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Chris D

BIMfail. Why we're moving to Revit

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Why we're moving to Revit is is a slightly provocative subject line for this post, and it may or may not be true. Truth is, we don't know what Revit can do for us, yet. We do know that Vectorworks can't do BIM the way we want to do it, so we're looking for something that does.

The people coming to give us a Revit demo wanted a list of VW's perceived failings so they could address these in their intro to Revit. Here's what we gave them.

This is our broad brush overview of what's wrong with Vectorworks as it stands. (For details see my moans on this board).

WORKING

- No live sections

- No multiple model windows e.g. plan and section open at same time

- Poor architectural tools, windows, doors, stairs, roofs, curtain walls etc

- Missing architectural tools rooflights, gutters, foundations etc

- No multi-core / multi-thread support e.g even auto-save stops you working while it saves

- No building materials, just 2D hatches, textures, fills with no relationship between them

- Poor workgroup referencing. No workgroup server or BIM server

- Poor stock component library, especially for the UK

- Poor Coordinate System support. No multiple UCS (moving origin doesn't qualify).

- No 3D working grid or reference lines related to storey settings

- Poor Stories implementation. No split levels, mezzanines, double-height spaces etc.

OUTPUT

- No 3D hatches so all drawings need to be rendered for presentation

- Render quality needs to be set very high for decent elevation output

I can't claim this is a definitive list of the broad changes that NVInc need to address as we only got so far with our BIM trial. We gave up because there was no hope that VW was the right tool for the job.

When September Comes, I can't see all of these failings being fixed.

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Good summary Chris. Are you considering Archicad, given that it has a Mac version and is more mature? I presume your thinking is, "if we're going to make a change we might as well go with the crowd"?

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Are you considering Archicad, given that it has a Mac version?

No. We've never had a major contractor mention ArchiCAD to us. They only ever mention Revit. BIM=Revit to them, so if we're changing we'll go with the big one.

The Mac hurdle is a biggie. For 2D we're not changing to AutoCAD (why would you when VW is better), so we might move to VW on PC instead. All of our Macs are Intel so it's a case of installing Windows on them. (groan).

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Why we're moving to Revit

- Poor architectural tools, windows....

Looks like I will do the same.

The reason?

Unable to buy Windoor because I have a US version and reside in Oz.

Not wanting to deprive anyone of income, but having to rely on third party developers for tools that are necessary because of base program deficiencies is hard enough to accept. Being cornered into a position where I have to buy into a localised version (VW Designer cost is almost on par with Revit here) to get window tools that are adequate is not acceptable to me.

I wanted to hang out until September, but my mind is almost made up.

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All of our Macs are Intel so it's a case of installing Windows on them. (groan).

Of course, didn't think of that.

Phew wee, not a road we will take though. Surely a Mac-native version of Revit can't be far away!

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Running Revit with Bootcamp is not a road I want to take either.

So a switch to Revit will involve switching to a Windows based system. I don't really want to ditch my mac but there doesn't appear to be any other way

....except....

this is my solution

:grin:

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Sure, but I don't want to end up supporting two platforms which you inevitably will if you dual boot.

To ellaborate, suppose I'm booted into Revit on the Windows partition. I want to edit a render in Photoshop, so I will have to boot into my mac version of PS at some stage.

It's either one or the other...

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Well, you'd be best to update all software licences for Windows if need be. That wouldn't worry us too much.

The reason we wouldn't do it is because Windows blows. ;)

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We'd approach this on a project by project basis, switching users (and all software) to Windows machine by machine over time. If Revit for Mac becomes available during the rollout we could always go back to our preferred (and beloved) OS X.

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I agree Chris that there is no way for NNA to be able to button up their programming to have VW do BIM efficiently, they would probably have to fork out the cash to Seimens programing to have the modeling kernel implemented properly.

That being said BIM has failed since it began at least a dozen years ago and the functional real world workflow progress has been incremental and slow on ALL competing vendors software versions. For this reason I'm thinking of just going back to my efficient workflow; Sketchup model to 2d CAD, as the round tripping is easy and now that Trimble owns I suspect it's only going to get better.

Just my 2 cents!

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Chris,

Potentially being the avant garde, perhaps you could repost as to your findings after the Revit Presentation?

Would be most appreciated as my subscription comes due in a month.

Thanks.

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Will do bc but we couldn't arrange it before August due to holidays (vacation) so may not be in time for you.

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OK I'm on my own I guess. Still curious though so I will probably be around the board.

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Yes, Please do come back and tell us how it goes. I am interested in hearing what you think of Revit.

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- Poor stock component library, especially for the UK

- Poor Coordinate System support. No multiple UCS (moving origin doesn't qualify).

I've just started getting into Revit but from your list, only these 2 above I can't see being done however I could be wrong.

When September Comes, I can't see all of these failings being fixed.

I think you're correct with this assumption

I'm not a Mac person so I could be wrong but I heard through the grapevine, Apple has or will dis-continue the Mac Desktop range of computers. Therefore, if you'd like to have the fastest workstations, I think it's better for the long term for companies to move to a Windows environment.

