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2024 Technology Preview Program

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Post your wishes about Graphisoft products: Archicad, BIMx, BIMcloud, and DDScad.

Improving the BIM capabilities


I have placed this in the "wishes" forum but it might not be the right one.


BIM and Archicad (AC)

Many years ago, when BIM began AC was at the forefront of building design software to include it. At that time the goal was adding intelligence to the building model regarding the components the building was made of. Today I am sure that BIM is more than that and typically goes beyond what I personally need but there are times I wish that components had more information about the components used to create a structure.

Note that I am not an Architect by trade/education but have a love of designing buildings and I use AC as a hobby now that I am retired. Also note that I never design anything for any one but me. While I don’t use it everyday I find that AC lacks intelligence in some areas. For example, assume that I am designing a house. One of the first things I need to place are the outside walls. So I double click the “wall” tool and select the features I desire except I can’t choose the style of wall I want. In my case I want the wall to be a wood stud wall. There is no option for that type of wall. Even if I did choose one of the available “wood” wall types it still would not represent the wall I want as it shows as a solid block without any information regarding what the wall is made of and all the components needed to build the wall. I don’t see the “intelligence” in the wall structure. The same is true if I wanted to build a “steel reinforce” concrete wall. AC does not provide options as to where the reinforcement should be place and the dimensions of the steel. As it is it is required that there be a “detail” drawing of the wall structure showing the components which is fine but the drawings have to be manually made and can be prone to mistakes. Ideally, the “detail” drawing should be automatically created directly from the model but the wall does not have the intelligence about its composition to do that. The same thing holds true for columns, slabs and roofs.

Let’s take a typical single plane roof. You double click the tool, select the type desired and place it. The result is a solid block with a surface attached but it does not contain any information about the components. Below is a picture of a typical roof showing the various components and if those components were part of the model AC would be able to create the “detail” drawing directly from the model and reducing mistakes. Below is an example of a steel reinforced slab. If it was possible to provide information regarding the steel bars (diameter, material type, specs, etc.) and the concrete it would be easy to perform stress tests and such.

Concrete Slab w Rebsar.jpgTypical house roof.jpg

Maybe I am wrong but my thoughts are that as time moves forward the design software (in this case AC) should perform more and more of the work such as creating the detail drawings from the model and providing a complete or partial BOM with the push of a button. It should be noted that I can create a building model using my 3D Solids MCAD software and do all the things discussed above but I don’t because it takes more effort and time and stretching a wall can be more complex. So for now I use AC for building creation I just wish the parts in the library had more intelligence. Maybe some time in the not too distant future.


Barry Kelly

With the default tools (walls, slabs, roofs, etc.) you will just get basic 'blocky' shapes.

You said it yourself ...


It should be noted that I can create a building model using my 3D Solids MCAD software and do all the things discussed above but I don’t because it takes more effort and time and stretching a wall can be more complex.


The more detail you model, the harder it is to co-ordinate everything.


You can do much of this in Archicad.

You might want to look into 'add-ons' that will provide additional modelling.

The 'Goodies' are free and include a roof wizard, an interior wizard, truss maker, wall framing accessory as well as other slab, wall and roof accessories.

This is the roof wizard.




There are third party add-ons (you will have to pay for) that can do concrete reinforcing and possibly more detailed framing (I am not sure as I don't use them).


And of course you can model all of the components yourself.




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Hello Barry:


Thanks for the response. I guess I had the wrong question. I realize that there are third party add-ons that will allow for more detailed modeling. My question should have been, Why aren't these features and capabilities built in to Archicad? I guess I shouldn't complain as I am retired but in my mind the model is everything. If I was designing an automated assembly line the model would include all of the components including all if the nuts and bolts. For a model to be accurate it should have that level of detail. AC is a very good architectural design software I just think it could be so much better, my thoughts. As my current designs are just for me and my pleasure, not having the ability to model with more detail isn't an issue. My thoughts are how AC can be improved for the future architects and make things easier. Again, thanks for your response.