It wouldn’t be a BIM blog post without inventing some obscure, never-to-be-used again abbreviation would it?  In this case, actGSACuse stands for ‘active Graphisoft ArchiCAD users‘.

I tweeted this image last Friday (from ArchiCAD 10, file:///C:/Program Files/Graphisoft/ArchiCAD 10/Help/Files/01_Configuration.2.24.html):

The tweet:

This sparked an animated discussion on Twitter that essentially boils down to this:
is it better to have all project components (ArchiCAD libraries, Revit families) living in the project, or is it better to have them residing in a central server location where they are regularly updated and reloaded?

Personally, I believe there are pros and cons to each method.  I think an important consideration is Control — if the library is Linked (ArchiCAD), do you have control over the program to say “hey, don’t overwrite this component, I like it the way it is.”  Similarly, if the components are all residing in a single project file (Revit), it would be nice to have the ability to one-click reload all updated families from a central Family RFA storage location.  I recall requesting this feature under some NDA project, but as yet, Revit can not do this without an add-in getting involved.

Along the lines of this discussion, I have created a new topic at BIMdebates:
BIMdebates: A central, live and linked component Library is better than static components in residing in a Project file

Why was I looking at an ArchiCAD 10 help file, you may rightly ask?  I was trying to upgrade an ArchiCAD 7.0 file and then export to IFC2x3.  However, I couldn’t open it directly in ArchiCAD 16, so I had to open it in ArchiCAD 10 first.  I then wanted to embed the libraries, but I think embedded libraries first came to ArchiCAD in version 14?  So I basically had to open in ArchiCAD 10, save, then open in ArchiCAD 16, then embed libraries.  Then play around with IFC2x3 settings to make things come to Revit ok.  I haven’t even looked at trying to open / upgrade / convert Plotmaker PMK files yet…

These PMK files are circa-2002.  Upon trying to open them in ArchiCAD 16, I get:
“You can only open files created by PlotMaker 3.0 or later.”

Tried same process in ArchiCAD 10 – same message.

A new whitepaper by Graphisoft can be downloaded from here.

Here are some quotes:
“It’s a pretty mature technology and it’s resolved a lot of things and
solved a lot of things along the way,” Gonzales continues. “There’s
less risk because it is a mature product. It does everything that any
other product does and has really good solutions to lots of building

Security of your data and project files is paramount, and ArchiCAD
provides a superior solution: a true relational database.

Moving to BIM is easier, less risky, and ultimately more profitable,
with ArchiCAD
– the proven BIM software that provides an elegant,
highly efficient, and fast 3D workflow environment.

What do you think?  Revit, or ArchiCAD, and why?

Lachmi Khemlani, when reviewing the whitepaper, says in her article:
Ultimately, I think that it’s going to be hard for ArchiCAD to compete with Revit’s leading position in the AEC industry and Autodesk’s might and muscle by simply being just another BIM solution like Revit.

Graphisoft’s New White Paper on BIM

Just as being overly positive about Revit leads to inflated expectations, if you are overly negative about it eventually people will realize you were wrong – and then your credibility will be in question.  Here are a few tweets from @RevitFacts – can you tell me if this is a good tweeter to follow, or perhaps someone with a particular bias?

FACT: #Revit has no Drag & Drop capability for external content like #ArchiCAD

Did you know RAM requirements are still 20 times model file size!

Did you know there is A LOT of customizing required (e.g Tags for Walls, Doors, Windows) compare to other #CAD softwares.

Revit is not compatable with #MAC :(.

Revit Facts (revitfacts) on Twitter

I guess these statements are true, in some ways – but I think RevitFacts may perhaps be trying to make us switch to ArchiCAD 🙂

Consider this recent article:
ArchiCAD vs. Revit By Ransom Ratcliff 2011-08-08.  As far as I can tell, it was birthed at this forum thread.

Inevitably, these X versus Y comparisons are often extremely biased.  He himself says that “I did not set out to write a balanced review of each program and this forum would not be the place for that.”

I found some of the statements in his document to be quite incredible.  Consider:

In other words, relationships are created automatically between building elements without the user initiating those relationships…This kind of automation may seem like it will ensure design integrity but instead, it eventually becomes a straight jacket where relationships are created on the fly that the users could not have anticipated. In Revit, the built-in relationships and constraints are a huge disadvantage in the real-world because they cause the model to be inflexible to design evolution and create dead-ends that cannot be anticipated but can only be resolved by deleting elements and rebuilding them in the “right” order.

Pretty bold claims, don’t you think?  Here are a few more (along with my thoughts in blue):

As Revit constraints get ever more complex in a large building, even expert team members start expressing reluctance to make design changes because they sense the risk of crashing the model.
How expert are they, really? 

Those who are new to Revit may think it seems easy to learn, but this “ease” is an
illusion that fades once someone works on a large project with other team members.
The ramifications of seemingly simple procedures can be difficult to anticipate,
catastrophic and irreversible. More than in most applications, new Revit users can know
just enough to be dangerous. 
So difficult projects are difficult in Revit too? 

Revit’s drawing graphics are often inflexible. For example, it is difficult to show raised flooring in section views with a different line weight from the concrete floor below it because both elements are simply “Floors” in Revit. 
Have you heard of Filters?

In Revit, you cannot dimension 3D projection drawings including perspectives and axonometric views. 
In a 3D Ortho view, set a workplane and give dimensioning a try…

In Revit, rendering textures, such as brick coursing, do not match the coursing, placement, or orientation of vector hatching of the same elements in Construction Drawing views, etc.
Set up your materials and model hatches to match.

ArchiCAD’s efficient engine handles and prints large sheet sets (over 200 sheets) without running out of memory like Revit. 
Buy a better PC.

What do you think of this document?  Feel free to comment.  Here is a link again:
revit_vs_archicad_288.pdf (application/pdf Object)

(NOTE:  bolding was done by me).