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Sunday, March 21, 2010

MieleBIM barely acknowledges Archicad

Sometimes when I really bored and it's a slow BIM news day, I like to troll the Archicad forums. It doesn't take a lot of searching to find stuff like this. I've been trying to be more generic about what constitutes BIM software. The only problem is that now there are lots of BIM programs. They don't all do the same thing. There's BIM design software, BIM clash software, BIM Energy Analysis software, BIM estimating software, BIM kabob, BarBQue BIM, BIM scampi. Sorry, must be hungry. Anyway, let's focus on the design side. Well, before that, let's hope that all of these different programs are all able to sync together. After all, that's what BIM is all about, isn't it?

If you're reading this and considering with BIM design software to purchase, you know how I feel about the Revit product line. Let me make this easy for who's going to win the battle. Ask any BIM contractor what design software they're using. I'll almost bet you it's 100% Revit. Why? Well, it's because of Revit MEP of course, the clash detector's best friend. So, speaking of MEP, it's all about the content. GDL scripting language is too complicated and manufacturer's don't have the budget to pay for every software provider's BIM tools. So, in the ultimate act of efficiency, the manufacturers have chosen Autodesk and Revit. Furthermore, Autodesk's Inventor products can work directly with Revit. So, really Archicad users, why not just give it up and join the family.

I think I'll print out this email and save it for the next time an Autodesk customer threatens to go to another software vendor because they don't want to pay for subscription. Uh....do you think Archicad gives away their software and doesn't have subscription either? So, for you, I present your future with Archicad. Enjoy reading their forum posts below.

Source: http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=165374#165374

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:30 am (GMT+1)

sdb wrote:

mikem oz wrote:
I'm bemused by Nemetschek. They have three architectural BIM programs (Archicad, AllPlan and Vectorworks) each doing their own thing with their own file format and there is no effective way of exchanging information between them (ironically DWG is the best option). As it is now providing content is not viable for any of the three programs because their individual user numbers are too low.

If the three programs had a common file format providing content would be a lot more attractive because of the total number of users (600K+) that would be accessing that content.

The current situation is just plain dumb. Its not very strategic and gives Revit an easy own goal

Couldn't agree more. At the moment manufacturers only really want to provide Revit content, because if they provide AC content, they should also be doing vectorworks & allplan..... a more open format between those three products would make a huge difference.

Couldn't agree more with your agreement.
The more I observe international business the more I see the importance of individuals or a small group of top execs with a strong (relentless) personality. Apple is an extreme example but look at how many times they have jumped from one system to another and dragged their developers and customers along with them. Autodesk deserves all of their success because there is more fight in that dog.
Nemetschek needs a VERY bold strategic vision if it is to remain relevant. I don't believe for a second that AC is going away but it shouldn't require so much justification from potential customers or content creators.
Of the 3 Nemetschek 'BIM' applications AC is the clear winner. We know it is not perfect but as a long time (14 years) vectorworks user I can tell you that VW is NOT BIM - but souped up 2D software. Allplan strangely has the best marketing story of the 3 with its suite of products - not to mention the powerful capabilities of Allplan Architecture itself (have a look at these videos). Also on a superficial level Allplan is a much better name and flows easily with 'Architecture', 'Engineering' etc. Unfortunately Allplan is too niche - big in Germany and some other European countries; but if a manufacturer is not going to model content for AC they probably haven't even heard of Allplan.
... which brings me to ArchiCAD. I have only been using it for 6 months or so and I am sure that I made the right choice (having looked at VW 'BIM', Allplan and Revit ... Bentley was off my radar). Graphisoft (or should I say Father Nemetschek) has a great product. Nem of course also has a truckload of other products under their belt. I feel that it is just a matter of vision and drive to put the best parts together to provide a powerful alternative suite to challenge the Revit's in the marketplace.
Graphisoft may have lost the marketing war over the acronym 'BIM' but they have a jewel in their trademarked 'Virtual Building'. 'Virtual construction' is coming up everywhere now - even with Sketchup!. My advice to Nemetschek - ditch the ArchiCAD name, put it together with the best of your other multidisciplinary products, and re-launch under a 'Virtual Building'-based brand ... even a name like 'Virtual Building Studio' - which is more all-embracing than Archi-anything
.... oh, and while you're at it buy Vico
Just my 2c
ArchiCAD 12 (waiting for alignment of stars to install v13 + Ecodesigner)
Cadimage Design + Landscape Suites
Cinema 4D 11.5
New convert to ArchiCAD (from Vectorworks)


Plus lets face it why would Autodesk bother? ArchiCAD started this BIM thing, but Autodesk really do have a hold on it now (sadly)

In NZ, we hear everyday about a manufacturer bring out "BIM content" in Revit format. They are normally very surprised when i tell them that there are still more AC users in this country....
what's going to happen if they release a mac version of Revit?

I emailed the MieleBIM people when this was first posted to see if they had any plans to release a natively coded GDL object for ArchiCAD. Their reply was simply "Thank you for your enquiry. We shall consider your request, and get back to you with an answer shortly". I'll post again if I hear anything more back.

Have any of the AUS/NZ users emailed and asked the same question? The more enquires they get, the more likely they will do something about it.

Regarding the Add-on to intelligently convert Revit objects, as I understand it Revit families seem to rely on geometry being attached to 'reference' lines to give them their parametricity - in GDL the geometry itself parametricly adjusts. I don't even believe there is an equivalent of a reference line in GDL.

Nevertheless, I agree it would be in GS's best interest to overcome this problem as soon as possible.

MieleBIM barely acknowledges Archicad


Robin Capper March 21, 2010 at 1:24 AM  

From what I've seen in NZ it's more likely the type of projects being done in Revit that is attracting content providers, as much as the numbers. Larger projects, lager practices using or moving to Revit.

I work outside the main Arch profession but see content from quite a few practices around the country for commercial projects. Never, yes never, encountered a project sharing Archicad models.

reluctanttheist March 21, 2010 at 1:26 AM  

It would probably be good for a few people in sales
for the AC community to pack it in, but it would be bad for
the industry. Revit needs competition, and I am all
for Graphisoft mounting a battle for a market that they initially owned and are currently losing. I saw that thread on AC Talk and I found it disturbing. If AC loses the battle, what alternative to Revit will users have?

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