About a month ago, Revit released a few plugins for Revit MEP & Architecture – I think they have been available for Revit Structure for a while. We were particularly interested in one tool called Model Compare, which “provides a functionality of comparing two projects defined in Revit products. The comparison results will be provided in a form of an html report and differences between projects will be highlighted.” (I can’t remember where I found that description, but I won’t pretend to plagiarize.) Sounds particularly promising because we are desperate need of something that can help us compare two models.
As it turns out, although the tool does compare two Revit projects, I don’t think the VC modeler who tested the tool would use the term “functionality” when describing it.
After reviewing and discussing the tool, we found a few issues with it, which we brought up to Autodesk:
- It is difficult to tell what has changed regarding a particular object. The tool only supplies Family, Type, & Revit ID of each “changed object”. The tool does indicate if an object is new to a model, but other changes aren’t called out – it would be helpful if it could define whether something moved or was joined or type changed or something.
- It is really difficult to identify where the object is located. If nothing else, add Level (and other parameters – selected by the user). OR, include a ‘Create a new view in the Revit model that zooms to the specific object and hides any objects that are in the way’ button – kind of like Architectural Design Studio. I love that button.
- It would be helpful if users could (easily) customize and select rules to look for only specific objects or specific changes (i.e. find out what walls have moved). We would also be interested in using rules to group changes (i.e. group all changes within 6” of each other that are the same type of change as a single change).
- Reports should be customizable to fit in the reporting standards of various companies. Although, we take the output as is, if we could add other parameters to the items.
One good point that Autodesk brought up in our meeting (and we agreed) was that the tool was originally designed for structure, so it contains the functions needed for comparing structural models. I think this tool could be very valuable, especially since we are starting to receive models from designers, but aren’t necessarily sharing in real time for all projects. How else can we quickly evaluate what has changed since the last submission? At the same time, it needs a little it of work to make it ready for use in production for models created in Architecture and MEP.