Revit/CAD Hybrid Projects

This topic came up in a consulting session today, and it echos an exchange I recently had over LinkedIn, so I’ll recap things here:

LinkedIn email from a past colleague:

How do you recommend to handle details and front end boiler plate info on a Revit project?

Although my current office is slowly making the transition to Revit, we are still setting up dummy references and dummy sheets in Revit, maintaining an AutoCAD and Revit hybrid.

Their excuse is that that is how other firms they have surveyed do it. My opinion differs.

And my reply:

Arch firms are all across the board on this one. The primary issue is if the office is doing dual-software documentation – some teams still working fully in CAD, some in Revit (with a CAD detailing backend). It’s tough to maintain the boilerplate/standards stuff in two divergent formats, so most firms running both maintain/update the CAD, and opt to just port it over into Revit. Not the best in terms of flexibility for the Revit teams, but it seems to be the preferred method to manage for consistency. Firms who’ve gone full Revit will eventually (read: summer intern season) transition these over to Revit detail views, and set up sheets that can be transferred to other Revit projects with ease.

A few main points about hybrid documentation: archiving is more tedious and leaves a convoluted mess for anyone retrieving in the future, unless file naming conventions are militantly followed. Your information today is only as good as your ability to find it tomorrow.


While I long to live in a Revit documented world, I also resort to CAD historic documentation from time to time (although I try to convert to Revit details as I go, if time allows).  Some things are just easier to knock out in 2D linework in CAD, especially if it’s a format conversion from another software (Civil 3D, I’m looking at you) or a handsketch that’s been vectorized (I currently use Illustrator – anyone tried RasterVect or Skencil?) and an office HAS to have CAD on hand anyway, to deal with coordination files from collaborators not using Revit.



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