Alternative to Revit?


Hey everyone. I am a graduate of Architcetural Technology, I've had over a year of work experience and very soon I'm going to reinstate my CIAT membership as an associate member.

I want to use a software for some basic service that I provide [I am good at technical drawings so I help people with their technical drawing needs].

Now Revit as far too expensive and there's no way I could keep up with even the monthly subscription of it. I've seen some alternatives like BricsCAD and was wondering if anyone has any other ideas of affordable software? I want to be able to draw/design in 2D and 3D and once I am fully accredited and qualified, I want to provide a full architcetural design service and start my own business.

One day I could go back into using an officially licensed Revit when I can afford it, but I want to try and master another software for commercial use.

Oct 13, 18 8:55 pm
( o Y o )


Oct 13, 18 9:20 pm
From what I’ve heard microstation is fairly analogous, but cheaper and easier.
Oct 13, 18 9:29 pm

Why not just go work at a firm? One year is not a lot of experience, especially to be given so much responsibility that you are working alone and get to dictate the production tools.

Oct 13, 18 9:55 pm

I am working at a firm, it's not architecture but we use Revit to design steel framing structures. While working, I expect it will take around 2 or 3 years more work experience to start thinking about progressing on to MCIAT.

I have Revit at home but it's a student version, and I want to do freelance technical drawings like floorplans for people, just as a side thing. I can't afford a Revit license so I want to know about something else I can use while building up a side business.

I am not designing buildings or anything because I'm not accredited yet and although I can produce a decent building, it wont be a good idea to do any of that until I am accredited.

I want to keep my skills sharp by freelancing simple constrcuction details or creating concept floorplans.


Um, just keep a Revit student version or sign up for a new one. I've known people who've downloaded it without ever needing a university email. Or there's also RevitLT. It's a lot cheaper and will still do almost everything you'd need.

Oh, and just be a little careful about doing "architectural" services without a license. By the letter of many state boards you're not allowed to advertise working as an architect or providing services without being registered. Go the old atelier or designer route.


Thanks for the advice, I am not doing anything advertising as an architect because I'm not one. So it's ok to design concepts and floorplans being named as a designer. The question is what can I NOT do?

Does it mean that I simply can't provide details that describe structural information and materials?


"simple constrcuction details or creating concept floorplans"

For those I'd invest in a nice sketch roll and a good set of pens and pencils.

Oct 14, 18 7:14 am


Oct 14, 18 10:26 am

Sucks very much, a poor man's Revit


David - maybe you just don't know how to use the software... 30 years in residential practice - wheesh - representing the old guard any? Get with the times man... 

Oct 14, 18 11:09 am

Development of ARCHICAD started in 1982 for the original Apple Macintosh. Following its launch in 1987, with Graphisoft's "Virtual Building" concept - old guard you say?


I've practiced Revit for years, it's all I know for CAD design XD other than that I can do some photoshop too, I am trying to get into practicing Autocad.


David - I turn a 50% profit at my firm using ArchiCAD - it is both a design and documentation tool. The BimX component of the software is amazing! I would be anything that you design in one software and document in another. You are essentially digitizing your inefficiency....

Oct 14, 18 12:34 pm

they are not mutually exclusive and like you would know my work


sorry- I only take opinions from professionals ;)

Oct 14, 18 1:56 pm

I personally like ArchiCAD, it is software purposefully made for architectural use whereas Revit seems more an engineer's program forced upon architects. ArchiCAD also integrates with Rhino and Sketchup easily, which can be handy for some.


Huh? If you believe words and beliefs/points of view are assault- you are a fascist. I have never physically assaulted anyone to deserve that kind of retaliation. Good verbally sparring with you though David. It has been amusing.


just use your old university email & scam Gehry Technologies for a free 3 month trial of Digital Project

Oct 14, 18 3:32 pm

let me know if your client wants to sell their archicad seats....

Oct 14, 18 6:04 pm


Oct 14, 18 6:29 pm
Lewis Garrison

If you can't afford to pay the overhead of a Revit license then you're not charging your clients enough. 

Oct 15, 18 4:19 pm
( o Y o )

The more you pay someone else to provide the tools you work with every day the more of a slave you are.

Nov 5, 18 8:42 pm

lmao. revit-people love talking about revit.

Nov 5, 18 11:00 pm

Archicad... we love.

Model the parametric

form, space, and function.

Revit LT is less parametric than Revit but has document production that can get close to those perfect sets produced in AutoCAD for a fraction of the cost. Import from Rhino and Generative Components is tricky but takes well formed solids; rendering is exceptional for the price. I recommend Revit LT. ArchiCAD has nice modeling tools but the graphics are lacking. VisualARQ is a good one time purchase for Rhino but not a full CAD platform in comparison to AutoCAD. Generative Components kicks butt and butte.

Nov 6, 18 4:10 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by ArchiCAD does not have good graphics. We use BimX all the time for walkthroughs (you dont' have to predefine paths like in Revit etc). I'm not saying ArchiCAD has the best rendering engine- still prefer Vray and 3D Studio Max for photo realistic renderings, but just to get the space across to the client- ArchiCAD is superior. Revit is a good documentation tool, but it is extremely similar to ArchiCAD. I think ArchiCAD is an amazing alternative to REVIT. It is both a design AND documentation tool. 

Nov 6, 18 5:21 pm

Vectorworks seems to work well for everyone I know (at much better price point than Revit).

Nov 7, 18 4:15 pm

Sketchup Pro 

Nov 7, 18 7:23 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: