What Sprinkler design tools exists for Revit?
Today we're going to talk about what Sprinkler design tools even exist, what do we use? What's used throughout this space within Revit?
First, why talk about this?
One - we're all about showing and sharing resources that you have available. The benefit of this platform, the reason we built this, is in part to say there are tons of resources available - we want to make those resources accessible, usable, right in front of you - so that you have the best tools to do your job well. That's essentially everything behind the MeyerFire Universe.
Now today's video is going to be limited to the main players in the space.
There are custom written programs, there's individual users, there's Dynamo for Revit where people write in custom coded processes - those are great. You should use them, you should tinker around with them, of course do that. This video is going to be relatively limited to the major players that are making an impact in the sprinkler space today - at the time of publishing.
Now that in itself - the time of publishing is its own issue. These are constantly changing.
I see screenshots from just six months ago and they look outdated because all of these players are constantly updating and adding their features. Now 10 years ago, there weren't that many players in this space, I could probably count on one hand - maybe even two or three fingers how many players were even dabbling in this. Now we've got twice or three times as many players that are in some way contributing to the Fire Sprinkler space in Revit and actually making an impact in the industry. That's great to see, I'm really excited about that. But the place and time, the relevance - this video is being created in 2023 - how is this going to be relevant even two years from now?
Well, we overcome that in like we do with all the videos on this platform - by updating each video in a three-year cycle, you'll see at the beginning of the video we say when it's published and when it's going to be updated. We stay true to that. We want the information here to be relevant to what you're doing today, and we continuously look over the content that's on this platform to make sure that it's up to date, that it's refined, and it's updated. So just like the code cycle changes every three years, we go through all of these videos and republish and update so that it's relevant to today's content.
You're not watching a video from 2006 where half the players in the industry weren't even there. This is going to be relevant to today and that's how we overcome it - we revisit each video on a 3-year basis - that aside, who are the biggest players in the Fire Sprinkler Revit space?
Well, as far as I can see and who I talk to and the level of influence in the industry - there's really six major players that exist today.
Now, the market space that's taken up by each of them is dramatically different - but I want to highlight the six that I know about today with one big caveat and that is- if you're using Sprinkler design tools that I don't share here today, comment below in this video. Give us some links, show us what else is out there so that we're always tinkering and experimenting and seeing what tools can be useful and relevant for today.
So as of this publishing - what players exist in the sandbox that is Fire Sprinkler Design - and by that, I mean having enough tools to actually impact Sprinkler design within Revit - well in alphabetical order they are:
Each of these players has an add-in that you install and place on top of Revit’s infrastructure.
Let's talk about each of these in just a little bit of introductory detail and then below this video you'll see links to each of these providers websites. They've got tutorials and videos and way more than I could explain today. And hopefully, these links will continuously be relevant to their latest features and not just the features that are current as of 2023.
AutoSprinkRVT is one of the big players in the space. AutoSprinkRVT currently has hydraulic calculations inside of Revit which is a phenomenal feature. It has pipe connection abilities, sprinkler layout abilities. It does a really good job of differentiating between taps - which is like a welded outlet on a pipe and T’s which is an actual fitting that would go to connect pipe.
They don't currently have fabrication within Revit, but that's something that I know firsthand is in development.
HydraCAD for Revit
Another major player is HydraCAD for Revit. This is developed by HydraTEC in the eastern United States.
HydraCAD for Revit has hydraulic calculation features. It has stock listing features for material fabrication. It has some family import features. They have some nice Sprinkler layout and system selection features within the add-in and many people who are converting over from CAD to the Revit space have made the jump with HydraCAD from a CAD based system to a Revit based system
One of the providers that came into the space in 2017 is MicroBIM out of Sydney. MicroBIM has hydraulic calculations, pipe connection abilities, rotation abilities and material fabrication. They’ve got essentially a full suite of tools that they offer within the MicroBIM application.
SprinkCAD for Revit
SprinkCAD for Revit is another provider you might be familiar with from the CAD space.
SprinkCAD has long been used with AutoCAD and is developed by Johnson Controls, formerly Tyco. SprinkCAD has pipe connection abilities, auto connect, selection tools, hydraulic calculation, and fabrication abilities.
Victaulic for Revit
Next in our list, we have Victaulic for Revit. Victaulic for Revit is a relatively low cost add-in that is all about pipe routing connections and labeling.
So, Victaulic for Revit doesn't provide hydraulic calculations but it does have some very nice features that you use when you're routing pipe, connecting pipe, rotating pipe, moving pipe within Revit and providing labels for those.
Victaulic for Revit also has some fabrication features as part of this add in as well.
Viking for Revit
Last in our list is Viking for Revit.
Viking tools for Revit is a relatively recent add-in that's developed by Viking.
Of all the tools that we're talking about today, this is the only one that's actually free. Viking provides Sprinkler connection tools, they can cut in couplings, develop Sprinkler legends, they have some dry Sprinkler features, floating in families, they have a nice arm over the Riser Nipple tool which could be really helpful for some lighter users.
And Viking also has a Sprinkler estimator tool for estimating the number of Sprinklers that would be needed on a project.
So, as of today, those are the major players that affect fire Sprinkler design in Revit, at least as far as I can see from a regional and national standpoint. The people I talk to, the people that are in the Revit space - these tend to be the major players that keep cropping up to the top.
If you've got a provider that we didn't list here, again, comment below, give us some links so we can look into that, and the last thing I can and the last thing I can suggest is always be improving. That's not just software, that's templates and details. Be learning and growing and tinkering and experimenting all the time so that you can always be improving. That's not just a software thing, that's a knowledge thing and kind of an approach to life - but always be improving, always be looking out.
Now if you’re wishing you knew more about what each of these individual add-ins have to offer – well, you’re in luck. We’re going to cover the various features of each of these add-ins in future Revit segments here on the MeyerFire University platform.
Now your needs and your combination of needs today will be different from your needs and the combination of things that you'll need tomorrow. It's important that we always assess the value that we're getting from our resources after all a lot of them cost money - but continuously consider and assess the return that you're getting from those resources.
In our next segment, I'll cover the most common question that I get about design in Revit which is what software should I use?
I'll give you the exact same answer that I give when I get this question and it may be a little bit different than you might expect.
I’m Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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