AEC Tech News (#282)

2 Dec, 2010 By: Cadalyst Staff

Revit Tutorial: Making the Switch — AutoCAD to Revit

Before transitioning to Autodesk Revit, building design firms need to understand why, when, and how.

By Daniel Stine

Many building design firms have made the switch to Autodesk Revit, either completely or for specific project types. However, many more firms have not yet made the jump. This article is meant to help those who have not ventured down the building information modeling (BIM) road yet, or who have the software but don't know what to do next.

To keep this article to the size of an article, rather than a book, only five fundamental questions will be discussed:

  • Why switch?
  • When is the right time to switch?
  • Who should be trained?
  • What content and template setup is needed?
  • What should be done when things go wrong?

This article will be presented as a two-part series. The first part will address the reasons to switch, the timing, and who to train; the second part will address the remaining topics.

This article refers solely to Revit; however, many if not most principles described here could apply to any BIM software transition. To be clear, however, when the acronym BIM is used in this article, it is referring to Revit.

Why Switch?

The answer to the question "Why switch?" can vary from one firm to another. However, generally speaking most building design firms can, or will be able to, benefit from Revit. The following list highlights a few of the primary reasons to make the switch. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Daniel Stine is a registered architect with nineteen years' experience. He is the CAD administrator at LHB, providing training and support for two regional offices.

User Profile: Designing to His Own Beat

Rock musician Dale Meiners found a second creative outlet — producing one-of-a-kind millwork designs for discerning clients.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Dale Meiners has devoted his life to drawing beauty from wood, whether it's in the form of a bass guitar or unfinished stock destined to become a dining room table. As a musician, he cofounded The Marked with Billy Corgan, who later became the frontman for Smashing Pumpkins. Today, Meiners designs and builds custom furniture and cabinetry through his prototype millwork company, Trimline Custom Designs. He also teaches at a vocational woodshop, passing on his love of good design to his students.

Cadalyst: How did you make your way from playing and producing rock music to designing furniture and cabinetry? Does your musical background influence your current work?

Meiners: I grew up with a piano and guitar in my bedroom — I played music all the time as a kid. I majored in music theory, then transferred to Florida to join the Marked with Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. I started performing, then toured for the next four years. I had been recording my bands since high school, so my three recording studios over the next 10 years all started from bands asking me to record them.

My parents built our house, so building was in my blood too. I worked as a trim carpenter between studio sessions, and really liked it, but had to stop because I was up too late recording. In 2003, I had a daughter. Recording took all of my concentration during a live take, and I knew I wanted to be available for my family. I also foresaw the end of studio engineering with the introduction of laptop-based recording hardware. But I haven't retired as a musician, and never will. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events


National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting
December 6–10, 2010
Washington D.C.
This event will be held in conjunction with the Ecobuild America Conference and will incorporate the buildingSMART alliance Conference, FEDCon '10, Advanced Materials Symposium, COBie Challenge, and the Institute's Awards Banquet. Read more »

2011 FIATECH Technology Conference and Showcase
April 18–20, 2011
Chandler, Arizona
The conference agenda will comprise three educational breakout tracks: People and Process, Productivity Improvement Tools, and Academic. Read more »

7th International Revit Technology Conference (RTC)
May 26–28, 2011
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
RTC is an independent conference covering all things Revit: BIM (building information modeling) and the ecosystem that supports it. Speakers and delegates represent all aspects of the industry, including designers, owners, surveyors, and facility managers. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


Cadalyst Labs Report: CAD to Go
The newest mobile workstation technology meets the processing, graphics, and memory demands of AEC, manufacturing, and GIS users. Read more »

First Look Review: Lenovo ThinkPad W510
Compact mobile workstation delivers very good performance at a modest price. Read more »

User Review: KeyShot 2
KeyShot 2 is Bunkspeed HyperShot with a new name and distributor but with the same technology and amazingly fast 3D rendering capabilities. The rendering software can display photorealistic renderings of 3D scenes in mere seconds. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition