BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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About Archicad's design tools, element connections, modeling concepts, etc.

Client / Contractor request for ArchiCAD model file

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I have a client for which I did a small residential remodeling project for and I generated an archicad 11 file with the Kitchen, Great Room, Entry, Dining Room, etc. all with custom materials, textures, objects, lighting and full framing / construction, etc. The client is pretty cheap and was always trying to get something for nothing. I had saved out many 3D rendered images of the different areas with furniture and ceiling conditions until the client was pleased with everything.

I completed the project and the client obtained a permit and started on construction. Recently, I received a phone call from the Contractor (who claims to be an ArchiCAD user) and he wants me to "give" him my ArchiCAD model file so they can "look at the 3D views and come up with other ceiling options." In my opinion, this is what the client should pay me to do with him (btw, I bill hourly with a "not to exceed" figure so however much time it takes or changes the client wants, he pays for them. If it goes fast, then they don't pay as much- but it's not a fixed per project fee and it's pretty modest).

I am hesitant to release my file to the contractor, especially when it sounds like the client has changed their mind after the fact and is trying to circumvent paying me to make changes. The contractor was getting all huffy with me and couldn't understand why I wouldn't just give him the file. Am I being unreasonable? This is a private client, not a city or government project. What are others' policies on releasing the ArchiCAD file to clients or contractors in this type of situation?
How is a raster image safer than a .pdf ?

ArchiCAD 25 7000 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render Multilight 2 - Adobe Acrobat Pro - ArchiCAD 6 -25

Rafal SLEK
kliment wrote:
Yes, PDF's passwords can be broken but then you'll get just lines and fills. If you send the model, you send walls, slabs, Library parts, template, materials, etc.
You are right - but then it could be printed without limits.
MacBook Pro Retina 2019/2.4 GHz/Intel Core i9/32GB RAM/Radeon Pro 5500M 4GB/macOS 11.6/ArchiCAD 25vINT+POL/Maxwell Render 5.2/Twinmotion 2022.1
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Steve wrote:
How is a raster image safer than a .pdf ?

It's not a scalable vectorial image that can be imported to a vector application.

By using a small DPI file you'll drastically reduce it's scalability.

Just complementing:

For 3D exploration I use to send a VR Object which does a quite good job.
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I think printing should not be restricted, I always allow printing at high res. I do not allow modifications and copying, so if someone has broken the password and made changes which look like made from me, he could be legally responsible.

Do not be afraid to send printable pdfs because they don't have your signature and wet stamp. To reproduce them drawings on paper are needed and they already have them!
Hmmmm.....interesting post: I also agree that it would appear most unwise to give the CAD file to the contractor. Sell it, yes, but with a strong disclaimer with regards to omissions & errors......

But, my curiosity is aroused (!): I've yet to come across a contractor that uses ArchiCad 'in-house' in either the UK or gut feeling is that it will be passed onto the contractor's consultant/friend who will work for much less than you or who's cost is hidden within the much larger construction budget (and/or whose cost is more than covered by the construction cost saving effected by the contractor, but not passed onto the client)!
AC27 Apple Silicon. Twinmotion.
16" M1 Max MacBook Pro 32GB, Apple Studio Display, MacOS14
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Rick wrote:
There is a huge difference in the residential and commercial market.
How true.

From my POV working in the commercial/industrial market, often fast track design/build and other hybrid approaches, I have the opposite problem.

How to it get the model to the contractors in a way that they can and will use it to make my and their job easier? For instance, installation of underslab electrical and plumbing is always difficult to place accurately during large, multiple pours. While total station technology is being used more and more it is not always set up and available. If the contractor had and could use the model for measurement from multiple points of reference it would make accurate placement easier and more likely to be right.

Progress seems to being made in the very large projects with very large contractors but in the smaller 5 to 10 million dollar projects I work on it's still a very big challenge.

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Commercial or otherwise if you use third party libraries, even some of the free ones, you are violating the EULA by distributing the objects. I've gone no further than 9 (which allowed you to include all parts of all libraries in the pla) so am not sure how they are handled now. In the days of <7 they either got a model of missing parts or bought the libraries from the respective developer.
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