What to opt for; AutoCAD, Revit or both?

Architects and structural designers buried with their heads for hours together in rolled up and extremely complicated blueprints; trying to find any possible fault-line in the design, is a thing of past. With new technologies entering the arena; things have changed drastically! Conventional pen and paper designs are replaced by 2D and 3D drawings by AutoCAD and Revit!

AutoCAD introduced in the early 1980’s is now the one with deep-roots in DNAs of most of the design firms and offices. Needless to say, the day of designers and architects begins and ends with AutoCAD. Almost after a gap of 20 years (from the day AutoCAD was first introduced); Revit was brought in public. Gradually, design and construction industry over the time accepted it; in-fact increased numbers of professionals are now transiting to or including Revit in their workflow.

Change resistance is a common human tendency and hence; a lot of architects are in a dilemma – Where to draw lines – Whether to go for the tried-tested and widely used AutoCAD or take up relatively new, yet state-of-the-art Revit, or use both!

We have made an effort to clear this mist and give a better insight into some of the similarities and differences these two powerful design tools possess. These insights may make it easier for you to decide: What to opt for; AutoCAD, Revit or both?

Let us start with some of the common attributes of these robust design tools:


  • Talking about similarities, three things; 2D, 3D and Rendering connect both AutoCAD and Revit.
  • AutoCAD and Revit are primarily used to design 2D drawings for floor plans, elevations, details, etc.
  • Barring some (non-visible) differences in graphical presentations; usually the end result are very much similar. You can generate a suite of construction documents with help of these tools.
  • Besides common 2D drawings and plans, both; AutoCAD and Revit are also used in creation of 3D models and objects. Such 3D drawings prove extremely helpful in the design and later on during the construction. With small difference in the user interface and tools; the end results, you get are almost similar.
  • Rendering; both these software can easily render images of basic drawings. Since, one does not need an expert to use these tools; with limited knowledge and (human) resources; you can conveniently generate rendered images for any of the structure design.


  • Talking about differences between the two, it sums to three words B.I.M or Building Information Modeling.
  • In AutoCAD, one uses lines to create elementary geometry to represent real life objects, whereas with Revit geometry is used to equip the real life information.
  • Another aspect that gives AutoCAD and Revit their distinctive attributes is that while working on Revit it automatically generates view across all levels – if you generate a design for floor; you can view images of elevation too.
  • The same principle applies when you make any changes. A change in one view will inevitably get reflected in other views as well.
  • AutoCAD is undoubtedly great for 2D drawings, where only precise line work is required, like elevation detail drawings, whereas, Revit is excellent for modeling, creating cost schedules, collaboration and change management.

A fine combination of both Revit and AutoCAD is instrumental in giving you an edge over competition, which is fierce in design and construction industry. But how would you manage both these versatile tools together…do you have enough resources and manpower…. how about hiring one of the top architectural design and engineering service provider. They can offer structural services, BIM services and sustainability solutions at cost effective rates with help of AutoCAD, Revit or both - in a comprehensive package.

About Author: Nikunj Patel is a design engineer working with Hitech CADD Services for the past 4 years. He loves designing specialized industrial equipments and can always be found in the lab discussing, brainstorming & tweaking designs. He has also worked on architectural projects taking interest in every aspect of design & analysis.

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