Revit v SketchUp



Hey SketchUp fans. I’ve used SketchUp from V1. I’ve been much happier as a result.
I wanted to broach the subject of the title of this post. It seems there’s an elephant in the room & it’s hard to talk about it. So let me tell about our recent story of a new hire.
As I stated, we like SketchUp, A lot. We hired a recent graduate in Houston, Texas. The person knows how to navigate Revit. We asked for a Revit demonstration. We had an inkling that Revit maybe very, very useful to us. We watched eagerly & asked frequent questions. It all ended really badly.
As creatives, we want to express our creativity with quick design options. If we wanted to be a database analyst, (that would have been a really good move a decade ago), we would have to forgo our art.
Now to be sure, art doesn’t pay much. But it pays enough. We couldn’t as designers grasp the significance of a tabulated world of working in the design field. With Layout, we face issues, yes, but the overwhelming part of the design game has already been informed with SketchUp. What’s a little Revit annotation genius going to change?


This sounds very much like a rant but I’m not clear as to what the rant is about. Are you seeking comparisons of these software products or offering an explanation of a recent HR experience? Either way, more clarity would be appropriate.


Yes, I’m asking about Revit & it’s ability to create subtle design options, quickly.


This may be better answered in a Revit forum. Although many participants in this Community indicate being familiar with a number of CAD applications, including Revit, most identify their specialty exists with SU.

Personally, I find Revit to be a powerful CAD application, but it tends to be cumbersome to a creative design workflow IMO. Most of the structures I see being designed using Revit (and similar CAD software) often exhibit rectilinear planform and too often are illustrative of somewhat limited vertical expression along their facades. More than a few of my professional colleagues have said that it is easy to discern a building that was designed in Revit because of the box-like nature of the presentation. I will hazard a guess that architects like Frank Gehry use something other than Revit to create buildings, for example. Click the bold faced type to link to a Google search with some proof of this if you don’t already know Gehry’s work. (FYI: Gehry has developed his own software for creating his buildings and I am not offering an endorsement of that product.)



I strongly disagree with the notion that only architecture that is based on “blobs” or other “free” forms is “creative”. 98.5%(my guess) of buildings built are made of vertical walls, horizontal slabs and roofs that are mostly planar, which doesn’t take them out of the realm of “architecture”.

BIM tools (I use Archicad and Revit) are mainly about keeping your project organized and manageable, and the main reason to use them throughout a project is that they help to keep all the ugly facts about areas, quantities etc. in order from the start. Clients tend to be overly interested in these. They have also fairly competent 3D modelling tools, and the ability to bring in the “blobs” from other software to build on.

It is OK to sketch in 6B pencil or its digital equivalent but then someone has to add a lot of handiwork to update all the necessary info every time the design changes. Frank Gehry, with the fees he can charge, affords an army of assistants to do this for him, including the advanced 3D modelling work needed.


I agree with much of what you posted. Frank’s world is very different from Main Street. Cost of construction in my experience is mostly based on size or floor area of a similar building type. The architect or designers concern is not to meet the budget to the penny. Usually a square foot multiplier will get close enough before the real estimating begins.
I can’t imagine dealing with databases of running material totals. Over complicated for the work.


This is not what I said & did not intend to imply. Gehry was alluded to as one example of a contemporary designer whose works are considered beyond mundane. I am merely supporting the idea that design is a creative and often freeform process. I suspect this is why when we still used onionskin and sketch pencils to design conceptually, a straightedge or a scale of any kind rarely made an appearance until a general concept was developed.

Nowadays, SU has become my palette of choice for conceptual imaginings as well as technical and presentation documentation.


it happened to me too. I like the workflow I have with SU. For others this has happened with other software. It just happens like that.

The difference is that, comparing to other software, few people I know believe sketchup os capable of doing everything needed for a project. From concept to construction documentation.

And let’s be true about it, all the initial stages are really swift, but documentation with the bridge from sketchup to layout, is something that I often keep banging my head against.

For me, considering the global process, it does payoff hugely.


[quote=“Anssi, post:6, topic:47996”]…which doesn’t take them out of the realm of “architecture”.

Bauhaus +1


I’ve used none of Sketchup’s predecessors well, but tried different products over the years as a residential contractor. AutoCad was an Aircraft Carrier when a PT Boat was needed, 3D Home Architect ($9.95 in 1999) worked very well and one house was built using it, but BetterHomes&Garden Magazine bought it, and turned it into Chief Architect or something like that happened. CA was very good too, but too complicated for my purposes and like all the others, just GUI’s for databases. (Graphical User Interface)
Sketchup comes along and changes everything. It’s more like an instrument, that picks and chooses harmoniously or not but without the underlying threads. The others restrict the imaginative, creative mind with rules and structure while Sketchup releases the designer from those restrictions.
We haven’t seen anything yet; We’re so close to being able to use A.I. to develop our designs. Imagine this: In a 3D Virtual world with a client you’re exploring the latest house design and you come to the stairs, which aren’t drawn yet. You turn to your client’s image and ask what they think should be there. A.I. turns their conversation into something that meets all requirements as efficiently as possible and couldn’t be thought of, by people alone. You build it as the discussion proceeds.


I struggle with that part too. The problem is that the model has to be finished. Not only good, but the last iteration. Inevitably it seems, there is something about the model that needs upgrading, and the cycle begins. Also Layout runs more slowly than Sketchup on my (minimal) computer so until I get another, Layout is problematic.


There’s never a finished model, up to apoint where it’s just too much. Layout is hard to cope with, I just try to split my model in parts.

I’ve tried standardizing my workflow, so I could deal with LO better, but this trying collapses on my design decisions … I cannot think in a standard way. I always get carried away by possibilities. And we are back at the start…

There’s never a finished model.


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.