Thursday, January 8, 2009

Manufacturer vs. User-Generated Content

One of our Revit Market publishers asked me an excellent question today.

"Are you in contact with manufacturers to create or get their content?"

The answer is No, for the simple reason that TurboSquid doesn't deal with manufacturer content. Allow me to elaborate.

There are three types of RFA files:
  • RFAs that come with Revit
  • Manufacturer-specific RFAs, available from Autodesk Seek, and manufacturer websites, among other places. Examples are Pella windows and Kohler faucets. This content is usually free.
  • Everything else: User-generated content that isn't manufacturer specific. This content can be free or for-purchase.
Autodesk Seek does the second, Revit Market does the third.

In my early interviews with Revit users, some claimed that there was no need for user-generated content; the built-in families and manufacturer content were enough for all. After a bit more questioning, I found that every Revit user makes their own content sooner or later, or goes looking for downloadable families online. It's just that no one wants to admit they're doing it.

In fact, they're doing it in droves. See my Survey Says post for the facts: 66% of Revit users need custom families for more than 50% of their projects.

What are these families that people have to make themselves? Everything from furniture to fixtures to construction vehicles. I'm conducting a new survey to find out what customers are looking for in user-generated Revit families. I'll be sure to post the results here when they come in.

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