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Architects: Revit or ArchiCad?

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
Archicad offers flexible working & adaptable tools from a company that cares about its users.

Revit - If you are happy supporting greedy corporations.

Seriously, you should try both before you make a choice, but a grounding in Archicad won't hurt.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)
23 REPLIES 23

Both programs have their supporters, and Revit may have a larger market share where you are. However, I BELIEVE based on what I've seen, that ArchiCAD may offer you more creative forms for your designs, with its updated curtainwall, morph, and shell tools. I've tried Revit, but I can't tolerate the spreadsheet-like interface. (And I can't stand the company, either.) AC is likely to be much more fun to use, too.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

outpostarc
Newcomer
Most of the people coming into our firm from a Revit background quickly adapt to ArchiCad and often prefer it after a time. We also do projects in Revit. We like Archicad for design fluidity and documentation (ifc consultant coordination works acceptably well). Revit is good for documentation and coordination and when teaming with another firm who uses Revit only. We use Archicad every time we are able. Our interiors team works with many other architects as well doing all of the interior design in ArchiCad while the architects are using Revit.
Mark Gillis | Architect
CJMW Architecture

ArchiCad 24 | Mac/Windows - user since 1991

Archicad is since 80ies
Autodesk bought Revit like Google bought Sketchup when Autodesk understand they don't have BiM software
A this time Archicad was almost 20 years old

I don't trust a company which don't give the choice between buy or rent

Also collaboration solutions are very advanced at Graphisoft Archicad : collaboration between Windows and MacOS and by a client server environment : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client%E2%80%93server_model

This kind of collaboration exist since 2009 and Autodesk don't have any equivalent solution even today

The list is very long but I think the best with Archicad deals with is own and simpliest way to communicate about the BIM .... BIMX : https://www.graphisoft.com/bimx/
Christophe - FRANCE
Archicad Designer and Teacher
Archicad 15 to 24 FRA FULL
OS 11 Big Sur

"Quality is never an accident; it's always the result of an intelligent effort " - John Ruskin

Matthew Lohden
Newcomer
I use both extensively. ArchiCAD for almost 30 years and Revit for over 10.

ArchiCAD is by far the better tool for architectural design. Revit has far more features for building engineering but it is frankly pretty much crap as a design tool. Both are good at automating document production but ArchiCAD is much easier and more sophisticated in its capabilities in this regard. Revit has an advantage coordinating between disciplines due to its various engineering tools but this can be worked around using IFC.

In the US Revit dominates the large scale building market. ArchiCAD is used primarily by small to medium sized firms but many if not most of these use Revit. If you are in the US it is less likely that ArchiCAD will be useful to you but there are enough firms using it that it can still be handy experience to have. If you eventually start your own design oriented firm ArchiCAD is likely your best choice.

One downside to learning ArchiCAD is that if you end up working in Revit your frustration level may be higher for having seen the alternative. An analogy I like for the difference considering that they are both complex tools for difficult tasks is that using ArchiCAD is like dancing while Revit is more like wrestling. Revit has a tendency to force you to work the way it wants and will even occasionally change things without your knowledge or consent. The Revit developers also seem to have an unwritten rule in UI/UX of "Why do it in one or two clicks if you can make it take six to twelve?"

It can be a real struggle to get accurate models in Revit. The quality of models I see (including from major firms who shall remain nameless) is quite variable. I have seen some that would be difficult to make so badly in ArchiCAD. Sloppiness is easier to do and harder to avoid or fix in Revit. ArchiCAD is extraordinarily quick and accurate in the hands of an experienced user.
Matthew Lohden
Consultant, SF CA

MacPro 8core 32GB Radeon 5870
OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, XP32, Win 7x64

KrisM
Newcomer
As a contrary point of view, I find the amount of clicks in Revit to be less than Archicad. Also the selection of objects in Revit is much faster than AC. For example, if you place the cursor over a door in Rvt, you get instant selection as opposed to AC in which you have to find the magic spot to get selection.
Another slight difference, when drawing a line, wall etc. in Rvt, you get an inference (corner etc) instantly while in AC, you have to wait for a fraction of a second to get the inference. I initially found this quite frustrating but have learned to slow down a bit.
As far as accuracy goes, both programs have their hurdles to overcome and inaccuracy is principally user error.
Kris Marteinsson
http://www.khmdesign.ca
AC22 USA Win 10 Home 64 Bit
Intel i7 - 6700K, 32 GB Ram, 500 GB SSD
Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, Dell 34" 3440x1440

