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Vincent C

VW vs ADT vs ArchiCAD vs Revit

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While we're talking about the competition (ArchiCAd 15).....

I've just started working for a very large architecture office here in Sweden and they work with both ArchiCAD 14 and ADT and Revit but are trying to get everybody to move to Revit.

I've been trying to get my head around Revit whilst working with ADT and I can say this (my opinion btw!!):

ADT is very similar in the way it works to VWs however with far inferior graphics and UI.

Revit is fairly similar to ArchiCAD in the way it works however I don't like the visibilty setup ie. Revit doesn't have a class system. It is even more parametric based than ArchiCAD however visibilities are controlled by object types (families) or over ridden individually!!? Not nice!!

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Comments from a new VW user (and still a lot to learn)...

As an ex Revit user I'd be interested in your impressions of Revit over VW (from the point of view of improving VW or course ;) )

I personally have found the graphical overides possible in Revit to be intuitive. For example, say I want to tinker with a model's elevation line weights - to build a lineweight hierarchy. Using Revit's lineweight tool it is possible to easily apply changes to a model lineweight, or change it's pattern, without applying any global changes to a class etc. In VW I believe the workflow is to explode the model to lines and make any changes from there?

As a new VW user I am a little concerned with the growing amount of disgruntled members on the forum who are dissatisfied with some very fundamental aspects of VW i.e. stability etc. With Revit prices coming down (locally anyway) Nemetschek needs to address these issues otherwise its game over. Furthermore, in my opinion its especially time for an interface overhaul.

Edited by Kizza

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Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed that all VWs users think like me, however personal taste is an important part of choosing CAD software. Especially considering the fact that most do almost the same and none does stairs or live elevation visual control properly.

I don't like parametric objects mainly because i don't like having to sift through loads of (mainly bad) setting dialogs to adjust one setting in several different places while still having to remember certain overrides......this counts for ArchiCAD and Bentley as well as Revit.

An important part of VWs development is defined by user input in this forum, the fact that certain post are (very) negative can be seen as negative PR however more important is the fact that the most negative posts can be seen as the most important issues to be solved and improved which in its turn means that VWs becomes a beter product.

Edited by Vincent C

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Nemetschek needs to address these issues otherwise its game over.

Oh I don't think that it's game over for a long time :) , don't forget they make an excellent product considering the budget they have!

In my opinion it's the best product out there, if they would just get stability and compatibility issues under control I can live with the Beta feeling of new releases. Remember you can't have your cake and eat it too! The fact remains that VWs is a budget product and that means we have to put up with certain shortcomings (compared to the competition) somewhere along the line.

Edited by Vincent C

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Comments from a new VW user (and still a lot to learn)...

As an ex Revit user I'd be interested in your impressions of Revit over VW (from the point of view of improving VW or course ;) )

How about the point of view of improving Revit? -- not that Autodesk would be interested, since it's selling well, so why bother? The new 2012 Revit lacks some long-demanded fixes ... lack of copy paste between project files, inability to save to a previous version, lack of site modeling tools, lack of import for dwg, 3ds and skp files. I use all of these Vw Architect functions, while at the same time, I would probably not get much use of the new point cloud reference in Revit 2012.

Although I had learned to use Revit in a volunteer project, I never had the experience of using it for a construction project. From my little experience, I found many of Revit's non-ignorable error messages had stopped my work cold (so I imagine that can really impact a work deadline).

At the same time, I completed 8 construction projects this year in Vectorworks, some of which needed architectural detail addenda on letter size paper (on very short notice). I could not imagine doing this in Revit, unless I print out a large sheet and cut it into a letter size detail, because Revit can't have multiple sheet sizes in a project.

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I agree, for the money VW is a great product.

Its the stability and compatibility issues to which I refer, especially when users upgrade from an older version of VW to 2011 with existing files. To me these are fundamental aspects of the program that must be made right.

Oh, and another question (Nemetschek are you listening?),

Nemetschek is the parent company that owns Graphisoft (Archicad), AllPlan and Vectorworks. In my mind it appears that the last two potentially are products which overlap. I would be interested to know the future roadmap for each of these products. Nemetschek would you like to divulge?

