I too am quite upset about not being able to do this. Our company (engineering firm) has been working with architecture firms that have in the past year updated to revit 2013. We haven't been able to follow suit with the upgrades due to $ but we will soon upgrade... although i'm sure 2014 will be out by then. lol.
Anyway, i hope that Autodesk somehow figures this out. In the mean time, i heard that you might be able to export a 2013 file to dwf and then open it in 2012, but the geometry might take a hit.
OK, so I understand your rant and, I've been using Revit for almost 10 years. The fact is, in this world of "collaboration", it's just STUPID that you can share a 2013 file with someone not on 2013. No conversion, no process, no integration and yes, no collaboration. We right now have a file that our consultants cannot use because Revit / Autodesk did not have the foresight to think collaboration. As such, they try to force the market to all upgrade. Remember, it's all about the money. It stinks and you know it. But, then again, it sounds like you're not working in the "real" world but in some software company's think tank. Think real. It should have a way to be compatible amongst the community that uses Revit and not everyone is on 2013. I regret upgrading.
How's that for a rant?!
I can understand your frustration, I really can. You've invested thousands of dollars and hundreds, if not thousands, of man-hours into your project, and now you're left with, at best, a kludge of a workaround (export to IFC, re-import in a previous Revit version). It sucks. I get it.
However, that does not mean that the issue could not have been avoided in the first place with some proper planning and foresight. And I'm not talking about planning and foresight on the part of Autodesk. You and your consultants, as a fully cooperative project team, have to understand the benefits and repercussions of the software you use, regardless of the platform or experience.
There are technical reasons that a Revit model cannot, and will not, be backwards compatible, but I'm not going to get into them, because they're irrelevant here. Suffice it to say that it is not, as you say, all about "the money." The lack of backwards compatibility is a (well-)known issue with Revit, and has been since the software was first released.
Why didn't you know? As a user of Revit for 10 years, and someone who works in the "real world", you should have understood the implications of using the latest release of the software. I've found that a solid policy regarding when/how to upgrade, along with a good dialog between our office and our consultants, will go a long way towards rendering the backwards compatibility issue a moot point.
Good luck to you in the future, and I hope that this setback doesn't cause you to give up on Revit.
I am late to this discussion and a brand new user of Revit. I just started teaching myself the program as I feel like I need to at least start the process even thought our company has not formally adopted it.
When I first read today that Revit is not backwards compatible, I freaked out. My freak got even worse when I read you even had to match build numbers. However, even though I think it stinks, I can see why it would be very difficult to make this a reality. On the flip side, I find it a bit more palattable since I put our company on subscription. We had to update our autocad and found out it was actually cheaper to put our 4 seats on subscription. We locked into building suite premium which gave us everything I use including autocad architecture, 3ds max, and now revit. One of these programs alone in a single license would have cost more than we paid to purchase each seat of the building suite. I know I will hear complaints that the subscription is expensive, and it is, but since Autodesk now only supports the last 3 years, it is actually amost as expensive to upgrade every 3 years as it is to stay on subscription. This is especually true if you use more than one autodesk program.
I am menitoning this since I do no think it is all that bad to stay current with Revit once you get into the subscription and we are a very small firm. However, I think Autodesk needs to find a way to make it very affordable to small or single owner firms to jump from autocad into a suite and then subscription. If we are all going to be going down this road, then autodesk needs to grease the track a bit more to make it happen. I am also wondering what Autodesk is doing for the students who are learning Revit? I feel for the professor and othe instructors trying to teach Revit and the students working on different versions individually and in a firm if they are working students. When I was in school, the software manufacturers counted on us to be the people that pushed firms into new technology. I was using Autocad, Photoshop, FormZ, Sketchup and 3Ds max way before many smaller firms began to first use them and I am responsible for introducing at least 1 Philadelphia firm and 2 more local firms into 1 or more of these programs. I would think it is still the same for the students in architecture and engineering schools so I would think Autodesk would want to make it easy for these people to stay current.
Actually, I just thought of something that could really be disturbing. If a structural engineer works with Revit Structure and a firms works with Revit Architecture and I work with Revit Building Suite, are all three going to play nice? I am asking because I noticed that Revit architecture has different updates and patches than Revit building suite so even if you have the same year, how can you match the build?
In most cases you can exchange files from the same release. I personally can't even think of a case where I have seen different build numbers create a conflict (except dailiy or hourly builds on test machines a the factory). As long as everyone shares the same release year you should be ok. To make sure ANY possible conflicts don't occur you can try to stay on the same build number/update.
It would be so much better to have the 2013 version able to save backwards, I began with Revit 11 now I am up to 13.
It just opens the playing feild fro those who can upgrade faster than those who are unable to. And if intergrated Project delvery can happen with a lot smoother with Revit version compatible with one another. But I am just a Cad guy, what would I know.
At the risk of stirring up this hornet nest again, if you want to "save down" a Revit file, just export it to IFC, then import that into the previous release.
WARNING: YOU WILL NOT GET A COMPLETELY CLEAN FILE. THERE WILL BE ERRORS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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