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BIMfail. Why we're moving to Revit

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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.

For me the same too. I only work in VW for all the things that need to be done, even the non-trivial things like storyboarding, invoices etc....

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

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

I've been going since MiniCad too -- ever since I was amazed how I can draw a rectangle with two clicks (while at the office, early Autocad required 4 clicks with ortho snaps).

The Door Schedule Report in Vw Architect is woefully inadequate, but I have found a workaround with making a Door Schedule Record, and using a Database Worksheet from a template file. Door plug-in objects and door symbols can then use the same record, reported in the same worksheet.

I'm less concerned about sections automatically updating, although those red-hashed viewports are a bit annoying.

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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. :)

Thanks Rubes. No doubt Revit will be frustrating too but in different ways like you say. We'd much prefer VW to evolve very quickly instead! I hope threads like this one are a wake up call for NVInc before frustrated users do defect.

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I have done a couple of fully live model projects now. That is most 2D drawings are generated from the live model. Quite happy with the ability to chop up a model with the section viewport tool. It even works for details.

For me it is about access to the information. As I have modelled most things all I need to be able to do is get the info out. The Wall Cost index record is returned as text, not a number, which does not allow one to use it in a function. Try getting the permitter of a floor object it is double its real value.

The framing tool does not return its actual length only it plan span length.

I can't help but wonder what I could do with Revit compared to VW...


Edited by Assembly
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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.

I just need to sympathize with this reasoning, I've used all major CAD apps over the last 10 years through the different offices I've worked for and have had VWs as 'my own program' on the side (VWs has a very small user base in Sweden) and I keep on ending up with VWs, not because it is the best (there is no best btw) but because it suites my purposes best. Like Christiaan said in another post that what VWs is good at it is very good at.

However I have always considered ArchiCAD, Revit and to a degree Bentley Architecture to be better at extensive drafting and drawing production....

If I had a large office of my own I would want it to be multi platform and multi app to suite the needs of different projects and the different disciplines. Of course this means more people would need to be schooled in several programs but through experience I have learned that it is sufficient to have one or two gurus for each program and the rest can get by with the basics and still be productive.

Perhaps all the VWs experience and routine doesn't need to disappear completely Chris, perhaps continuing with both apps is the best? Very often these crucial decisions are made at the top without consulting the people on the floor doing the dirty work and these are the ones actually using the program and that have the greatest insight.

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in particular; this;

more fun

good luck

Thanks for the link - from my experience with Revit, I concluded that Autodesk's "Error Department" put in lots of work on those messages!

I recently found an avid Revit user who, for some reason, posted a blog on a Vectorworks feature that's been around for a long time.

From the blog What Revit Wants

MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

Vectorworks can assume object identity when importing Sketchup

I haven't really played with this, but theoretically you could:

Import a Sketchup file into Vectorworks

Vectorworks will attempt to create floors, roofs and walls

Export to IFC

Import into your BIM program of choice...

When importing a sketchup document, by default it will attempt to import the file as if it were an architectural design document, it will try to determine which objects are floors, roofs and walls.

Edited by Bob-H
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Mutton dressed up as lamb.

Haha, couldn't agree more Christiaan.

The answer is Parallels.

With little effort I have Solid Edge running in Windoz7 and it's just another app running on my Mac. I've even managed to get it running in it's own desktop, which is more than I can say for a lot of mac apps under Lion. No doubt it would run 'faster' in Bootcamp but quite honestly it doesn't matter in the slightest. I spend more time thinking about my design than I ever do waiting for my cad app.

Today you don't have to even consider the platform anymore. Use the best app for what you want to do and you're away. It may run slower than natively but it will be a thousand times faster than putting up with 'something' that is a coagulated mess.


My system:

OSX 10.7.4

iMac 27" i7 2.8

Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB

8g Ram (I'll be doubling this soon)

Parallels desktop

Windows 7 Pro

Solid Edge ST4

The only problem I've had was when I was playing around with windows itself. Big big lock-up, 2 power off from the wall reboots before it finally booted up. The Mac side was fine and Parallels was able to rebuild windows somehow so everything sweet, thank heavens haha.

