BIM Modeling : Revit vs Archicad
Updated: Mar 15
This post aims to present some of the key differences between the software Archicad and Revit. BIM process is based on a digital parametric model that integrates graphical and non-graphical information, which enables the automatic production of plans, reports, design analysis and programming.
When working in a BIM software, the user creates a parametric model while working simultaneously on the 2D plans and the 3D model. Any change in the model is automatically updated in all views, documentation, lists and calculations. BIM enables the real time collaboration of engineers at all stages of the design process. The construction model database can capture the systems of the actual building and this allows users to keep track of the real building during its lifecycle.
Today, there is a variety of BIM software in the global market such as the Allplan, Vectorworks, Bentley, IntelliCAD, RhinoBIM and Nemetschek. The two most well-known software in the USA and Europe are the software Revit and ArchiCAD.
ArchiCAD was first introduced in 1982 by the company Graphisoft, which was the first BIM software available for commercial use. Until 2000, Archicad was used mainly in smaller projects, while through a series of improvements and additions, like the GDL objects and the Cinema 4D Render engine, ArchiCAD became the preferable software of thousands of users across the world.
Revit is owned by Autodesk, the USA company that popularised CAD (computer-aided design) via AutoCAD. Autodesk created the first formal edition of Revit in 2002, while a series of subsequent editions aimed to improve the digital representation and simulation of the building in an efficient manner. The RFA objects, the Autodesk Raytracer (ART) engine, the advanced collaboration tools and the cloud rendering features are some of the key Revit features and is now used by architects and engineers in the global market.
Revit versus ArchiCAD
Revit or ArchiCAD? Which software should I use and why? What is better PC or Mac?
It is the same type of question.
There are numerous questions and debates concerning Revit versus ArchiCAD. Both are sophisticated software of BIM technology and they equally have advantages and disadvantages.
The most important factor in the relationship between humans and software, and computers generally, is that numbers are less important than human perception.
To a large extent, the effectiveness of software is based on the user and his/her knowledge of the software. Accordingly, there is no definitive answer as to which software is best. The latest editions of ArchiCAD and Revit both perform whatever is requested.
Nevertheless, the GDL objects experienced user will always feel more comfortable with the ArchiCAD interface. A different approach is adopted by Revit software so experts in Revit are likely to be more attracted to this interface.
To address the question of which software is better, it is vital to consider:
to whom you are addressing the question, and
which interface appears most friendly to the future user.
Both software add new features in an annual basis in order to remedy failures and malfunctions. A good idea is to download the demo versions of both software and experiment with the interfaces. Basic similarities and differences are evident between the two software. Below are key features to provide an overview for future users:
Both software simulate the digital model that integrates information for all elements of the design.
Views, plans and sections are created automatically and upgraded with every change to the model.
Both have a level of complexity in design geometry.
Range: Revit is software of global scope (Europe – America) and is owned by the colossus Autodesk, while ArchiCAD belongs to Graphisoft and is popular in Europe.
Learning: Revit has a more composed structure that requires additional time to understand and learn (e.g. multiple windows processing) compared to ArchiCAD that is more functional and user friendly.
Design freedom: Revit has more design autonomy and ease on the parametric design of elements compared to ArchiCAD.
3D view: In Revit, the 3D display is axonometric while in ArchiCAD both axonometric and perspective views are possible, which provides more freedom to peruse the model.
File size: The files in Revit are larger than in ArchiCAD and especially for more complex applications.
Resources: Since Revit belongs to Autodesk it has more support with tutorials, add-ons, resources and e-books when compared to ArchiCAD.
Additionally, there is a list below identifying forums and blogs that compare Revit and ArchiCAD. Ultimately, the final decision is a personal choice.
Author: Panagiotidou Nicoleta
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