One of the regular posters on this forum made the comment that this forum is where VW users usually express their frustrations and discontent. There are many other satisfied and content VW users out there who don't express their satisfaction on these forums.

On the budget front, in my part of the world, VW is not that much cheaper than Revit. VW is a great buy if you work in the USA though - but I think that was dealt with in an older previous thread.

A final comment though, I am at this point satisfied overall with my VW experience. Fix the stability issues, fix backward compatibility issues, improve and streamline the user interface, develop a line style overide tool for model lines :grin: would make VW an even better product.

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Whilst I trained using Revit I fortunately do not have any legacy needs to consider when choosing my CAD software such as having an AutoCad background. My prior background before architecture was in the graphic design industry using Illustrator, Photoshop etc. VW feels more like a hybrid between Illustrator and AutoCad in its use so is a good fit for me. Plus, as Vincent mentioned, it's reasonable value for what you get (although that is not an excuse for the stability issues mentioned previously ;)

I agree Revit 2012 has little to offer a small one man architectural firm like me. The fact is though, that Revit's price has come down recently (in Aus) so the price difference between the two is not that great. I dont use VW because it's "cheaper CAD software". My main reason for buying VW is because it's the best choice for a mac user.

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Here's one for size.

Look at apple, years ago everybody said why use apple, nobody uses it and there is no software for it. now go to the modern day, apple is everywhere (i believe they have the largest market share per manufacturer) and its growing. I agree that there are some stability issues. but as for the compatibility issues, make every one else meet VW the world will come around, they always do for better product.

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On the budget front, in my part of the world, VW is not that much cheaper than Revit. VW is a great buy if you work in the USA though - but I think that was dealt with in an older previous thread.

FYI,Designer upgrade 2010-2011 $Aus600 on line or $Aus1000 ex ozcad... and now The complete revit suite $Aus950 subscription....REVIT IS CHEAPER THAN VW..

http://bimboom.blogspot.com/2011/05/autodesk-is-giving-away-free-software.html

I wonder how VW is going to reward loyal users with VW 2012..I hope its good?

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not to digress....

Having enjoyed VW for the past ten years, (and previously enjoyed ADT, Archicad and Autocad for many years prior), I firmly believe that all of our notable cad apps are still missing the boat on something very fundamental:

That they all seem hell-bent on improving and automating the drafting board in lieu of automating the design process. I could understand back in the 80's when the large Microstations reigned supreme and hard drives were practically non-existent; that a computer program mimicking a pencil a was pretty cool idea.

Almost thirty years later, I am still trying to "adapt" our cad program to fit our design process, even though our design process has been around for eons(existings, schematic design, design development, contract/bid, permit, construction, as-builts). Why is this still the case?

If I want a file to follow me from preliminary design to as-built, why on earth can't the software not only understand this, but help me speed this up? I'd love to push a "button" and one of my many design schemes now becomes "the one" to turn into contract docs, without all the copying, save-as-ing, moving, etc...

BIM is great for large buildings & stuff, but in my world (residential additions & remodeling) I seriously doubt if it's ever going to be useful.

... unless it magically becomes quick, simple, and concise. I am still waiting to download "i-Cad" on my i-Pad :)

thanks for letting me vent a little.

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If I want a file to follow me from preliminary design to as-built, why on earth can't the software not only understand this, but help me speed this up? I'd love to push a "button" and one of my many design schemes now becomes "the one" to turn into contract docs, without all the copying, save-as-ing, moving, etc...

Amen to that, brother. It seems like Revit (and now ArchiCAD) starts to do this with Existing, Demo, & New "phases" but that's only part of the equation. That begins to account for the phases of construction but doesn't really do anything to account for the phases of design.

BIM is great for large buildings & stuff, but in my world (residential additions & remodeling) I seriously doubt if it's ever going to be useful.

I'm not sure if BIM is any better for large buildings than it is for small ones and I'm not sure that BIM isn't useful for small projects. There are certainly elements of BIM that are quite useful for any project. Automation of window & door schedules is a great example. Any time you can extract parametric information from the model and eliminate manual coordination, it's a boon to productivity (and a step closer to pushing the magic button you referred to.)

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