I came across something in windows which highlights your original point. There is a box (yet another box) which can run a test to rate your comp for Aero. In any other reality it would have been rated from 1 - 10 or 1 - 100 or such like. This was rated from 1 - 7.9 ... WTF? Anyway, my setup rated 5.5 overall which isn't an average (oh no) but the lowest score, which just happened to be the ram, to be expected from a 3-4 year old machine. But the processor rated 7.2

I can't rate VW for Architectural use, I haven't used any other packages. My advice, if VW drives you crazy have a good look around and see if something else works better. And if you do find something change to it as quickly as you can, it will save countless hours and so much emotional damage. As an aside if you are an engineer who used Machine Design, try Solid Edge. It is quite simply brilliant. My rating, VW 2.8 ... SE 7.9


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Great another expert opion....I do both Architecture and Civil engineering what do you recommend surely not SW or SE?

My rating VWD 7.....SW 2

As I noted, I have no idea which app is best for Architectural use, nor for that matter Civil engineering or Theatre lighting. Perhaps VW in one of it's guises is the best available, in which case I pity the state of all those industries. Fortunately Mechanical CAD has far superior choices.

After spending many months researching I realised one of the major factors in my choice was of the company behind the software, what other software they had in their portfolios and what their track record was. In my case it was a choice between an interface company that built nothing and used high pressure selling techniques (SW) and one which both manufactures products and uses it's own software company wide ... and of course 'Synchronous Technology' ...

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I came across something in windows which highlights your original point. There is a box (yet another box) which can run a test to rate your comp for Aero. In any other reality it would have been rated from 1 - 10 or 1 - 100 or such like. This was rated from 1 - 7.9 ... WTF?

Yet another box? That's what an os is all about. It's all about boxes, even if they don't look like one.

The rating is not to rate for Aero, but to rate the general performance of your computer. The reason why it's not to 10 or 100, is because they need to have a rating system that can stay. New hardware is better then old one, so when new comes out, the max. rating will get higher and higher. Now the highest is 7.9, but that will change in the future. It's a really good rating system to see how well your computer is doing. But I guess a mac person....

When I first bought my pc, the processor was 6.8, and is now 7.4. So if your hardware is at the highest number, it can still go up. The reason why the base score (the big one) is taken from the lowest number is to show you that when you want to do something about your pc, that that is the thing you need to change. So in your case, you better adress the ram first. My computer needs to change it's primary hard disk, but I can't afford an SSD for the moment, and the normal hard drives can't be better then I have now.

I just wanted to say that not all that's not mac is bad, and that not all that's pc is bad, ... . I think every person need to have an open mind about this and see the benefits and non-benefits of all options.

Edited by DWorks
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Will not add to the other comments but offer up this consideration for transition to Revit. And as others have said none of them will do all that you want to do with an interface that is user friendly.

We would suggest setting up a local cloud on a Windows Server with individual login and application use for Revit. You can keep your Macs and use RDC Remote Desktop Connection. You would buy a very powerful and RAM loaded Windows box to achieve this and it would not matter the speed of the Mac. A couple of firms in town here have set this up and it has allowed them to keep 4-5 year old PCs and Macs still usable when using Revit and the Cost has been substantially less than buying and upgrading hardware on a 2-3 year cycle. It also makes MacBook Airs usable as CAD stations as all the computational power is on the server along with the RAM. Users can login from their home if they have a fast enough connection, License management is easier, software upgrades are faster, files are local to the Revit application when opening.

What is interesting about this thread is it was not just 25 years ago Architects for the most part used just one drawing application, pencil and paper with an interface that was very easy to learn. While capability has increased with the software and very exotic designs can be achieved with this new software not so sure they are all that different than the curves of Ronchamp or Dome in Florence.

Good luck in your search for the Holy Grail!

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I?m not optimistic about NVA?s future. NVA?s Open BIM ?stratagem? is the result of Nemetschek being an investment firm, not a building technology company. They?ve possibly locked the majority of the alternatives to Autodesk into being structurally separate at a time when the industry is transitioning to BIM. Had they not brought up market share like monopoly squares just as the concept of BIM began to emerged we may have seen intelligent amalgamations occur that would have evolved parallel to Revit.

Most of the pressure to move to Revit is for interdisciplinary file exchange and collaboration. It's increasingly an advantage to Autodesk's momentum to have all their components in house, building on themselves without the resistance factor of trying to integrate through IFC. While greater levels of integration will become increasingly difficult and slower for IFC, vertically integrated software is going to be able to move progressively faster.

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Theres nothing wrong with (SW)high pressure selling (techniques) Data video presentations ,Thats why they have well over a million users (and growing fast)... more than the whole fragmented NAG group put together.

NNA could take a leaf out of SW Marketing Data book (considering both use parasolid) and serve it up to Data Starved Architects Clients and it'll work (generate sales) everytime!

Yes that would solve all of the UI problems in VW ...

From what I've seen over the years, a company employing HP sealing techniques means just one thing. Their product can not stand on it's own merits against the competition, so it's best to go looking to see what else is out there ...

The Parasolid kernel is as good as anything out there and better than most, but it is not the only one. Inventor uses ACIS. Nor does it guarantee implementation. Just look at VW's non abilities regarding tangent entities, there is certainly no problem in the kernel. That being said it is also the kernel for SE, who by the way is owned by Seimens who also happen to own the Parasolid kernel. They license it on a 'level playing field' basis. Everyone including SE, NX (Seimens top level cad, widely regarded as the best CAD system period) SW, VW and others pay the same price for it. However Seimens do not include Synchronous Technology in the Parasolid License. SW have been very slow in not seeing the future and now find themselves not having this (true) ability and not being able to buy the technology, so are now in the position of having to write their own kernel from scratch. Good luck with that, or perhaps Dassault could use their Catia kernel, hahaha. In the mean time SE has already got 4 - 5 years head start with ST and is likely to have 2 - 3 more before SW gets going again with any direction. So currently, in the mid level mech market, SE is the tech leader, Inventor about 3 years behind (and heading to the cloud for better or worse) with SW trailng behind. That's not to say SW isn't a very good program, but it's technology is dated and in Industry where Time to Market is often the difference between success and failure, technology matters.

What do you think those million+ users are going to think of high pressure selling when they see their own market share slipping because their competitors are getting better products to market sooner?


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I recently learned that 75% of a building's life cycle cost is in Facilities Management (the remaining 25% is in construction). Yet I hear little from NV or Autodesk on how that department functions, and what its file protocols are.

This was what I believed IFC was intended for, backend applications involved in Life Cycle Analysis and management, not as a front end file format where it's preferable to be round tripping intact during the design phase. BIM is supposed to provide a new way of working that allows closer collaboration between disciplines during design.

Take it from Jeffery:

"Big BIM" is NOT about data exchange, per se, but about collaboration at a much higher level.

Collaboration via BIM is about making it possible for different disciplines to work together to arrive at a design, as opposed to the traditional chained, linear sequence approach of the past and its inherent problems. This is NOT what IFC or the Open BIM via IFC ruse provides.

Take it from Jeffery:

the purpose of this exchange is to provide a model reference background for the consultant to begin their work, in their modeling tool. This is the intent of the IFC file exchange methodology, for now. This is not much different then the previous DWG/DXF exchange method.
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We would suggest setting up a local cloud on a Windows Server with individual login and application use for Revit. You can keep your Macs and use RDC Remote Desktop Connection. You would buy a very powerful and RAM loaded Windows box to achieve this and it would not matter the speed of the Mac.

Thanks Stan, useful contribution as ever. We'll look at this option.

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