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MarcinChicago

VECTORWORKS 2009 vs REVIT 2009

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Would someone who knows both programs compare them here or just express preference? I know Revit very well, we are switching to macs and I would like to know how those two programs would be compared.

Thank you much for any opinion

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Vectorworks Architect is a very feature rich environment that holds up very well against Autodesk Revit. Plus, you get more tools for things like modifying the site model. Revit has tools that are strictly divided between the structural, mechanical, civil and architectural versions, so a user who wants architectural and structural features would have to buy two "flavors". But Vectorworks Architect has a generous supply of tools for mechanical, plumbing, electrical, civil, structural. Revit seems easier to learn, while Vw Architect has the power of versatility.

I've learned that CAD workers on a network will only want to learn the CAD or BIM program that they are interested in. And with Autodesk's market share, that means they usually only want to learn Revit. But with a Mac only environment, then VwA should be the top contender. I'm glad that Apple gave it deserved recognition in a firm profile:

http://www.apple.com/business/profiles/jacksonryan/

Although, the firm's profile has not been updated for at least a couple of years, judging by their computer hardware they have listed.

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Revit has tools that are strictly divided between the structural, mechanical, civil and architectural versions, so a user who wants architectural and structural features would have to buy two "flavors".

Just to reinforce my point, I found a current discussion on the Autodesk website covering this very subject:

http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=56515&page=5

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I have not used Revit to a great extent but I have played with it. Many have commented on how rigid Revit is compared to VW. You mentioned Revit is easier to learn but I have read the opposite. I would lean toward it being not as intuitive but that is based on a brief experience with Revit. Could you elaborate on that front?

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I'm not experienced at Revit either, but I did get the chance to try it out. The plans and elevations are almost automatically set up for you. This is all part of the "Wow" phase of learning Revit, where everything seems easy. I did not get the the later learning phases, where the more difficult learning takes place. There is the Family Editor, which controls the creatiion of new building objects, which I found difficult to grasp. And Revit seemed to reject my "fast and loose" Cad drawing style - it seems to follow the Autodesk developer's philosophy of programming the user to follow the application's needs instead of vice versa.

You're right, Revit isn't easy to learn. And Autodesk's hindrance of tool availability does not help either. These are things that are almost unheard of on the Vectorworks side.

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Having used both software extensively for several months, I think I have a fairly good grasp of their strengths and weaknesses. I've already mentioned several of Revit's shortcomings in a previous thread.

You definitely have more 2D and 3D tools available in VW. I feel more comfortable and am faster creating and modifying a 3d model in VW than in Revit.

Drawing management is probably where Revit really shines. Gridlines are automatically updated in all views. Callouts and view labels are intelligently linked with the sheets they are placed in. Creating and updating a sheet index is a breeze.

Which one is easier to learn? Hard to say. In a week or two, you should be done with the basics but it would still take you a few months to be comfortable in either one.

Ariel

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There is not a Mac native version of Revit, so using it vs. VW would mean navigating both Mac and Windows interface differences all the time. While not necessarily a big deal I've found instances where some members of project teams seem incapable to do both and keep their wits about them.

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I use Vectorworks and Revit on a regular basis and have been for a few years. I would choose Revit over VW without any question or hesitation. In my opinion there is really no comparison.

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For me, there are quite a few comparable features between Revit and Vectorworks. I always found the automatic object highlighting feature of Revit very desirable, and now Vectorworks 2009 has included the same. VW2008 also has the heads up cursor input found in Revit and AutoCad. I guess like Microsoft with Apple, copying is the best form of flattery.

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All software companies, even Apple, copy from each other. IMHO, Revit is stuck in its own unique interface such that copying a feature from a competing product would be more difficult. VW on the other hand, is a lot more versatile and I sincerely believe that it will eventually catch up with Revit's intelligence in a just a few more versions in the future. Some Revit users even admit that being an Autodesk product has slowed down or crippled its development.

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There are a couple of Revit features I would really like copied into Vectorworks. One is the automatic update of viewports - Revit's strongest asset. I can save lots of time not updating viewport in Vw drawings. And easier sheet and viewport setups can make the Vw transition easier for newcomers.

Autodesk could make Revit the top BIM product, but their 20 year track record with AutoCad has proven to me how slow they are at product development. Meanwhile, major improvements with each new Vectorworks release has given me valid reason to upgrade my license.

