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Vectorworks versus GraphiSoft/ArchiCAD

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I am a bit confused by the ownership of both Vectorworks and GraphiSoft/ArchiCAD by Nemetschek. Isn't it a bit of a conflict of interest to have both products (esp related to North America) available to the same markets?

Perhaps they are positioned for different markets but from my understanding it looks like they both address needs in the building industry.

Any thoughts or insight that I might be overlooking?



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Yes it is much the same as Autodesk owning, marketing and selling AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture and Revit all to the same markets. In my experience it works against them more than it works for them.

It "muddies the water" and creates confusion in the marketplace so users don't know who to believe about what product is best becauase they all claim to be the best. So what do they do? They stick with their 3,4,5 year old version till the confusion is reduced or eliminated.

Seems to me it is the same situation for the VWorks and GSoft situation.

And do hear that you cannot swap files between the two makes the water even murkier than before. Same thing exists in the Autodesk world. Seems you would want to push and devote all resources to one or the other but that's just me?


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If you look at what NNAs parent company owns and study it just a little it seems some other products are 'European centric'

there is ArchiCAD, AllPlan, I think Cinema3D, and I think again some fang dangle engineering software and building management software also etc

surely an ability for file sharing through those streams would be advantageous for different disciplines aka engineering through architecture, machine design, theatre design and even landscape design

do we live in a cad world where cad companies like Autodesk and NNAs parent company really are just businesses striving for a bottom line

what about the users



and are we to a degree just like litle mice running around in a wheel

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Different tools for different task environments.

Vectorworks is mainly for individual designers - it can be customized by the individual for many custom modeling tasks.

ArchiCad is mainly for production teams (it has a central model file server function like Revit), and it has MEP support.


IFC seems to be the only file exchange format between them - haven't tried it yet.

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Huh, never heard it put like that. If you run through both sites they really seem to say about the same thing and essentially go "head to head" against each other. But maybe I am missing something. Can you point me to anything on either site that would indicate they are different tasks for different environments?


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ArchiCAD is very much architecture based, where as Vectorworks is used in many industries. I disagree with the production team thinking, especially with VW 2008 and later, as there is at least one architecture firm in Japan that has 3,000 licenses. Yes, ArchiCAD might be more elegant in this regard (in keeping with it's price), but it's 3D modelling is not as sophisticated as VW. I believe it's architectural objects are more specific, and translate a bit better into IFC objects (although I believe VW 2010 is much better at this now). 2D drawing is better in VW.

They are different companies, and they do go head to head. It is about owning the funnel of the dollars that the user base contributes as different apps work better in different global markets, and fending off Autodesk. Let's be real here. We are all in business to make money, and if you are not, it is time to move out of your parents home and get a job! ;)

In time there may be intellectual property that will go back and forward, but it may just be that Nemetschek eventually pools all of this knowledge and creates a completely new package. The iPad (and related off shoots) might be the very vehicle for this shift. After all, many packages have good and bad points, but as a pro-user of VW, I don't want to wake up one day, to find out that VW has been changed into something that works like ArchiCAD or Allplan, and all of my training just went out the window.

I agree it would be great to get them to talk to each other. Unfortunately with any language, there are always translation issues, so for now IFC is probably the best way, and may alway be the best way to go.

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I still believe that Archicad and Revit are similar, in that they are a central file shared on a network.

Vectorworks is a more difficult sell in this regard, because customers would not be immediately attracted to the idea of dividing a building model into pieces in order to be shared on a network.

I personally like this idea -- instead of putting all of my eggs into one very fragile basket. Say for instance, a Revit user imports some Autocad files into his project file, and then it becomes FUBAR (as has been reported by some users).

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