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What is happening with Cadimage Tools?

I get the sense that Cadimage is moribund. Although there have been a few updates over the past couple of years, all of the documentation and videos date from v19 or before, and haven't been updated in years. (So in many cases, what is shown on the videos or in screenshots doesn't exactly match the current software.) Cadimage support tells me that they are giving up on their stair tool, which I liked because it was fairly simple to use, and are now encouraging me to use the GS stairs instead. There used to be an active public support forum. There used to be an almost daily "tip of the day." Since Central Innovation took it over, it seems development has pretty much stopped and it has gone from being a vibrant force to what now seems to be a neglected stepchild.

I am hoping that someone closer to the other side of the world knows what is going on. Should I be trying to wean myself off of these tools in anticipation of the inevitable?
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10
30 REPLIES 30

Brett Brown
Contributor
Everything you say is correct.
Central Innovation definitely don't instill any confidence that the tools are an asset if fixed and improved.
I have asked that many times to update the manuals that I have given up.
Same with the many reported and confirmed bugs in there tools that I have reported that have still not been fixed in an update. Who cares that I have to deal with these bugs in every project wasting my time.
Its at a stage that its quicker without them.
Every year and Version I ask where the new improvements are for there tools, and they say they are just updating them to work with the new versions.
Have often wondered what their programmers do all year and now Ralph Wessel is employed by them, I thought there would be some good things happening. Sadly nothing.
In the good old days, if there was a problem with Objective, Ralph would have it fixed in under 24hrs. Excellent service and that's what I expect with Cadimage Tools. Sadly not the case.
Unfortunately Central Innovation support and service is woeful.
Why anyone would upgrade, costing thousands, with them with the complete lack of service they provide is beyond me.
I assume Richard, your local support service is excellent?
Why is it that the only major addon makers for Archicad, Cadimage and Cigraph, have fallen by the wayside?
Is Graphisoft and the way Archicad is programed now pushing them out?
Or is Central Innovation with their Cadimage tools just taking us for granted?
Imac, Mojave, AC 20, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021, Revit LT 2021

Thanks for the info, Brett, even if it's not encouraging. Here, at least, GraphisoftUS does a pretty good job with tech support if the local reseller is unable to help. From what I can tell, Central Innovation has your area pretty well locked down from any competition, and I don't get the impression that any of the users are better off as a result.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

henrypootel
Enthusiast
Hi Guys

I realise this is a user discussion board, so I hope me replying here is ok?

We are definitely still very much alive – no feet anywhere near any graves! There are no plans to kill, maim, or otherwise diminish the tools (besides stairs, which you already know about).

I know we have fallen down a bit on documentation of late, and we are working on sorting that out. Not to excuse it, but the problem there was that, as you may remember, back in v20, the Interfaces for all of the tools was completely re-done to match the ARCHICAD interface update, and so that’s required us to essentially re-write all of our documentation. As you can imagine, that’s not a small undertaking, so we’re still working on it. Most of the video content has been updated since then, so it’s still current now, but the Knowledge base is still coming along.

But yes, I agree it’s definitely a problem, so I apologise for that.

The stair tool being discontinued is simply because it has been replaced by the new (ish) ARCHICAD Stair tool – the built-in one does most of what ours does, and just comes free with ARCHICAD so, as you can imagine, it’s rather hard to compete with. From a business point of view, as you can probably imagine, it’s difficult to justify continuing the development and maintenance of our stair when almost no-one uses it now. I’d be interested to know why you use it still though, as all the feedback I’ve heard from customers is that our tool is entirely surplus to requirements now, and that they don’t use it anymore.

The tip of the day situation is simply that we recently changed to a new website and a new Blog engine, and we just haven’t yet gotten up to speed with how to publish our tips on the new thing. We will be resuming normal daily tips very soon though.

As for ongoing development, and new features and whatnot, we recently re-wrote from scratch our NZ Bracing and Electrical tools based on customer feedback to make those do more of what people want, and aside from doing the set of V22 upgrades for all tools, we’ve also released 6 updates for v21 and v22 tools in the last month. In addition to that, we are also in development of 2 entirely new tools which I can’t talk about in detail just yet, but you’ll be hearing about them soon (they’re really cool, but I would say that, I suppose).

I hope that answers some of your questions – feel free to ask me anything else though, either here, in a DM, or an email. And if you have Tools issues or questions, you can always log a support ticket with us.
Josh Osborne - Central Innovation

HP Zbook Studio G4 - Windows 10 Pro, Intel i7 7820HQ, 32Gb RAM, Quadro M1200

Henry,

I don't know why you'd feel shy about poking your head in here, and your input is most welcome. Regarding the documentation, maybe you could just add a short "new features/changes" section for each tool? For example, the Electrical tool is still showing videos for v19. There certainly have been improvements I see, but nothing to say what these actually were, and I couldn't find any explanation for why the receptacles were not auto-rotating to the walls anymore. It took a support ticket to find out that NOW you have to hold down the space-bar.

Re: the stair tool. It's not the stairs themselves that are important, but the railing tool that goes along with it. The timber railing tool is indispensable for its goosenecks and volutes. Also, the balusters are far more intuitive to use than the GS balusters. For anyone who does traditional wood stairs (i.e. virtually every residential architect), comparatively, the GS version is very difficult to use. I've got 8 hours of tutorial videos on GS stairs, and still haven't mastered them.

It sounds like good things are coming, but I've got to say that Central Innovation is hiding your light under a barrel. In essence, when it was you and Josh and Ralph running most of the show, the responsiveness and development speed was excellent. It's just not the same anymore.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Brett Brown
Contributor
As a New Zealand user, I have received absolutely nothing regarding Cadimage Tools or any improvements.
Perhaps you have to be a paying customer. Although, us NZers do pay for the privilege of using the tools, with our inflated upgrade pricing.
There used to be monthly newsletters regarding bug fixes, workarounds and enhancements but as I said, nothing in years. How's that for Marketing.
It would have been nice to know that you have no intention of updating your tools for V20. I won't waste my time reporting any more issues I come across.
Re the manuals, Cadimage has been promising to update them for years and nothing has ever happened.
Imac, Mojave, AC 20, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021, Revit LT 2021

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Richard wrote:
I don't know why you'd feel shy about poking your head in here, and your input is most welcome. Regarding the documentation, maybe you could just add a short "new features/changes" section for each tool? For example, the Electrical tool is still showing videos for v19. There certainly have been improvements I see, but nothing to say what these actually were, and I couldn't find any explanation for why the receptacles were not auto-rotating to the walls anymore. It took a support ticket to find out that NOW you have to hold down the space-bar.
We don't usually inject conversation about Cadimage into this forum because we don't want to detract from its core focus – ARCHICAD. So we encourage customers to come to us directly rather than posting here.

The AC20 update was a major milestone for us. All the UIs – in objects and add-ons – were redesigned to fit the new look and feel, and all the images and icons were also redesigned and redrawn in vector graphics. It also necessitated reworking all the documentation, unfortunately,

A short 'new features' guide is a good idea. The Electrical and Bracing tools have been completely rewritten and Keynotes substantially modified, so there's a lot to communicate. As you noted, Electrical components, for example, are aligned to walls by space-clicking. And you can also align a selection of components to a wall (straight or curved) when dragging by space-clicking on a wall edge (so all the object realign to a different wall). Electrical circuits can now be freely edited by adding, deleting or dragging wires. To explicitly connect a wire to a different switch or object, you can drag a wire end and <alt>-click (Win) or <option>-click (Mac) on the new connection point. To auto-snap to its connection point, hold down <ctrl> (Win) or <cmd> (Mac). These keys can be combined to reconnect and snap at the same time.

There are many new features like this that are missed without the documentation, so I hope to have this resolved soon. We have addressed nearly 500 feature requests and bugs over the past 2 years alone. While these are noted in the Cadimage Installer release notes, it could be more visible. The team is working hard on it.
Ralph Wessel BArch

gavinNZz
Participant
NZ user. Have been using Cadimage tools/add-ons since forever. They are a very important part of the models I create which are showcased not only with static images but also through Virtual reality systems which demand that the models look incredibly accurate. I can also concur that there is a feeling that the tools are not being provided with the support they need in a fast changing industry.

Case and point.....the latest object promoted on the mycadimage page is 'darth vaders holiday home'....really. I pay good money to have access to these objects and that's what is being produced?

Its not like they can't build awesome objects. the Plumbing object is friggin amazing and enables me to fully model the drainage systems of all the projects I work on. The essentials library has some good bits and some bad bits. The reality now, with live VR feeds straight out of the archicad 3D window, the objects need to be far more detailed than anything archicad has to offer especially in the furniture and plants areas.

In regards to support, I logged a keynotes bug when V21 was released which is yet to be remedied even after updates and V22 release. Some of these bugs affect internal productivity but others actually affect the quality of the end product we supply to our customers which was the case with this keynote issue so it has frustrated the hell out of me that it wasn't fixed quickly.

Every other 3rd party app I subscribe to has constant updates almost everytime I open them. Just get the problem fixed and provide an update.

For example Enscape, the real time rendering add-on, has a development version available almost every week with new features and bug fixes.

I am going to stick with cadimage tools in the short term because they are an important part of my model building process but as mentioned before there is a point where the workaround for issues takes longer than just modelling it yourself. The bracing tool is a good example of this. It was updated to be more intuitive and automatic but in doing so it became less adjustable and harder to work with so is now we just use it as a static object with the bracing calculation done externally.

