ARCHICAD OR REVIT?

May 23, 2022

ArchiCAD or Revit? This is a very common question among many professionals considering these are the two most popular softwares used by professionals in the architectural field when it comes to BIM.

Understanding which one of them can be your best work tool is not an easy task, since both are very complete tools with many features that can optimize your workflow.

If you are undecided on which one to choose, this publication will clear up all your doubts! Check out!

ARCHICAD OR REVIT: WHICH IS THE BEST PROGRAM?

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In order to decide between ArchiCAD or Revit, it is very important that we know the main features of each program and how they can benefit our work.

The most used software is not necessarily the most suitable for your activities, so it is important to identify which one offers the range of tools most aligned to your needs.

Then there's nothing like a detailed analysis to help you choose between ArchiCAD or Revit! Let's check it out!

WHAT IS ARCHICAD?

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ArchiCAD is considered the first “virtual construction” software, offering a complete suite for the creation of 2D and 3D geometry, visualization and several features for the elaboration of projects.

Its development started in 1982 and launched only in 1987 by the Hungarian company Graphisoft, being known as one of the first software aimed at architectural projects, in addition to being considered the first BIM software.

Another striking feature is its flexibility for project modeling, which has very didactic tool panels, with minimalist icons, which facilitate understanding.

The possibility of using plugins expands the program's functionalities, in addition to a vast integrated library and several templates, which also has a template aimed at the Brazilian market.

WHAT IS REVIT?

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Revit is one of the most popular architecture and engineering software, which, in addition to features for 2D and 3D modeling, allows the development of multiple disciplines of the same project..

Developed by Charles River Software, founded in 1997 and acquired by Autodesk in 2002, it offers tools to plan and develop the various stages of a building's lifecycle, being one of the most used BIM software in the world.

Another great benefit is the compatibility with Autodesk's vast software catalog, as well as the possibility of using plugins developed by other companies, which expand the project development capacity.

Not least, we have the possibility of developing multiple disciplines of the same project, ranging from architectural, structural, electrical, hydro-sanitary, among other disciplines.

ARCHICAD OR REVIT? WHICH ONE IS THE BEST?

And so? ArchiCAD or Revit? Both are excellent tools for the development of architectural projects, efficiently meeting the demands and needs of any professional.

In this way, there is no way to determine which one of them is the best, as each professional has different needs, whether technical issues, the segment in which you work or even the ease of use of the tool.

With this in mind, I will make a more detailed approach to the main features of both softwares so that you can have a better opinion of which one is best suited to be your work tool.

INTERFACE

ArchiCAD follows the premise of being a software “By Architects for Architects”, offering a very clean and intuitive interface, with minimalist and objective icons.

Another advantage is the flexibility to position and resize the tool panels, allowing you to customize the workspace for better efficiency in your production process.

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Revit is not left behind, organizing the main features in the top menu (Ribbon), separating the tools by subject, so that they are grouped in tabs and separated into panels, making it faster to find any item.

Another great advantage is that most Autodesk software follows this organization pattern, where you can get familiar with the main tools very quickly.

The Properties and Project Browser tabs can also be repositioned, giving you better control of your workspace.

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CONCEPTUAL DESIGN

ArchiCAD offers simple yet very efficient mass modeling features such as the Morph Tool.

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Source: Archicad.

The modeling process is intuitive, allowing you to quickly create and edit different types of geometric shapes.

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In Revit we find a more robust tool package, especially when we talk about the shape parameterization process.

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For better control and editing of the shape, Revit offers, in addition to the mass modeling feature, the option of working with adaptive components, which allow for greater complexity in your project proposal.

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RENDERING

Starting with version 18, ArchiCAD incorporated Cinerender, allowing your project to be rendered directly in ArchiCAD, without the need to resort to plugins.

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Source: Graphisoft.

Even without looking for a 100% photo-realistic render, Cinerender offers great results and a very refined control of materials and effects such as: lens flare, depth of field, fog, among others.

Revit also offers a built-in renderer, which works with the Raytracer flow, allowing for satisfactory results without the need to resort to plugins.

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As of version 2019, Revit has incorporated PBR features, which allow the creation of materials that respond precisely to incident light, offering a much more realistic result in your project.

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PROJECT SUBJECTS

ArchiCAD offers the possibility to work with multiple disciplines within the same project, allowing a very fine control of the entire building lifecycle.

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Even though a good part of these resources have been implemented recently, it is already possible to develop multidisciplinary projects in a coordinated and efficient way.

At Revit, the multidisciplinary design process has been around for a long time, so we can develop projects that are much more robust and complex.

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Furthermore, in Revit you can choose between different ways of working multidisciplinary, either with an on-premises model or shared via the cloud.

LIBRARIES

ArchiCAD has an integrated library with several models, streamlining the process of modeling your project.

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Not least, we have the frame library, where you can customize doors and windows in a very simple and fast way, saving you the work of looking for models for your project.

Revit offers a huge library with several models, called families, already installed with the software. For every discipline or project  we have a vast catalog of options.

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Due to the large user community there are many specialized sites with families to download such as Blocks' own site!

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE

In ArchiCAD, when we need more complex modeling, we can use Grasshoper, which links ArchiCAD with Rhinoceros.

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With this we have access to the modeling features of the Rhinoceros program within ArchiCAD, allowing the creation of complex shapes in a fully parametric way.

In Revit we can use Dynamo, which is already incorporated into the program, not requiring the need for any additional software.

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Source: Blog Autodesk.

With the help of Dynamo we can create complex geometries, in addition to optimizing design and quantitative processes, among several other applications.

PRICES

Revit, as it is a more robust solution, has a higher value when compared to ArchiCAD, but it needs a lower number of add-ons or even other software for the development of a complex project.

It is also possible to use an LT license, which has a reduced number of tools, but serves very well for the development of less complex projects.

To check the values, payment method and how to purchase a Revit license you can access the link below:

REVIT

REVIT LT

ArchiCAD has a relatively lower value compared to Revit, in addition to having varied payment methods, including discounts for architects affiliated to CAU and other professionals associated with ASBEA and SINAENCO.

It also has different types of licenses such as ArchiCAD full (full version) and ArchiCAD Solo (version with some limited features).

To check the values and other details, you can access the link below:

ARCHICAD

CONCLUSION

Choosing the best BIM tool for the development of your projects is not an easy task, so it is essential to know the main features and how they can impact the process of your work.

Both ArchiCAD and Revit are excellent tools for project development, it is up to you as a professional to understand how each one of them can meet your needs.

Another essential item for any professional is to have a good collection of models on hand, so get ahead using Blocks' family library which has a huge catalog with weekly updates!

Join the Blocks Family!

The author of the article

Luis André
Master of architecture, product designer and professor. Sharing professional content from leading architectural software for 10 years.
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