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9 Revit Mistakes That Slow You Down (Avoiding Mistake #3 Is Especially Useful)


9 Revit Mistakes That Slow You Down (Avoiding Mistake #3 Is Especially Useful)

Revit offers you the opportunity to make your workflow more efficient. However, many people make simple mistakes that prevent this from happening.


Though Revit feels like a fairly new innovation in digital design software, it’s actually older than you may think. The first version released in 2000, with each version since taking advantage of new technology.

Revit has always been about improving collaboration between stakeholders. The rise of cloud computing aided in that. Suddenly, the software had the technology it needed to make its intentions a reality. People could use the cloud to share model data, creating an integrated design process.

The rise of Building Information Modelling (BIM) also led to more people migrating to Revit from other software packages.

You may now use Revit yourself. After all, there are several advantages of Revit, including:

  • It eliminates repetitive tasks as all of the models you create interlink. A change in one reflects in all of the other models as well. This also helps with catching issues. You can see instantly if a change in one model negatively affects another.
  • Increased accuracy allows for better estimation of material requirements and costs. This benefit helps most when construction starts. Crews know exactly what they need to work with. As a result, you don’t order too much material just to ensure that you have enough.
  • Revit keeps every key stakeholder involved in the project. The use of the cloud means that everybody can check the model or make updates when needed. This also helps with the relationship between client and designer. Clients can see the progress you make in real time and highlight any issues they spot.
  • Revit allows you to export a wider range of files into the software. You can also store all of these in a single project folder. This means that you have a central hub for every design that you create.

It all comes down to making your project design cycle more efficient and cost-effective.

But you can’t do that if you’re making mistakes.

Here are the top Revit mistakes that you must avoid.

Mistake #1 – Not Purging DWG Models


It’s great that Revit can import DWG models from AutoCAD. Those making the transition from AutoCAD to Revit can take advantage of this to speed up their work.

However, there’s a problem.

DWG models slow Revit down and can even cause problems with stability.

Typically, a DWG model will use much more memory than the models that you create in Revit. Leaving a DWG file in place after importing it can lead to internal errors too. You’ll end up spending more time clearing up the conflicts that they create with pure Revit models.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t import DWG files into your Revit model. They’re useful if you need to trace a model to create a pure Revit entity, for example.

Just make sure that you purge the file once you’re done with it.

Also, don’t explode any DWG files that you import. This may prevent you from purging the files from your Revit BIM software altogether.

Here’s how you can handle the issue if you need the DWG file for a background. Link it in instead of importing it. Revit won’t suffer the same performance issues with this technique.

Mistake #2 – Opening Unneeded Worksets


As your model becomes more complex, it’s likely that you’ll have several worksets in your Revit BIM software. Each of these worksets require memory to stay open. This places greater demands on your hardware, which can result in your software slowing down.

Yet many people still open every available workset when working on their Revit models. They slow themselves down just because they want access to everything at once.

Luckily, this is a simple fix. When opening your Revit model, you’ll notice a small downward-facing arrow by the open button. Click it and you can choose which worksets to open. The rest don’t open, so they don’t make demands on your memory.

This is particularly useful when showing models to clients because it allows for quicker navigation.

Mistake #3 – Not Resolving Warnings


Revit throws up warnings all the time. Each tells you that something you’ve done may cause a conflict in the model that you’re building.

But they’re so easy to ignore.

When you’re working towards a tight deadline, you may decide to resolve the warnings in a big batch. You focus your efforts on finishing the model, with the intention of coming back to fix the problems later.

That creates more problems than it solves. In a complex model, it’s easy to amass over 500 warnings.

This is a two-fold problem. Each of these warnings highlights a problem with the model. But Revit also constantly checks to see if you’ve resolved the warnings. This means it’s dedicating resources to checking something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

These checks slow down model performance, which makes you less efficient. The minute or so you spend resolving each warning early could save you hours in the overall process.

Mistake #4 – Using Third-Party Revit Families


One of the great things about Revit is that it allows you to use other people’s Revit Families. Third parties may make custom-designed Families available for you to download. These typically contain pre-built elements that you can incorporate into your model.

This often speeds up the model-building process.

But there’s a problem.

Some of these third parties add so much detail to their Families that they can severely affect your model’s performance. For example, too much detail on a window can add several megabytes onto a previously lean model. Repeat that window several times and you’ve bloated the model completely.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use Revit Families at all. Many will speed up your workflow. Just check what they contain first to ensure you’re not getting more than you need.

Mistake #5 – Printing from Central


Did you know that you can waste valuable time when printing a model from Revit?

