I am jumping from 19 to 22, working up my new template in preparation for 23 when it releases, and looking to decide what to do about my Cadimage tools. And found this an interesting read and has me wondering -
I have always just paid for straight up "ownership", no subscription, which works best for my one man show.
I've been using Objective since version 8, Cadimage coverings & stairs since 10. Tried windows and doors but didn't seem worthwhile for my needs. Objective is and has been integral to roof framing, including trusses. The ability to update/change profiles etc. is awesome. I cannot recommend this tool highly enough - improved or not. A bit quirky from time to time but frankly what isn't? Ralph always was responsive and helpful. Haven't pestered him since went on board with new ownership. [Maybe that means I'm getting better ?]
Stairs always did things the native ones couldn't even conceive of. Also have been a fight to control from time to time, but usually with perseverance I make 'em work. Sounds like that has changed and they're obsolete........??
Coverings gives me almost any type of realistic siding I need to represent, short of shingles[They promised something in the future.....]. It's relatively simple to use. In BIMx output is night and day how the models look.
Frankly I think I'd be happy if the tools just did what they always have moving forward with 22-23. So, a couple of questions to those of you using these three tool with 20 - 22:
are they doing what you want/need, or failing you, or something altogether different?
is the stair tool indeed obsolete or or there those few instances when it'll bail you out?
I am not looking to bash the tools or company. They are what they are, do what they do, and don't do what they don't. Simply looking for some experience user feedback. thanks!
AC 23 Solo US / current build & library
Windoze 10 Pro 64
HP ZBook 17 G4
Intel Zeon 3.0
Twin 2GB SSD
32 GB memory
For the past 13 years the only addon outside what our local reseller provides we've used was ArchiGlazing in AC9 and AC10. It seems to me that a lot of the things cadimage provides can be achieved using the standard tools. They might take a bit longer sometimes, but they also update effortlessly from version to version.
We can just grab an old project and the only real conversion that might take place is some attributes if it was made before the introduction of building materials.
I find the 'new' stair tool from ArchiCAD to have too many bells and whistles to get something 'sort of good' out quickly. Especially for stairs with bends I feel like I'm endlessly adjusting things to get something to contrain to a fixed size. Not sure what the cadimage stair tool is like. Stairmaker, for all it's flaws, allowed to very quickly get some sort of stair in there and with solide element operations where needed could provide good enough model for documentation at the end of the project.
Maybe have a go without cadimage, see if you feel like you are missing things and only get the tools you are missing.
For sidings we use complex profiles.
For roof coverings we use textures to keep the polycount low.
For framing a combination of the beams and collums and the library parts.
I loved cadimage back on v 17 bit as soon as it went subscription I was out.
I taught myself gdl, wrote all my own doors windows and even some sweet stairs, but alas I have up on the stairs as archicad stairs once fully learned can do just as much as cadimage, at least for my needs.
I loved my coverings, but soon found out that the proper texture is almost better as the model runs faster in both archicad and bimx. I did write my own of these but have been to busy to finish.
Once I found alternative ways to not use cadimage, not only did my models run faster in programs, but I actually spend way less time on projects, and the end user doesn't even notice wether that siding is a nice image or actually modeled.
Saying that though if the tools were offered not as a subscription and were available at the time of the archicad release ( I know that's not very feasible) and not bundled ugh, then I would probably drop the dough each year to use them. Stupid sounding yes but I'm not going to pay for something I might not be able to use the next month.
Anyway the tools are sweet but in all reality not practical in terms of getting work done fast. Not that the tools don't speed a lot of things up but because of how much content you add you won't actually net being faster.
To me cadimage is for all the detail, if that's what you are after and you don't know or want to learn gdl, then they are certainly a good buy.
I only used it last on v21, I usually download and try the tools out each version to see if I want to purchase them.
Plus like was said above you will always be waiting for cadimage to be able to fully upgrade.
Before it was Cadimage, it believe it was Theometric Design (or Software). Their Door&WindowBuilder object was the best door or window ever in ArchiCAD. To date, years later, even the stock doors and windows can't compete with DWB from back then. Many times today I still need to create a custom door or window from scratch to represent some system in a project because I can't configure it from the default library doors and windows. But, 99% of the doors or windows I needed back then could have been made with DWB.
I'm sure it could now be made with the curtain wall tool, but that's like going quail hunting with an elephant gun.
Sadly, what made me lose interest in using Cadimage parts is when they started requiring APIs to use their products. Every upgrade of ArchiCAD required updating (at a cost) Cadimage software.
Rex Maximilian, Honolulu, USA - www.rexmaximilian.com ArchiCAD 26 (user since 3.4, 1991) 16" MacBook Pro; M1 Max (2021), 32GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, 32-Core GPU Creator of the Maximilian ArchiCAD Template System
Interesting, it seems there is more of tendency to represent manufacturer model / details in other markets than I would have here in the Netherlands.
In terms of LOD, I would say I go to about LOD400 with our projects, however it will be up to manufacturer to provide the final accurate data (LOD500).
To this end the ArchiCAD library and toolset ussually gets me there, outside some very specific things (elevators, for example).
I also really like the suggestion from Seneca that you are using the tools because they are there and pushing detailed information in your model (which might also not be up to exact manufacturer specs) and spending time on getting it to look right, while a simple texture and vectorial fill will along with proper BIM tags will do the job with less effort.