Best programs to learn



I am wondering which program I should choose to learn fully next. I am deciding between REVIT and Vectorworks, but I want to know which one you find more useful to find jobs and why you think it is better. I also know Rhino, but I do not know it extremely in advance. So, what is your recommendation? Thanks. 

Jul 31, 17 4:21 pm
Revit. Vectorworks is garbage and only tiny firms trying to save money use it. Also you can easily learn vectorworks in a day or two. Not all that terribly marketable unless you want to work at cheap studios.

Revit is a deep program and skills therein are highly valuable in the current market. It is also considerably different in terms of thought process when compared to other modeling / drafting tools, the exception being grasshopper. It can take a while to wrap your head around the methodology, but once you do it's an extremely efficient tool.

Rhino has maintained a strong presence for over a decade and with the growth of grasshopper, it continues to be useful in tandem with Revit. Building on this skill will help you as a designer generally as it is probably one of the most free form tools available. Grasshopper is considered somewhat niche but is highly useful for complex and or repetitive tasks. Rhino is also useful for tranlating purposes as it can input/output just about any 2D or 3D model (with the proper settings).

3DSMax is somewhat popular though usually only utilized in an arch office to render directly from Revit models.

Assuming you know adobeCS and msoffice - if you don't, learn them before any of these others. It is generally assumed you should be proficient with these suites in pretty much any design/office setting, even if they aren't listed in a job ad.

If you're decent at Rhino, CAD is basically a dumb/limited version of rhino. Unfortunately many firms are still using CAD, so it is marketable, certainly moreso than vectorworks.
Jul 31, 17 6:56 pm  · 

It's 2021, and Vectorworks has increased their compatibility with Autodesk products significantly. Just because a large firm uses Revit and a "tiny" firm "trying to save money" uses Vectoworks does not equate to one being "garbage" over the other.

Jan 29, 21 12:35 pm  · 

What are y'alls opinions on AutoCAD's place in architecture? I know many people are crossing their fingers on it fading out but general consensus around my office is it's not going anywhere anytime soon. Revit dominates CDs but I can't imagine laying out site plans in Revit and then seamlessly transitioning to a Civil's CAD base after SD is over. Not to mention it's way harder for an intern to fuck up a dwg link than a pinned site plan drawn in Revit.

Feb 18, 21 2:22 pm  · 

I think your opinion is grabage. Very very biased...

Jul 26, 21 2:21 am  · 

It all depends on what you want to do and where you'd like to work.

Aug 1, 17 1:56 am  · 

OK. I understand the points from both of you. I am planning to work in Europe, not in USA. So, what is it more recommendable? I mean I can use Rhino decently. I also can use CAD very well. 

According to your answer, Archinine, I should try to improve my skills in Rhino and learn Revit. Thanks. 

Aug 1, 17 8:13 am  · 

Well, simply look at the offices you'd like to work at and check the requirements in their job openings. You'd be surprised what kind of software some offices (still) use, like Microstation or indeed Vectorworks and it could give you an easy way in to that particular job. I got a job once not only because I'm an awesome architect, but also because I knew my way around ArchiCAD and they just transitioned from Autocad and never submitted a drawing set made in ArchiCAD...ended up staying there for 2years or so, it all depends. And once I got the internship because I knew Maya and the office had a huge competition deadline, I was hired on the spot and they cleared a desk for me when I only came by to drop off a portfolio and resume...(lost the competition though)

Aug 1, 17 10:34 am  · 
If you want to work on small stuff in small studios learn those quirky ones. Micro station vector works archicad.

Big firms with big projects use Revit and a lot of smaller firms have been picking it up.

Maya is quite esoteric. But when it's needed it can be an asset. Both maya and 3DSMax are highly design oriented with little practicality. I'm considering removing maya from my resume as it's been so long and no one has ever shown any interest. But I prefer large and practical projects/forms. I avoid competitions. Follow your interests.

If you want to guarantee yourself a job Revit remains your best bet. Most places want to see a printed drawing set done in revit as a pretty rendering doesn't mean you have cooridination skills.
Aug 1, 17 11:05 am  · 

My experience is, if you only know Revit you become the BIMonkey, it's too technical for my taste, engineers use it, not really software you can design with, just work things out. In ArchiCAD it's easier to also design and visualise and it even has Rhino and Sketchup compatibility, and it's not from Autodesk, also a plus ;)

Aug 1, 17 12:25 pm  · 
1  · 

Revit is the market leader in BIM software and most jobs require at least working knowledge, if you have good practical experience you can get a lot of money but will be a bit of a cad monkey.

Of the rest: Archicad is Revit's main competitor and Microstation I believe is 3d as well now, but neither of these are anywhere as much used as Revit.

Other tools: Autocad is still good to know for 2d work and many small firms still use it although its on the way out generally. Sketchup is good for quickly designing in 3d and will be useful but not essential. 3dsMax is the tool to use for rendering but is tricky to learn and not used by architects much because of that.

Aug 1, 17 11:14 am  · 
Randomised - I understand where you're coming from. But op knows rhino already and as I mentioned it's imperative to learn adobe. If you only know those three (incl Revit) you'll have a well rounded ability to both design and document.

