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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Archicad 20 Involves BIM in the Early Stages of Design

June 23rd, 2016 by Susan Smith

Eniko Paulo, business development manager for GRAPHISOFT, spoke on the new release of Archicad, Archicad 20. The new release seeks to extend user information usage to the information management stage, looking at how can we involve BIM way in the early stages in the design. BIM is part of the whole lifecycle and the BIM model is used by those not even using BIM software.

In 3D perspective view, users can switch to a two‐point perspective in any camera position, maintaining the original position and viewing angle. As a result, all 3D vertical edges become vertical in perspective projection.

In 3D perspective view, users can switch to a two‐point perspective in any camera position, maintaining the original position and viewing angle. As a result, all 3D vertical edges become vertical in perspective projection.

Archicad builds on the speed of its predecessor and uses the processor more efficiently now. There is a different interface, and the icons are now vector-based. In addition, the new release features adaptations for retina screens with greater resolution.

Two other big features of the upcoming release are the addition of more metadata, such as the fire rating of a wall, the manufacturer, etc. that will populate all model elements.

Graphisoft makes objects themselves, and also makes use of generic, out-of-the-box objects that can be obtained from manufacturers.


The new Archicad 20 sports the following primary features:

  • Data in and out
  • Graphical user interface with object select
  • Presentation whether fly through or drawings
  • New Cinema 4D functionality.

Archicad 20 is instrumental in storing, displaying and sharing information in BIM. With the release of Archicad 20, Archicad is capable of working with Rhino Grasshopper in a very integrated way. Also included is Archicad’s connection BIMx Cloud.

Archicad 20’s core is information modeling which includes information about the model itself. Can share information, store this information and keep it up to date with model elements, as the design evolves. “It’s not only about BIM it’s about getting information,” said Paulo.

How can we store metadata with the model? “For this purpose we implemented a new data management system called Property Manager,” said Paulo. “Out-of-the-box we provided properties you might include in a project, grouped in various ways, and you can include new properties.”

Because these are metadata values, they can be different. You can also define the previous values by use available. You can choose for each element in the BIM model and add a description and add to an element.

But there is much more than the model and its geometrical parameters. The vast majority of building information (specs, descriptions etc.) usually don’t come from the model. This set of information is not even controlled by the architects.

Metadata includes cost, manufacturer, product code, product webpage, hardware set, U-value fire rating, acoustic rating, and warranty.

Geometrical data includes width, height, thickness, volume, surface area, position, orientation, materials, profile.

Building information management uses BIM as a central depository of all related data. This is very valuable for facility managers to visualize their properties in several ways.

Cinema 4D was introduced in Archicad 18 as the rendering engine of Archicad, allowing you to also create real world can use for visualization purposes, and new ways of changing the elements.

ARCHICAD 20 runs the latest CineRender version, based on the Cinema 4D R16 engine. The result is a major enhancement concerning surface settings.

This ensures even more realistic surfaces, while rendering improvements reduce render times and enable highly-realistic contact shadows.

A new Reflectance Channel allows multiple reflection layers and control over blurriness and distance dim. Perfect for architectural materials like metals. A “turbo boost” to render times is possible thanks to the Irradiance Cache and the Physical Renderer, which features a new ray-tracing solution and faster grass calculation.

Users can save projects out to IFC, and if they save the project to the IFC, it is the same model, with the model viewer the metadata is also written out with the elements. This can be used for different approaches.

When architects want to highlight the overlying structure of the elements, they can highlight graphical structural elements with a dark color and the rest of elements are greyed out. They don’t have to change the model, just create the right override combination.

As workflows are more and more integrated, the younger generation is primarily coming from the mobile world and lightweight interfaces are very much optimized for efficiency as well.

So AC20 took a significant step in this direction decreasing the cognitive gap between AC and BIMx in creating the new user interface. Users will have no trouble using the new interface. BIMx is available to send markup tools to Archicad BIM Server where it goes to a central repository. Those who don’t use Archicad can use it.

BIM and the information put into it later can be used very effectively in the consturction phase and is supported with the award winnig BIMx app… with the help of BIMCloud.

Grasshopper Rhino integration is achieved with Archicad 20. Grasshopper Rhino is a specialty tool and is best served integrated with Archicad than by Archicad developing its own algorithmic capabilities inside Archicad. Algorithmic design can drive the design process of buildings through controlling various design parameters. This is deep integration for bidirectional real-time connection between two design environments.Archicad is also a building information modeling and management tool, whereas Grasshopper Rhino is a design tool that can complement BIM workflows. These tools fill a gap in the design process between early stage design and Building Information Modeling. They offer solutions for seamless, bi-directional geometry transfer as well as a way to translate basic geometrical shapes into full BIM elements while adding algorithmic editing functionality.

Complex geometry models created in Rhino can now be imported to ARCHICAD as native objects using their “native” NURBS definitions. ARCHICAD users can better control the representation of each individual imported object, depending on its purpose in the model.



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Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AECCafe, apps, Archicad, architecture, building information modeling, civil information modeling, collaboration, construction, engineering, IFC, mobile, sustainable design, virtual reality, visualization

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