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My story with Archicad so far...

Kamen Nikolov

My first encounter with Archicad happened while I was studying Civil Engineering and Architecture in Higher School of Civil Engineering – Sofia "Lyuben Karavelov".

For the first two years we weren’t allowed to use computers, so everything was done by hand. This was my homemade drafting table I used for ink drawing.


At the begging of the third year in 2011 we had our first architectural assignment and we could use whatever drafting method we like. I had not previous experience with any drafting software so I followed the example of most of the class. I used Autocad for the blueprints. For the 3D model…well I had to model it literally. Like this…


With the next assignment I added another program to do the modeling, then another one for the rendering, then another one for the presentation… Having to use so many programs for one project started to feel too clumsy, not to mention I had to learn them all from scratch…

I noticed that a classmate was using something different for his project. I asked her what it was and it was the first time I saw Archicad. “So you can draw a whole wall with fewer commands?”… “Your facades and section cuts are produced automatically, 100% accurate based on the floorplan and you don’t need to draw them separately by hand?!”…”Integrated library, stairs tool, roof tool and what else..!?”…’’D3 visualizations?!”…”All with the same software?!?!”

        I thought this was genius! I immediately found an educational center that offered Archicad courses. For a few dozen hours I learned the basics for Archicad 13 and then I continued on my own. Without exaggerating I can say that back then working with Archicad felt like playing a game. Watching my ideas materialize on the monitor before my eyes felt like Lego and other constructors I had as a kid. I had walls, door, stairs, trees, all the parts I need and I could do with them whatever I want. The first class assignment, where I used Archicad was a multi-family residential building and its still one of my favorite works till this day.



I even did a ‘’remaster’’ recently.



During my work I realized that I was intentionally limiting the creativity and complexity of my projects because I knew only the basic functions of the program. So I started experimenting and learning on my own during my free time.

One of my first experiments with complex profiles.



And then putting my new learned complex profiles skills to a test


At some point a group of Archicad enthusiasts was formed between some of my classmates. We shared problems and searched for solutions, discussed the tools and so on. We learned from one another. I formed friendship with some of those people, that lasts till this day.

Awaiting the next new version of Archicad was another source of strong excitement back then as much as it is today. “Will they finally add that one function, that the other software has?”…”Will there be new cool library parts?”…“Will my computer handle it?” and so on. Some updates revolutionized the way I work with the program, like the Morph tool with version 16, while others added functions that I will probably never use. But that was the beauty of it, Archicad was growing in a way, that it can cover the needs for every design project, architectural, engineering and so on.

Gradually I became more confident with my work, I stared modeling more complex shapes and produced better blueprints. The program was no longer limiting my work, but enhancing it.


At this point there were many cool tutorials online, that helped me a lot with some of my more difficult problems. One day, for a reason I don’t remember, I needed to create glass dome. After many experiments I figured out how to do it with the curtain wall tool. I was so proud of my achievement, that I decided to create my first video tutorial.

From time to time I occasionally started to give private classes on Archicad. This not only helped me earn some extra money during my school years and after that, but it was also a good way to rediscover the program and learn new things with every lesson I gave. 

After graduating as a civil engineer and architect, I started to work as a researcher for the National institute for immovable cultural heritage, but I also continued to practice with Archicad in my free time and while doing some side jobs. It even came quite helpful with some of my graphic design projects. Modeling my ideas became a hobby but instead of learning a specialized modeling software, I continued to improve my Archicad skills.


Little by little I discovered that some tools can be used for more than I initially thought.

For example using the railing tool to place train tracks


Or use the text tool to import complex shapes in my model using the correct font.


And more...With practice I learned that with the right approach on some projects it’s possible to achieve quasi-parametric workflow, thus making my work easier. And so discovering new methods to create became part of the fun in creating in general. For me Archicad was no longer an architectural software, it was ‘’everything’’ software.

From furniture and small equipment.


To giant robots and space stations!


Archicad is not just my prime modeling and drafting program, but a tool to unleash my creativity and imagination. A way to challenge myself in to learning new things and opportunity to meet new people.

As it improves with each new version, so by using it I improve with every new project.

Stefan Videnov

Keep the good work!

Kamen Nikolov

@Stefan Videnov  Thank you!