Hello everyone. I was tasked with testing the BIM waters for our little firm. Googling told me that market share of Revit and Archicad is somewhat equal in Europe, and that Revit has better interoperability with engineering and MEP people. So I spent couple of hours with Revit, daily, for the past month. And you know what, after a month, I could do the simplest of objects. Maybe. With much struggle.
Maybe I'm just to stupid, but as someone who mastered 3dsmax, Mental ray, Corona, Fusion, Photoshop... and a number of related programs, I think I'm at least fairly average.
I'll list several thing here that bother me, or that are just plain incredible for a BIM program, and I hope you can tell me "yes it's like that in Archicad, no it's better, no it's worse...".
- The main issue I have with Revit is that as far as graphic standards go, there is nothing in it that is used in my country. I have to create everything from scratch. And everything is in families. So you first have to master families. Basically you have to be a Revit expert to even start working in it. And then you try to create things - and they don't work.
For example - door tags - Revit doesn't recognize in which direction doors open so you have to have 4 different tags types (up, down, left, right, our tags have to be "inside" the doors), add to that different materials that have to be noted on the tag (wood, PVC, metal) and you end up with 12 door tag types. Sigh.
Spot elevation - create new family (of course, you have to create a new family) - it can be flipped down but Revit doesn't move text with it, you have to move it manually. Sigh.
Cut lines, section heads, doors, windows... Nothing that Revit ships with is of any use to me.
I'm guessing this is similar in Archicad, I just wonder is it equally difficult to do as in Revit?
- Building pad, it cuts a hole in the ground, but it also shows through building elements. Sigh.
- Elevations show basement, and foundation, and everything that's bellow grade! What? And there is no easy way around this. If you're lucky to have a level peace of land than sure, you can hide foundations, and then you have to create a part of the foundation wall that goes up to the grade, which you'll hide, then continue with another wall type which you wont hide... It's ludicrous. Or you can create something like Autocads WIPEOUT command and "hide" everything behind a solid hatch. Sigh. And if terrain isn't leveled? Tough luck, not Revits problem, edit walls profiles to mach the terrain. Except you cant snap to where terrain intersects with the building, so you eyeball it. Sigh.
- Speaking of grade, you can't place a spot elevation dimension on grade in sections. Sigh.
- You want correct material takeoff? Well you can't have it. Create a brick wall and run a concrete column through it, Revit will report amount of brick like that concrete column doesn't even exist. What? Yup, you have to manually "join" them which would be a colossal waste of time on any object bigger than a shed. Sure, you can subtract one of the other in Excel, but than you have to keep track of columns and beams that go through walls, and those that don't. What about those columns and beams that are only half way in walls or floors? LOL, not Revits problem! Good luck with them! Insanity, I tell you!
- Speaking of material takeoff, you want excavation quantities? You cant have it. Revit doesn't do it. Well, it sorta does, you have to use something called a Graded region, and manually place points, and eyeball some of them because it can't actually be vertical because, well, it's graded, fiddle with them in different sections... It's a mess.
- Speaking of bricks, there is not a single material in Revit with hollow clay blocks. Are they not used in USA, but only in continental Europe? Block walls, nope, create them. Hollow blocks slabs? LOL, good luck with that, can't be done. Well maybe it can through, you guessed it, custom family, which you'll then manually place in every concrete slab. So simple.
- Speaking of walls, they don't cut through floor layers. Sigh. So if you want accurate sections you have to create floor slabs for every level, and then on top of them "second" floors with the rest of the layers (insulation, finishes) for every room separately. Sigh.
- Setting project / true north is a d*mn two man job.
- Stairs? In deep voice: GET READY FOR THE PAIN.
This is just from the top of my head. A bunch of fire hoops to jump through. So to repeat myself, question to all those that also use (have used) Revit, should I stick with Revit or, potentially, waste another month with Archicad and come to no conclusion?
I would like to have in AC is temporary dimensions and the ability to locking things with grids, walls, etc., as Revit does. It would speed up the design process considerably.
Nothing is perfect, but I can do way more with ArchiCAD without feeling frustrated when using Revit. ( And I was the "expert" in Revit.)
One of the main reasons I switched was the constant emails and phone calls to push me to switch my permanent licenses to the subscription model... and the ultimatum when they cancel the maintenance program, so I have to decide if I accept the extortion from them or I go with the competition...So, here I am now.