• Autodesk iPhone apps

    following up on our previous post regarding AutoCAD’s return to the mac, here some more news from the autodesk imperium.

    they have now also released the following 2 universal (i.e. for iphones & ipads) iOS apps…

    AutoCAD WS essentially being a DWG viewer for mobile devices, which relies on uploading your files to an online collaboration platform named autocad ws and being online in order to view any files.

    Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer, enabling on the road access to assembly instructions created in AutoDesk Inventor.

  • compress PDFs

    problem: how do you significantly compress large PDFs without adobe acrobat?

    solution: use one of the following free scripts…

    compress PDF workflow for 10.5
    compress PDF workflow 6.0 for 10.6
    the above provide the same functionality on 10.5 & 10.6 respectively as was present on 10.4 with ‘compress pdf’ in the ‘save as pdf’ section of the print dialogue. it is an automator workflow which gets installed in the following location:
    ‘/Library/PDF Services/Compress PDF.workflow’
    the compression factor can be easily tweaked by opening the workflow in automator.

    shrinkit by panic (check out their fantastic website)
    this will be most effective on vectorised information, e.g. illustrator files.

  • ArchiCAD 14

    news from graphisoft

    ArchiCAD 14 will be available for purchase as of 1st June. Physical shipment of your product will start early July

    as far as we can tell this version is very much focused on ensuring ‘information exchange’ with autodesk products (namely revit) via IFC 2×3 files. it seems that graphisoft is also providing the required ‘add-ins’ for this ‘workflow’ to work.

    the possibility of displaying & tracking changed consultant information in 3d directly in archicad 14 is indeed a very interesting feature, as is the ‘detect collisions’ feature – although this is mentioned only very briefly.

    also check out the discussion on this latest release of archicad over at the archicad-talk forums.

  • ArchiCAD Rental

    graphisoft announces new time based licensing option for ArchiCAD 13, available for 1, 3, 6 or 12 month periods.

    since ArchiCAD 14 is coming up later this year, the following seems remarkable:

    During the rental period, customers can upgrade their licenses to the latest ArchiCAD version and get technical support.

    unfortunately no pricing details are available yet.

  • AC13 & QTVR

    graphisoft on QTVR…

    Since the future of QTVR technology is unclear, Graphisoft decided to discontinue QTVR Support in ArchiCAD 13. This has given us the opportunity to optimize the memory usage of the 32-bit version of ArchiCAD, enabling users to work with larger models.

    … and not surprisingly…

    For creating navigable 3D Models for presentations, we recommend the far superior Virtual Building Explorer, available for Windows and Mac.

    apparently, the legacy QTVR add-on (32bit only) is still working and is available for download here – note: currently AC13 for mac’s is only available as 32bit version.

    alternatively, if you own cinema4d, you may use it in combination with ‘quicktime PRO’ to produce QTVRs. also for the time being previously created QTVR’s, can be viewed via ‘quicktime 7’, which is a custom install on snow leopard (10.6).

    we understand that apple has not officially dropped support for QTVR with the introduction of ‘quicktime X’, at least not yet. as quicktime has been around since 1991 it is currently undergoing a massive upgrade (detailed information here), it is yet to be seen what the future has in store for QTVRs.

  • AC13 licensing changes

    with archicad 13 graphisoft also introduces a new licensing system called ‘codemeter’ (by wibu, the same company which provided the previous WIBU-key licensing agent) for all new users of AC13 – existing users upgrading to AC13 remain on the existing system, although they may upgrade to ‘codemeter’ for a fee.

    the major benefit as far as we can tell without having been able to test it ourselves yet, is that ‘codemeter’ allows for licenses to be borrowed for offsite usage. previously, you had to either take a physical dongle containing a separate license with you or have had a constant VPN connection to your license server.

    license borrowing is a feature we have been posting (here) about before and which is available for most autodesk software (e.g. REVIT) since at least 2004, more here.

    more detailed information on compatibility, the actual process and quite some caveats are available here. paticularly, we are intrigued by the following…

    If your offices uses a CodeMeter NET license, you can purchase “borrowable” licenses to be able to use CodeMeter’s License Borrowing feature.

