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You can save as IFC from a 3D window and the program accurately interprets rotated profile elements like rotated columns and door frames. And a big important feature is the ability to save your configured IFC exchange settings as a “translator” or utilize “out-of-the-box” translators specifically configured for particular applications like Tekla Structures. (see image 10 below)
ArchiCAD 14 users have a range of IFC “Translators” to choose from, reflecting ArchiCAD’s global popularity as an architectural BIM program.
Graphisoft also told us that ArchiCAD 14 will ship in various localities with a different set of IFC translators. For example the Dutch version of ArchiCAD 14 will include an IFC Translator for Nemetschek Scia and the German market will have a translator for Nemetschek Allplan applications (eg: Allplan 2009 Engineering). ArchiCAD 14 is working with IFC 2×3 translators but if you need to work with IFC 2×2 there is a free add-on to install.
ArchiCAD 14 also features several productivity improvements. At the forefront of these are improved OpenGL rendering in views, including shadow casting. Live views of the BIM model become both better working views and a nicer looking visual for communicating with clients.
Version 14 also includes much enhanced options for door and window model-based sections and details, giving the architect even more control over the customization of how doors and windows sit into a wall. The ability to work with ArchiCAD schedules in Excel has been added via a new export option that sends the graphical information to Excel also. And dimensions have new text prefix and suffix options.
Graphisoft extended sources for site modeling in ArchiCAD 14 via new capabilities to import native XYZ files from digital theodolites. Tibor Szolnoki told Architosh that in many countries architects have been requesting this feature. XYZ coordinates automatically convert into an ArchiCAD Mesh element
Improvements to Teamwork 2 and Graphisoft BIM Server
Beyond the “open collaboration” features introduced in version 14, Graphisoft also continued to improve upon the technologies it introduced just nine months ago in version 13. ArchiCAD 14 brings 64-bit computing with Graphisoft BIM Server on the Mac OS X platform. This bring technical computing parity between Mac and Windows. Related to this are further performance optimizations across both platforms with faster IFC import/exports, interactive schedule updates and library handling.
The new Teamwork “Pack & Go” feature makes an easy option for a user to essentially pack up their work and all necessary project BIM data and take it with them on a USB stick drive. They can work remotely without an Internet connect, for example, and then bring their work back into the office on Monday and update their data seamlessly with the BIM Server. This is essentially a transportability option for those who cannot reach the Internet and thus cannot access the BIM Server.
The new Teamwork “Solo” mode helps sole practitioners take advantage of the powerful benefits of the BIM Server infrastructure without dealing with the complexity of a multi-user team structure. It is also ideal for early phase project start-up users who want to work solely on a project and build-out the team later. Both of these additions were discussion points we had during our meeting and introduction to ArchiCAD 13 nine months ago. Their addition now greatly rounds out and completes Graphisoft’s “teamwork” capabilities which simply are unmatched at this time in the BIM industry.
Finally, Graphisoft has created a BIM Server Performance Monitor function that enables managers to review CPU, memory, data transfers, and server actions. This new tool is aimed at helping users evaluate hardware and software deployment usage and team performance.
Graphisoft’s pace of innovation is quite remarkable. In just two releases within two years the company has leaped ahead of the industry in the areas of internal teamwork and collaboration–that is the architect’s task of building out her team both within and without the office. ArchiCAD allows multi-office, remote location firms to easily work together due to its unique BIM Server technology, which is patent pending. In this release they have focused on the “extended design team” looking beyond the architect to her engineering consultants. The complete IFC model work flows are a great move forward in true BIM collaboration. They have laid an excellent foundation for the future of the program.