This past Thursday, Graphisoft unveiled its big annual updates and celebrated its 40th year anniversary with a large event in Budapest, Hungary. Architosh was there as part of the AEC industry press. We already covered what is new in Archicad 26, so let’s now look at updates to BIMx, BIMcloud, and DDScad.
We will start with BIMcloud, which is a technology that greatly aided architects worldwide during the shift to remote work (see: Architosh, “The Roberts Interview—Ahead of the Graphisoft 2022 Release Event,” 11 July 2022). Already an industry leader in technical prowess, Graphisoft’s Delta Server technology behind BIMcloud became a much more useful need for legions of Archicad users during the global pandemic. While large multi-office practices were already utilizing this solution in most cases, small and midsize firms quickly made the jump to the SaaS-based BIMcloud offering in order to enable mandated remote workforces.
BIMcloud SaaS does not require any IT experience to set up. Architects can begin sharing their projects in the cloud so teams can work from anywhere they have a solid Internet connection. Newly announced, BIMcloud now supports 100k+ file storage capacity. There are also new enhancements to privacy protection with improvements to the system to provide greater project security. Lastly, the server storage space can be optimized by customizing how long earlier versions of files remain in BIMcloud.
The latest version of Archicad 26 boasts important new updates to the award-winning BIMx application. BIMx largely has no peer in the industry, and the new updates extend the power and functionality of BIMx with key improvements.
There are now real-time shadows on BIMx Mobile, which increases realism even further. Other improvements include a simplified Publisher workflow and new customization features in Archicad’s texture export in BIMx Desktop Viewer.
Earlier in 2022, Graphisoft and Data Design System of Norway (now Graphisoft Building Systems) merged companies to add Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) capabilities to the Graphisoft ecosystem. We have already heard from Graphisoft CEO Huw Roberts, AIA, that this merger doesn’t mean the company has lost faith in Open BIM and technologies like IFC but rather that both have roles in the AEC delivery process.
With DDScad, engineers can collaborate seamlessly with their BIM project stakeholders. With intelligent MEP design tools, engineers can deliver building systems that perform at peak building performance levels. While updates to the main DDScad application are due later this year, Graphisoft Building Systems did deliver DDScad Viewer, a powerful IFC viewer that can process data and models in multiple formats. It is also free of charge.
The DDScad Viewer is an advanced IFC viewer application for the Windows platform and provides features to help BIM professionals coordinate Open BIM models with advanced clash detection analysis, powerful IFC data visualization, and bi-directional interfacing with BCF servers. It also features:
- An Archicad-like user interface providing excellent usability
- Processes IFC, BCF, gbXML and other file formats
- Clash detection analysis is available when using multiple IFC files
- Supports BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) for easy and precise issue management
- Number of displayed IFC models not limited — visualize the entire project
DDScad Viewer is free. It supports IFC, DWG, gbXML, and Autodesk 3ds Max file formats. Users can explore this tool by downloading it here. In the future, this viewer will likely support macOS users, but we have no timetable on when that may happen at this moment.
At the press event on launch day, the Graphisoft team answered numerous questions from the press in attendance, including this author. One thing we have learned is how Graphisoft will possibly merge the software technologies of Data Design System (DDS) with Archicad technology. For example, we learned that DDScad has superior IFC technology to Archicad and that this technology will find its way in future Archicad releases. There is a lot more to unpack, so we are working on a big feature that will delve into Graphisoft’s detailed future roadmap to 2025.
DDScad and Archicad will merge technologies and code bases. We suspect that DDScad’s engineering code base will ultimately end up inside Archicad’s BIM authoring platform code base, yet DDScad’s IFC technologies will replace those inside Archicad today. Archicad’s MEP Modeler tools at the core modeling technology level may merge with those from DDScad. Are we sure how? No. We do know that MEP Modeler features will remain in Archicad for architects to use to model ductwork into their designs as they do now. There are segments of users for which this ability is very important to them.
Again, we have lots to unpack from our press day at Graphisoft headquarters in Budapest, so stay tuned for what will be very interesting information on Graphisoft’s products and technology roadmap info taking the company to the mid-point of this decade.