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Chris D

VW Architect vs Revit LT

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I'd say the reason most people who are weighing up between VW / Revit / ArchiCAD choose choose VW for it's price.

Well at the office I'm now there are:

2 AutoCAD Architecture licenses, used.

1 VWs license, used.

2 Revit 2012 licenses, unused.

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I'd say the reason most people who are weighing up between VW / Revit / ArchiCAD choose choose VW for it's price.

Well at the office I'm now there are:

2 AutoCAD Architecture licenses, used.

1 VWs license, used.

2 Revit 2012 licenses, unused.

a) Why is that?

b) Can you sell your Revit License?.

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a) Why is that?

b) Can you sell your Revit License?.

a) They have always worked with ADT but got tricked (just like most) into believing Revit was the new Utopia and exchanged 2 ADT licenses to Revit.

b) Nope = Service Select, however they are trying to reverse them back to AutoCAD Architecture with the dealer........

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Hi Vincent,

Obviously the office you are in doesn't rate Revit very highly.

What are the main reasons for the dislike?

Everyone that I know that uses it always sings its praises, so I have always thought it to be a superior product. Would be interesting hearing your take on it coming from a VW background.

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Last year I worked at a different office and was forced to work and learn Revit for a year, I didn't like it that much, that doesn't mean it doesn't do what it should quite well, but once again I was reminded that each program has its pros and cons.

First of all I'm an adamant hater of all things Autodesk so I'm not that objective :grin:

Revit is an all out 3D parametric objects app. (so much so it is hard to find the few 2D tools it has). This means first of all you need to get into 3D drafting completely. Next if you can't find a existing PIO object that suites your needs in the package you need to build it from scratch and this means learning how to create families etc. this is the heart of Revit and once you understand this you basically can figure out Revit.

Families are like our Hybrid solids including representations for all views (elevation section etc.) everything you create in a object can be related to reference lines/planes, these in their turn make the parametric nature possible.

Basically working in Revit is like working in a bunch of Complex Hybrid solids in VWs, lots of entering edit mode and adjusting, saving to database and continuing. Not my piece of cake.

Obviously the office you are in doesn't rate Revit very highly.

What are the main reasons for the dislike?

Well first of all moving to a complete 3D drafting environment craves quite some schooling, second they do a lot of smaller projects that include changes and additions to existing buildings, that means working with existing older (2D dwg) files, in Revit you would need to redraw the old situation first and then add or change minor parts = too much extra work.

In this respect AutoCAD Architecture (which is quite similar to VWs btw) is much better suited, i.e.. using a workflow with different levels of 2D + 3D mixed.....

Edited by Vincent C

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IFC is, and make sense as a complimentary format to proprietary exchange by making the essential BIM data available to backend applications, typically after the editable proprietary information serves no purpose, it's not a threat to proprietary formats. It?s the Nemetschek company structure that is threatened by where the BIM paradigm has naturally evolved. The IFC equals virtuous, proprietary equals monopoly narrative appears to be all about negating the parent company?s structure, which is averse to developing it?s software suite in line with the way the rest of the industry is developing and interpreting BIM. Nemetschek is a company that wants to make money from owning a portfolio of AEC technology companies they can buy and sell, they are not a company that wants to make money from ?being? an AEC technology company. Steps towards uniting the technologies within their portfolio would make them progressively more difficult to sell off individually should a division within their portfolio begin to fail.

Great insight. Deserves to be a on blog somewhere.

On the other hand it doesn't explain why so many other organisations and governments are also pushing IFC.

And the alternative seems so much worse: Autodesk controlling the default file format for another generation of software and helping our industry to continue being one of the most inefficient in the world.

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Some VW users suggest they will pay more for VW if it does the above, and urge more to be spent on R&D to catch up. Arguing that if the software provides more they will be happy to pay more.

I hope you're wrong. Perhaps more tools need to be added to Fundamentals for architects who just want the cheapest and are happy to largely use 2D. And then develop Architect into a fully 3D BIM app with a price to match.

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Revit is an all out 3D parametric objects app. (so much so it is hard to find the few 2D tools it has). This means first of all you need to get into 3D drafting completely.

It's still the future though, right? Kids coming out of uni from now on won't be learning anything else.