Will be interesting to see if this type of discussion forum will open their eyes to why we use their tools and what we actually expect from them in the way of service. No doubt they have a bright team working hard but they must aim for ensuring their clients can increase productivity and quality through the use of their add-ons. When this is no longer the case customers will start asking why they are paying for the service at all.

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
gavinNZz wrote:
I logged a keynotes bug when V21 was released which is yet to be remedied even after updates and V22 release. Some of these bugs affect internal productivity but others actually affect the quality of the end product we supply to our customers which was the case with this keynote issue so it has frustrated the hell out of me that it wasn't fixed quickly.
I'm sorry to hear we've let you down on this bug. Clearly we've slipped up somewhere because there is only one outstanding Keynotes bug currently on our bug-tracking system and we're actively working with affected customers to find a way to reproduce it. It would appear this issue has not been logged.

Can you please contact our support team and raise this issue? Also, please refer them to your previous conversation so we can work out how this was overlooked. This is something we take seriously - we've addressed nearly 50 feature requests and bugs in Keynotes since the AC21 release.
Ralph Wessel BArch

gpowless
Booster
I'm going in the other direction here....

I too have used Cadimage Tools for quite some time. I was drawn first into the stair tool using it extensively and for a short period went with another add-on. But I always came back to Cadimage. Their tools are intuitive as the design of the tools seems to prioritize user interaction over programming code efficiency / complexity.

I constantly receive updates on all the tools I use through the Cadimage Installer app. I receive notifications of pending updates through Archicad notifications at start-up. I don't see where this can be improved.

Support has never been an issue as far as I am concerned. I have opened support tickets and received a response the next day, Josh has been a great asset not only in addressing bugs and technical support issues but has taken the time to explain the use of different features when I was having difficulty achieving the result I wanted.

While there still are some bugs I have encountered that have not been corrected I nonetheless have faith they will be corrected in due process.

What would be helpful is to have a sub-forum in the "Other Products" for specific name-brand add-ons where we can post issues, help others with the use of add-on tools and discuss suggestions for improvements, The forums could be moderated by the specific companies providing the add-ons so that they may deal directly with issues.

MyCadimage Tools: Electical, Cabinets, Keynotes, Coverings, Stairs and Doors & Windows.

P.S. Don't stop supporting and improving the Cadimage Stair tool. Archicad stairs still have a lot of quirks and limitations to overcome and it is nice to know that I can resort to Cadimage Stairs when I get frustrated trying to achieve the stair I want. It seems to me that was the reason I switched to Cadimage stair tool in the first place. As capable as they seem Archicad Stairs don't do stairs intuitively and I can see an opportunity for Cadimage to improve on the use and interface of the stair tool.
Intel i7-6700@3.4GHz 16g

GeForce GTX 745 4g

2-HP Pavilion 25xw

Windows 10

Archicad 25 USA Full

gavinNZz
Participant

I'm sorry to hear we've let you down on this bug. Clearly we've slipped up somewhere because there is only one outstanding Keynotes bug currently on our bug-tracking system and we're actively working with affected customers to find a way to reproduce it. It would appear this issue has not been logged.

Can you please contact our support team and raise this issue? Also, please refer them to your previous conversation so we can work out how this was overlooked. This is something we take seriously - we've addressed nearly 50 feature requests and bugs in Keynotes since the AC21 release.

Thanks for the reply Ralph. Unfortunately its now at the point where I don't bother mentioning some of these bugs and just create workarounds. Its just quicker that way and don't have the time to explain the issue over and over again.

I would suggest setting up a workshop where we can talk directly to the developers about how we actually use the cadimage tools in a drafting office. Face to face discussion is always more productive and gives us the user a feeling of being valued in the development process. Getting a generic e-mail from the support system saying that the bug or suggestion has been added to the development schedule is like a slap in the face!

for example - Door and window builder.....put a hotspot in the 2D and 3D views that allows me to define the opening angle of the door/window graphically. Having to open the selection settings and type in an angle is about 5 actions more than it needs to be.

Just make that small change and release it. This will give users the feeling that you are engaging with them. I don't care about bug fixes, sure they are needed because a mistake was made in the development process, I just want to see feature updates however big or small.

The recent change to a fixed margin opening for sliders is a pain in the butt. Why was it changed from the % margin it has always been? If I had been asked as a user I would have said that its a bad idea and to give us the option to choose how we want to define the opening margin. I would have also mentioned the hotspot idea.

Also, in Virtual reality the profile of the door and window object makes it one of the most unrealistic looking items in our models. Maybe create the ablilty to allow custom profiles to be used for the frames so we can create true to life joinery items.

