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DM Electric versus DM Electrical for Revit


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#1 birtclp

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 05:42 AM

We have been using DM Electric for a while and like it.  Problem being we are seeing another round of our top architectural clients pressing us to use Revit.  We provide them a model with light fixtures via export, and that has worked well to date, but they are now just wanting everything in Revit.

We've invested time and $$ in DM Electric and we have gotten pretty good at it, so I'm hesitant to switch to something new.  Our experiences with Revit (we own it and do use it on occasion with one client who requires it) have not been good in terms of productivity and the lesser quality of the end product.  In terms of electrical design it's just a bad product in our opinion.

That said, has anyone else in this situation switched to Revit and DM Electrical for Revit in lieu of DM Electric (CAD)?  If so, what are your comments?  Is it just as good as DM Electric once DM for Revit is added?  If not, is it somewhat close or is it still a bit of a nightmare with production taking 25% to 50% more manhours?

This is a big business decision for me, so any and all comments are appreciated.

#2 rlwilson56

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 05:18 AM

Yes, I agree this is a big decision we wrestled with it for 6 months. We ended up getting the Building Design Suite from Autodesk. It allows up to have both Revit and AutoCAD at the same time. Which product you pick truly depends on what you are looking for in the final product. As far as creating construction documentation Revit is by far better. When it comes to the electrical calculations Design Master is by superior. Revit will only do standard calculations out of the box. We have spend weeks figuring out how to modify things in Revit to get the alternate calculations to work out close enough to not cause us a problem done the road. Revit is years from being able to do what Design Master does. Creating the families in Revit to allow for all the different electrical information is almost a full time job especially if the architect are just using products off the internet. You also will have to get different add in programs to do things that is already in Design Master. Revit does not do Photometrics without an add-in program. With Revit not being backwards compatible you can end up having to close out of one version completely to open a different version unless you have multiple licenses. This is a big time consumer if you have only one license. Revit is faster when modeling, but unless you need to use modeling in different forms in your company it still is probably not worth the effort to leave Design Master. There is a steep learning curve and months of set up. You will need lots of advice from you Autodesk supplier also. Revit works if you are doing very standard stuff, but if you work outside the box it is terrible. We do a lot of multi-family projects and Revit does nothing well at all. we have had to figure out work arounds for everything. The work arounds were even needed to get Design Master Revit to work. I know this is long, but a lot to consider. Let me know if you want more input.

#3 David Robison

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:32 AM

I directly emailed a few customers to get their feedback. Here's one response from a user in Massachusetts that has been using our AutoCAD software for over ten years:

"DM Electrical is far ahead of Revit when it comes to productivity and calculations. We utilize both products and depending on the complexity on average Revit projects take up to 3 times longer to implement compared to DM projects. There is a huge learning curve switching from AutoCAD to Revit. You need someone on staff who can make and customize families for use in Revit projects. Unfortunately the Architects seem to love Revit and are forcing engineering firms to do work in Revit.  We would rather work in DM than Revit."

#4 SuperDuper

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 08:16 AM

The company I work for uses CAD and Revit with DM Electrical for both.

DM for Revit helps. Revit out of the box has its own families for panels and schedules, but are basic. DM for Revit strength is the ability to calculate voltage drop and do fault calculations for example, as well as manipulate feeders, branch circuit sizes and panel breakers very similar to DM for CAD. There has been some growing pains with Revit and DM for Revit but Dave is pretty responsive in helping remedy any problems.

I would recommend the DM for Revit software.

#5 David Robison

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 04:48 AM

Another comment from a customer in North Carolina:

"DM Electrical RT in Revit only helps streamline the panel and load calculations it doesn’t help with the fixture/device layout."

This comment highlights an important distinction between the two products.

Electrical for AutoCAD does everything. We have complete control of the whole design which allows us to provide a lot of power and functionality.

Electrical for Revit adds to what already exists in Revit. As much as possible, we try to use what Revit already does. We replace some things that don't work, like feeder and wire sizing. We add things that are missing, like fault calculations. Some things we can't change, like device insertion. This customer was expecting our Revit add-in to do more than it does. We do what we can, but we are limited by how Revit works.

#6 birtclp

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:50 AM

Thanks, great input and I even got a call from a user with great info.  We've thrown this around in-office for a while and seem to revisit it each year.  For now we are going to stay with bulk of our design using AutoCAD and DM, and for the few clients we have requiring a 100% Revit design we'll just use Revit with all its many limitations.  My goal is to convince our largest two clients to keep letting us use DM with light fixtures and devices exportable to Revit.  My problem will be if/when one or both of those clients demand a full Revit design.




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