AutoCAD vs. ArchiCAD in Architecture
Architectural design today has moved from designing by hand to designing with several different software programs that have made the job much easier. Two of the main programs in many architectural firms today are AutoCAD2000 and ArchiCAD 6.5. Both are very productive design tools but each has its own defects in certain areas of the design process.
Design processes today have been reversed from designing from the inside to the outside, to designing from the outside to the inside. Most designing today is based on the actual structural appearance one will perceive from the exterior, rather than the functional use of the interior; although both are taken into consideration. AutoCAD is a design tool that can take many different paths. Due to demand an outside appearance is needed to be created first. AutoCAD is a tool that allows an architect to create an exterior elevation first, before an actual floor plan is even developed. ArchiCAD, however, is very similar to AutoCAD but because of its limitations, some things that should be simple and intuitive are actually quite tedious. ArchiCAD forces its users to work only in a plan view. This makes it very difficult to create a complex elevation. By the time one can finish, all the effort and inspirational thoughts that influenced a project are gone. Anyone in the architectural field today should know that when using any architectural software, trimming slabs to the progression of stairs should be real easy. This would be true only if ArchiCAD would just extend the roof-trimming tool to apply to the trimming of walls to slabs. Better yet, why not enable the manipulation of elevational shapes in elevation or section view? It is quite difficult to draw a complex elevation when one only has a plan in which to do it. Today the floor plan is the end product, not the beginning. One only produces a plan drawing when one has resolved the elevations and layouts. A plan really needs to grow out of the functional and aesthetic requirements of a project. Yet ArchiCAD constrains one to work in plan from the start; from this the other views are created. This is great for documentation but very constraining for the design process.
AutoCAD bypasses this problem better by showing a simultaneous plan, multiple elevations and sections, and of most importance, make the editing tools available in all views. For example, a parapet wall can be created by shaping the wall in an elevational view, where as in ArchiCAD, one can either create it as a shaped library object to be inserted where required or construct a false roof of the right height and pitch to which the wall can be trimmed. This demonstrates that AutoCAD is easier to use in this aspect.
The current sections and elevations in AutoCAD are only usable to trace over because they are missing a proper layer structure and the possibility to be edited while still linked to the model. ...