As for Revit flow, I used to think I couldn't design in there but I just needed more free form practice. It is limiting to an extent, specifically with curtain walls, but it accepts rhino work fairly easily via a simple dynamo plugin.

Based on files I've received from archicad it has been very difficult to cleanly/efficiently translate these models to cad and feels generally niche/proprietary focused. Perhaps it is more popular outside the US.

I still maintain sketchup to be a toy, which only serves to generate more hours of repeated modeling/drafting.

Technically one can document within rhino (I know right - but I knew a firm that actually did this) which, added with all the aforementioned functions, ultimately makes rhino the single most useful program available. Rhino is also one of the few you can still purchase outright rather than these expensive subscriptions.
Aug 1, 17 1:32 pm  · 

Yes, love Rhino...funny how that was originally (supposed to be?) a plug-in for Autocad. Also think Grasshopper is great, when it was still called 'Explicit History plug-in' its inventor David Rutten unveiled it at a seminar at my university and he showed me how to generate some dynamic geometry in seconds that I was struggling with for days already in Python, that guy is a genius.

Aug 1, 17 3:16 pm  · 

my 2cents, why not learn both? do you understand the value is in that? what will it cost you? time away from your ps4 and mt. dew?

Aug 1, 17 3:01 pm  · 

Gotta Learn 'Em All!

Aug 1, 17 3:17 pm  · 

^ Job market:

An indeed word search for "Revit" and "Vectorworks"

Revit (0.2 - 0.4%) shows up about 100x - 400x more frequently than Vectorworks (0.001 - 0.002%)

Aug 1, 17 5:08 pm  · 

Well, let's say you really want to work at that Japanese boutique firm, I'd try to find out which software they use and master it, and if that's Vectorworks or Illustrator so be it. If you just want to work wherever I'd advice to learn all things Autodesk (but skip Maya unless you want to work at Zaha's or MAD)

Aug 2, 17 4:48 am  · 
Agreed grasshopper is a wonderful tool. I remember the version I learned about 10 years ago and being so excited to have all that control available. The progression over the years I never could have anticipated, some of the plugins have rendered things like ecotect completely unnecessary.

I believe grasshopper is the most likely to remain consistently relevant as we move forward. Amazing what happens when companies let their product be open source. I'm looking at you autodesk.

Dynamo is just too far behind to catch up. That and being based in C. I know it accepts python but why learn python code when you can visual code? Dyn only serves as an access point between gh or excel and Revit documentation.

Gh even inspired others, there's a visual daw music tool floating around now with a GUI very similar to gh.

Kind of revolutionary tbh.
Aug 1, 17 9:05 pm  · 
Gabriel C


I agree with randomised, it depends on where you´re moving on, geographically and proffesionally. If you´re are only interested in big corporative firms with large open space drafting areas, you may carefully listen what the market says, wich will determine how and where you should work. And also be prepared for the storms. 

If you are interested in medium and small firms with more flexible deadlines ... with many housing projects, you begin to have more opportunity to take your own decision

Revit have a big and strong corporative frame behind (Autodesk) and maybe the largest market share...specially in the US. But the Bentley software its also very robust;  Microstation, AECOSIM, and Generative Elements are used for many big firms in large infraestructure projects all over the world.  

Nemetschek (a german company that owns Vectorworks, Archicad, Solibri, Tekla, C4D,  and many others) is also a big corporative ecosystem of medium and small software struggling for an Open Bim enviroment. If you´re looking for medium firms in Swizterland,  Germany or the UK (Brexit aware) may be you should improve your Rhino skills and combine it whith Archicad and  Grasshopper... or try other combinations and workflows. 

Vectorworks its a all-in-one very robust software with a affordable (and logic) price, very popular and perfect for medium and small practices. 

Aug 23, 19 7:36 am  · 

A lot of firms are now asking for parametric skills alongside Revit. Dynamo with Revit and Grasshopper with Rhino. Also energy modelling software is popular and BIM apps that work with Excell like BIMLink. Newforma is also a good tool to know for managing drawing sets, as it links to Revit. Finally, real time visualisation packages like Enscape and Lumion. Autodesk Sketchbook is also a good tool for concept images. 

Aug 23, 19 4:08 pm  · 

What happened to Architrion, the French software? Are they still around?

I think it was developed by Dassault back in the late eighties. I took it in school, didn't like it - seemed too complicated.

Jan 25, 21 10:27 pm  · 

Flag the spam on dead threads, don't respond to it.

Jan 25, 21 11:23 pm  · 

AI (Artificial intelligence) is the best technology to learn now we are using AI in all fields and all type of organizations

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Feb 11, 21 1:35 am  · 


Top 10 Best CAD Software For All Levels

  1. TinkerCADTinkerCAD an online 3D design app geared towards complete beginners coming from Autodesk. ...
  2. FreeCAD. FreeCAD is a completely free parametric 3D modeling tool that is open-source and enables you to design real-life objects of any size. ...
  3. BlocksCAD. ...
  4. Creo. ...
  5. Fusion 360° ...
  6. Solidworks. ...
  7. AutoCAD. ...
  8. CATIA.

Feb 11, 21 9:08 am  · 

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