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Design forum

1st parametric AEC CAD

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I just would like to know (curiosity) why Revit claims to be the 1st parametric AEC CAD on the market since 1997. Is that true? or it's just another misleading marketing slogan? What about GDL then, wasn't it parametric before AC 6 got released?
::rk
57 REPLIES 57

Scott Davis
Participant
Revit claimed to be the first FULLY parametric building modeler on the market. Revit's parametric abilities are bi-directional, and the change made to an object is automatically propagated throught the entire model. Make a change to the plan, and all sections, elevations, RCPs, schedules, etc., automatically update. Make a change to the schedule, and the entire model updates. No need to manually initiate an update. In this sense, Revit was the first fully parametric building modeler. No one else had the ability to keep a set of documents fully coordinated as changes occured.
Scott Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

On March 5, 2007 I joined Autodesk, Inc. as a Technical Specialist. Respectfully, I will no longer be actively participating in the Archicad-Talk fourms. Thank you for always allowing me to be a part of your community.

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
oh, I have not noticed 'fully' word (not being sarcastic), that's why I got confused...
thanks anyway
::rk

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
And the differences with ArchiCAD are?

Oh I get it, Revit is the first one since '97 and that is different from being the first one since '82
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2022

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
to avoid misunderstandings which could be easily drawn from my first question I should say I have asked because of my dispute about CAD history article on the net, which states Revit's claim. Personally I have not worked with Revit and I have not monitored its development over years so that is why I got little bit surprised....

ejrolon, take it easy and have a lovely day
::rk

Scott Davis
Participant
ejrolon wrote:
And the differences with ArchiCAD are?

Oh I get it, Revit is the first one since '97 and that is different from being the first one since '82
Is ArchiCAD fully paramertic? Can you make a change and have it propagate through the entire model and sets of drawings automatically? Can you change an item in a schedule and have it update the model? Can you make a change from a sheet?
Scott Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

On March 5, 2007 I joined Autodesk, Inc. as a Technical Specialist. Respectfully, I will no longer be actively participating in the Archicad-Talk fourms. Thank you for always allowing me to be a part of your community.

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Scott wrote:
Is ArchiCAD fully paramertic? Can you make a change and have it propagate through the entire model and sets of drawings automatically? Can you change an item in a schedule and have it update the model? Can you make a change from a sheet?
Seemingly so (whatever 'fully' might mean?); yes; yes; yes. 😉

Some updates can be chosen to be done manually. A few (other than the above questions) have to be done manually: zone updates, placed schedule updates, detail windows...

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

Rob
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
dear Scott,

surprisingly you can, what's more you can programme fully parametric object with unlimited number of parameters and you can use system variables as well (read only mode). So, for example you can query system which storey you are on, where is the north etc....
Archicad is basically huge relational database with its own language GDL which has its own programmer interface within Archicad itself. So being a little bit agile in GDL programming you can cover really huge area and customisation (to the really high degree). However you can unlink particular sections/elevations and so on to get just 2d lines if you wish.
But you must know that... it has been built in AC from early 90-ties (to my knowledge)!?
::rk

Anonymous
Not applicable
Scott wrote:
Is ArchiCAD fully paramertic? Can you make a change and have it propagate through the entire model and sets of drawings automatically?
Personally, I prefer to have the changes propagate only when I want them to. This has always been my primary reservation about Revit. How this difference makes Revit more fully parametric than ArchiCAD escapes me. The claim to be the first fully parametric AEC modeler seems a bit like being the first left handed person to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Don't get me wrong. I think Revit is a very interesting product. The last time I used it was about 3-4 years ago though; maybe I should look into getting a new demo version.

stefan
Enthusiast
Before you shoot on the claims from Revit, beware that the definition of "fully parametric" is not a very objective one. There is no plain and clear definition of what this is supposed to mean.

In a certain way, changing a cell in Excel and then causing the whole spreadsheet to update and trigger all kinds of VBA-macro's can also be called parametric (if you limit your modifications to the cells that are allowed).

