So now we know ArchiCAD 15 and 16 are to do with modelling, similar to the way 13 and 14 were centred around teamwork.
This will be interesting to watch, as the implementation will affect whether solo users see this as “yet another update for the big end of town”, or whether it has a general benefit to the usability of the program, and therefore is beneficial to all users.
I’ve long held the view that the 3D engine in ArchiCAD is archaic and in need of urgent overhaul. Not only is it slow, but the ability to create complex objects is limited to GDL scripting, and then there is the whole disconnect between the 3d model and 2d view. Specific complaints might include:
• Single threaded processing (AC needs to maximise use of mainstream multicore CPUs)
• Main accessibility via GDL scripting irrelevant to majority of users (AC needs a good GUI for modelling - urgently).
• Buggy SEOs that magically affect a 3D view without modifying the 2D view. (AC needs a robust modelling toolbox including nurb type shapes, with reliable transformations, that are graphically apparent in the final object).
• Complex model elements do not relate to the ArchiCAD toolset. (Creating complex walls etc still need to behave as walls and be able to receive doors and windows etc - think complex profiles on steroids. One of significant flaws in GS last attempt, the Maxonform add-on, was the way “intelligent’ objects lost their properties and became part of a dumb amorphous mass – and so could not be scheduled, dimensioned etc.).
• Inability to set up relationships between objects
Observations of the pace of development and resources available at GS suggest that they are struggling to keep up with the competition. Two years of AC updates were consumed implementing and fixing Teamwork, and we understand at least 3-4 years development preceded that. Other parts of the program have slipped into irrelevancy (e.g. Lightworks– though fortunately one can get around that with a plethora of capable renderers).
Nemescheck as a group has committed to IFCs for interoperability and so we see both GS and Vectorworks (VW) committing to that standard. Returning to the topic of modelling, VW have embraced Siemens Parametric technology going forward. In an ideal world I would hope GS could also embrace such – not only offering a terrific boost to AC, but also strengthening the Nemescheck group through a far more powerful interoperability than IFCs offer. We shall wait and see what unfolds next year….
Interested to hear what other users have to say on the topic....