AutoCAD vs Revit: Which is Better for Your Construction Project?

AutoCAD vs Revit are powerful software tools in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry developed and updated by the Autodesk family. Since both programs serve the same purpose: to design and create precise 2D and 3D drawings by automating the drafting process, it can be tricky for architects and engineers to decide which is the better software. In this article, we compare AutoCAD vs Revit and decide the optimal program for your needs.

Autocad vs Revit

What is AutoCAD vs Revit?


AutoCAD( Automatic Computer Aided Design) is a 2-D and 3-D drafting software application used for many different design processes. Established in 1982, AutoCAD has been a dominant program in many design industries because of its continuous update through the decades. This program has replaced traditional pencil-and-paper drafting to create blueprints with easily altered electronic files. It is mostly used to create, modify and analyze geometric models to create any form of structures or objects. Some of its features are:

DWG compare – Can compare and display the differences between two drawings.

Web and Mobile Support – Drawings can be viewed and edited from web and mobile.

2D graphics – 2X faster zoom, change orders, and layer properties

Shared views – Design views can be shared through a web browser for commenting.

PDF import – Import geometry, SHX font files, and raster images into a drawing from PDF.

Workspaces – save and restore workspaces with customized menus and toolbars

Rendering – Lightening and materials can be applied to give 3D models a realistic appearance.

DGN files – Import, export, and attach DGN files to reuse data.

Autocad vs Revit



Revit is a further evolution from the AutoCAD platform. It is a powerful BIM application software that allows 3D modeling, extracting 2D drawings and volume statistics quickly and accurately. Therefore Revit can improve work processes, streamline modeling and enable collaboration between teams. It is not limited to geometry, including the physical properties of components and their interactions. Some notable features of Revit are as follows:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) – Models are indivisible and can be created with real-life information.

Parametric components – Open graphical systems for design and form-making

Work-sharing – Contributors can share and save their work.

Schedules – Tabular displays of the model can be extracted from the properties of elements.

Interoperability – Imports, exports, and links data with commonly used formats.

Annotation – WYSIWYG editing allows you to control text appearance.

Architectural Design – Add elements to the building model, including walls, doors, windows, and components

Cloud Rendering – Produce photorealistic visualizations on the cloud.

Autocad vs Revit


What are the Critical Differences between AutoCAD vs Revit?

Targeted usersWidespread commercial use of 2D & 3D CADArchitects, Engineers, Contractors & Designers
PurposeDraw 2D lines representing real elementsCreate 3D components equipped with real-life information
Technical requirementsOperating systemWindows 7 SP1 or newer (64-bit only); macOS Catalina v10.15 or newerWindows 10, 64-bit (Windows OS only)
Storage10GB30 GB
Internet connectionNeeded for initial license registration and access to the AutoCAD web appNeeded for license registration and component download
Supported DWG filesAdvanced native support for DWG filesAllows import and export of DWG files
Prices Monthly subscription at $235
Yearly subscription at $1,865
3-Year subscription at $5,315
Monthly subscription at $335
Yearly subscription at $2,675
3-Year subscription at $7,625
ProcessesLinear approachStreamlines repetitive drafting tasks
Recommended forPrecise 2D line work (eg. elevation detail drawings)Modeling, cost schedules, clash detection & change management


Advantages & Disadvantages of Revit


Parametric modeling

This is the process of creating 3D models. Every element is part of a “family”. A “family” can be created by assigning dimensions and properties to 2D or 3D information, which can then be modified by a user.

Better workflow

Revit provides a platform where it allows multiple users to work in the same model at the same time, preventing users from making mistakes that may occur casually, whereas, in AutoCAD, only one user can make changes to a .DWG file at a time. By that, the whole team can project consistency in their work.

Extensive automatic building information

Revit is capable of generating information in your design, adding context in terms of materials, price estimates, etc. Even after the project has been completed, having a Revit model simplifies maintenance and future upgrades. 

Autocad vs Revit



Higher price

Revit is a commercial software program that requires a considerable amount of investment in the software, along with high-end powerful PCs. For that reason, its cost can be a hindrance to small architectural firms or independent designers.

Windows-only software

Since Revit is only available on Windows, people couldn’t share their files on other platforms such as iOS.

Focus on structural design

While Revit's emphasis on accuracy is one of its most noteworthy features, it does take away from some other aspects of the software. Other design software packages can create more detailed models because they offer more design tools which the Revit package lacks.

Autocad vs Revit


Advantages & Disadvantages of AutoCAD 


Cloud-based view sharing

AutoCAD offers cloud-based view sharing, which allows other team members to access views without installing the software, even though group editing is still unavailable.

PDF integration

The latest versions of AutoCAD offer PDF integration, which is a very useful feature when the existing construction plans are not available in DWG format.

Precise linework for 2D geometries

AutoCAD provides precise measurements in fractional design, and compositions, which can assist to eliminate errors and enhance overall design quality. Additionally, this software allows you to calculate mass, area, and volume, which aids in creating realistic sketches. This is especially significant in industries such as engineering and architecture, where precision is critical to project success.

Flexible workspace

AutoCAD provides a wide range of tools and features that are customizable to meet the particular needs of different design projects. By default, workspaces can be switched from 2D Drafting and Annotation to 3D Modeling.

Has a mobile app:

This is a notable difference between AutoCAD and Revit which many designers are interested in. AutoCAD allows users to access construction files on their smartphones, making it more user-friendly for architects who frequently work on building sites.


Steep learning curve

For beginners, AutoCAD's enormous number of tools and functions can be overwhelming. These users who are unfamiliar with CAD software may be confused and intimidated by the complexity of the software's interface and the large range of options available. Therefore, it takes time and effort to become familiar with the interface and efficiently use all of the features available in AutoCAD.

Layer synchronization

AutoCAD’s layering system is excellent for including an abundance of details into a model, since you are using a geometric representation, updating one view has no effect on the rest. However, it’s rather terrible from a convenience standpoint since you always have to sync edits with the entire design manually. 

Difficult alteration process

Making changes may be challenging and time-consuming since each part of the project must be updated separately. Moreover, any changes made to designs do not automatically update across all views in AutoCAD. If one aspect of the model is altered, it must usually be manually updated across all of the project's teams.

Autocad vs Revit



Overall, AutoCAD is effective for 2D drafting and precise linework, but strictly speaking, it isn't a building modeling tool. AutoCAD can also create 3D models and renders, but they are still geometric models with no component information. In this case, Revit is a much more powerful software, capable of creating 3D building models and providing accessible modifications, since all design teams are working on the same model.

Ultimately, the choice between AutoCAD and Revit will depend on the specific needs and requirements of a project. Some projects may require the precision and flexibility of AutoCAD, while others may benefit from the 3D modeling and BIM capabilities of Revit.

Understanding how difficult your choice can be, we at Harmony Advanced Technologies provide high-quality BIM and CAD tool customization for your projects with our dedicated team of experts. With over 20 years of industry experience, we offer best-selling software & IT solutions for the construction industry, enable efficient collaboration, streamline workflows, and enhance project outcomes.

Contact us to get more information.

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