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Architosh Staff (info@architosh.com)
31 Oct 2002
 

ArchiCAD 8 Seminar - Detailed Impressions

Following up on our previous Post Event Notes article on the ArchiCAD 8 Seminar held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island (the new urban darling of the East coast), we have put our final thoughts, details and observations together in this article.

ArchiCAD 8 - What's So Hot in Version 8

In the latest version there are three major new items that constitute substantial improvements to the previous version. The new Project Navigator is a interface navigation system on the left side of the main window. It provides instant and easy access to all documents and allows you to manage groups of documents, coordinate and create typical submission plans, tenders and construction documents. Additionally, you can use the new Project Navigator to integrate layer combinations, scale and display options.

During the demo the Project Navigator was an impressive piece of technology. When a new section or detail drawing view was created through the virtual building model, that document would automatically appear in the Project Navigator.

The new Detail Tool seemed to earn a large round of applause from current ArchiCAD users at the seminar. Essentially this new tool is a parametric detail marker. When looking at an area of the model in section where you want to detail, for example, you drag a rectangular area to define the detail's view region and that action automatically pops up a new detail window which is fully linked to a parametric and customizable detail marker in the previous view.

The new detail is linked back into the main documents inside of the Project Navigator. During the seminar the presenter showed how easy it was to bring in (import) existing detail or static 2D drawing information, such as a standard manufacturer's DXF detail drawing.

Another major new feature was the new Layout Book. Cool new features were automatic page numbering, self-numbering based on swapping in new sheets or changing sheet orders, as well as multiple master pages and intelligent title block elements. During the event a user asked about scaling large sections in the layout book. In other words, if you had a very large section which wouldn't fit on one sheet, you could easily place it on multiple sheets, use cut lines, and when you do that you scale the box that defines the view area of the drawing. For anyone who has worked with Quark XPress, the process is very familiar in ArchiCAD.

Other Items

The application has increased speed and new OpenGL graphics card hardware accelerated support, enabling realtime 3D navigation in a photo-rendering quality. New Boolean geometry operations further extend the program's capabilities.

One of the program's truly impressive features is the built-in PDF Printer Driver. With this you can instantly produce a PDF document for archiving or distribution purposes without additional specialized software applications. In the demo it was shown how you can also password protect these PDF documents.

Some features demonstrated during the presentation were the new sketch rendering engine, a so-so feature judging by the audience's reaction, and ArchiCAD's impressive team work functionality. In fact, the program now allows for teamwork users to sign into the virtual building model file under a range of user types:

  • Team Member - workspace access rights
  • Team Leader - More access rights
  • Team Markup User - For marking up rights only
  • View Only Member - For viewing rights only
  • Administrator - For full control over other team users and their permissions

While these are some of our notes, there are many more other details about ArchiCAD 8. Our final impressions, as an observer, was that this product was a solid update.

For more information, please visit: http://www.graphisoft.com


 

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