• Graphisoft BIMx for ARCHICAD

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    Alongside ARCHICAD 24 Graphisoft has recently released an updated version of the BIMx app and in addition to the webviewer has also been improved.

    As before this latest version comes in a FREE or a PRO version, the latter being on a subscription model with monthly or yearly payment options.

    If you previously paid for BIMx Pro (which was a one off payment), you qualify for a 1 year free subscription.

    The big changes are that the FREE version can now also display Hyper-models, i.e. a model with ‘hyperlinked’ drawing set.

    The major differences between the two versions are that only BIMx PRO allows for the following:

    • unlimited 3D model size
    • Presentation mode
    • API access – Integration with any external web service or app directly from the Hyper-model
    • AirPrint support
    • bookmark favourite Views

    It is unclear what will happen to the currently still available and free BIMx Lab version, which has a very similar feature set.

    And in case you are wondering how much BIMx will set you back, here is a Screenshot from the AU App Store…

  • ARCHICAD GDL Object Sites

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    AppleCore Designs

    Custom GDL Objects


    German provider of various localised Objects.

    CAD Swift

    Highly parametric ARCHICAD Objects

    4D Library

    Beyond the Box.

    Francois Favier

    French Collection of various library parts.


    Development, implementation and support of libraries

    Master Script

    Ready made objects, inspired by the everyday practice of an architectural office.

    German site to document and participate in GDL Object development.

    Smart GDL

    Plants and Road Objects.


    If you know of any other website(s) or wish to be included, please contact us.

  • ARCHICAD 24 replacement icon(s)

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    What a change for 2020… Graphisoft has rebranded!

    So without any further ado here are our alternative / replacement icons for ARCHICAD 24.

    To ease the transition to the new identity for die hard / nostalgic ARCHICAD users, we have also included a LEGACY version…

    As usual all icons are available in full Retina Display glory…

    Click here to download.

    To install, simply replace the original ARCHICAD logo in:


    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • ARCHICAD Terminology

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    Vectorworks ARCHICAD Notes
    Classes Layers In AC Layers can also be controlled via Layer Combinations
    Design Layers Stories Scale in AC is controlled via Views. Note that some Elements are scale- sensitive, i.e. they may change their LOD according to the selected Scale.
    Viewports / Saved Views Views / View Map
    Sheet Layers Layout Output Resolution in AC is controlled in the Publisher
    Graphic Attribute Overrides Model View & Pen Sets & Graphic Override Styles in AC Graphic Attributes are controlled on an Element / Type Level, i.e. they can not be changed via the Class as in VW
    Object Info Info Box
    Organiser Navigator
    Resource Browser Object Library
    Symbols Objects
    Workgroup Referencing / Project Sharing Hotlink Manager & Drawing Manager AC allows multiple Users to work concurrently in one file via Teamwork
    Workspace Work Environment
    Batch Export Publisher
    VectorScript GDL


    ARCHICAD file types.

    Please note ARCHICAD files come in the following formats:

    PLN = standard ARCHICAD file format (extension) containing a single standalone ARCHICAD Project

    PLA = ARCHICAD Archive, used to archive old projects and potentially contains all linked objects and textures (similar to an Indesign package)

    BPN = a backup file which gets automatically created once you save your ARCHICAD file

    MOD = an ARCHICAD module file omits unused attributes from the file.

    TEAMWORK = these files can only be accessed by connecting to a Graphisoft BIM Server

    LCF = Library Container File

  • Exporting IFC from ARCHICAD

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    Exporting IFC files from ARCHICAD can be a lengthy process, which often fails after an extended period. To minimise your risk of wasting your time, consider these tips:

      • Check your ARCHICAD model for 3d errors / invalid polygons.
        More details how to best do this are available here.
      • Create a specific IFC EXPORT view and associated LAYER COMBO, optimised to only show relevant and ideally low polygon count elements;
      • Create a publisher set for repeat export;
      • Verify the exported IFC model with a free IFC viewer (e.g. Solibri Anywhere)
      • Before you distribute the IFC file to third parties, compress the IFC file via the free Solibri IFC Optimiser.

    Also consider subscribing to our comprehensive File Exchange Field Guide, which includes details on importing IFC files into ARCHICAD as well as the specific tips and tricks for exchange of other file formats (e.g. DWG, 3ds, SketchUP and Revit).

    Or if you’re after the basics, refer to Graphisoft’s reference guide here.


  • PDF markups for Architects

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    One of the tasks in Architecture which still requires printing and scanning, is the markup of drawings and renderings.
    Mostly markups are created by experienced staff to instruct and communicate with their teams and collaborators, thus clarity and time are both critical factors.

    We find that either of the below soft- & hardware combos, go a long way in streamlining this process…

    OPTION A – expand your existing setup with a Tablet

    1 x Apple iMac or MacBook Pro, ideally with a 27 inch screen or display connected
    1 x Wacom Intuos Tablet available in various sizes, we think small is big enough

    OPTION B – use an iPadPro 12.9 inch

    1 x Apple iPad Pro 12.9 4th gen 256GB WiFi only
    1 x Apple Pencil 2nd gen
    1 x PaperLike iPad screen protector

    Regarding software, there is the obvious choice of Adobe Acrobat, however if you are not yet invested into the Adobe universe there are also other options available.

    PDF Expert (iOS and macOS) > easy to use markup tools, including arrows that are easily adjusted plus custom stamps;

    morpholio trace (iOS only) > the sketch design app geared specifically for architects: grid, stencils, hatches and more;

    For ideas which other apps and accessories to use on iOS, have a look at our iPad in Architecture post.

