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Thread: Origins of Revit

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    Member rayswarts's Avatar
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    Question Origins of Revit

    Being a newbie to the Revit world, can someone out there give me a quick run down on the origins or Revit and where it all started? I know Autodesk purchased it in 2002, but from where and who?

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    Revit Arch. Wishlist Mgr. Wes Macaulay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Revit was originally the Revit Technology Corporation, which was originally called Charles River Software. Irwin Jungreis and Leonid Raiz started the company to solve what they thought was an absence of a parametric modelling platform for architecture.

    ArchiCAD wasn't quite what they were thinking of: and so the idea for something like Revit was born.

    Irwin and Leonid both worked at the Parametric Technology Corporation where if memory serves correct they worked on Pro-Engineer. They both decided around the same time (1998 or so?) to fill this void in the architectural CAD world.

    Irwin and Leonid then worked on getting some venture capital together so they could develop the software. They hired architects to help with product design, and I think I recall seeing some ads on a MIT job board for programming positions at Revit! The first lines of code were written in early 2000.

    I'm under the impression that Revit had more than one offer to be bought out over the years, and that Autodesk didn't get to buy the company the first time they asked

    Revit was and is being developed by crack programmers and product designers, and is being developed by a parent company that supports its goals, and has a rabid following of users who can't wait for what's coming next. Last but not least: you never used to be able to buy Revit - you had to lease it. So if you're keeping Revit, Autodesk has made it a lot cheaper to own now than used to be.
    Wes Macaulay LEED AP
    Teck Construction LLP
    Revit 2014 x64 | Win7 x64 | nVidia GT 650M
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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Just to tack on to Wes’s excellent summation , with a couple of points from a rabid follower…



    • the original company—was founded in 1997.


    • Pro/Engineer was an MCAD programme using a constraint-based parametric modeling engine. Its products revolutionised the field of mechanical computer aided design.


    • Revit Version 1 shipped in April 2000.
    Bruce Gow.

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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    They both decided around the same time (1998 or so?) to fill this void in the architectural CAD world.
    Didn't they buy Pro-Reflex? from PTC and went from there?

    Revit old timers will remember the pro-reflex user (name escapes me) who used to rant and rant about how Revit was just like Pro-Reflex and when was it going to be available for SGI etc? At one stage Zoog even offered to buy him a months license just to shut him up I wonder what he's using now...

    Guy

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    All AUGI, all the time Roger Evans's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    That was Peter Dew working somewhere in the Arab Emirates ~ As matter of fact he was working on some nice projects and doing it very nicely in Pro Reflex ..he sent me a couple of images and I remember being impressed.

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Quote Originally Posted by GuyR
    Didn't they buy Pro-Reflex? from PTC and went from there?
    My understanding is that Pro Reflex had an entirely different interface and working methodology to Revit, as you would expect from a product aimed at the AEC market,… despite the parametric change engine that drives both.



    In any case, the corporate answer to that question has always been a definite no.

    Bruce Gow.

    Karel*CAD. Application Specialist..
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    Revit Family Guy adegnan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Quote Originally Posted by beegee
    Just to tack on to Wes’s excellent summation , with a couple of points from a rabid follower…



    • the original company—was founded in 1997.


    • Pro/Engineer was an MCAD programme using a constraint-based parametric modeling engine. Its products revolutionised the field of mechanical computer aided design.


    • Revit Version 1 shipped in April 2000.
    Well that clears up my fuzzy memory! I thought I started using it in August '99 but it is actually August 2000 then. I know I wasn't using a beta version!

    So... a little over 4 years have passes. WHAT A GREAT LIFE IT IS WITH REVIT!!!

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    AUGI Addict czoog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Evans
    That was Peter Dew working somewhere in the Arab Emirates ~ As matter of fact he was working on some nice projects and doing it very nicely in Pro Reflex ..he sent me a couple of images and I remember being impressed.
    wow, there's a blast from the past! I totally forgot about that guy.

    I remember 1st getting my hands on Revit in May of 2000, i was instantly hooked and began subscribing at version 1.X .... my career path was forever changed!
    Chris
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    Revit Founder irwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    Charles River Software was incorporated by Leonid 10/31/97.

    I joined on 2/2/98.

    First round of venture capital was in 1998.

    First lines of code were written in 1998.

    First office (not counting Leonid's living room) was in Wellesley, MA, upstairs from Dominoes Pizza. It used to smell quite toasty in the afternoons.

    Regarding Reflex, we did do an evaluation to determine if we should base Revit on Reflex and the conclusion was no. None of Revit was based on Reflex (though they both were intended to solve the problem of making a practical 3D architectural modeler). By the way, contrary to what someone said earlier in this thread, Reflex does not have a parametric change engine (one of the reasons we rejected it as a starting point for Revit).

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    Revit Founder LRaiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Origins of Revit

    To expand on Irwin's post I can confirm that we indeed had a non-exclusive development license of Pro/Reflex. PTC maintained their overall ownership and later sold Pro/Reflex to a third party. Rest assured that we did not use a single line of Pro/Reflex code; our approach was entirely different. Almost everything that you see in Revit was developed in-house. The most notable exceptions from this rule are (a) Accurender rendering engine, (b) Pinebush PDF Writer, and (c) Pantone color coding. Pro/Reflex is not on the list, we used it only as a legal insurance policy against PTC.
    Last edited by LRaiz; 2004-11-17 at 02:29 AM.
    Leonid Raiz

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