Other New Features
ArchiCAD 11 features a new internal PDF engine,
though Windows users will likely appreciate this updated
capability more than Mac users. Graphisoft informs us that
since ArchiCAD 10 the Mac version has been using the excellent
PDF infrastructure built into the Mac OS X operating system.
However, even on the Mac side users should experience improvements
due to the internal PDF engine within ArchiCAD 11.
What are these improvements?
Better fills, especially
within curved elements, and better font output are all
part of the mix in ArchiCAD 11. Fundamentally the pathway
output is similar to the previous version. There are two
ways to PDF output. Option one is you save contents of
the active window as a PDF file by Save-As > PDF. Option
two is you produce PDF output from the Publisher section
Navigator palette (see images 08-09).
- From the Organizer on the publisher side you can publish
your Layouts layouts to different file document formats.
Note that you can generate mixtures of format types.
- As you can see from this image both Autodesk and
Bentley's file formats are supported, in addition
to Adobe PDF and Apple's QuickTime image system options.
Speaking of file format compatibility, ArchiCAD
11 supports the latest AutoCAD 2007 file format (import/export).
ArchiCAD 11 also can handle XREF's during import and
export, preserving the link and allowing Xref administration
ArchiCAD 11 is naturally up-to-date with IAI
IFC protocol compliance supporting 1.5.1, 2.0, 2x2 and 2x3
ArchiCAD 11 features a very desirable
Google Earth Connection plugin. However, due to Mac API issues
on Google's side, this functionality is not available
for the Mac version of ArchiCAD 11. Too bad because this
feature allows bi-directional download (to ArchiCAD) and
upload (to Google Earth Warehouse) all within the program.
Also, ArchiCAD 11 has been tuned additionally for performance.
New Macs (and Windows PCs) contain more dual-core processors
and while ArchiCAD 11 is not fully multi-threaded, not even
close, some of the newest functions are and include such
things as placing PDF files as drawings, file saving with
compression and of course LightWorks rendering engine items.
Additionally, ArchiCAD 11 offers smaller refinements
that will be appreciated by existing users in particular.
These include new methods to help architects align drawing
elements across multiple layouts and the ability to consolidate
linework and fills. These beneficial features allow architects
to clean up messy DWG drawings, in particular, or independent
Pen Sets can now be saved with and applied
to all project views and given custom names. This will
enable more flexibility and aesthetic control over the presentation
of drawing information whether on screen or on print. ArchiCAD
11 offers quick access to your saved pen sets via multiple
There are minor interface improvements that
will be appreciated by veterans of the program. The section
and elevation tools are now seperated in the toolbox, thus
they can have different default settings. Similarly, section
and elevation views are now divided in the Navigator, to
help the drawing organization of large projects.
Finally, ArchiCAD 11 now features an "automatic"
update option that detects the availability of new program
and library hotfixes.
As far an an update goes ArchiCAD 11 makes
many refined improvements to tools it already had and addresses
weaknesses it never should have introduced in the first place
(eg: canted and complex profile walls—in ArchiCAD 10—limited
to only linear walls). However, this update in ArchiCAD 11
does introduce not one but two killer new features. I tend
to think of these two new killer features in ArchiCAD 11
as equal to Apple's introduction of "Expose" in
Tiger and "Time Machine" in Leopard. In other
words, ArchiCAD 11's new "Virtual Trace" and "Visual
Compare" are BIG new features! Both are designed to
simulate old-world ways of working that make intuitive sense
and are practical. And the tool itself is extremely elegant
at its first pass.
Clearly folks will be excited to know they
can create curved complex profile walls now but the next
best new feature is the new Worksheets and what you can do
with them, especially in use with Visual Compare. Being able
to drop in DWG detail drawings and then modify and coordinate
model data in profile is a huge win for ArchiCAD 11 users.
Lastly, Graphisoft's interactive training materials
are in a league by themselves. And its BEK (BIM Experience
Kit) is wonderful and utilizes a great Frank Lloyd Wright
house. (see images 10 - 11).
- Graphisoft's Interactive Training system embeds
an intelligent QuickTime movie player inside the
ArchiCAD 11 interface so you can watch/learn and
"do" yourself at your own pace.
- The BIM Experience Kit (BEK) focuses interactive
training using Frank
Lloyd Wright's Massaro House,
recently built from original documents transformed
Graphisoft continues to make passionate and
aspirant strides in maintaining its innovative leadership
in BIM (building
information modeling) technologies. Now as a subsidiary of
the German software giant, Nemetschek
AG, the company has
even better resources behind it. Flanked on both sides
are sister CAD/BIM products ALLPLAN 2008 and VectorWorks
2008. And it also takes advantage of sister company, MAXON,
one of the superpowers in the 3D suite world. This is all
good news for ArchiCAD 11 users. In the future we'd
like to see file-compatibility support between ArchiCAD 11
and VectorWorks at the Navigator Publisher level. Why not
encourage those that need to take advantage of advanced
2D capabilities -- that
if they must draft, than draft using sister product VectorWorks
than Autodesk's more expensive, and not nearly as
talented, AutoCAD. In fact, the investigative possibilities
between these two
definitely enticing -- just as enticing as MaxonForm, the
ArchiCAD dovetail with MAXON's advanced modeling technology
in CINEMA 4D (C4D). Additionally on the modeling front it
would be nice to see simpler more interactive modeling and
more capabilities with advanced forms, without utilizing
MaxonForm. Think SketchUp capabilities.
Our recommendation to ArchiCAD 10 users is
easy. This is a must upgrade. ArchiCAD 11's new Virtual
Trace technologies are too killer to ignore. And if you do
complex geometry in your design work than you need the new
modeling support for curved walls. For Mac and Windows users
ArchiCAD 11 is a
force to be reckoned with in the architectural CAD world.
For users wondering about CAD on the Mac platform,
know this: ArchiCAD 11 sets the bar high and at the same
time offers key technologies nobody else has that make the
transition from 2D CAD to the world of 3D BIM easier. --- ANTHONY
| 1 | 2 |
Published: 21 Dec 2007