Next if you can't find a existing PIO object that suites your needs in the package you need to build it from scratch and this means learning how to create families

Easier than writing PIOs from scratch with Vectorscript though right?

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Next if you can't find a existing PIO object that suites your needs in the package you need to build it from scratch and this means learning how to create families

Easier than writing PIOs from scratch with Vectorscript though right?

Absolutely! The main reason for this is that no workarounds are at all possible in Revit, so they have to Put up or Give up.........

Revit is an all out 3D parametric objects app. (so much so it is hard to find the few 2D tools it has). This means first of all you need to get into 3D drafting completely.

It's still the future though, right? Kids coming out of uni from now on won't be learning anything else.

In regard to this I was mainly considering......you can't teach and old dog new tricks and when Revit came out some old dogs that just got their head around ADT were given the choice to move to Revit .....yeah right!

Edited by Vincent C

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On the other hand it doesn't explain why so many other organisations and governments are also pushing IFC.

I'm just looking at this from the ground up. As I said IFC is important, because the built environment is important. IFC is essentially a way to pour BIM out of its? proprietary containers and into a single universal "non-proprietary" format to document, track and control the lifecycle of the built environment. I expect at some point most governments will legislate that all projects of a certain size and beyond be delivered in an IFC format for that reason. It doesn?t change however, what I was saying, I wasn?t making an anti-IFC argument.

And the alternative seems so much worse: Autodesk controlling the default file format for another generation of software and helping our industry to continue being one of the most inefficient in the world.

I?m picking at the cracks because I think Autodesk IS going to control the default file format, but it has nothing to do with RVT verses IFC. Nemetschek wants us to believe there?s a file format war going on but it?s the difference between the two company structures that?s going to make RVT the default ?working? file format as BIM becomes standard. IFC is irrelevant to the coming reality because Autodesk has no problem with buildingSMART?s IFC standard, wherever it goes I?m sure they?ll comply, it?s not a threat to RVT. There?s nothing evil about RVT either, or VWX, or any other proprietary format for that matter and there?s nothing virtuous about IFC they?re just different file formats with ?different functions?. In a sense, I believe Nemetschek's campaign is slight of hand, they want everyone focused on and getting emotional about proprietary verses IFC, monopoly verses the "open little guys", when the real issue is the structural paralysis a financial holdings company has caused for a significant portion of the AEC tech industry competing with Autodesk.

Proprietary formats are just containers for proprietary technology and competition between BIM technology companies is all about whatever magic they can stuff into their respective containers. It?s every companies right to build whatever technology they can dream up inside those containers. As an AEC technology company, Autodesk is free to compete by building ?AEC? software just as the free market and ?collaborative? BIM gods conceived. Nemetschek however, as a financial holdings company, has a collection of A and E and C investments that are walled by a desire to keep them separate. Nemetschek doesn?t want to compete with Autodesk by ?being? an AEC technology company so they?re betting the house on what is essentially a marketing campaign on top of a "non-proprietary" standard that was always going to be standard. It?s a ?work around? that?s a very ?standard? way to compete with the dynamic and evolutionary capacity of proprietary formats. Nemetschek has nailed its? feet down to communicating and collaborating exclusively through IFC, while Autodesk is free to move, communicate, support and develop BIM collaboration however it wants and still spit out an IFC file. My guess is Autodesk hopes Nemetschek stays the course.

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My guess is Autodesk hopes Nemetschek stays the course.

My guess is they will, unfortunately, the way it's been going and considering the amount of dedication real BIM demands of the developer it seems the gap will keep on increasing.

4-5 years ago I didn't consider there to be any significant gap between the different apps. only different areas of specialization, now I feel VWs has started to lag behind significantly. (I must admit I have started considering moving to a package that does the basics properly, and I'll have to accept it doesn't do the peripherals so well, it is just starting to be too hard to justify the extra time.) I'm also tired of hoping the next version will sort it out.......

Edited by Vincent C

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Nemetschek has nailed its? feet down to communicating and collaborating exclusively through IFC, while Autodesk is free to move, communicate, support and develop BIM collaboration however it wants and still spit out an IFC file.

The thing is, what's the alternative to an open format? It wouldn't make any difference to us if Nemetschek's suite of apps could talk to each other in a proprietary way; the engineers we work with don't use Nemetschek's software.

