07
May
08

Building Information Modeling or Virtual Building with ArchiCAD 11

ArchiCAD production

In AECbytes, Eric Bobrow presents a lavishly illustrated article that almost amounts to a tutorial on ArchiCAD 11, describing it in such glowing terms as “amazingly versatile,” “a revolutionary catalyst” and “redefines the state of the art.” This article fits together nicely with Graphisoft’s PDF document outlining the program’s new features, and their three-and-a-half minute movie about the benefits to be expected by each particular member of the team – designer, project architect, draftsman, consultant.

Virtual Building™ is Graphisoft’s trademarked phrase for building information modeling, of which the company is a pioneer. What it does, of course, is make workflows work together, whether they are two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or hybrid. Users report significant improvement in the areas of drawing generation, design, and collaboration. Here is Bobrow’s breakdown of a few of the ways in which Virtual Trace makes the professional’s life a better place:

· Overlaying one story against another to verify structural relationships, or to snap and align new elements in relation to those on the traced story.

· Showing the site plan or a lower story as a light image underneath another floor plan-this can be printed for study or presentation.

· Seeing a plan overlaid with another view of the same story which has different layers turned on (such as cabinets, structure or landscaping).

· Developing a site plan in a 2D Worksheet while coordinating with the building model.

· Viewing and aligning elements to an elevation or section while working on the floor plan.

ArchiCAD 11’s Virtual Trace feature is greatly enhanced over the previous similar tool, Ghost Story. With humble beginnings in our ancestral memory of tracing paper, Virtual Trace provides overlay views of things which elsewhere have to be viewed in two separate windows, and simplifies the alignment of drawings on one sheet to their counterparts on another sheet. It has a thing called Visual Compare which dynamically analyzes the differences and relationships between two drawings. Its Splitter slides across the screen to allow minutely detailed comparisons and spot things that might otherwise be missed.

This brand of software is mentioned in the section on BIM and BIM-complementary applications in Architectural Graphic Standards, 11th Edition. The book says:

ArchiCAD is based on the single-model concept. The Constructor application includes the ArchiCAD modeling system for automatically linking the construction model to the project schedule, thus enabling different schedule alternatives to be analyzed, and a connector to a related estimating application.

Fans of ArchiCAD 11 praise its high degree of compatibility with outside file types, its ability to import information directly from Google Earth, the new Interior Elevations tool, and the new tool and view type known as Worksheet. Also much appreciated are its support of AutoCAD 2007 and Macintosh. The improved quality control for construction documents is often mentioned. One reviewer is very excited about the new way to classify components within a model, Home Story. Another is crazy about the capacity to produce a freehand design with the Sketch rendering engine, or an animated walkthrough with the Lightworks engine.

Improved design workflow, more productivity, and better-coordinated and more detailed documentation of complex projects – what’s not to like?

SOURCE: “ArchiCAD Virtual Trace: A Versatile Catalyst for BIM” 03/20/08
photo courtesy of rucativava , used under this Creative Commons license

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1 Response to “Building Information Modeling or Virtual Building with ArchiCAD 11”



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