That said, I think both ArchiCAD and Revit can more or less fullfill this claim, although not in the same way. There are many differences between the two of them.
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
Archicad26/Revit2022/Rhino/Unity/Solibri/Zoom
MBP2019:i9Octo2.4GHz32GBVega20/Monterey+Win11
ARCHICAD-user since 1998

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
ejrolon, take it easy and have a lovely day
just being sarcastic about Autodesk's marketing department
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2022

Anonymous
Not applicable
stefan wrote:
Before you shoot on the claims from Revit, beware that the definition of "fully parametric" is not a very objective one. There is no plain and clear definition of what this is supposed to mean.

In a certain way, changing a cell in Excel and then causing the whole spreadsheet to update and trigger all kinds of VBA-macro's can also be called parametric (if you limit your modifications to the cells that are allowed).

That said, I think both ArchiCAD and Revit can more or less fullfill this claim, although not in the same way. There are many differences between the two of them.
This is pretty much what I was trying to say. The argument over the meaning of "fully" parametric strikes me as specious. Like arguing how many parameters can dance on the head of a pin.

Scott Davis
Participant
I wasn't aware that you can open any view in AC, make a change, and it will update everything. I was under the impression that to create sheets, views had to be exported to Plotmaker, and assembled there. So in AC, you can open a sheet in Plotmaker, make a change, and then the model will update? In fact, I thought most views were initiated/updated by a 'command' of some kind.

Also, changes in schedules? In AC, you can make a change in a schedule, and the model will update?

Please, don't take any of this the 'wrong way.' I am honestly just trying to become more knowledgable about the products out there. I don't use AC, so I can only go off what I've been told.
Scott Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

On March 5, 2007 I joined Autodesk, Inc. as a Technical Specialist. Respectfully, I will no longer be actively participating in the Archicad-Talk fourms. Thank you for always allowing me to be a part of your community.

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
Views are defined in AC with parameters for which layers shown, how they are displayed and to which scale. This means that you can create different views of the same drawing. Ex demolition plan, proposed plan, reflected ceiling and furniture are all based on the same drawing with different parameters for each. Change a wall that is common to all views and it is updated for them, change one that it is specific and it only affects that one view. The same goes for sections/elevations, you just put the S/E marker where you want it and then you define the view based on what you need. This procedure is more flexible than it sounds, because there are a lot of ways to view the model.

Plotmaker is more akin to Paper Space in AutoCAD but here you just link the AC views to the different layouts within a layoutbook (Think Pagemaker or InDesign). All views get a title that you can define and PM keeps track of the S/E drawing location that is referenced in a plan. This means that if you move a S/E from one page to another PM will change all the symbols to reflect the new page location (A-01 to A-03). Also PM has some basic parameters that will keep track and change automatically the page number, detail and S/E number and location, quantity of pages in the set, date, etc.

Changes in the AC model can be updated in PM either automatically, at your request for all views or individual. Also you can unlink the views and specify what you want to update. Because of this changes to exploded or unlinked dwgs in PM do not affect the model. But exploding dwgs in PM is not a good idea.

The general opinion for having the programs separate is that you can concentrate on either working on your design or working in the layouts, with the option of having a person working on the model and another preparing the document set for the same project at the same time.

The basic working procedure is too start building your design in AC. When it has enough information to specify views you define them and start creating the rough layout in PM and as the design matures you just keep adding views and organizing them in your layouts until you finish the project.

The schedules can be interactive or not and depending on which you choose then you have your different options. Maybe I am missing some stuff but this is the gist of it from my view
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08
Puerto Rico, BVI, Miami

Vectorworks 2022

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
Scott wrote:
So in AC, you can open a sheet in Plotmaker, make a change, and then the model will update?
No, PlotMaker is merely a publishing/layout program. All drawings are WYSIWYG views (if the operator is using AC properly) in AC ... matching exactly what is on the sheets ... and all are merely views of the same internal database. Has always been that way: a common relational database is the core of the Virtual Building.
Scott wrote:
Also, changes in schedules? In AC, you can make a change in a schedule, and the model will update?
Yes, since 8.0 when the Interactive Scheduler was introduced. This provides 2-way customizable queries of the building database, allowing both conventional schedules as well as any kind of tabular view of model data that one might want to edit. The limitation at present that I mentioned previously is that these schedules are only editable and updateable from their 'preview' window ... not from the placed schedule (linework and text). To edit or update a placed schedule, it has to be selected (it is a single object), and then the preview window opened (which causes a re-query). There is no option in 8.1 to have placed schedules automatically updated.

