI free today. 

Let us know in the comments, do you prefer Revit or CAD, and why?

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