You might try playing around with "Quick Selection" mode and adjusting inference, info, and guideline delay times in the Work Environment. These can be set to zero and are then pretty instantaneous.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

KrisM
Newcomer
I have played with those settings but there is a basic difference in how AC works. I haven't experienced this finickiness in any other 3d/cad software I've used. Another thing I don't understand is that in Revit, I have never waited for a view to regenerate. Whatever change I make in a view is instantly fixed in any other view I open. Not a deal killer but exhibits the fact that both AC and Rvt operate quite differently under the hood.
Kris Marteinsson
http://www.khmdesign.ca
AC22 USA Win 10 Home 64 Bit
Intel i7 - 6700K, 32 GB Ram, 500 GB SSD
Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, Dell 34" 3440x1440

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
KrisM wrote:
As a contrary point of view, I find the amount of clicks in Revit to be less than Archicad. Also the selection of objects in Revit is much faster than AC. For example, if you place the cursor over a door in Rvt, you get instant selection as opposed to AC in which you have to find the magic spot to get selection.
Another slight difference, when drawing a line, wall etc. in Rvt, you get an inference (corner etc) instantly while in AC, you have to wait for a fraction of a second to get the inference. I initially found this quite frustrating but have learned to slow down a bit.
As far as accuracy goes, both programs have their hurdles to overcome and inaccuracy is principally user error.
I think that Matthew (welcome back) refers more to activating tools not necessarily selecting objects and having used both I have the opposite problem to your advantage. The inference corner delay you can fix by either editing your W/E so that the delay is 0 or by assigning a keyboard shortcut to activate it instantly (this is the one I prefer because then I have greater control). About the wait for view regeneration, AC views are not "live" and that is the reason for the delay, point to Revit.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

ejrolon wrote:
About the wait for view regeneration, AC views are not "live" and that is the reason for the delay, point to Revit.
I don't do projects where it is an issue, but I thought that the "background processing" introduced in AC19 was pretty much supposed to take care of this.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Background updating works if you have the Tab open so that one lessens the issue but in Rvt you can have 4 windows open at the same time and they are constantly updating which AC cannot do. It is a subtle detail and IMO it can slow down a project to unacceptable levels.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

KrisM
Newcomer
I have set the W/E selection time to 0 secs. You still watch Archicad draw the circle around your inference point. Revit does not do this., nor Autocad or a number of other programs. If anyone has a way to lessen this, it would be great. It is a minor thing. I never thought about using a shortcut. I will explore this.
Kris Marteinsson
http://www.khmdesign.ca
AC22 USA Win 10 Home 64 Bit
Intel i7 - 6700K, 32 GB Ram, 500 GB SSD
Nvidia GTX 980 Ti, Dell 34" 3440x1440

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
With the shortcut you don't have to wait and as a bonus if you hit the shortcut on top of one of the blue circles it removes it.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

Anonymous
Not applicable
You can play Tetris in Archicad so it wins.

Ohcad
Newcomer
oh folks,

Waiting for new projects to start up, so i am testing out (again) ArchiCAD. Coming from Revit since 2013 seems like a millennia of time spent on families and all manner of curious things. But in many aspects am in awe of features . . . however, try doing it on an iMac!

Hence my curiosity : :

Also getting tired of renting Revit (after all two years of what the full version of Revit takes out of my pocket = buying ArchiCAD eh?) and not freaking out about the $225/monthly rental when the phone isn't ringing makes me like being an owner.

But i digress; i shall post things as i see them in comparison between these two amazing softwares.

First thing that hit me (years ago when i first got student version of Revit for $150 hee hee); was that I liked very much the Architectural mindset that created ArchiCAD; especially in comparison to the way Revit appears to be created by a room full of Engineers. Certainly powerful but oy vei the steps involved >> give me push/pull please (I first got form•Z in 1992 and MiniCAD to do the CD's. So i go waaaaay back. But always on a Mac and often doing visualization.

Nowadays nobody hires me to do that, so i make submittals and construction documents utilizing BIM. Every once in a while i get to visualize in raytracing but that is rare.

Second thing i see regarding ArchiCAD ; is site creation (blessings to see poly lines instead of points (revit). But Revit does make creating a site model rather less of a fuss and love the site survey point & project point metaphor. Also like the ability to easily go back and forth on true north in Revit. Seems more involved over here folks.

Nice to hear your thoughts after those Revitoids 🙂

More later . . .
RO
oh! . . . just juggling BIM between Revit & ArchiCAD while trying to keep it modern.

Ohcad wrote:
... true north in Revit ...

Fantastic !

I love this kind of subtlety in Revit. If we agree to a true north then what about "other" north? The question seems absurd and it is. there is only one in the world, only one, the other is not north
Christophe - FRANCE
Archicad Designer and Teacher
Archicad 15 to 24 FRA FULL
OS 11 Big Sur

"Quality is never an accident; it's always the result of an intelligent effort " - John Ruskin

DGSketcher
Virtuoso
UK mapping has three values for North. True North - The North Pole, Magnetic North - Where a compass points and Grid North - Relates to the National Grid mapping system which was based on perfect squares. I haven't swotted up recently on how GPS impacts these options. There may be some scope for error between survey systems.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Nobody builds from the model but from the 2D deliverables. The idea of ​​getting 100% dynamic 2D deliverables by the model seems to me more important than to play with concepts of North that do not contribute anything to the project. And finaly no one understands the operating rules of this labyrinthine system any more.

I invite you to imagine this type of consideration before launching the GPS in your car

The art of confusing what is simple
Christophe - FRANCE
Archicad Designer and Teacher
Archicad 15 to 24 FRA FULL
OS 11 Big Sur

"Quality is never an accident; it's always the result of an intelligent effort " - John Ruskin

Ohcad wrote:
........

First thing that hit me (years ago when i first got student version of Revit for $150 hee hee); was that I liked very much the Architectural mindset that created ArchiCAD; especially in comparison to the way Revit appears to be created by a room full of Engineers. Certainly powerful but oy vei the steps involved >> give me push/pull please (I first got form•Z in 1992 and MiniCAD to do the CD's. So i go waaaaay back. But always on a Mac and often doing visualization. ....


That might be because Revit was literally re-purposed from an Engineering program known as Pro-E back in the early '90's.
That's why it still feels (and acts) like an engineering program or like it was designed by a room of engineers (like the fact that you can only work in isometric projection in 3D view like the way they do in other engineering MCAD or product design software like Solidworks and the like - and not in true perspective view like we were taught in Architecture school, for example. Or the spreadsheet-like, 'Tax Form'-like interface and GUI navigation).

ArchiCAD was built from the ground up as an architectural design software, for architects and by architects,....as the saying goes.
It mostly remains true.

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Bricklyne wrote:
That might be because Revit was literally re-purposed from an Engineering program known as Pro-E back in the early '90's.
That's why it still feels (and acts) like an engineering program or like it was designed by a room of engineers (like the fact that you can only work in isometric projection in 3D view like the way they do in other engineering MCAD or product design software like Solidworks and the like - and not in true perspective view like we were taught in Architecture school, for example. Or the spreadsheet-like, 'Tax Form'-like interface and GUI navigation).

ArchiCAD was built from the ground up as an architectural design software, for architects and by architects,....as the saying goes.
It mostly remains true.

AFAIK, it was not re-purposed from Pro Engineer. It was developed by people who previously worked on Solidworks (and maybe Pro Engineer), but it is true, they were much more engineers than architects. And I agree that it really shows in how Revit looks and works.

About isometric vs. perspective: they have made a few improvements in that area so now you can move around in Perspective as well, and there are also several editing operations you can perform there. So it is no longer true that you can only work in Axonometric Views in Revit (it was true a few versions ago).
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy
AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD
2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25
Loving Archicad since 1995

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