We are using Autodesk Revit MEP, and we bought the suite that came with Revit that has AutocadMEP. Revit has been a pain to use and learn, to say the least, and wondering if just using AutocadMEP for those jobs needing BIM in correlation with Revit Architecture is the way to go. Is it easier to learn and use? As an office, we want to start getting others in the office up to speed on BIM, and not sure whch way we should go. Any pros/cons either way? Has anyone started with Revit and switched to Autodesk MEP?
MEP is way easier.
Here is the shakedown: Revit was never meant to be a drawing/CAD program, it was designed to be an engineering tool for design purposes. To make it do what CAD does is nearly impossible without re-writing the program.
MEP and Revit are not really interchangable, but are able to be used together for construction documentation and such.
Note again, Revit is not and was never meant to be a drafting program.
Revit is pushed, especially by Architects and Autodesk, as the premier BIM solution. But for building construction purposes and when it comes down to the trades of Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (Piping, FA...), AutoCAD MEP works great. I could see possibly the advantage of Revit in a large Design firm where Architectural and Engineering is integrated in a single company and certainly large engineering firms are using Revit MEP to a degree of success, but for my money, the simplicity of AutoCAD MEP and the integration with the other trades using ACAD MEP, especially in layout and design coordination with the various trades, is where BIM really shines.
You really need to make a commitment if you are going to use Revit. One firm I know does every project in Revit MEP because it is too hard to go back and forth. I have only done three projects in Revit and they were six months apart and the learning curve is just too steep. If I had more clients that used Revit I would probably stop using MEP and force myself to use Revit. However if you are using AutoCad MEP is way easier to get up to speed. However long term Revit is probably the future.