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VW vs Archicad BIM

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I was speaking to someone at Graphisoft this morning and they told me Vectorworks wasn't truly a BIM program. Anyone care to chime in about why the rep felt that way? I'm looking to add another platform for light commercial work to supplement Chief Architect that we use for residential (it stinks for commercial). I used VW from Minicad 7 to VW 2012.

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Our office met with Graphisoft a few years ago to understand the capabilities of the Archicad software relative to our firm's needs. I was surprised how negative and underinformed these representatives were about the VW program considering that both companies were owned by the same parent company.  I was also struck by the aggressiveness of the Archicad sales approach which was a bit of a turn-off. 


(Jim W has explained the relationships better elsewhere in the forum.). 


I would encourage you to take these Graphisoft critiques with a grain of salt and assess for yourself your firm's design software needs.

Edited by cberg
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He actually steered me towards VW after talking about the size of my office and projects I would be applying towards. So not a completely negative experience. He asked that I keep them in mind for my next upgrade evaluation, in say, 10 years 🙂


I'm going to try and get into NYC for the AIA Conference and product expo. Both VW and Archicad will have booths.

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Like any software solution, there are plusses and minuses to each package. I would consider ease of use vs. complexity, or bells and whistles.   What exactly you need or want BIM to do for you?   What level of setup will you be willing to undertake?  How does each package translate into what you are already are familiar?  VW is a bit of the Swiss army knife of software.  It does a lot of things reasonably well.  Is it perfect, no; but I think everything comes with tradeoffs.   

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Their proprietary "GDL" scripting language is a major turnoff... http://gdl.graphisoft.com/reference-guide

and they also talk about database connectivity in a really deceiving way--they refer to text files as databases. (I was looking for ODBC functionality)


From their documentation: http://gdl.graphisoft.com/reference-guide/gdl-data-io-add-on


Description of Database

The database is a text file in which the records are stored in separate lines. The database can be queried and modified based on a single key.
The key and the other items are separated by a character (specified in the OPEN command).....


I disqualified them as a potential CAD solution, because of their "we, and only we, run your CAD-life" attitude and product. (Also the VW forum has a dark theme now 😃)


Our business deals with Building Automation, Monitoring/Controls, Energy Assessments, Green Stuff.....

VW is most definitely a BIM application, and so flexible (especially thanks to python/marionette and ODBC/externalDB support) that we are able to use it to streamline and automate workflows without relying on out-of-box features or toolsets from VW. 


The Vectorworks team is very different from what you experienced over at Graphisoft.

We were coming from Google SketchUp (NYS was requiring us to do modeling in a Sketchup plugin called OpenStudio). The enthusiastic VW sales team only boasted about their product, and didn't go further than mentioning that a dataless model in Sketchup is very clearly not as helpful as a model that's loaded with data, that's got all kinds of integration potential.


We were accommodated so well during the free trial, and brief trial extension, that we started feeling guilty about taking up support resources. 


Best of luck to you @CARMELHILL


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1 hour ago, CARMELHILL said:

. Anyone care to chime in about why the rep felt that way?


You can simply say that either Autodesk nor Graphisoft can define if VW is a BIM sotfware or not. There is a list of certified BIM software, released from Building Smart international, and VW is one of the first softwares that achieved the certification for IFC 2x3 in architecture discipline, in 2013, architecture discipline (import and export).


And one of the first to have IFC4.


after that you can say that Marionette is integreted in VW a year before they forced their customers to buy Rhino and Grasshopper to do the same things.


Finally, to make the peace you can say thay we dream every day their beutiful stairs.


but here in Italy is the same think: they are nervous. I’m not nervous: i enjoy while i use VW, they should try it too.





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