ArchiCAD vs Revit. Which BIM Software to Use

Revit by Autodesk and ArchiCAD by Graphisoft are the two biggest players in the market. This comparison between ArchiCAD and Revit will help architects, owners and contractors to make more briefed decisions.

ArchiCAD is the first Building Information Modelling (BIM) software for architects, created in 1984. Offering a suite of tools for building design and engineering, this software enables seeing the project through engineering and visual design of building’s interiors and exteriors. On the other hand, Revit is a 4D BIM-capable tool which helps us to plan all aspects of a building project, from design to construction and beyond. Realized in 2002, this software can be used by architects, builders, engineers, project managers and more.

User Interface

ArchiCAD’s user interface is maybe the first thing that users are praising it for. It is clean and sleek and that’s maybe the reason why ArchiCAD has an easier learning curve, especially for designers. While the user interface can be customized in a number of ways, it has slightly less flexibility than its opponent. Revit features a user interface that is highly customizable, supporting multiple approaches for using the software. It is a little bit complicated, because of its medium learning curve. However, Revit offers greater level of flexibility to designers and architects.

Conceptual Design

Concept design in ArchiCAD is a fairly user-friendly, enabling push/pull modelling, instant and customizable geometry and smart multiple extruding. Similarly, Revit features a conceptual design which provides flexibility in the earliest stages of a project. This allows you to create geometry that later can be integrated into your BIM project.


Revit features a wide range of views from which to approach your design, such as wireframe and transparent surface. Each view can be manipulated and controlled in a particular project and can be assigned to the overall view or specified to a category or element. ArchiCAD has similar visual styles as Revit, but don`t have the capacity for applying views to specific elements.


Both, ArchiCAD and Revit have intensely large suite of tools for rendering. They can produce photorealist images of the interior and exterior of your project. The Ray Trace is a photorealist rendering mode that allows panning and zooming with your Revit model. When using this visual style, the rendering starts at a lower resolution but quickly increases its fidelity. Thus, you can set lightening, photographic exposure and background. ArchiCAD features CineRender, similar tool to Ray Trace which allows you to change the light, shadow, texture, brightness and more.


Revit and ArchiCAD can both import and export IFC files. Furthermore, they are capable of importing and exporting all common file types, including 3D models, 2D drawings and other CAD file types.


Revit 2018 costs $2.200 per year. ArchiCAD 21 is slightly cheaper; however, it requires a number of add-ons you need to add manually to achieve the same functionality as Revit.

What architects said:

John: “I prefer ArchiCAD rather than Revit.  As an architect, I can express my ideas better working in ArchiCAD and I can easily manage all of the parameters. Also offers many tools that are useful to present and develop the design, so the graphic presentation of the models, projects and the documentation are at an excellent level.”

Ryan: “Revit is very valuable software. It is made for architecture, and will provide with every single tool you need to design a good building. It is very precise and it provides very clean and accurate drawings. But as an architect, I prefer ArchiCAD or 3D AutoCAD because I think it offers more freedom to express as a designer.”