Compare Autodesk's top-selling BIM and CAD software. The two softwares used to design and document buildings are now available in the AEC Collection.

Courtesy of HOK, © Alan Karchmer/OTTO

Understanding the differences between BIM and CAD

In simple terms, when using CAD for building design, you focus on creating drawings. When using BIM, you focus on creating a building model and then the drawings can be generated from the model.

What is BIM?

BIM is Building Information Modelling. It is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Rendering of a highway intersection illustrating the design capabilities of AutoCAD software

What is CAD?

CAD is Computer-Aided Design. CAD software provides technology for architects, engineers and construction professionals to design and create precise 2D and 3D drawings, replacing manual drafting with an automated process.

Infrastructure cityscape image with a buildings focus and a blue digital overlay.

What's the difference between Revit and AutoCAD?

The biggest difference is that AutoCAD is CAD software and Revit is software for BIM. While AutoCAD is a general drawing tool with broad application, Revit is a design and documentation solution, supporting all phases and disciplines involved in a building project.

Revit is used to co-ordinate all data inputs (including CAD) and produce federated project deliverables. Both programmes are often used within the same firm, with BIM and CAD specialists working on different elements of a project.

Rendering of Botswana Innovation Hub

Image courtesy of Botswana Innovation Hub - SHoP Architects

Are BIM and Revit the same?

BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information on a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle. The role of BIM is to gather and link data relating to the design, construction and operation of a building to produce a comprehensive 3D model.

Revit is BIM software widely used by architects, engineers and contractors to create a unified model that all disciplines and trades can use to complete their work. Autodesk Revit was created to support BIM and not to replace BIM. Revit hosts the information that forms the model from which drawings and documents are derived.

Can AutoCAD and Revit be used together?

AutoCAD and Revit are interoperable and can be used together. They are commonly used together to incorporate designs created in AutoCAD within a Revit project. Firms may use AutoCAD on certain projects or components of a design and use Revit to generate BIM deliverables and to enable collaboration with other design disciplines. Get access to Revit and AutoCAD in a specialised solution with the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection.

Autodesk Interoperability Guide

Integrate AutoCAD projects with Revit

The AutoCAD Revit Interoperability Guide demonstrates how you can use Revit with AutoCAD to help manage a project and its deliverables. You‘ll learn how to integrate existing AutoCAD projects with Revit, export views or sheets to DXF or DWG format, link external data into Revit and much more.

Compare software features

Learn more

AutoCAD + Revit + BIM 360 Docs (video: 1.36 min.)

See how AutoCAD and Revit work together

Use AutoCAD together with Revit in the AEC Collection. Unlock your best building designs with BIM and CAD software. With intelligent model-based design and task automation, you can focus on the most important design challenges and work better and faster together.

View of the cover of “The Benefits of Using the Architecture toolset in AutoCAD” study

AutoCAD Architecture toolset is now included with AutoCAD

Get access to the specialised Architecture toolset (formerly known as AutoCAD Architecture) when you subscribe to AutoCAD. See how you can work faster on common architectural design tasks by downloading the AutoCAD Architecture Toolset Productivity Study.

See how customers are using Revit and AutoCAD

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Revit and AutoCAD resources



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