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Design forum

ArchiCAD is dying

Bruce
Booster
I know that's a controversial subject line, but I believe it's true. Not because I want it to be, but because Autodesk is an advancing monster; ArchiCAD firms are switching to Revit, and Revit-based firms are buying ArchiCAD firms...and switching them to Revit.

ArchiCAD is a great program, but if it keeps going the way it is, I fear it will gradually dwindle until it's finally gone. On a level playing field, it comes out more or less even with Revit (I have done a detailed analysis that has been vetted by Revit experts) - but it's not a level playing field.

In my opinion, Graphisoft needs to do a handful of things to even the odds (yes, I will compare to Revit, as that's the main competition):

1. Rebrand & revamp the UI: CAD is an obsolete term. Even though ArchiCAD was BIM way before the term was even coined, I think the "CAD" in the name does it a disservice. Also, the user interface is old and tired. Should it go to the ribbon? No way. Should it be brought into the 21st century? Absolutely - there are plenty of excellent examples out there. Blender, a free 3D program, is undergoing its second UI redesign in about 5 years. If Blender can do it, Graphisoft can.

2. Introduce type-based elements. At the moment, pretty much everything is instance based. If you place 100 doors 900mm wide throughout the project, you have to select and change every single instance (this is an example, so please don't tell me the workarounds - that misses the point). Essentially, this is extending the attributes database to other objects. This makes project-wide changes so much more consistent, with no fear of missing an element.

3. Easier creation of parametric custom content: A beginner user in Revit can create a basic parametric object by using geometry and dimensions. It is intuitive and accessible. This does have its limits, but GDL is completely inaccessible to any but the advanced user with a programming mind...something architects and drafties generally don't have - otherwise they'd be programmers. A mix of the two would be extremely powerful - maybe an interface similar to Visual Basic, or Grasshopper? Not only for 3D elements, but also for 2D labels.

4. Better labelling & keynote tools: At the moment it's one label per element per view. What if I want to tag more than the ID? What about material, thickness, height etc. Revit is excellent in this regard, and also in the ability to create your label format as specific as you please. Key notes are also critical.

These are only four key improvements that I think are critical. There are many others that I could list, but this post is already too long. I say the above not to criticise ArchiCAD, but to try and help (misguided however it may be).

I could be wrong - I would be happy to be wrong...but the Autodesk monster is advancing...

These changes should be done the Graphisoft way: not to match what Revit does, but to equal and better it.
Bruce Walker
http://www.brucepwalker.com
https://www.mindmeister.com/65450406
-- since v8.1 --
AC24 6004 INT Full | Windows 10 64 Pro | 2.8 GHz Intel i7-7700HQ | 32 Gb RAM | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 Gb
181 REPLIES 181

NandoMogollon
Advocate
oh god....
not again...please
Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
nando@buildigital.com.au
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

Anonymous
Not applicable
NandoMogollon wrote:
oh god....
not again...please
But look at your tag, working in the dark side...REVIT 2014
keeping one foot on AC17 INT
What's up with that?

NandoMogollon
Advocate
oh, my signature...

well, I'm BIM-Bilingual and at the moment I'm working in Revit.
Do I like it? yep, is ok. but I prefer ArchiCAD.
Is it better? well, better for...?

I just think that the tittle of the post is not controversial, is just plain unrealistic. ( and funded by fears I believe)

.... but this is all my opinion.
Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
nando@buildigital.com.au
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

Bruce
Booster
I think I've been misunderstood: I'm not bashing ArchiCAD. I'm looking at reality. I know of two practices that have switched / are switching in the last year from ArchiCAD to Revit. Goodbye 100 licenses.

But, from the lack of response, it seems the ArchiCAD community thinks everything if fine just the way it is. Iceberg ahead anyone?
Bruce Walker
http://www.brucepwalker.com
https://www.mindmeister.com/65450406
-- since v8.1 --
AC24 6004 INT Full | Windows 10 64 Pro | 2.8 GHz Intel i7-7700HQ | 32 Gb RAM | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 Gb

Anonymous
Not applicable
Bruce

In the residential game on this side of Aus, we've seen the complete opposite.
Archicad is pretty much the industry standard and there has been more companies switch to it in recent months/years!
The reason being, that is what staff are wanting to use and proficient in using.
Here in WA we are extremely lucky to have the likes of Barry Kelly, Ben Cohen and a growing number of passionate, talented people championing our industry.
Maybe what is dying over there is the passionate drivers and innovators?
I know they are over there, I've had the pleasure of dealing with them but it takes loud voices, real facts and true solutions to keep it kicking.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Actually further to that Bruce,
You're own firm could turn the tide on this!
I can not imagine any Architectural student not jumping at the chance to join your team!!!
Hit them at student level and create a new generation of Architects that REALLY understand the benefits of Archicad!!!

Anonymous
Not applicable
I agree with Bruce on this, Revit is an advancing monster. In South Africa I heard a story, albeit unsubstantiated (could be an urban legend!?) that a large firm were changing to a BIM software, were considering ArchiCAD until Autodesk gave them 10 free licenses to secure their business
as I said this might not be true, but I don't think Graphisoft are doing enough marketing to promote ArchiCAD. Personally I'd hate to see ArchiCAD fail as I believe it to be the better product of the two(marginally)

arg617
Participant
I also don't think Graphisoft is doing enough to promote their product - especially in schools. Just take a quick look at the required and elective courses in universities (in the US at least). They all require CAD classes (at least) and some are requiring BIM. Look at the software they use to teach with - all Autodesk.

So, if you're an employer, and notice that all these young people are graduating with a fluency and proficiency at a particular software, would you waste money in training them to use something else if what they use gets the job done? Most of the time employers aren't the ones that are using the software anyway.

Heck - I can't even find a training class.....and I'm in New York City! So how can I be expected to drop this amount of money on software and then essentially be on my own? (Yes, I've tried the training that Graphisoft provides. It's lacking to say the least.)
ArchiCAD 23 - iMac 5K - i7 - 32gb - AMD Radeon - mac OS Sierra

NandoMogollon
Advocate
I also don't think Graphisoft is doing enough to promote their product
I would be interesting to know how different is the entire Graphisoft Company annual budget against just autodesk's Revit Marketing annual Budget.

But again there is the scale: Autodesk sells a broad variety of software ( > 100) Vs Graphisoft which specifically focuses on ArchiCAD and it's Support packages ( BIMx, BIM Server, MEP, Ecodesigner, -BIM Cloud-in the future)

We can't predict when or why... or even if software x will succumb before it's competitors.

What I hate is the feeling of knowing that ArchiCAD is such an elegant solution when compared to Revit, Bentley, Allplan or Vectorworks... but it's given so little publicity and recognition!

Just check this: ask an ArchiCAD user ( and Allplan, Vectorworks, Bentley users) if they are aware of Revit's capabilities... they probably are.

Now ask a Revit user if she/he is aware of any other BIM software... they probably don't even know of any other software, they don't care if there's any, they have been convinced that the only worthy BIM software must come from Autodesk... whatever else is out there must be a bad copy.

That is a big accomplishment from ADSK, with lies or without them in their propaganda.
They know you don't sell just by producing a better software, they convince their potential clients their software is so much better, that the competitors consider all other inferior and insignificant without even trying them!.

Maybe Graphisoft is playing the marketing game too nicely.
But that is different from "ArchiCAD is dying"

--I apologize for the long post--
Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
nando@buildigital.com.au
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

Anonymous
Not applicable
Yes, you hear more about Revit than any other software.

I know in least here in the Netherlands you get a 10% discount on Archicad through the BNA which is the dutch Architects Association.

The problem here is that Revit is more "famous" at the contractors site of the building team. They are usually more "powerful" than architects here... Luckily Archicad has some great Revit IFC export that we use in our office with success.

arg617
Participant
The thing is, to me at least, it's not so much marketing/propaganda/lies. It's as simple as training.
It sometimes feels like Geaphisoft is stuck in the 80's/90's mentality of "this is the future, if they want to be in the future they'll learn it".
Well, the future has arrived, answer ARE learning it. Students are actually required to learn it. There are required courses, and none of them are in Graphisoft products. There are not even elective courses in Graphisoft products. And it can't be about budget - I can find Rhino courses all over the place and they MUST have a much smaller budget than Graphisoft!
So as long as these are the programs kids are learning, they are the programs that will gain market share.
As someone who's been out of school for a while (and wanting to learn BIM), I've checked the night course catalogs too. Not a single course in ArchiCad in NYC! Planting an instructor down in major cities in major markets would be a rounding error in Graphisoft's budget.......there are courses for Revit though. I took one (hated the program). The guy teaching it is from a major firm in the city. He does it for a little extra money.
So, to me, it's a lack of willingness on Graphisoft's part. This isn't rocket science. Get into the schools. Provide training. The time has come for all their hard work to pay off and they don't even realize it.
ArchiCAD 23 - iMac 5K - i7 - 32gb - AMD Radeon - mac OS Sierra

NandoMogollon
Advocate
Agreed, Having lobbyists fro the universities to squeeze a few licences and training options wouldn't hurt ArchiCAD's popularity.

But there's also the lack of local user groups, or feeling of Community around the software... which isn't directly promoted by GS... and is largely supported by ADSK.
Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
nando@buildigital.com.au
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

Anonymous
Not applicable
At some point it is just marketing hoo-haw. If ArchiCAD is a better program than the firms who adopt it have an edge over their competition. A good product sells itself.

My first exposure to ArchiCAD actually was through my university. Back in version 4 or 5 something. Although Graphisoft somehow bungled that relationship and the trial program was ended.

Anonymous
Not applicable
The one real annoyance with Revit marketing themselves as the premier BIM-sensation is that the vast majority of product pages cater to .rfa format only for 3D objects.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I agree on the local user groups. For instance, there is no Dutch forum here where you can ask questions about problems you have. You are forced to contact the reseller (IF you have a support contract). So as a newbie like me, dealing with modeling typical dutch buildings, it's hard to find answers. As for education I think there are a couple of good lessons through the myarchicad website but they haven't been updated I think....

Anonymous
Not applicable
1. Product representative objects from more furniture, plumbing, window, doors, lighting manufactures. Commercial interior design objects.
2. work with AIA to promote ArchiCAD as a BIM solution & knowledge that BIM IS BIM as in Revit is not the only choice plus skills are transferable.
3. New modern GUI.
4. Work closer with education organizations, classes, discounts.
5. Easier to make custom objects.

Anonymous
Not applicable
My 2 cents. I work for one of the largest GC's in US. In over 8 years I have not once got a model from the designer. I have asked on several occasion my piers and subs, and it's like that everywhere. The big designers are using Revit. In the past they have been working using Autocad now Revit. It's being forced by the fact that you collaborators are using similar software that talks directly with yours. As much as Archicad can model the MEP systems or structure it's used only in residential construction (houses not high risers though). As soon as the design firm is becoming large enough to need external MEP/Structural consultants it is basically forced to switch to Revit. IFC just dosen't work well enough and the danger of conversion problems is scaring the rest.
This is driving the owners to believe that the delivery format is Revit. Autodesk (obviously) supports it's own products better. And some are basically standards this days. Navisworks, BIM360 platform, 3dsmax to mention a few. I know there are workarounds but on the large scale not sustainable.

Anonymous
Not applicable
It's being forced by the fact that your collaborators are using similar software that talks directly with yours.
Nail.On.The.Head.

BIM is a collaborative process and if the perception is that consultants will use Revit, then architects are probably more likely to pick that as a solution because of the fear of issues in converting the file - even if the process *is* simple.

NandoMogollon
Advocate
Mark wrote:
It's being forced by the fact that your collaborators are using similar software that talks directly with yours.
Nail.On.The.Head.

BIM is a collaborative process and if the perception is that consultants will use Revit, then architects are probably more likely to pick that as a solution because of the fear of issues in converting the file - even if the process *is* simple.
I completely agree.

I don't use Revit because I think is better.*
I use it because is what the company I'm working for uses**. And they use it because is mostly what other companies are using. ( a logical business jump since they were already Autodesk's Autocrap customers)

But again, that's not enough to say "ArchiCAD is dying"

*: and I don't think is better.
**: Funny, the company I'm with at the moment is transitioning from using Vectorworks on Mac Pros to Revit on PCs... don't look at me, it wasn't my idea.

P.S. If I want to change companies ( at least here in Vancouver BC) I would have a hard time finding a company using ArchiCAD
Nando Mogollon
Director @ BuilDigital
nando@buildigital.com.au
Using, Archicad Latest AU and INT. Revit Latest (have to keep comparing notes)
More and more... IFC.js, IFCOpenShell
All things Solibri and BIMCollab

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