Revit vs. AutoCAD

Compare Autodesk's top-selling BIM and CAD software. The two softwares used to design and document buildings are now available in the AEC Collection.

Understanding the differences between BIM and CAD

In simple terms, when using CAD for building design, you focus on creating drawings. When using BIM, you focus on creating a building model and then the drawings can be generated from the model.

What is BIM?

BIM is Building Information Modeling. It is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Aerial view of a highway intersection

What is CAD?

CAD is Computer-Aided Design. CAD software provides technology for architects, engineers, and construction professionals to design and create precise 2D and 3D drawings, replacing manual drafting with an automated process.

Infrastructure cityscape image with a buildings focus and a blue digital overlay

What's the difference between Revit and AutoCAD?

The biggest difference is that AutoCAD is a CAD software and Revit is software for BIM. While AutoCAD is a general drawing tool with broad application, Revit is a design and documentation solution, supporting all phases and disciplines involved in a building project.

Revit is used to coordinate all data inputs (including CAD) and produce federated project deliverables. Both programs are often used within the same firm, with BIM and CAD specialists working on different elements of a project.


Rendering of Botswana Innovation Hub

Image courtesy of Botswana Innovation Hub - SHoP Architects

Are BIM and Revit the same?

BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information on a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle. The role of BIM is to gather and link data relating to the design, construction, and operation of a building to produce a comprehensive 3D model.

Revit is BIM software widely used by architects, engineers, and contractors to create a unified model that all disciplines and trades can use to complete their work. Autodesk Revit was created to support BIM and not to replace BIM. Revit hosts the information that forms the model from which drawings and documents are derived.


Can AutoCAD and Revit be used together?

AutoCAD and Revit are interoperable and can be used together. They are commonly used together to incorporate designs created in AutoCAD within a Revit project. Firms may use AutoCAD on certain projects or components of a design and use Revit to generate BIM deliverables and to enable collaboration with other design disciplines. Get access to Revit and AutoCAD in a specialized solution with the Architecture, Engineering, & Construction Collection.


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