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The all new power packed ArchiCAD 11.

ArchiCAD, although the software was not new to me. but when I started looking for
an alternative to popular drafting software being used in most of the offices in India.
I came across the new version of it! then ArchiCAD 9.0.

The concept itself was killer, software by Architects, for Architects, sounds
something like fundamental on which Indian democracy is based. Isn’t it!

Parametric software, allows your entire focus on design and takes up all the pains of
co-coordinating between different drawings.

Architects, have always believed in the concept of “visualizing a building as a

whole”, but it was not seen happening during the process of design in their offices,
may be a limitation with available software.

ArchiCAD was here to solve this issue. It’s a BIM, Building Information

The main concern of Graphisoft is to allow Architects’ to “focus on design”, rather

than tweaking around 2D drawings! or fighting day and night with contractors and
engineers for solving the conflicts.

And soon followed version 10 and now version 11.0.

As compared to version 9.0 there has been tremendous development in the

software, majorly its interface, which has become more intuitive. Architects,
although, willing to migrate to this new technology, were not able to devote time for
learn this new software. But I found, many features that I loved in that popular
software, are now also available with ArchiCAD 10. Say for instance “polar tracking”,
which saved lot of my drafting time; with ArchiCAD 10 it came as improved
snapping, “The power of snap”. Tracker and guidelines are some more features
which made drafting experiences easy for Architects.

So if you have not upgraded to ArchiCAD 10 from 9.0, don’t do it. Its time for
jumping to version 11.0 and if you have still not invested in the new power pack
called ArchiCAD, keep waiting till the prices reach the sky. I would like to remind you
about the pricing issue also, price of ArchiCAD in India is almost 30% of its actual
price in the international market. Still thinking? Keep reading this article, you fill find
more reasons for migrating to ArchiCAD.

So what’s new in ArchiCAD 11.00?

To quickly summarize we have a small list of new powerful features:

1. Virtual Trace / Visual Compare
2. Interior elevations
3. Complex geometry
4. Line work and fill consolidation
5. Quality documentation

So how does it help Architects, isn’t that the question in your mind? I will try to
answer it, let’s begin with Virtual Trace!
Virtual Trace (VT)

So like me, you were also trained to place a sheet containing “plan view” below the
Section sheet for the sake of reference? Then VT is for you. May be some of you love
to work with 2D drawings but create model with the reference of the section. VT is
for you too.

Virtual reference is like a drawing placed below transparent sheet, which can be
displaced, rotated etc.etc.

Above all, you also have total control over reference’s colour and intensity your for
better visibility. Further decide what you want to see and what you don’t want to see
as a reference. Isn’t it a game?

“Trace and reference” dialogue box, further makes the process easy. Download the
trial version of ArchiCAD and get started to experience the power.

Further more, you can switch between active and reference drawings with simple
click of a mouse button.

This powerful feature, can be further exploited for creating professional looking
layouts, for example, wouldn’t you like your plan, section and elevation views
properly aligned to each other on your sheet. Use virtual trace and get the
professional looking documents with few clicks only.

Splitter option is like sliding a active tracing sheet for better view of reference sheet
underneath. I am sure most of us would love to only slide the onscreen sheet for
first few minutes. It’s so enjoyable.

So, there is no reason, why should there be any conflict between two drawings!
Unless you were simultaneously watching fashion TV while creating these drawings in

Interior elevations

It’s different from creating sections. Architects and Interior designers would definitely
love this feature as it can be efficiently used for creating unfolded elevation views of
the interior spaces!

ArchiCAD has a dedicated tool that is optimized for creating interior elevations of
interior spaces.

Your interior elevation view line may be rectangular, polygonal or rotated and is
easily editable also.

So next time, you may just want to present an unfolded view of your entire scheme
instead of four or five different elevations.
Complex geometry

If you are version 10 user, you have already enjoyed the feature called slanting
walls, if not, version 11 has more to offer, when it comes to complex wall geometry.
Just imagine, you wanted a complex geometry around a curved path (to put it
simply, compare it to “extrude to path” in AutoCAD). ArchiCAD 11.0 allows that too.
So one more feather in the cap!

Line work and Fill consolidation

Still stuck to that old powerful cad software? Good that you have started calling
those DWGs to ArchiCAD for modeling purpose at least. Are you shocked to see more
than billion lines overlapping each other, or number of dashed and dotted lines
making your life difficult?

Use line work consolidation feature to simplify the process, it takes care of
overlapping objects, split lines and overlapped special line types imported from
software like AutoCAD!

Now fill consolidation, though it is clubbed with line consolidation here, it is a

different command altogether and also pops up a new setting dialogue box. Use it for
fine-tuning fills and hatches for better editing experience.

Quality Documentation

ArchiCAD says “Pen Sets are assigned to the views (as a result model views will be
WYSYWYG (what you see is what you get)”. This simple means that you get to see
the document as it is going to be printed or published and thus allowing easier
editing of the selected pens used in the project.

These were only few of the features that would impress the user. Apart from all
these, there are few improvements like visually better PDFs (without having to install
amyuni PDF writer), AutoCAD 2007 support and last but not the least, drag a model
directly from 3D warehouse of google (plug-in required, available on Graphisoft
website) in ArchiCAD project (restricted to pan view).

With all this, I am sure most of the Architects are thinking of migrating to ArchiCAD.
No doubt, you will need initial training, and that’s also freely available in the form of
interactive videos from Graphisoft website.
Need one more good reason to migrate, here it is. ArchiCAD is made available to
students and teachers at no cost, yes, no cost. So you don’t have to worry about
trained man power.

Very soon I am planning to post some tutorials on this blog, which will definitely help
most of the beginners.

Copyrights: Rajesh Advani.

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