Archicad exporter/importer. Archicads exporter is very limited. So I've been using the collada exporter that Lumion created. Its not bad, the problem is importing it in to 3dsmax, the objects When altering the model with edit poly. Extruding a poly 1mm will extrude 1m, transforming any edges/faces/vertices becomes painfully slow.
So this requires a fair amount of clean up, reset Xforms, adding edit poly to remove isolated vertices and center pivot to object.
Fixing this would be a start, but I'd really like to have a file linking system or import replace new objects.
Didn't see this sooner. There are ways to get what you need. Both options depend on what you want the model for and its size.
Option 1: The autoCAD route.
1. Export as 3DS, save by material if model is not huge, or by element->material if it is big.
2. Import 3DS in autoCAD. Set options so it will separate geometry and create layers based on materials.
3. Save as .dwg
4. Link the dwg in 3dsmax.
Repeat the process if you update the archicad model, and then just update the 3dsmax linked file.
Option 2: If you don't have autoCAD or 3DS import gives you errors.
1. Same as option 1, but preferably by material.
2. Use the free FBX converter. Options are pretty easy.
3. Link the resulting FBX file in 3dsmax.
Updating geometry using this options requires just a few clicks: export 3DS, click convert again (if you didn't close the converter), click to update geometry. This won't give you layers, but if the model was exported by materials, it should give a fairly organized model. A few tests regarding units will get you on track.
If what you need is clean geometry to edit in 3dsmax (with editpoly, editmesh, or add certain modifiers), you'll need a better exporter as your wish; but if that's the case, maybe you can model those bits directly in 3dsmax.
On a side note, recent autoCAD versions have problems with large 3DS imported geometry, and big models will take some time to import.
Thanks I've been giving it ago but not having much luck.
I can get the model out of Archicad->into the FBX converter->into 3dsmax.
I can get it in as Objects just like Archicad and 3dsmax, so a wall is one object, windows are separate objects. etc..
Materials come in as instanced, so if I have a black material applied to 10 different objects in Archicad, it will be the same in 3dsmax. I can change the one material and all the objects update.
Problem is the smoothing groups are all screwed up ?? and some texture UVs are distorted mainly on curved walls.
I've tried the split normal option in the FBX convert, it doesn't make a difference.
I might try lumion exporter again and bring the dae into fbx converter.
This usually happens when you export to 3DS and leave the "Archicad objects (native output)" option selected. Either use "Element types - Surfaces" if you want to keep separate objects (but still grouped by element, i.e. a wall, a chair, etc.) or use "Surfaces" if you want to organize the linked model by material.
You might also want to check the link preset options. Either use the "Revit - combine by material" one or create a new preset to handle FBX linking.
Smoothing groups will probably never land correctly but I rarely have issues, as most AC geometry used is flat, and furniture and other elements in 3dsmax come from other libraries; and terrains and such get usable results with the smooth modifier.
Oh... and you will need to adjust UVs in max. It's faster than in AC.