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Forums >> Community >> Newbies >> SketchUp v Revit v formZ

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Fri, Jul 21, 2006 at 1:29:06 PM | SketchUp v Revit v formZ




Joined: Fri, Jul 21, 2006
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In our large, Midwest firm we are evaluating the "design" capabilities of three programs we currently own licenses for. I have been charged with the task of learning the design capabilities of Revit in comparison to SketchUp, a program I've exhausted over the last two years of use. In addition, we have some formZ jockeys that can really pump stuff out quickly, but as any formZ user know, the program is not exactly intuitive. Before i spend the rest of my late summer evenings learning Revit, I am entertaining comments and reviews from those familiar with all three of these programs.

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Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 10:59:14 AM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ




Joined: Mon, Jun 19, 2006
144 Posts
3.5 Stars: 4 Votes

Hi there this sort of issue has been dicussed extensively on . You will find plaenty of threads that cover these issues.

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Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 2:04:48 PM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ



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Joined: Thu, Dec 16, 2004
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I read the title of this Thread and thought: "OMG, someone is actually comparing Revit to FormZ?" The performance difference between formZ and Revit is that FormZ can accomplish the same thing as Revit in modeling but with many times more pain and suffering. Now this comes from experience with FormZ about 3 years ago in a formal class and I rememebr everything about the software being counter-intuitive and antiproductive. Not to mention that at that point in the software's development, it was not a BIM application Designing in Revit is very intuitive and is almost like actually constructiong the building (which is why it is debated whether or not Revit should be taught in High Schools without an intro to construction first). So long as you are creative, you can create any shape you can imagine in revit and then turn that shape into walls, floors, roof and even curtain walls. The transition from design to construction documents is smooth and even comes complete the ability to schedule and do material take offs and construction estimates (ask your formZ guys to do that). The thing to remember with Revit is that IT IS NOT A 3D MODELING TOOL, it is a Building Information Modeling tool that has a convenient rendering package built in. Best of luck and enjoy your Revit ventures and stop by often! HTH.



Carl - rkitecsure[at]

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Mon, Jul 24, 2006 at 3:32:03 PM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ




Joined: Sun, Apr 25, 2004
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My 2 cents is that while SketchUp and FormZ are fine programs, you eventualy will run into a dead-end using them. Revit is a BIM solution that is cradle to grave in the life of a building in that it can be used from concept through CD's through facilities management. Revit also follows rules of constructability so that while you can make any shape you want in the other programs, can it be readily built? Most project have real budgets and cannot use the wild shapes created in the other programs. Revit will also allow you to get very complex shapes, you just have to be more precise when creating them. In addition you can make use of linking SU models into a Revit massing family and there is always the option of a 3D dwg export linked into a Revit family which allows you to use elements created in the other programs. Tom

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Fri, Jul 28, 2006 at 3:55:49 AM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ




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I agree with what has been said above. Why use three programs when you can use just one? It is simply good business to not duplicate efforts by building the same things in multiple programs. I honestly have never used form Z for the fact that everyone says it is so counterintuitive. I admit that Revit has some of those quirks. I was raised as a cad monkey and sometimes you have to take a step back from that mentality to make Revit effective. Revit's design capabilities are amazing. Some of the older guys in our firm think that using revit means you have to know everything from the beginning. That is nonsense. Revit is very flexible, much more so than sketchup. If you want to tweak things at every phase of the project, Revit is very forgiving unlike sketchup or autocad. The hardest design shape I have encountered in Revit is a double curve (curved in plan and in section). Revit can do it, but you have to understand where your reference points/planes are. Anywho, I'm just getting long winded now. Good Luck. Stick with Revit. There's a reason why autodesk bought Revit. . . I think they know that autocad is on the outs.

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Fri, Sep 1, 2006 at 3:09:35 PM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ




Joined: Fri, Sep 1, 2006
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We've been using Sketchup for 2 years and Revit for 1 in our firm of 45 people. Sketchup is an amazing tool for fast massing but it doesn't have a wall tool like Revit and Vectorworks and its component library is pretty weak. I have to build a lot of the details which takes more time. Rumor has it that Revit 9 will import the native Sketchup format which will make a great combo. I used Form-Z for a couple of years but it's a pain to teach & learn because of the hostile interface... wouldn't even consider it again. Nothing touches Revit. Jeff

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Fri, Sep 1, 2006 at 3:35:01 PM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ




Joined: Thu, Jul 21, 2005
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In the Revit vs SketchUp debate, we've found that, for the time being, it is paying to use both, but for different uses and users. For example, we've got some office buildings that we're designing and Revit can build them quickly, efficiently, and we can get CD's out of them when we're done. But rather than spend the time playing with materials and attempting to get accurender to give us a great rendering, we export the model to SketchUp and use that as our rendering tool for the great pictures to take to the bank. While one user is making the marketing photo in SketchUp, someone else can continue to develop the design and the CD's in Revit. So far, for our medium sized projects, this has worked really well. Good luck with your decision,


Ruth Rau

Main Street Architecture, P.C.

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Fri, Sep 1, 2006 at 4:53:49 PM | RE: SketchUp v Revit v formZ


rubiks cube


Joined: Mon, Jul 5, 2004
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my 2 cents form z is out get rid of it. sketchup and revit have mutually exclusive virtues, and i do not think they can be compared. yes sketchup can rapidly model detail massing, but the main difference is the underlying database in revit..probably why it is so slow, but i digress. I dont think sketchup is anywhere near capable of outputting a set of construction documents which is what revit really is meant to do...not just model pretty things. In this BIM biz, i think revit is way way out in the lead against most competitors. But now that google has purchased sketchup lets all hope, pray and lobby that google enters the AEC market, so that big brother autodesk can get some serious competition going. ps.. pretty sure autodesk is spying on the licence agreement. "reserve right to electronically monitor"???? venting a bit today...have a good one everyone. cc

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