    If you are an upgrader, but want to use CodeMeter anyway:
    You can exchange your WIBU key for a CodeMeter key, for a fee. Consult your distributor.

    apparently, the borrowing feature itself and more information on pricing will become available later in the year.

  • archicad 13 (intro)

    Not really breaking news, but since Graphisoft Australia have after approximately 2 weeks finally managed to update their website to reflect the launch of ArchiCAD 13 we thought we jump on the review train and provide some insights ourselves.

    We were not a part of this years Beta testing program, so we are keenly awaiting its local release at which time we will be able to give some further insights – until then we will briefly touch on a few of the key topics, also in posts to come.

    Let’s start with a quote by our very own Owen on TW2, featuring first on before being removed then coming back and now it has spread to…

    “I think this [64-bit] + TW2 would make AC13 a fantastic upgrade, regardless of any other new features.” – ArchiCAD-Talk user ‘Owen’

    Surprisingly, this has been used without authorisation – at least with AC12 Graphisoft asked permission to use a comment from the forums regarding multicore support in their marketing material, even if it was then attributed to our then employer.

    Regardless, the original can be seen in it’s context here:

    What are the new tools for ARCHICAD 13?

    Since we treasure our independence and this quote seems potent enough for Graphisoft’s marketing drive we it is necessary to clarify a few things:

    • The above quote is taken a little out of context – basically they ignored the fact it was an OSX user making this comment, which is why being asked to be quoted for marketing purposes would have been appreciated.
    • At the time of the post, i.e. before AC13 was even officially announced, Owen (among many) speculated about 64-bit support on OSX (we only use mac’s as do many of our clients and that’s for a reason… ;0). It now turns out 64bit ArchiCAD is only available on PC’s and unlikely to see the light of day on OS X anytime soon.

    As usual some heated discussions ensued on ArchiCAD-Talk – please excuse some comments made by several people, including ourselves. Nonetheless some important issues have been raised, here is our selection of the most interesting threads, which we will comment on shortly:

    • Regarding the Graphisoft subscription programme (Gold Select Membership here in Australia) – ArchiCAD-Talk discussion
    • On why there is no 64-bit version of AC13 for OSX – ArchiCAD-Talk discussions here & here
    • And on the biggest thing to hit ArchiCAD since Teamwork … Teamwork 2 – an Architosh Indepth and various ArchiCAD-Talk discussions hereherehere

    Please note the last two items above are not the only new features of ArchiCAD 13, however they are the most significant both in terms of functionality they introduce and in what they mean to the longer term development of ArchiCAD.

    We will deal with these and the other new features of ArchiCAD 13 in a series of posts over the coming days – so be sure to watch this space.

  • vectorworks 2010 features

    just a couple of days after AC13 was released nemetschek also released VW2010, here a list of some rather interesting features…

    • associativity (movie here), parametric constrained elements, i.e. they keep their designated relationships. driven by what is being referred to as a dimensional constraint manager, VW2010 also offers interactive dimensions enabling the resizing of elements via their associated dimension line.

    • notes manager (movie here), the way notes are being handled, although basic, is more than you can do with e.g. AC without cadimage’s add-ons;

    • unified 3d view (movie here), replacing the previous ‘stacked layers’ function this now introduces more control over what is being displayed and the level of interaction that is possible. overall this should facilitate access to the 3d model;

    • planar graphics (example here), enabling 2d elements to be seen alongside the 3d model;

    btw. VW2010 supports snow leopard / OS10.6 and its minimum hardware requirement is ‘intel core 2GHZ’, i.e. it will not run on PPC’s (more here).

  • excel as design tool

    it seems impossible but some people manage to use excel (yes the spreadsheet app!) to design their house. apparently they also managed to get a building permit with their excel (!) drawings… more here.