Way back in 2002, RevitCity.com was born out of the creative agency, Pierced Media. The much-needed website was built as an online community to serve BIM objects for Revit to the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. I remember back in 2005 when I started on my journey down the Revit path, RevitCity was the de facto online Revit family library.
I was feeling a bit nostalgic last week and thought, “are people still using RevitCity?”
Revisiting RevitCity.com was like a blast from the past. I honestly don’t think the design of the site has changed in 15 years! I realize that this could actually be considered a good thing. I immediately thought about Craigslist, a classified ad website which has managed to maintain most of its original user interface since 1996.
Here we are in September 2018 and the RevitCity landing page “latest” piece of Industry News was posted way back in January 2014. The latest article was posted June of 2015. Furthermore, the RevitCity.com News section shows the latest site news was posted in January of 2014. So, at first glance one might assume that the site has been stagnant and dead for several years.
The RevitCity Community
To my surprise, after looking at the Latest Forum Posts in the sidebar reveals that the RevitCity community is actually alive and well with the latest forum post as of today being September of 2018
A visit to the RevitCity forums revealed even more activity within the RevitCity community. The dates for the latest posts don’t seem to date back further than a month ago, which is impressive to say the least. It’s worth noting that the Technical Support forum has nearly 100,000 replies to over 140,000 posts as of today.
It is undeniably impressive to have a 16-year-old online forum with this much activity. To give you all some context, there are currently 1,141,623 members registered on RevitCity.com which is more than the entire population of the city of San Jose, California.
The real bread and butter of RevitCity has always been their content. It was my personal go-to source for Revit content online in the early 2000’s as well as many others. There is something to be said about a community-driven library of BIM objects for Revit, but I believe it has its pros and cons.
The benefits in allowing RevitCity users to upload their own content are obvious; let the community share their families for free and let their peers decide what is good content. It is really low-hanging fruit to allow RevitCity users to rate content. Let a community separate the good from the bad.
The downside of allowing RevitCity users to upload their own content is having an influx of “bad” content. With hundreds or thousands of search results of BIM objects for Revit which have no rating, you really don’t know that you’re downloading unusable content until you’ve either spent time opening the family in the family editor or have loaded it into your project (only to find yourself in instant regret scrolling through the undo menu in Revit in an effort to mitigate the risk of model corruption).
As of today, there are 19,326 Revit families hosted on RevitCity.com and I would never go so far as to say that all RevitCity content is unusable. I am also confident that there are several RevitCity evangelists out there who still make great BIM objects for Revit and share them on RevitCity. After 16 years, our industry is still fighting the same uphill battle in the search for “good” BIM content.
Frankly, RevitCity objects haven’t had the best reputation for some time now and whether your BIM Manager is an active RevitCity member or not, it is apparent that most firms have taken the route of developing their own BIM objects for Revit. Most BIM Managers would agree that there are several benefits to having full control of the geometry and data of your firm’s Revit families.
If you’re in the majority and have developed your own library of BIM objects for Revit, how are you sharing this library with your firm? I’m assuming you are not uploading your Revit families to RevitCity. Are you using a file/folder structure on a network drive or are you using a content management system like UNIFI CORE?
Please comment below as I’d love to start some discussion on RevitCity or how you go about managing your own firm’s content.