I'm not an architect, but an illustrator & graphic designer for a retail company. I'm considering buying archicad 11 and the archiforme plugin for my company. My goal is to create interior and exterior retail environments for visualization and VR walkthroughs to show merchandising, fixtures and signing rather than actually building. I've done some research on 3D software and I find archicad the most compelling. I have some experience reading floorplans and elevations so I'm not a complete noob in that area.
I like the apparent ease of use and the ability to generate floorplans, as well as the realtime walkthroughs.
Does anyone here use archicad for this purpose, or have any other software suggestions?
How about extra plugins for archicad? I will need to model fixtures, tables, and the like. Will archiforme meet my needs for this?
Also, I'm on a G5 Mac, is Mac or PC a better platform for archicad?
Archicad is used by interior designers, store planners and set designers. It's not just for architects.
Both platforms work well; use the one you are most comfortable with. As mutli-platform software, files can go back and forth between platforms easily. The only difference I have to take into consideration is that macs read all types of fonts, PCs don't.
I would learn archicad and get familiar with its library which includes many furnishings before buying add-ons. Archicad's limitations are the more free-form shapes. They can be done, but with difficulty. That said, the custom profiler, as well as the free with archicad profiler add-on can make many atypical shapes. I'm not trying to discourage you from add-ons, but there is lot to archicad.
Have you tried the free 30-day trial? It's downloadable from graphisofts website.
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"Implementing Successful Building Information Modeling"