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Architects: Revit or Archicad?

Anonymous
Not applicable
HII
Just gauging the popularity and usage of both Revit and ArchiCad in the industry. The school I'm in teaches and forces us to ArchiCad it in some of our works, which is odd considering that a majority of studios in our country uses solely Revit.

Is there something that ArchiCad that Revit does not offer? And the other way around?
75 REPLIES 75

Mjules
Enthusiast
Thank you, all for your comments!

I wouldn't like to put myself in such a situation to draw all the building details which I mentioned in the previous posts. Unfortunately for me, I am still an intern architect who must follow the requirements from the Quebec Order of Architects (L'Ordre des Architectes du Québec).

As a result, I have a lot of internship reports to submit periodically in order to accumulate the necessary hours of practice that will allow me to take either the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) or the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) in the U.S. I just wanted to know what would be the best way to draw such structural details with ArchiCAD.

Moonlight, your latest insights are very helpful! Many thanks to you too, Mr. Morrison!
Martin Luther Jules
AC 10-25 (Full)
Alienware | 64 GB RAM | Windows 10

Marc H
Booster
I expect there will be as unique answers as there are architects; each of us seeing our world in just a bit different way from another. After reading the pages of threads with so much great content, its comforting (at least to me) that we are such passionate folk.

Back in graduate school so many years ago, there was a very smart fellow who wrote about software implementation. In simplified terms, he said you start with the essential functional criteria (as we do architecture) and work our way from piloting the software to the eventual supporting hardware, detailed components, and then training commitments. I still use this method today. Hopefully, in reading through these entries, you find the functionality you seek.

As an example, mine was:
1. Design visualization / strong modeling and open data platform vs a closed program - where the software development team navigates all manner of innovation trends. This was so I could explore more architecture as they explore hardware and software technology.
2. Design element tools over detailing tools. For me, a program I could use to design fluidly without resorting to yet another program, and remembering we are creating qualitative, buildable design 'intent' models; not shop drawings.
3. If not an Autodesk platform, then with quality import export to ACAD. (Much US government files and Record Drawings were mandated to be in ACAD format; may still do?) This allows me develop internal concepts in my 'platform of comfort' and pass them to consultants whom many have ADSK products.
4. Ability to connect to external databases (e.g., ODBC) for extended datasets and analysis.
5. MEP extension. (While I would not be designing the MEP systems, having the tools are of importance to me for the many benefits of building modeling gives.)
6. Total Cost of Ownership. (Initial license/s purchase + essential add-ons + hardware + training + annual upgrades (now subscription).

After working with a number of object-based and layer-based CAD programs in prior years, I chose ArchiCAD, 'by a length'. Every few years, I return to the questions above, albeit with some updates and emphasis. You may have other criteria:
- A client visualization tool (for example, BIMx vs BIM360).
- Production speed?
- Data-centric focus? Ease with IFC?
- Rendering tools are critical for some - internal engines vs export, compatibility.
- Algorithmic design is always emerging (Rhino? I'm thinking Paramo will be exciting.)

While your immediate firm platform is important, a personal criteria may be just as important. Past is not future, and we are in a huge digital evolution with more employment churn and international firm and 'gig' work on the rise. With a criteria in hand, you may be able to better your choice of a good ship.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” - Abraham Lincoln

AC25 USA on 16” MBP (2.4GHz i9 8-Core, 32GB DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8G GDDR5, 500GB SSD, T3s, Trackpad use) + 2 Asus ProArt PAU32C (4K)

Nader Belal
Advisor
Ok to everyone,

@Mjules,
Why don't you start a new thread about your questions and may be we can help you and answer your doubts.

And in line of @Marc H comments:
1. Right now, there is no program (CAD or BIM) that is capable of handling all project data to its full extends, in full detail, multiple specialities and data granularity, why !!
Because, material resources (CPUs, Graphics Cards, Rams, Storage & etc) can not handle all this data (graphical, modelling & text data), and available IT technologies methods and algorithms have not advanced enough to handle it efficiently.
That is why LOD 250-350 depending on the projects design phase and size is considered the sweet spot for modelling. More than this for the whole of the project must be justified.

In line of @DGSketchers comments:
Architects should not and can not design everything in the building, but they should provide the base for other specialities to contribute to the BIM model. And that was the reality of AEC sector long before CAD & BIM
A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I think we Architects and Engineers all like extreme detail. We are perfectionists by nature. The issue is that we Architects don't have and shouldn't be doing others jobs, like it is already been said here. The current technology (CPU, RAM, SSD, 5G) is already prepared for the so called "Digital Twin". Architects, Engineers and Contractors are (almost) all aboard on the BIM Boat. The problem is just one: Manufactures don't. I think the key for the success of any BIM software in the near future, is to pave the road for Manufactures get on board. It can be achieved by creating all sort of workflows and tools tailored for Manufacturers to deliver quality content with multiple LOD's for Architects and Engineers in their day-to-day activities. In the end, selecting a specific Curtain Wall system would be as easy as downloading a Manufacturer file with all possible specs, properties, surfaces, favorites, etc.
My 2 cts.