It’s all about printing from the central model.

This model usually has a lot of traffic going on. Lots of people work on it at the same time, so anything you do that involves it takes more time. Printing from the central model adds to this traffic.

The model takes longer to print, though this usually only wastes a couple of minutes.

More damaging are the effects that printing from the central model has on other people. Printing traffic slows down any other work on the model. Repeated printing from the central model can add hours onto your project time. It can also cause conflicts in the central database.

There’s a simple solution.

Detach your model from the central model when you want to print. You won’t have to wait in traffic to get the printout, plus you don’t create problems for other people.

Mistake #6 – Keeping All of Your Families


You develop loads of Families during your work with Revit. Each of them served a purpose at some point, but you don’t need access to all of them all of the time.

Yet many people keep all of the Families they create inside each of their Revit BIM models. They want to have access to all of them, just in case they need to use something.

The simple fact is that most of your Families will go unused for months, if you even use them at all. Keeping them all means you’re placing more demands on the software. Again, this slows you down in other areas. Revit has to load all your Families before you can get to work.

Purge any Families that you know that you don’t need. Revit even has a “Purge Unused” tool to help you with this.

Remember, you can always reload a Family into the model if you need it. But you can’t get back the time you wasted on loading all of the Families into every model.

Mistake #7 – Over-Modelling


This is one of the top Revit mistakes that everybody makes at some point or another. You’re so set on impressing a client with your model that you go overboard. Instead of keeping things lean, you over-model everything. Your model has all of these extra design flourishes that look pretty but don’t serve a practical purpose.

There’s one question to ask yourself when you start working on a Revit BIM model:

How detailed does it need to be?

Usually, you don’t need as much detail as you first thought.

Like most of these mistakes, over-modelling places more demands on your software. It slows everything down, which can cause huge problems during the early stages of a project. When clients want models done quickly, you’ll have to sacrifice some detail to improve efficiency.

It’s all about practicality. Prove that the model works and your general design ideas fit together before you start working on the details.

Mistake #8 – Too Much Element Locking


Locking is an important tool in Revit. It lets you keep important components in place, creating a link with other components in the process.

Many novices lock any important components that they create. However, each lock creates a new relationship for Revit to deal with. Revit reviews every one each time you load the model, which wastes valuable time.

Furthermore, too much locking can have a devastating effect on your models. For example, let’s say you’ve locked all of your grids together. Moving one of those grids out of place can lead to all of the grids moving. Your model ends up ruined because you kept everything locked.

Locking works best when you’re building Families. Beyond that, consider the potential consequences to both performance and model quality each time you create a lock.

Mistake #9 – Too Many Views


You’ll create lots of views during your model building. So many, in fact, that it’s easy to lose track of them all. You end up with loads of unsorted views, plus a few that you haven’t even gotten around to naming.

This places more demand on your Revit software’s resources. The software updates every open view each time you make a change in one of them. It also means that you waste time trying to find the right view among a sea of views that aren’t relevant anymore.

Create naming practices to avoid this mistake. Give every view you create a purpose and sort related views so that they’re all together. Revit’s browser organisation tools allow you to make your views easy to manage. This means you know which ones you need open, plus you can navigate between them quicker.

Mistake #10 – Not Compacting Files


One of the biggest advantages of Revit is its ability to take in data from many different sources. It’s this data that helps you to create accurate models.

However, data also builds up over time. Sometimes, your models end up overburdened with data to the point that they slow to a crawl.

That’s where the Compacting tool can help. This streamlines all of your model’s data, creating a smaller saved file in the process.

Compacting does take a little longer than standard saving. However, it saves resources when using Revit. Overall, you’ll spend less time on compacting that Revit would spend dealing with too much data.



You’ll notice that most of these mistakes lead to slowdown when using Revit. Some also affect other people as they work on your model. As a basic rule, fix anything that places a greater demand on memory or the software than is necessary.

The good thing is that each of these mistakes has an easy fix. It’s getting into the habit of correcting the issues that may take some time.

Keep this list handy and identify the mistakes that you make in Revit. Fix them to improve your workflow and create more cost-effective models.

Of course, ArchiStar Academy can help you too. Our Revit BIM course equips you with the tools that you need to use Revit to its fullest.

If you’re looking to get started with Revit, or you want to improve your existing skills, contact ArchiStar today.

ArchiStar Academy offers several courses across the spectrum of digital design software. You’ll develop your skills, allowing you to create more accurate and functional models.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Archistar Academy today if you have any questions.


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Posted on 20 Jan 2020

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