Friday, May 1, 2009

ArchiCAD and Autocad

This afternoon, an architect came to my bookstore asking if I sell AutoCAD 2009 books. I said I have some AutoCAD books. While he was reading the titles of the books on the computer bookshelf, he came across with Archicad. Then he came to my desk. He asked, "Do you know the difference between AutoCAD and Archicad? Which one is better?"
Well, it is difficult for me to answer his question. AutoCAD and ArchiCAD are two different things. They may look similar but they are different. Which one is better? Better for what? For designing complex building, I might say that ArchiCAD is faster in meeting the needs of architects. For designing machinery and their elements, individual work piece such as a bolt or a car frame or a table, I will say that AutoCAD is more flexible. Yes, you can design such things with Archicad but you need more steps and extensive knowledge of GDL programming language.
The better way to compare Archicad with its right counterpart is by comparing it with AutoCAD Architecture or Revit Architecture. These are the softwares which provide features that are similar to Archicad. Revit has even been released in three forms, i.e. Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, and Revit Structure.
I am not an expert of Revit Architecture or Archicad so I dare not compare them. For me, both of them are good for designing homes and buildings. I have used Archicad for some three or four months and I feel that I am comfortable with it. I just need to practice more to find many features the software has. When I have mastered Archicad, I will write more tutorials about it in this blog.
Archicad for AutoCAD Users
If you are an experienced user of Autocad and are now thinking of using Archicad for building design projects, you can begin to explore the tools available in the BIM software by buying a book entitled ArchiCAD for AutoCAD Users. The book was written by Scott MacKenzie and his friends. This book is suitable for architects or designers who want to study Archicad for the first time. I personally learn to use ArchiCAD directly by designing a simple house using the software. I also watch the tutorials provided by Graphisoft, the company that develops this great BIM software. I can say that ArchiCAD is a very easy to use software. It helps architects in modeling their designs into a three dimensional concept that can be presented to house or building owner. AutoCAD users may feel that ArchiCAD is not as flexible as AutoCAD but with more practices they will know that anything can be designed in ArchiCAD.
Also read:
Archicad and revit for house design
Recommended book for home building technology
Houses in earthquake zone

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