Is it fair to continually compare Revit and SketchUp as essentially they were doing two different things, Conceptual Modeling as compared to Building Modeling, not anymore with the release of Project Vasari, alive and available for download. It is available as a preview and free until May 15, 2011. I will be downloading it shortly, and from the looks of it and as posted by other bloggers, like the Revit Kid and David Light here are some of the features:
- Stripped Down Revit User Interface
- Built in Energy Modeling
- Produce conceptual models using both geometric and parametric modeling functionality
- Cross Compatibility between Revit 2011 and Vasari files.
In fact, I even suggest to jump over to David’s post to get a more in depth look at Vasari and its features. However, what has been apparent to me and others was for Autodesk to round out their line up with a conceptual modeling tool, and with something that had the ease of SketchUp. Why? Because I would speak to architects who had never even fired up any CAD package who said they are now using SketchUp, plus with idea of a Revit Light you can create an easy entry point for users rather than be bamboozled by full Revit UI/Ribbon/Feature smorgasbord. In addition to the easy entry point models created in Vasari can be opened in Revit 2011 and visa-versa so going from concept to modeling in Revit Architecture should be easier, conceivably, although I have not seen that work flow.
I imagine pricing, when the free release ends, has to be somewhere within the SketchPro version which is at $495. But not sure how that would work through the VAR channel, maybe it’ll be free as an entry point or lead generation tool. SketchUp also allows you to trace photos to try and recreate real world elements, plus validation and analysis. There’s a battle going on for building design and life cycle management; makes you wonder what Google produces or buys next – a BIM authoring tool, or possibly model integration a’la Horizontal Glue. The global AEC industry is $4.6 Trillion, and if you think of buildings as customers, energy customers, retail customers, services customers, why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that. Score one for Autodesk.