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Thanks Vincent good to get some feedback on the differences

First of all I'm an adamant hater of all things Autodesk so I'm not that objective :grin:

Yeah i dislike AutoCad, but thats because Vectorworks was a far easier product to use to produce 2D drawings, seems it has lost this advantage when adapting to a 3D workflow. Was thinking that Revit may actually be more intuitive than VW, as it set up for 3D, but guess it has its disadvantages/workarounds too.

Basically working in Revit is like working in a bunch of Complex Hybrid solids in VWs, lots of entering edit mode and adjusting, saving to database and continuing. Not my piece of cake.

I presume once these hybrids have been set up you can take them from project to project, so extra work at the beginning but will pay off later?

in Revit you would need to redraw the old situation first and then add or change minor parts = too much extra work.

In this respect AutoCAD Architecture (which is quite similar to VWs btw) is much better suited, i.e.. using a workflow with different levels of 2D + 3D mixed.....

Yeah that would be annoying, our projects are mainly new build housing with the very occasional refurbishment.

What about overlaying other consultants 2D drawings over your files, I presume this can still be done?

I suppose a lot of it comes down the needs of the practice you work for and the workflows within those offices.

The risk that i can see staying with Vectorworks is Revit will develop further and further ahead, and I am not sure if VW will ever catch up in time.

Clients will expect the same level of information that those using Revit will offer, and then we won't be as competitive as an office.

Good job I don't have the decision making responsibility when it comes down to software, I can just continue to grumble with the tools VW provide. :grin:

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Yeah i dislike AutoCad, but thats because Vectorworks was a far easier product to use to produce 2D drawings, seems it has lost this advantage when adapting to a 3D workflow. Was thinking that Revit may actually be more intuitive than VW, as it set up for 3D, but guess it has its disadvantages/workarounds too.

My main issue is the look and feel of their programs and UI, (this applies for most other apps too), there just isn't a program that I like the look and feel of more than VWs, however there is a limit to how long look and feel outweigh usability.

I presume once these hybrids have been set up you can take them from project to project, so extra work at the beginning but will pay off later?

Absolutely, and there are a huge amount of objects to be found on the internet = the advantage of such a huge user group.

It's more that when a whole project is built up of Hybrid solids, it becomes quite a lot to keep track of. And we're talking hybrid solids in hybrid solid in hybrid solids too.

eg a window will consist of a hybrid solid for the glass in a hybrid solid for the sash in the hybrid solid of the frame. If you then need to have a different glass type you need to create a new hybrid solid for the glass and insert it into a copy of the window hybrid solid and replace the other glass hybrid solid with the new. Understand what I mean? :grin:

What about overlaying other consultants 2D drawings over your files, I presume this can still be done?

Just xref them like in their other apps....

Edited by Vincent C

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Be sad to see you go...

:(

The tragic thing is it's all about a few essential things that would make my workflow suddenly effective again:

1. Good window scheduling capability

2. 3D hatches

3. User friendly reports/schedules/worksheets.

(4. Some basic issues in some of the architecture PIOs (slabs, roofs, stairs), however these I could live with if the above worked well.)

Edited by Vincent C

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The thing is, what's the alternative to an open format? It wouldn't make any difference to us if Nemetschek's suite of apps could talk to each other in a proprietary way; the engineers we work with don't use Nemetschek's software.

Yeah, it's to late. Nemetschek as a whole, needed to present an alternative proprietary ecosystem while the industry was moving to BIM. For a long time I've been asking why IFC only, it never had to be an either or situation. I took the 3D / BIM'ish high road because I'm a one man show, it's been frustrating having that work isolated from pathways to consultants. Every engineering firm I deal with now supports RVT exchange, led by pressure from larger architectural firms. Efficient BIM exchange is the primary reason I have to move.

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What platform are you thinking of switching to? (PM fine if you prefer)

I'm also a one man show, although to date collaboration hasn't really been an issue for me...yet.

Edited by Kizza

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Yeah, it's to late. Nemetschek as a whole, needed to present an alternative proprietary ecosystem while the industry was moving to BIM. For a long time I've been asking why IFC only, it never had to be an either or situation. I took the 3D / BIM'ish high road because I'm a one man show, it's been frustrating having that work isolated from pathways to consultants. Every engineering firm I deal with now supports RVT exchange, led by pressure from larger architectural firms. Efficient BIM exchange is the primary reason I have to move.