Don't get me wrong I like the Door and Window object and use it religiously, but that doesn't automatically mean it is as good as it could be, You have the market cornered in this area, don't loose it by sitting on the fence and not pushing forward with meaningful development.

Thanks for your time on this.

KeesW
Booster
GavinNZ
Where is the plumbing object you refer to?
Cornelis (Kees) Wegman

cornelis wegman architects

AC 5 - 25 Dell XPS 8940 Win 10 1TB SSD 2TB HD RTX 3070 GPU
Desktop: Archicad 5.5 - 25, Win10 64, Core i7 , 16 GB RAM, NVidia GTX560 Ti, 1.5TB HD, 500GB SSD

Laptop: Archicad 16 - 24, Win10 64 Core i7, 8GB RAM, 2GB NVidia GT 540M

Brett Brown
Contributor
Thanks for the reply Ralph. Unfortunately its now at the point where I don't bother mentioning some of these bugs and just create workarounds. Its just quicker that way and don't have the time to explain the issue over and over again.

Just make that small change and release it.
My thoughts exactly. Why is it that we have to keep asking why the confirmed bug has not been fixed?

If as Ralph says that all these bugs and enhancements have been done, why hasn't that been conveyed to users somehow?

I have asked 2 consecutive Sales Managers at Central Innovation the same question about Cadimage Tools at upgrade time since 2016 and both have said nothing has changed, and the Tools have just been made to work with the new Version. As I have never received any Newsletter relating to Cadimage Tools for V21 and 22, I assume that as they haven't any new enhancements there seems to be no point in upgrading?

Lets hope that this thread stirs Central Innovation into drastically improving customer communication.
Imac, Mojave, AC 20, AC 25 Solo UKI, Vectorworks Architect 2021, Revit LT 2021

gavinNZz
Participant
KeesW wrote:
GavinNZ
Where is the plumbing object you refer to?
It is one of the objects available to us within our cadimage subscription. See attached image.

Here is a link to an example of this object in use

https://www.kubity.com/p/qbpVNx

Not sure if they sell this as a stand alone object. There is no add-on that is attached to it

Barry Kelly
Moderator
gavinNZz wrote:
Not sure if they sell this as a stand alone object. There is no add-on that is attached to it
It is part of the Ci Esential Library available to AUS (and I assume NZ) users.

Barry.

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 25
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Dell Precision 3510 - i7 6820HQ @ 2.70GHz, 16GB RAM, AMD FirePro W5130M, Windows 10

Three and a half months later, I have seen NOTHING in the way of improved documentation or videos. Come on, guys, just take an afternoon and produce a few videos! I don't use Objective very often, but I had occasion to need the slab edge tool for AC22. There was no explanatory diagram in the main dialogue box showing what each parameter referred to (A=; B=; etc.), and it turned out that there was no diagram for ANY of the Objective Tools. I found an earlier version of Objective.lcf and replaced the latest update of Objective.lcf, and it is all working fine now. But really.... Doesn't Cadimage or Central Innovation even TRY basic functioning before they let an update out? This is pretty sad.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Nuge
Enthusiast
Richard,

Don't hold your breath!!!! Central innovation has purchased the Cadimage tools and just sat on them doing no development work other than for new AC versions, they have not released any new products or indicated any existing product enhancements (i would be happy if the existing tools were just bug free)

I would very much love someone to launch a suite of competing add on's that were regularly updated base on customer feedback, and were engaged with the community. they would have my money for sure
AC25 i9 11900K / 128G ram / GTX 3090 / Enscape

Well, I should say that Josh Osborne stepped in and quickly got me a patched Objective.lcf file, and everything is working now. Felt almost like the "good old days."
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Nuge wrote:
Central innovation has purchased the Cadimage tools and just sat on them doing no development work other than for new AC versions, they have not released any new products or indicated any existing product enhancements (i would be happy if the existing tools were just bug free)
There have been approximately 600 new features and bug fixes to the Cadimage Tools since Ci took the reins. The changes and fixes for each release can be reviewed in the Cadimage Installer. We're working on the basis of constant improvement throughout the year rather than just waiting for new AC versions. As Josh noted, these changes haven't been communicated effectively – but they are happening just as they always have.

We also have 3 new products, a major change to an existing tool and significant library changes in the pipeline for release with AC23. A small group of users is reviewing beta versions now. It has taken nearly 2 years of customers consultation, design proposals, specification and development to arrive at the point.

While some communication and marketing has slipped, development is proceeding at a significant pace.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Ralph,
I'm not trying to be confrontational here, but according to the Installer, since AC22 was released, there were 29 bugs fixed for the Door & Window tool, but only ONE bug fixed (Coverings) for all of the other tools combined and support for Masterspec added for Keynotes. This does not exactly feel like "constant improvement" across the board. I'm glad that you all are busy working on the future, but the rest of us need to work in the present.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

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