VisualARQ users


I have many years of VectorWorks experience and went through a two weeks Revit course.

Joined an architect that needed me to import one of his buildings modeled in Rhino to VectorWorks to assemble them together into a BIM model. This worked reasonably well but we still had two models to be constantly updated back and forth.

Switched to Rhino plus VisualARQ (now referred to as R+VA) to replace the parametric tools from VW architect.
Since I was a beginner in both R+VA, it was sometimes overwhelming for me and it took time and effort to make the transition.
Now that I got the fundamentals and the feeling for R+VA+Layout (one also needs to understand the Layout features in Rhino to create the architectural sheets) I do not feel the need to come back to VectorWorks or switch to Revit.

VectorWorks and Revit are very similar tools by the way, both overloaded with features and with a bias towards orthogonal projection views (namely plans, sections and elevations).
Rhino is focused on 3D modeling. For designers, this changes everything.

Here are my R+VA pros and cons :


  • Rhino is powerful and stable
  • VisualARQ adds architectural features (like floor plan views and sections) and parametric architectural objects to Rhino
  • Architectural objects are suitable for both 3D modeling and 2D documentation
  • R+VA Import and Export to AutoCAD is simple and light (better than VectorWorks AND Revit :confused: )


VisualARQ is new (version 1.9) so :

-  Only VA objects (walls, slabs, roofs, beams, windows and doors) carry BIM information after exporting to .IFC format. Other geometries are also exported but will appear as generic solids.
  • The tools for 2D graphic presentation and documentation are limited when compared to VW and Revit. For example, there are no 2D drafting aids (like border and stamp for sheets, bubble grids and scale bar). They all have to be drawn manually.
  • There is no automatic coordination between detail numbers and sheet numbers.

The list of cons presented is mostly about cosmetics (lack of 2D graphic features), productivity (sheet coordination and stamp) and BIM interoperability ( .IFC export). All these items can be addressed with time without fundamental changes in the way Rhino works. The way Revit and VectorWorks were conceived in the other hand, makes it very difficult for them to become like Rhino.

The 3D capabilities of Rhino combined with the parametric architectural objects of VA are a game changer because they improve the design process

Conclusion : R+VA are great :smile: