Why InstaCrete is the best Revit modelling tool? Let’s find.

Comparison between Revit modelling vs InstaCrete modelling (Part I)

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We will be publishing a series of blogs & try to find out the winner.

In this article, we will compare the grid, level & foundation tools.

Birth of the Revit add-ons Instacrete –

We at RCCCAD IT Solution Pvt. Ltd. regularly carryout Revit modelling for very large commercial complexes, malls, multiplexes, office spaces, hotels etc. Till now we have completed more than 6 million sq. ft. buildings area. Revit modelling involves concrete & rebar modelling.

The workflow –

– Receive 2D drawings & bills. Build the Revit model according to the contractor’s bills & drawings. Use Phase tool to match the model & the bill.

– Drawing phase-wise quantities from the model.

– Cross-checking these quantities with contractors bills.

– Pointing out the discrepancies in the bill to the contractor.

While constructing the model our experience of using Autodesk Revit is –

– major time is required to position the building objects like columns, beams, floors, stairs & walls.

– Constructing a stair is a hell of a job. The joint between the floor & the stair is never smooth.

– Constructing a floor requires a loop, which involves drawing the lines, trimming & extending those lines. Often a cumbersome job. 

– Drawing beams on different floors involves opening the floor plans, clicking the two points in the drawing area to construct the beam. Then moving the beam to the required position. Time consuming job.

– To extract the quantities in M. S. Excel – First step is to extract the quantities in Revit. The second step is to export these quantities.

To overcome all these difficulties we developed a Revit plugin, InstaCrete, full of features having 22 tools.

In a series of articles, we will compare Revit modelling against InstaCrete modelling. This is the first article in which I will compare tools namely, grid, level & foundations. I will draw ten horizontal & ten vertical grid lines unevenly spaced. Then I will draw ten levels & then place foundations.


Before deciding upon the position of the building, the Architect considers all the aspects such as plot size, its directions, access to the road, government rules & regulations etc. Considering all these situations the architect draws rough sketches. Upon approval of the owner, the centre line plan is drawn in consultation with the structural designer. The centre line plan decides the position of the building project. In Autodesk Revit, centre line plan is drawn using the Grid tool. The property palette box helps to define the grid-line style.

In general terms, the centre line plan has got horizontal & vertical lines which are cutting each other. The centre of all the columns & foundations is on the intersecting point. (Although there could be some exceptions.) After “setting out” this building plan on the site the excavation process begins. If the horizontal lines are A, B, C, D …. & the vertical ones are 1, 2, 3, 4 —-. The name of the column on grid, G & 5 becomes CG5. “C” for the column. Similarly, FG5 would be the name of the foundation. Of course, different organisations follow different standards while naming structural objects. In a nutshell, grid lines or the centre lines not only define the position of the building but they also help to name the building objects. The grid lines help us to manage the building designing as well as the execution of the project.

exchange apps

Drawing grid lines using Revit :

In a metric structural template, I will open the grid tool. Draw the first horizontal line by clicking two points. The name of the line is 1. Select the pick line tool. Let the offset distance of the second line from line one is 4000 millimetres. Click the first line. To draw ten lines, change the offset distance each time & click on the preceding line. Let the offset distances be 4200, 4100, 4150, 3900, 3950, 4000, 4100&4200millimetres. As we have ten grid lies, let us end the command.

Now, let us draw ten vertical lines. Draw the first vertical grid line. Change its name to A. Select the pick line tool to draw nine more lines, change the offset value as 3950, 3900, 4000, 4100, 4150, 4200, 4000, 3940 & 3900 millimetres.

Levels –

Levels define the height of the building. Each level defines a story. The stories are often named the first floor, sixth floor etc.

Drawing Levels using Revit –

Level tool in Revit helps to draw level lines.

Open any elevation view. There are two default levels at 3000 millimetres apart. Change its distance to 4500.

Open the level tool. Select pick lines. Change offset distances as 4250, 4205, 3000, 3000, 3000, 3000, 3000, 3000 millimetres& go on clicking the preceding level line.

Now open the level 1 plan view. We will place foundations at the grid intersection points. I have loaded two more foundation families in the project file.

Tall Buildings

Placing foundations in the drawing –

Select the isolated tool from the structure menu. Select any size of the foundation. Select the “at grids” tool. Select all grid intersection points by cross window method. Hit the “finish” tool to place the foundation on all the grid tool. As we can not have a single foundation size at all the grid intersection points, let us change the foundations. Select the foundation & change its size from the type selector. Go on changing the size for all the grid intersection points.

We can see 11 minutes are spent to complete this process.

Now, I will repeat the above procedure using the Revit app, InstaCrete.

Let us begin with the process of “drawing the grid lines”.

While developing the grid manager in InstaCrete, we thought –
– why not draw several grid lines at a time?

– the user should be able to draw grids at equal & unequal distance.

So, having this in mind we developed the Grid manager.

Let us open the grid manager in a new metric structural template file.

I will put ten as the value for the number of grids in an east-west direction. Select non-uniform distance & put the same distances as we have earlier done. Let us have ten numbers for north-south grid lines. Select non-uniform distance & put the distances. Hit the okay button.

Now let us draw levels.

While developing the level manager in InstaCrete, we thought –

 – there should be a facility that enables to draw multiple levels at an equal & unequal distance.

Keeping this in mind, we developed a level manager in InstaCrete.

To begin with, I will change the height between two default levels in the south elevation. Then I will open the level manager. Let us have eight levels at a non-uniform distance. I will put all the distances in the table. Click the okay button & observe the ten levels.

As everybody can see that, I was able to place several grids & levels at a time.

Now, let us place foundations on the intersecting grid points. We know that Autodesk Revit can place several foundations in a single command. But, its drawback is that it can’t place multiple sizes in a single use of the tool. In actual day to day situation, many foundation sizes are recommended by the designer.

So, we thought of developing the foundation manager –

– which is capable of placing foundations of any size at the desired grid intersection point &

– should follow the symmetry if required.

– The user should be able to attach data for 4d & 5D analysis

 – & edit the foundation using the same dialogue box. 

Considering all these requirements we developed the Foundation manager.



Tall Buildings

I will open the foundation manager & select the appropriate sizes for the grid intersection points. As you can see in the video the user can place fifteen foundations at a time. For symmetric drawing thirty foundations are possible. But for this demo, I will not use the symmetric option & also I am not going to attach the data to the foundations.

Let us see the video.

I completed the procedure in around 7 minutes.

InstaCrete completed the procedure in 7 minutes as against 11 minutes taken by Revit.

Instacrete saved 34% of your time while drawing grids, levels & laying foundations.

It is also available from https://apps.autodesk.com/en


Revit Modelling vs InstaCrete Modelling Part III - Beam tool

Revit Modelling vs InstaCrete Modelling Part IV -Floor tool

Revit Modelling vs InstaCrete Modelling Part V -Wall tool

Revit Modelling vs InstaCrete Modelling Part VI -Stair tool