The MEP industry has always been facing this question time and again - which one's better, Revit MEP or AutoCAD MEP? The answer is still not a confirmed one as both these applications have different implications in several categories. Also, the strengths and weaknesses of these applications would be different as described by a contractor and by a designer. This article presents a few pros and cons of both these applications in different lights.
A little complicated system that is difficult to work with tends to create a little resistance amongst its users. This is the case with Revit users. AutoCAD is much more user-friendly and easy to learn as compared to Revit. While AutoCAD seems to be a mature application in terms of revealing an improved set of objects clearly, Revit gets incompetent in providing some really important system families. This currently restricts the use of Revit by engineers and contractors. However, once these crucial system families are developed, these limitations can be very well overcome.
Revit MEP scores well in the area of collaboration amongst various models. This implies when an element like a wall is moved in an architectural model, objects in the MEP model will also move along with the wall. Hence any decision to tamper with the existing elements has to be taken up very thoughtfully and after consulting with the other team members too.
Revit scores well above AutoCAD MEP in terms of plan representations. Any wall-based part can be easily created and its plan symbol can be shifted without disturbing the 3D model of the same. Further, tagging the parts gets easier in AutoCAD as compared to Revit.
AutoCAD and Revit both use spaces to specify and define rooms and large areas. However, Revit has an edge over AutoCAD in this matter. Revit allows easy identification of rooms as it is a distinct element in an architect's design. AutoCAD being a mature application now in terms of scheduling the data, whereas Revit falls short of customization in terms of data scheduling.
Sections and elevations are easy to create in Revit as compared to AutoCAD. Hence, MEP designers can create many more sections in Revit than they could in AutoCAD.
One of the shortcomings of Revit MEP is that it fails to force the background models to stay in the background and not plot over another model which may lead to unclear plots and difficult understanding of the plan.
AutoCAD can handle text formatting very well. AutoCAD's text handling capabilities outperform Revit's in terms of readability, positioning and orientation.
In a nutshell, AutoCAD wins over Revit in a lot of areas owing to its maturity, user-acceptance, speed and accuracy. On the other hand, Revit is yet very raw in certain areas and over the period of time it shall need a lot of development in order to be competent enough for AutoCAD.
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