Sketchup First, then Revit or Archicad?

Is it better to start with SketchUp for conceptual forms and rough modeling and then move to Revit or ArchiCAD for the later stages of architectural design?

There are ideas you think OF and ideas you think WITH. The question is really about how well you think WITH the program. If you think clearly WITH Revit or ArchiCAD then you can design in those programs from the start. But it may be easier and/or faster to model your thoughts in SketchUp if that’s what you’re more comfortable with. Drawing things by hand will probably be the fastest for developing your initial concept ideas if you are at all good at it.

(As a student, it’s quite possible that you are not particularly good at thinking WITH… anything…yet, lol. If that’s where you are, you have to practice it all. But first, start practicing with sketching and drawing by hand right now. Try sketching and digital modeling at the same time, but make sure you practice drawing now, so you will develop better skills for later.)

Drew Paul Bell (of


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