jl_lt
Enthusiast
Braza wrote:
. In the end, selecting a specific Curtain Wall system would be as easy as downloading a Manufacturer file with all possible specs, properties, surfaces, favorites, etc.
My 2 cts.
A solution for this was proposed in the very long thread of Graphisoft gaining market share. One solution is to wait for everyone to model, update and mantain their products in gdl (which i think its safe to say wont happen soon), another one was to have access to all the specifications list of many manufacturers and automatically embbed this info into an archicad object. It wouldnt be a super realistic model, but it would containg all the necesary information including dimensions and specs. I would prefer the latter 100x.
https://www.grupogennova.com

Anonymous
Not applicable
jl_lt wrote:
A solution for this was proposed in the very long thread of Graphisoft gaining market share.
Yes. A very interesting one... 16633 Views by now.

Mjules
Enthusiast
Here's an interesting comparison between ArchiCAD and Revit: https://www.buildercentral.com/revit-vs-archicad/
Martin Luther Jules
AC 10-25 (Full)
Alienware | 64 GB RAM | Windows 10

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Mjules wrote:
Here's an interesting comparison between ArchiCAD and Revit: https://www.buildercentral.com/revit-vs-archicad/

The guy sells Autodesk software. Of course, he says that Revit is better than Archicad.
The funniest sentence of the post is when an Autodesk reseller says:

What more do you need? To the objective mind, the choice is crystal clear here. And that is Revit.

Maybe the guy should get a dictionary and clear up the meaning of the word "objective".
....................................................................................................
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

Anonymous
Not applicable
Hello guys can anyone tell.
This plans was done in Archicad or Revit?
Sorry if that not right topic for question.
https://imgur.com/a/UT0ECdV

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Hard to tell. I do not see anything specifically that may suggest that it is Archicad, mostly because I do not recognize the various library parts used for the sanitary object and furniture, and Archicad plans are usually more colorful.
To me, the plan is just too neat and tidy for it to be done in Revit either. Also, the Revit default library does not have such high detail Windows.
It could be other programs as well, like Vectorworks or SketchUp. I think those are also capable of producing such nice plans.
And, since it is posted with Russian text in the bottom left corner of the plan, and since most of the plan is grayscale with few colors, I can even imagine that it was done by Renga Architecture, a Russian BIM application, which also can produce nice graphics.
....................................................................................................
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

Anonymous
Not applicable
Thats for sure Archicad or Revit not anything else.
Maybe few more pics will help.
https://imgur.com/a/41vRtHI
https://imgur.com/a/rYXxTiH

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
If you are sure it is either Archicad or Revit, then I would say Revit.
Revit can create those sketchy lines in the 3D Window, and you can also adjust the opacity of the individual elements in it (like those Walls). Also, parallel projection is very common in Revit because a lot less can be done in perspective in Revit, while people using Archicad usually work in perspective projection in 3D.
I can think of a way the same opacity effect could be achieved in Archicad in 3D, but not the sketchy lines, this is why my guess is Revit in this case.
....................................................................................................
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

Nader Belal
Advisor
@Mjules

when you find any type of BIM platforms comparisons, you have to slice it with a scaple, for instance ...
[list=]
  • Price & Licencing: How you not heard/read the "Letter to Autodesk", about rising Revit fees year after year.

    See:
    See:
    See:
    See:
  • User Interface: I have never heard, watch or seen any Revit User that knew how to use another BIM software and ever liked it (personal taste exists), infact many first timers ArchiCAD users who only use Revit before have made remarks on how hard it was to use the Revit Interfase.
  • Massing: Compare it to ArchiCAD's Morph, infact few years ago ArchiCAD channel release a video series on how to model master architectural works, you should check it out.

    The only thing that Revit can throw back on ArchiCAD on massing, is that you can convert Masses to Revit's standard element.
  • Nesting: I didn't comprehend about writer's referencing Nesting, anyway, if he meant model nesting, I do that all the time, and if meant family nesting .... well, using GDL programming, except for few cases, you can bypass the whole nesting idea ....
  • Workflow Between Programs: return to "Letter to Autodesk".
  • Plugins: Appearantly this guy doesn't know Revit ecosystem, if we're talking about number of plugins available on each platform them Revit is a winner, but if we are talking about plugins that must be created to fix issues and bypass Revit constringante user experiance with Revit, well it's hugh.
  • Simulations: In my opinion, having simulations in Revit is a plus, but in reality, many countries have their own programs that are adjusted to their local and regional norms and regulations for structural design, MEP, construction process and etc, leaving Revit's simulations as useless or not to be trusted.

    Example, The use of CYPE programs for structural design in Spain is quiet extendened, due to how it was designed to not only give you the safest options, but also, the most accurate updated regulations.