  • iPad for Architects

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    Almost 10 years have passed since our first iPad in Architecture review – fast forward to 2020 and the new iPad Pro 4th generation has arrived.

    So here is our latest setup:

    1 x Apple iPad Pro 12.9 4th gen 256GB WiFi only
    1 x Apple Pencil 2nd gen
    1 x PaperLike iPad screen protector
    1 x Anker 5-in-1 USB C Adapter with 4K USB C to HDMI
    1 x iClever BK06 foldable bluetooth keyboard
    1 x Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse
    1 x AmazonBasics Multi-angle stand for Tablets

    In a nutshell the above setup essentially, sets us free of having to log a laptop around. Please note this assumes, that you have at least a 27inch iMac as your base CAD or BIM station at your disposal. Interestingly, a MacBook Pro (with 32GB RAM) plus 27inch 4k monitor is about the same price as a 27inch iMac plus the above iPad Pro.

    There is also the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad which looks good (and is very expensive!), but we do not think adds any value to our setup. Especially, as our main goal is to travel as lightly and be as flexible as possible.

    Regarding the iPad’s performance there are plenty of in-depth reviews available, which in detail outline the capabilities of this latest iPad generation. Apart from almost reaching MacBook Pro level processing prowess, the main drawing card for us was the new LIDAR sensor that is part of the camera setup. Although there are no apps available that make use of it just yet, this new sensor promises improved AR based architectural workflows – such as iPad based measure-ups of existing buildings / rooms as well as obstruction detection for 3d model overlays into real environments.

    Once these AR apps become available, we will post some more reviews.

    Another interesting development is that Apple has introduced support for bluetooth Mice with iOS 13, which makes navigating around so much easier.

    So to get you started, below is our take on some of our favourite apps for Architects in no particular order…

    linea sketch (syncs with macOS viewer app) > brilliantly simple drafting tools to create diagrams that pop;

    tayasui sketches (syncs with macOS app) > upgrade to pro for additional rulers and a symmetry tool;

    morpholio trace > the sketch design app geared specifically for architects: grid, stencils, hatches and more;

    Archipad > our go to for any onsite defects, simplifying the process drawmatically. It is as easy as uploading your drawings, going to site and marking defects (observations) in plan, taking a photo and making annotations (the app remembers previously used abbreviations) which you can then create a report from on your way home. Done. Archipad also allows for sharing of projects across ArchiPad accounts, which can come in handy if you have more than one iPad in your office.

    Sun Seeker > provides detailed feedback to understand solar access on site;

    PDF Expert (iOS and macOS) > easy to use markup tools, including arrows that are easily adjusted plus custom stamps… Adobe Acrobat begone;

    luna display > unless you dare upgrade to macOS 10.15 for Apple’s sidecar, use the luna display dongle to use your iPad with most old Macs with Thunderbolt 2 as external display;

    Omni Graffle (iOS and macOS) > the one and only app for any diagram and flowchart;

    Soulver (iOS and macOS) > a calculator app that works the way you think about numbers;

    BIMx lab > Graphisoft’s BIMx model viewer available for free, to show or share your 3d ARCHICAD model and Layouts with anyone – perfect for client presentations or site visits. If you have BIMCLOUD licenses there is even a feedback loop for markups;

    ARki > an augmented reality app / service that allows you to show your 3d models in AR… early days still, but very promising;

    Apple Files app > comes with iOS and let’s you connect to any SMB sharepoint – no AFP support!

    Zoom (iOS and macOS) > still the best features for architectural presentations and comms – for additional thoughts on Zoom also see here.

    Pixelmator (iOS and macOS) > another strong Adobe Photoshop competitor at a fraction of the cost – basic but effective;

    Shapr3d > essentially this is SketchUP for iOS;

    GoodNotes > fully featured note taking app;

    Nebo > looking for a notes app with handwriting recognition? BINGO.

    Agenda (iOS and macOS) > simple and elegant date focused note taking;

    Microsoft OneNote > if you are already tied into the Microsoft Universe, e.g. via an MS Office 365 subscription, One Note is a surprisingly feature rich note taking app.

    We are sure there are many more apps suited to architect, thus our quest to find the best possible setup for Architects is a never ending journey… stay tuned.

  • mACT ARCHICAD Work Environment

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    As part of the annual development of mACT our ARCHICAD Template, we also produce a continuously refined Work Environment.

    It has been optimised for 27 inch displays or larger and includes the following refinements:

    1. Workflow based layout > from left to right, putting the focus on Favourites for efficient modelling;
    2. Quick menus > providing a logical structure to the most important commands;
    3. Drawing essentials > quick feedback on coordinates and drawing method controls;
    4. Logical shortcuts > providing a logical syntax of key combinations;
    5. Performance based Work Environment settings > all performance relevant settings are optimised;

    Only use for the specified ARCHICAD version.

    Included with mACT or available separately for

    only $0.00


  • ARCHICAD 23 replacement icon(s)

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    Another year for new versions of our alternative / replacement icons for ARCHICAD 23

    All icons are available in full Retina Display glory…


    Click here to download.


    To install, simply replace the original ARCHICAD logo in:


    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • AC22 replacement icon(s)

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    As every year new here are our alternative / replacement icons for ARCHICAD 22

    All icons are available in full Retina Display glory…

    Click here to download.


    To install replace the original AC logo in:

    /Applications/Graphisoft/ArchiCAD 22/

    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.