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I'm not a Mac person so I could be wrong but I heard through the grapevine, Apple has or will dis-continue the Mac Desktop range of computers. Therefore, if you'd like to have the fastest workstations, I think it's better for the long term for companies to move to a Windows environment.

The folly of prejudice.

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I've found that giving up Vectorworks, for me, means giving up grid reference lines, and guides. Text styles, polygons, custom hatches, poly-shaped viewport crops, sketch rendering styles. Importing PDFs and DWG for edit. Conceptual 2D poly drawings on model layers. Image props, image polys. Truetype to poly for signs. Copy and paste between project files. Import any resource from other project files. And giving up MacOSX, too. Much of that is 2D drafting features, but I depend on that, and I feel that Revit would require having AutoCad around to fill in the missing features. More than once, I've relied on importing Autocad and Sketchup model files, and I've found trying to work with them in Revit can be a waste of time.

But I guess I've found the important thing is to find the right program to fit the work style and stay with it. I like to think of BIM not as a single program, but as a Thinking Outside The Box approach to interoperating with other programs, like AutoCad and Sketchup (now owned by the makers of Tekla Structures). It shocks and surprises me how Autodesk pays so little attention to this, e.g., Revit does not interoperate with earlier versions of itself.

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I'm not a Mac person so I could be wrong but I heard through the grapevine, Apple has or will dis-continue the Mac Desktop range of computers. Therefore, if you'd like to have the fastest workstations, I think it's better for the long term for companies to move to a Windows environment.

The rumour is that they will discontinue the Mac Pro range. That doesn't mean desktop range, nor does it mean they won't replace the Mac Pro with something else. And that's even if the rumour is true. The latest word from Tim Cook is they've doing some 'amazing' stuff on this front (but which won't raise its head above the parapet until next year).

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giving up grid reference lines, and guides. Text styles, polygons, custom hatches, poly-shaped viewport crops, sketch rendering styles. Importing PDFs and DWG for edit. Conceptual 2D poly drawings on model layers. Image props, image polys. Truetype to poly for signs. Copy and paste between project files. Import any resource from other project files.

We couldn't be without those and for years to come our 2D workflow will be bigger than our 3D workflow. Therefore we plan to keep VW around (on a minimal upgrade path), but perhaps on Windows.

It's funny that we have both VW2008 and VW2012 installed and most of us stick to 2008 as it's faster and slicker for 2D work....no working planes to worry about etc. I imagine it will work for another 5 years too...

Edited by Chris D

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I was just reviewing Chris D?s list of what VW cannot do as a BIM tool. There are areas where VW needs improvement, including the BIM arena, and these areas are being addressed. But there are other factors to the practice and workflows of each individual that should really drive a decision on what tool you want to use.

But first and foremost, I want to say, that ANY successful architect or architectural firm that I know of, does NOT use one single application. It?s just not possible for a single tool to fulfill the demands of your desired output as an architect. Just like Bob H said in his post, its about finding the right program(s) that fit your work style and that expression. And, Autodesk falls pretty short when it comes to interoperability and file sharing amongst other programs. I?m not talking about sharing BIM models; I?m talking about basic things like importing PDF?s. Revit can?t do it.

The other thing that I wanted to bring up, is basically asking the question, what is BIM to you? Just like Patrick has said, the majority of tools that are available to create a BIM, actually fail. The software vendors espouse this ideal of what BIM is and what it can do and how wonderful this BIM Utopia is, but the reality of it is that the industry is no where near doing what a BIM is meant to accomplish. Just because an application can do live sections, it does not mean that it is creating a true BIM model. As a matter of fact, the majority of the problems that you have in your list do not necessarily lead to a true BIM. Most are workflow preferences. I don?t want to go through your whole list, but some of them are problems in most applications.

I?m an architect here in the U.S. and I?ve been using Revit since 2009. There are plenty of shortcomings in Revit too ? its not perfect in any sense and you?ll find yourself just as frustrated ? but over different issues and problems. You?ll just be posting on the Revitcity community board instead. :)

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I will probably be sticking with 2012 because of the vested interest in program learning and I like the improvements in Renderworks. I suppose I could revert to earlier versions and import them to 2012 but whatever.

Overall at my age and given the amount of work these days, I don't expect to have the cash to continue my subscription. With a better cash flow I might continue or with a great cash flow might jump to Archicad.

Good luck Chris...let us know.

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But first and foremost, I want to say, that ANY successful architect or architectural firm that I know of, does NOT use one single application.

The practice I work for has been going since 1976 using a single application.

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Being going since MiniCAD, and we will keep on going.

I believe VW to be a great BIM tool. Exporting to Solibri Model Checker allows for clash detection for those with complex structures that require that extra collaboration. However I do agree, It is very frustrating working with win, door, wall, etc. tools and coming across their limitations. So when we are working on a more complex wall, win, door, roof, etc. that VW tools can't handle we draw it from scratch or use the tool partially and add to it.

All programs will have their limitations, at least with VW we can work around them.

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