Karl
One of the forum moderators   •   AC 26 USA and earlier   •   MacOS 11.6.8, iMac Pro

Anonymous
Not applicable
This is slightly off topic (I'm not going to compare to Revit), but I would say that ArchiCad fails on being a parametric program in a couple of significant ways. The biggest problem is the number of basic architectural functions that need to be replicated becasue ArchiCad has no way to involve them in the virtual building. Reflected ceilings need to be redrawn many times because fills are currently the best (only?) way to lay out tile grids, but those fills cannot be attached to anything which produces 3D data. Therefore, we find ourselves modeling in 3D and recreating in 2D. Similarly, floor finishes suffer from the same limitations... we draw our floors with slabs, yet we cannot show 2D information from them (fill patterns, etc). Those are the first two situations off the top of my head, but there are many (interior elevations spring to mind as yet another example). These two are basic sheets in any architectural set of drawings, yet there is no way to deal with them which is parametric.

Matthew wrote:
Scott wrote:
Personally, I prefer to have the changes propagate only when I want them to. This has always been my primary reservation about Revit. How this difference makes Revit more fully parametric than ArchiCAD escapes me. The claim to be the first fully parametric AEC modeler seems a bit like being the first left handed person to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Dont you mean the first fully left handed person? There are such, and I am one, right handed in cricket/badminton/guitar, but left handed, writing and drawing. - a parallel with the Revit ArchiCAD thing. Its splitting hairs to argue about how parametric something is. Some things may be more parametric than others, but nothing much could be more parametric than GDL, API is the only thing more parametric.
The reality is that Archicad has been broadly parametric since it began, and that Revit's slogan appears to be designed to mislead all but those technically skilled enough to be able to split those hairs.
The idea of the whole model being parametric is closer to the idea of an API in archicad. Whereby a change in an object or zone might be able to change things elsewhere in the model without human intervention. I agree with Matthew that it would be alarming to have the building changing itself elsewhere significantly because of a small change.
If Revit's definition of parametric means (for example) that by moving a door, the lightswitch and skirting next to the door would have the option to move too, I would welcome that development in AC.
But is revit actually getting anywhere? Seems to me that Autodesk are still promoting ADT!

Scott Davis
Participant
Just to be avoid confusion, this was Matthew's quote:
Matthew wrote:
Personally, I prefer to have the changes propagate only when I want them to. This has always been my primary reservation about Revit. How this difference makes Revit more fully parametric than ArchiCAD escapes me. The claim to be the first fully parametric AEC modeler seems a bit like being the first left handed person to fly solo across the Atlantic.
david wrote:
The reality is that Archicad has been broadly parametric since it began, and that Revit's slogan appears to be designed to mislead all but those technically skilled enough to be able to split those hairs.
It's all marketing, and it happens on both sides. What does Graphisoft do now with the marketing that claims ArchiCAD was used to design the tallest building in the world? It was the tallest for a short time, but now the Freedom Tower at the WTC site will be taller, and it's being designed and documented in Revit. Not trying to say their marketing is wrong, but when they say it's the only program capable of handling a building of this size, that statement is flawed.
The idea of the whole model being parametric is closer to the idea of an API in archicad. Whereby a change in an object or zone might be able to change things elsewhere in the model without human intervention. I agree with Matthew that it would be alarming to have the building changing itself elsewhere significantly because of a small change.
I think the concept has been distorted somehow. Revit's parametric capablities do allow you to change any part of the information in any view, even on a sheet, and the model will update. In Revit, I can make a change in a schedule, and the model will update. Soon, I may be able to make a change in the Specs, and the model will update. Yes, there are other parametric capabilities, such as: move a wall, and the doors, windows, roofs, and floors will move as necessary. But if you don't want the roof to update, it wont. Its up to the user to set those releationships, but its really intuitive.
If Revit's definition of parametric means (for example) that by moving a door, the lightswitch and skirting next to the door would have the option to move too, I would welcome that development in AC.
Yes, in Revit you could have that relationship if you wanted.
But is revit actually getting anywhere? Seems to me that Autodesk are still promoting ADT!
Autodesk is promoting both. They can't turn their back on 250,000 users of ADT, they have to keep working on it. They are also promoting Revit, and giving a ton of support to Revit users, and projects such as the Freedom Tower.
Scott Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

