Architosh is getting set to update its Ultimate iPad Guide: Apps for Architects special feature article series. The 14 page feature series list over 175 apps for architects on iPad. We we review our research and look out on what is new we see new additions, updates and even items that we somehow missed that need to be in the important series–the most extensive guide published anywhere worldwide.
IFC Output Direct from iPad
IFC is hardly a popular BIM/CAD file format deployed across the iOS app space. (see, Architosh, “BIM/CAD Formats per App: An iPad Guide,” 10 April 2013). Despite it being an industry standard widely supported on the desktop not many iOS apps are yet doing anything with it in a major way.
We have been following Hungarian-based OrthoGraph this past year and the company’s latest version of their namesake iOS app, OrthoGraph Architect 7 supports both IFC and DXF output natively, directly from the iPad. What OrthoGraph Architect does is provide professional grade onsite floor plan measurement and creation. But it goes beyond this by making those walls also intelligent BIM objects with various levels of data inserted into them.
This data includes height, length, openings, materials and more. OrthoGraph Architect was the first app to support Leica’s superb laser distance meter, the Disto D510/E7500i, which can be connected directly to the iPad via Bluetooth. Other Leica devices can be connected as well with third party hardware.
OrthoGraph Architect 7 enables you to sketch out a room wall by wall and as you complete the dimensioning process the program figures out the rest. The app will automatically move walls and corners to close the dimensions, keeping critical angles as long as possible, closing polygons and snapping elements together. The user can save the room data to several output options including JPG/PNG, PDF room book and for professionals: IFC and DXF formats. It can also save to native ArchiCAD and SketchUp formats with additional desktop modules.
The native OrthoGraph file format is compatible with the SketchUp Converter app on the desktop (Windows only) and the ArchiCAD Import Module (Mac and Windows) on the desktop. In truth, the app doesn’t save into IFC directly from the iPad as much as it moves it to that format through its own desktop converter (which is free).