BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024
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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.

Importing 3D Solid Models

Not applicable

Much of my background is in the design of mechancal items using your typical 3D solid modeling software (like Solidworks, Catia and such). I am currently getting into architectural design but it has become obvious that AC appears to be based on surface modeling. There are many detail items and even large items (bowling alley and equipment) that can be modeled much faster and easier in a 3D solid modeling app than in a surface based app. What I find frustrating is the lack of an import function that will convert a 3D solid model (say in STEP format) into a surface model or GDL object that can be used in AC. I have tried the export to .3ds and then import into AC but that doesn't always work and scale issues start to arise. Does anyone know is GS will every create an import function for 3D solid models.

We are always looking to improve our interoperability where feasible. The STEP file format is more common amongst the Mechanical design industry, however, I will take this request for compatibility with STEP file format to my product manager. Demand is usually the critical factor for such things to be implemented. If you like you should create a post in the Wish area to gauge the community's desire for such a thing.

Our primary interoperability file format for the BIM industry is .IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). Perhaps you can try utilizing files in this format. Learn more at We can also import 3D dwg files ( ) as well as SketchUp .skp files ( .

As for ease of modelling I believe you will find our next release ArchiCAD 16 may change your mind with the new MORPH tool. See the videos for this new feature here: and here:

Best regards,
Nicholas Cornia
Technical Support Team - GRAPHISOFT North America
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