Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A portable viewer for Revit projects?

The other day I was contacted by a company purporting to have created a portable viewer to share Revit models. I was a bit skeptical at first, but thought I would give it a shot and check it out. The company is called CADFASTER ( ). Basically, they have a plugin that gets added to Revit which will convert a Revit project to a single EXE file. Once converted, you just double click the EXE file and it launches a small applicaiton (think similar to Vasari) which then uses your video card to display the geometry from the converted Revit project.

I tried it on a training file of a Revit project and it translated the information relatively well and quickly, however the curtain walls seemed to be missing. Then, I decided to use a Revit project currently in production for reference.
* 235MB, 5 story hospital project from Revit 2011
* Roughly 25 mins to create the exe
* 41 seconds to open 21MB exe file.

In the end, the file once opened in the viewer, was so far zoomed out that I could hardly see the building. No zoom window function, orbiting was limited, couldn't really do much more. At this point, it's not really a technology usable, but it definitely looks promising. If they can work out some of the usability/translation issues, we might have a winner.

Since they plan to have the ability to share the model remotely with multiple users and be able to add annotations to it, it could have great potential for collaboration with extended project stakeholders.

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