It has only been about
nine months since we last reviewed ArchiCAD at version 10
and we were excited to review the latest version given some
of its new features. While version 11 has plenty of new capabilities,
arguably its strongest new features have more to do with
2D technology and 2D-based practice methods than they do
with BIM technology.
in ArchiCAD 11, Graphisoft
aiming to bolster BIM utilization by helping firms make
a smooth transition from the 2D world to the 3D world of
BIM (building information
To achieve this ArchiCAD 11 has introduced
three major new features specifically aimed at
this goal. The first of these, and probably the coolest new
in this update, is something called Virtual Trace technology.
Virtual Trace mimics the process of using trace paper or
overlays to help coordinate
drawings to the 3D model and vice versa.
Related to this is the new Visual Compare feature,
which is aimed more at helping to coordinate unlinked 2D
drawings with the 3D model. Thirdly, ArchiCAD 11 has introduced
a new tool and view type called the Worksheet, ideal for
external drawings (eg: DWG files) into the project.
Once brought into the project one can use them with the new
Visual Compare feature to help coordinate the documents.
These three new features by themselves add
substantial new capabilities with ArchiCAD 11 and we will
be spending a good amount of time in this review on them.
Other Key New Features
Responding to feedback from ArchiCAD 10 regarding
its new wall profile capabilities, in version 11 Graphisoft
added the ability to produce complex geometry profiles in
"curved" walls -- something
that gets the program closer to advanced modeling capabilities.
Another significant new feature is the Interior Elevation
tool. This tool creates "un-folded" live interior
model views from even complex shaped rooms.
Other key new features target quality control
of construction documents. A new feature enables the user
to refer to any view from anywhere else in the file. A placed
marker can be linked to any other view, such as section views
can be referred to other sections. So let's get started
and jump into the big new features. Like
in this one we have even more QuickTime movies
demonstrating a specific operation. View these fast-loading
movies to see ArchiCAD 11 in action.
New Virtual Trace Technology
At the heart of new Virtual Trace technology
is a brand new palette called Trace & Reference. One
can use either a Viewpoint from the Navigator's
Project Map or a View from the Navigator's View Map to set
as their reference. You can also use Layouts and their drawings
as reference sources. (see QuickTime
QT-1 - QT-2).
: QT-1 - From the BEK, this movie file shows the
plan as a reference above an elevation viewpoint.
: QT-2 - Also from the BEK, this movie shows an edit
in the plan elevation viewpoint and how to update
the reference from the Trace & Reference palette.
particular note will be the desire to use the new Worksheets
as a reference, particularly with external data. A very common
use case would be the external referencing (Xref) of structural
engineers' DWG drawings on an independent worksheet.
small test file we created an involved curved wall with
a complex profile (more
on its creation later on). After extracting its profile (see images 01 - 02) we
were able to export it out of ArchiCAD 11 easily. One
the extracted profile to an engineer, cabinet maker or
fabrication house for further design and engineering.
In this case it was exported out as a DWG file, but one
easily choose from many other file formats, including PDF
- We created a conical curved wall, extracted its
profile, then edited its profile into a complex shape
for extraction onto a new Worksheet.
- In this view our complex profile has been created.
We then went to Capture Profile of Selection. This
profile was placed on a new Worksheet and exported
out in DWG format for further engineering/design.
See QT-03 next page.
Now imagine on the return, after further
advancement, we have an engineered complex wall file. But
it has changed in height. Our goal is to use this file to
coordinate and alter the model to reflect the engineered
design. With ArchiCAD 11 one would use the external reference
by creating a new Worksheet. (see QuickTime
Once we have the new Worksheet (with the final designed wall)
inside ArchiCAD 11 we then use the new Virtual Trace
and Visual Compare tools to help us coordinate the external
designed element with the ArchiCAD 11 model.
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