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Bob, I completely agree about viewport updates; it's one of (but not the only) issues that keeps me from embracing more of a comprehensive 3D BIM approach.

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VW is a fraction of the cost of Revit, which adds up fast with multiple users. It will only chip into the Autodesk markshare however if the functionality is really robust (eg database notes, sheets, no crashing, automatic updating viewports, etc, etc).

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Revit is indeed about twice the price of VW. While the outside world (myself included) was confused about why NNA was making so much noise about Parasolid in VW2009 and why that mattered to BIM, it really means that VW will get all sorts of tools to compete with Revit.

I have used VW in the past, and my first building model was built in MiniCAD 7! I'm obviously a believer in BIM and the model-centric approach to building documentation, so the roadmap for VW's development looks very promising indeed.

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Hi Wes, and welcome to the board.

The ease of object manipulation in 3D programs like Sketchup is what really should be the vision of future BIM program development.

BTW, the new Sketchup 7 has some great parametric features for its components. And the 3D warehouse has some parametric components to try out. The stair is freakin' great - why can't Vectorworks have that?

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I just saw the dynamic stair component demo, Bob. Can't say I was blown away as you were though. No thanks but I'll stick with the VW parametric stairs for now.

Or I'll probably wait for Julian's Stair Manager instead. :)

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The simple concept of Sketchup 7's dynamic stair component, though, is very powerful in that its user can immediately put it to use. And it looks like it can be done with parametric solids. NNA (or Ozcad) can apply this concept to resizing stair objects, and get rid of the stair wizard - this sort of aberration of the Object Info Palette.

And why stop there - doors, windows and cabinets can be stretched to size according to industry specified increments.

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I don't know why but it just seems like several steps backwards for me. I can't see how such objects can be implemented as 2d/3d hybrid objects.

I don't have a problem with stair creation in VW. The main reason I don't use them often is that VW stairs simply don't look the way I want them to in plan and 3d views.

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The simple concept of Sketchup 7's dynamic stair component, though, is very powerful in that its user can immediately put it to use. And it looks like it can be done with parametric solids.

This is why SU really isn't BIM (at least in my opinion): it's a surface modeler, so I wouldn't think you'd get volumetric quantities from it.

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Bob's talking about usability, not BIM output, and he's absolutely right. Vectorworks' reliance on choosing amongst a gazillion options to design a stair or window is the definition of a tool getting in the way.

There's no reason that VW needs to work this way, especially now with the Parasolids engine.

Sure, let's have the power to infinitely adjust any part of a parametric object, but don't let that get in the way of design. We can have both.

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But that's just it. Of course things can be simpler and more intuitive but we're talking about objects which are inherently complex. Pushing and pulling just won't do --- you'll always end up with a dialog box showing your options. Even sketchup dynamic components can't get around that. I'd prefer to leave the tools to create these types of objects to the programmers and experts since I don't think this is already part of being a designer. And this is also why I'm uncomfortable with family creation in Revit.

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Pushing and pulling just won't do --- you'll always end up with a dialog box showing your options.

This doesn't actually contradict what I just wrote. Options are great but the point is pushing and pulling can be utilised far more than it has been in VW. This is, after all, meant to be CAD for designers.

Watch the second half of this video about synchronous technology to see examples of how different parts of complex objects can have relationships that negate the need to resort to a dialogue box:

http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/campaigns/breakthrough/index.shtml

Think beyond the box Ariel.

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This doesn't actually contradict what I just wrote. Options are great but the point is pushing and pulling can be utilised far more than it has been in VW. This is, after all, meant to be CAD for designers.

This I would agree to a point. Yes, I wish a had 'pull handles' in my stairs. But as a designer, I don't need to know and want to learn how to place them there.

Watch the second half of this video about synchronous technology to see examples of how different parts of complex objects can have relationships that negate the need to resort to a dialogue box:

http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/campaigns/breakthrough/index.shtml

You've already shown this before, Christiaan. And I believe these are the same guys that NNA licensed the parasolids technology from so we'll get there eventually. But I'm still not convinced it's as simple as the video suggests. There still has to be a way to input additional information on how the object behaves. (What kind of material is it? How can you define the maximum thickness?)

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