    PS: I have added some PDFs about "Letter to Autodesk", but I'm sure you can find more about those issues.
  • A good friend of mine have once told me that I´m so brute that I´m capable of creating a GDL script capable of creating GDLs.

    Mjules wrote:
    Here's an interesting comparison between ArchiCAD and Revit: https://www.buildercentral.com/revit-vs-archicad/



    I wouldn't buy lemonade from that guy let alone software (which is what he happens to sell seeing as he's an Autodesk reseller).

    He doesn't seem to know what the hell he's talking about - particularly when it comes to ArchiCAD's capabilities.

    Furthermore, his argument in favour of Revit seems to be that although ArchiCAD is "simpler" and more "straight-foward" (read : easier) to use, Revit's complexity is a boon in its favor because it allows one to do more complex things.

    I've never heard a Revit user claim that its complicated spreadsheet-like interface and workflow is a benefit in its favour in working with it as a program.

    He then gives a rather comical anecdote of once having observed a comparison competition between a Revit user and an ArchiCAD user in modeling a house, in which he claims the Revit user completed it in half the time the ArchiCAD user did.
    He then admits that while he didn't know what the respective user skill levels were of both users in their respective programs were (something that you'd think is actually crucial information to know and having in assessing the two), he still has to conclude as a result of that that Revit was the superior program.

    Mind-boggling.

    With such 'superior' logic like that, we should all be beating a path to his store and reserve our Revit licenses.

    Anonymous
    Not applicable
    LaszloNagy wrote:
    If you are sure it is either Archicad or Revit, then I would say Revit.
    Revit can create those sketchy lines in the 3D Window, and you can also adjust the opacity of the individual elements in it (like those Walls). Also, parallel projection is very common in Revit because a lot less can be done in perspective in Revit, while people using Archicad usually work in perspective projection in 3D.
    I can think of a way the same opacity effect could be achieved in Archicad in 3D, but not the sketchy lines, this is why my guess is Revit in this case.
    Ive just got full project, maybe it make all clear)
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ium3ohCC5W3Xt0_ixFy1E0Tv9eUpGvpO/view?usp=sharing

    Laszlo Nagy
    Community Admin
    Community Admin
    Sorry, now I cannot decide whether it is Archicad or Revit. It may be Archicad because many of the furniture elements look like they are from the Archicad default library, like Bed, L-shaped Sofa, Plasma TV, etc.
    Is it not possible for you to ask the person from whom you obtained this PDF which program was used?
    ....................................................................................................
    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

    Anonymous
    Not applicable
    LaszloNagy wrote:
    Sorry, now I cannot decide whether it is Archicad or Revit. It may be Archicad because many of the furniture elements look like they are from the Archicad default library, like Bed, L-shaped Sofa, Plasma TV, etc.
    Is it not possible for you to ask the person from whom you obtained this PDF which program was used?
    Unfortunately not possible, but my guesses at moment Archicad but still want to be sure)

    jl_lt
    Enthusiast
    Normally, projects i have seen of this size and scope done in Revit are a mess, but that isnt to say it cannot be done, so It could be either one of them. My first bet was also Archicad, but looking a little bit closer i would go with Revit.

    Some furniture, windows, notation style and some hatches make me think more of Revit than Archicad.
    https://www.grupogennova.com

    jl_lt
    Enthusiast
    Also, about the software comparison. It definitely looks very sketchy since the author is an Autodesk vendor.

    instead of very general things which most comparisons talk about, it would be interesting for which kind and size of projects each software is good for. Im thinking even something purely hipotetical, like which software the old masters would likely use if they practiced today. For example, i think the likes of Le corbusier, Kahn, Barragan would fly on Archicad, while FrankLloyd wright would have to reluctantly go with Revit, mostly because of families for his custom made objects and details. i Imagine Mies taking advantage of archicads curtain wall. Aalto could use any of them (there is even a thesis floating around the internet where 2 guys set out to model Aalto´s state office building with both Revit and Archicad and get to interesting conclusions. Short story, Archicad wins, but Revit was no slouch).

    On the other hand, projects like the US air force academy by SOM. I have seen 2 videos about it. The one with Revit achieves an spectacular result. The one with Archicad... not so much.

    and on and on
    https://www.grupogennova.com

    Rafal SLEK
    Booster
    scraptrash wrote:
    Mjules wrote:
    Here's an interesting comparison between ArchiCAD and Revit: https://www.buildercentral.com/revit-vs-archicad/
    I think it’s not just interesting. It’s hilarious.
    That’s why I don't believe that such comparison could be reliable.
    Cinerender as plugin, User Interface winner Revit...
    MacBook Pro Retina 2019/2.4 GHz/Intel Core i9/32GB RAM/Radeon Pro 5500M 4GB/macOS 11.6/ArchiCAD 25vINT+POL/Maxwell Render 5.2/Twinmotion 2022.1

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