Collaboration with other software
About model and data exchange with 3rd party solutions: Revit, Solibri, dRofus, Bluebeam, structural analysis solutions, and IFC, BCF and DXF/DWG-based exchange, etc.

AC11 + Rhino 4.0

Not applicable
Has anybody had any experience in importing models from rhino to AC?
Is it achievable? Does the model get any lost in translation while moving between these two different programs?


Depends on what you use to import the model in terms of file format and/or plugin.

ArchiCAD's native importers tend to be either hit or miss in terms of giving you what you had in the originating program, or they tend to be very finicky for certain file formats.

Third party addons on the other hand tend to be more reliable since they give you more a point. The 3ds-IN plugin which is available with the Goodies,is pretty good and basic to use with simple controls but terribly unstable with large models or high polycounts; tending to crash ArchiCAD completely. There used to be an obj importer, but GS got rid of that for some reason or another. There was also (and still exists, I suppose - haven't used it in a while), Abvent's Zoom GDL which is a complete program in and of itself, but could translate imported 3ds file formats directly into ArchiCAD's library object file format (.gsm) with options to control display properties such as 2D ( elevation and plan display) and layers control. It also had stability issues and a very archaic interface.

And then there's Maxonform, which is the newest kid on the block, and is great because it essentially simultaneously acts as a separate program and integrated ArchiCAD plugin at the same time; meaning that you can import your model into MF running a synced ArchiCAD scene, while ArchiCAD is still running in the background, control all the 3d object properties you need to from MF like polycount and even modify it if need be and then transfer it back into the running ArchiCAD project file as an library object part. Stability being its obvious biggest selling point, for me anyway, and compared to the other options. The drawbacks include a lack of a Mac version for the longest time, the reliance on an outdated C4D engine (v9 while C4D v10 has been out for a while now), and, oh yeah, the fact that they are yet to release an update for ArchiCAD version 11 despite stating that it would be ready by early August. We're in early September now. You heard that Graphisoft?
At this rate we will have ArchiCAD version 12 before they ever update Maxonform.

As for other options, I've heard that some people import models using the Sketchup import plugin, since Sketchup can import 3ds files itself. So they basically re-save the import the saved file as a SKetchup .skp file and then import it into ArchiCAD. Obvioulsy this method seems ludicrously if not needlessly complicated despite the fact that it doesn't even give you any control over things like polycount or model integrity. And then there's the fact that Sketchup has its own issues with large 3ds model file sizes and you're likely to crash there before you're model ever gets to ArchiCAD.

My personal preference would have been for Graphisoft to get in touch with McNeel software over the development of a Maxonform-like Rhino importer which allows curve and surface control to the same degree that you can control them in Rhinoceros. And McNeel, in addition to the fact that they produce a rock solid product, make excellent translators that allow their 3dm format to be easily and accurately ported into other formats with all the control necessary. Or vice versa vis-a-vis importation. Like they recently did with the Sketchup import module in v4.

I find it bewildering that no one has ever thought of this; particularly given ArchiCAD's notorious inability to handle the type of curvilinear-NURBsy type models that Rhino handles so well.

Anyway, I hope you find something that works for you in that convoluted mess I have written above....

Not applicable
Maxonform is owned by the parent company that owns Graphisoft, so I can't see them investing a whole lot of time or resources in bridges to other software, other than basic level import.

Maxonform is a lot of extra money for (IMHO) something a true 3d modeller can do better - and it 'corrupts' the AC data by writing a large library part (e.g. 'distorted' windows are no longer windows but part of a library part, so cannot be scheduled etc....).

Given my opening comment AND numerous others in the forum about ArchiCADs poor 3d modelling capabilities, we can but hope that what we know as Maxonform is bundled as part of AC12! It certainly would add to the appeal of the package, and aid competitiveness......
(PS I hope GS read this! ).

Start a new conversation!

Still looking?

Browse more topics

Back to forum

See latest solutions

Accepted solutions

Start a new discussion!