On March 5, 2007 I joined Autodesk, Inc. as a Technical Specialist. Respectfully, I will no longer be actively participating in the Archicad-Talk fourms. Thank you for always allowing me to be a part of your community.

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Scott wrote:
So in AC, you can open a sheet in Plotmaker, make a change, and then the model will update? In fact, I thought most views were initiated/updated by a 'command' of some kind.
Is this a question about ArchiCAD or PlotMaker? You don't "open a sheet in PlotMaker" when you are "in AC" - they are two separate products.

ArchiCAD is the engine that drives the virtual building. All views on the model, e.g. plan, 3D, section/elevation, are all connected to the same source. If you change one, you change them all. You can only prevent this from happening in sections or elevations by explicitly telling ArchiCAD to unlink it from the model.

If the building industry was up to speed with this type of data model you wouldn't need PlotMaker at all. PlotMaker is designed to provide the sheets of drawings that still drive most of the industry (and probably will for quite some time). Its function is purely drawing layout, and can combine drawings from the building model with many other image sources on sheets.
Scott wrote:
Please, don't take any of this the 'wrong way.' I am honestly just trying to become more knowledgable about the products out there. I don't use AC, so I can only go off what I've been told.
If you are keen to learn about ArchiCAD, I suggest you pay a visit to your local ArchiCAD dealer and/or get the demo CDs. You will learn almost everything you want to know from there, and then you can come back with some informed questions.

Otherwise this questioning is tying up a lot of the forum's time and energy replying what appears to be a sales pitch for Revit coupled with deprecatory comments on ArchiCAD. How can you justify spending so much time on this forum without any intention of using ArchiCAD or even trying the demo?
Ralph Wessel BArch

Scott Davis
Participant
ArchiCAD is the engine that drives the virtual building. All views on the model, e.g. plan, 3D, section/elevation, are all connected to the same source. If you change one, you change them all. You can only prevent this from happening in sections or elevations by explicitly telling ArchiCAD to unlink it from the model.
I understand that part, that all views are linked. I guess what I was getting at, is let say you were ready to print the set. At the last minute, right before you print, you notice something on the sheet you need to change. Can you make that change on the sheet in Plotmaker? If yes, then will it update the model in ArchiCAD? Or if you need to make a change, you go back to ArchiCAD, make the change, then reopen Plotmaker? Do the Plotmaker sheets update automatically when the model changes?
If you are keen to learn about ArchiCAD, I suggest you pay a visit to your local ArchiCAD dealer and/or get the demo CDs. You will learn almost everything you want to know from there, and then you can come back with some informed questions.
I want to learn more about all the competition. But this doesn't mean I have the time to get demo versions of ArchiCAD, Triforma, ADT, Briscnet, AllPlan, etc. etc. and try to learn them all.
Otherwise this questioning is tying up a lot of the forum's time and energy replying what appears to be a sales pitch for Revit coupled with deprecatory comments on ArchiCAD.
My occasional post can hardly be consider to be tying up a lot of forum time in the overall amount of comments that get posted here. No sales pitch, no deprecatory comments intended. If I'm taking too much of your time, don't reply.
How can you justify spending so much time on this forum without any intention of using ArchiCAD or even trying the demo?
I read this forum, most of the ADT/AutoCAD and other Autodesk NG's, and the Revit Forums at AUGI. It's about collecting information and getting educated. I like reading about and discussing this stuff.
Scott Davis
Autodesk, Inc.

On March 5, 2007 I joined Autodesk, Inc. as a Technical Specialist. Respectfully, I will no longer be actively participating in the Archicad-Talk fourms. Thank you for always allowing me to be a part of your community.

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