But would a Nemetschek proprietary exchange ecosystem really have solved your problem? Many, if not most, of your consultants would still be using RVT for exchange.

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But would a Nemetschek proprietary exchange ecosystem really have solved your problem?

I don't know, never will. I enjoy 3D and use all of Vectorworks' BIM'ish features, it's for self-satisfaction more than any other reason, the thought of a 2D workflow sends me into fits of hysterical blindness now. Clients love it, the builders love it even more than the clients, but the isolation of the software means a lot of that energy is actually wasted. That's sad hey? Makes me sad.

Have you ever met an architect that doesn't like Autodesk? Would Nemetschek's software have more appeal if it were a proprietary connected ecosystem with the same efficiency of RVT exchange? How many software licences in your average consulting engineers office? If engineers received upstream pressure from architects using Nemetschek's hypothetical proprietary connected software would they buy a seat? If an engineer responded and purchased one seat of Nemetschek's hypothetical proprietary connected software might that cement a good working relationship? (pun intended) If engineers received upstream pressure from architects using IFC which software would they buy? If engineers have RVT clients and IFC clients would they provide comparative feedback to those clients?

Don't ask me, I don't know the answers, I'm just an end user.

By "your problem" do you mean you're going to stick with a 2D workflow forever? Come on Christiaan get a move on!

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The reason I asked is that without proposing an alternative to open format exchange there's a hole in your argument. The mind boggles at the inefficiency of every company in the AEC industry having to buy and run every popular form of BIM software in order to talk to each other.

I agree with your analysis regarding some of the motives that are driving Nemetschek's position but I don't think the logic of multiple proprietary exchange ecosystems is in anyway a solution. And nor is letting Autodesk run the show again.

We've already moved to a 3D-only workflow. It's proving rather expensive with all the bugs and workarounds. Fortunately exchange of 3D BIM data hasn't been required from us to date.

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All the mention of the reason to move towards Revit because "the structural consulting firm that we deal with use Revit" reminds me of what at senior Autodesk rep told me long time ago. He said Architects are the slowest of the users to upgrade their licences and embrace new CAD/BIM technology. This is where Autodesk is smart, they simply market more towards the structural, mechanical, electrical engineers to adopt new software which in turn forces the Architects to adopt the same platform...exactly what everyone is confirming here. He even went on to tell me that even General Contractors were faster and more open to adopting new technology. After all these years I can actually say he was right.

Just some info for you.

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The reason I asked is that without proposing an alternative to open format exchange there's a hole in your argument. The mind boggles at the inefficiency of every company in the AEC industry having to buy and run every popular form of BIM software in order to talk to each other.

There is a need for a "non-proprietry" standard and we have one. There's no such thing as an open format, it's either got proprietary information in it or it doesn't. "Proprietary" just mean ownership of the technology and that just means capitalism unfortunately, which is what we're discussing ultimately. One team is loosing the race and when I said, "Nemetschek has nailed its? feet down to communicating and collaborating exclusively through IFC", I was actually saying they've effectively surrendered their right to compete with Autodesk on an equal footing. Capitalism being capitalism, I see that decision having long term consequences, but I also said I hope I'm wrong, and maybe I am, and maybe there's nothing to worry about.

As for capitalism, I'm with Karl, but I don't know what to do about that either, I keep voting for the loosing team and they keep loosing. hmm, I see a pattern emerging with the teams I pick. We could ask Nemetschek and Autodesk to stop fighting with each other and work together in the interests of humankind.

Petition anyone?

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Hi Fritsch, it was 4am, so I may have very well been in a transitional state when I wrote that last comment.

After all these years I can actually say he was right.

I never used a 2D workflow in vectorworks. When I started working for myself I took a do or die approach to generating 3D geometry, so I didn't have to break any old habits to form new ones, but yeah, I find it surprising how few "seem" to have fully embraced the BIM'ish capacities Vectorwork's has on offer. My sample of consulting engineers, is of course anecdotal and may be atypical as well because I'm based in a regional not metropolitan location but the point remains the same, every consulting engineer's office now offers RVT exchange, the BIM paradigm has arrived and Autodesk has hit the first home run.

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