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Archicad in the blogosphere

global links

There’s an ever-expanding community of Archicad users, resellers and bloggers that together are helping the BIM flame grow, so Graphisoft has dedicated a page to these enthusiasts, educators and industry experts, called “ArchiCAD in the Blogosphere”.

It’s quickly becoming a main hub that is organically growing, listing all blogs covering topics related to Archicad.
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Archicad + Artlantis make sweet animation love

archicad loves artlantis

Just wanted to share a quick video that’s been circulating the web this week by user TheWitalindoz on Youtube, it’s an amazing construction assembly animation of a building apparently created in Archicad and rendered in Artlantis. ‪

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Water | The 2nd Artlantis Render Contest : Nov 2010

artlantis render contest by ArtlantisMembers.com
image adapted by ArtlantisMembers.com

The time is here again to test your knowledge on an Artlantis Rendering Contest from
Artlantismembers.com. Unlike their previous rendering contest, you must create an original design model and render it all the way! It's not too late to submit an original design, but be quick as the contest ends on Nov 30th!

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Autocad for Mac availlable for download + purchase!

autocad mac box

The time is finally upon us,
Oct 15th 2010 will be remembered as a momentous day for Apple, Autodesk, the Mac community and all CAD users around the world. To all CADmonkeys clinging to your Windows machines, as your only excuse for not switching to the Mac has been “no native Autocad on the Mac”, get ready to gracefully take the plunge and join the Mac CAD force; it’s been a long time since Autocad has been available for the Mac, as the application had turned its back on the Mac in the ‘90s, however two days ago Autocad for Mac became available for trial download, full purchase, as well as completely free for students and educators and is spreading like wildfilre!
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Autocad officially being Macified, but also iPhone + iPad friendly!

autocad on the mac

You may have noticed a couple of weeks ago some news buzzing around. If you can feel a slight chill in the wind don’t be alarmed, it seems only the fiery dungeons of Lucifer have developed some frostiness.

Autodesk has never seemed to be a big fan of the mac platform, though since Apple’s staggering comeback in the recent years, there have been
some echoing whispers in the blogosphere as Mac users have been requesting a native version with ever-growing frequency.

Well those whispers have been officially silenced, as Autodesk have officially sounded the horn that the upcoming 2011 release of it’s star product Autocad
® will be making it’s second debut after nearly two decades on the frikkin Mac, signifying a new level of acceptance and i guess even vindication of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs for his Mac OSX and iOS vision and strategies.

Yauza..., well if you’ve recovered from your hand-to-chest ghasp, get ready for another one. They’ve also announced they will be releasing a version of Autocad for iOS devices like the iPod Touch, iPhone + iPad!!!

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the CADmonkey returns....again!

First of all I suppose apologies are in order all round for my abrupt M.I.A this summer. If you’ve been following me on twitter @acmonkey you’ll probably have noticed that I’ve been slightly busy these past few months : establishing archiCADmonkey as an actual company, moving from the UK to my new home in Greece, planning and arranging wedding plans, as well as starting a new job as an Architectural Assistant, soon to be taking my exams to be a qualified Architect. Tasks that on their own are taxing enough, but together have merged into a singularity that has been sucking in all of my energy and time. So, though I have attempted many times over the past few weeks to get cracking on the new shows, or at least kickstart some blogposts, the exhaustion would catch up and I’d blackout with my hands on the keyboard.

I do hope I have been keeping up with all your questions and fantastic emails you’ve been sending over, the comments and queries on the
Facebook fan page and on the Youtube channel, “you like me, you reaaally like me!” :) ....anyhoo, if I haven’t got back to you yet don’t worry I will eventually. My “action” folder in Mail has been bursting at the seams for a couple of weeks now, so hang tight, I’m on it.

Oh and just a little heads up on the showfront. You may have noticed the
archiCADmonkey iPhone app, well the feedback has been so amazing from all you who downloaded it, saying how great it is to be able to watch the shows on the go (especially on the bus into work or university apparently), that I’m going to start a little treat for everyone who’s downloaded it. Every new show will be released first onto the iPhone app, before it’s released to the rest of the web a few days later! Plus you’ll be able to see all the shows on the iPad as well, as the app works great on there too. (working on a native iPad app soon)

Ok enough jibber jabber, I’m finally starting to get settled and getting on top of work, so I’m hoping to resume my archiCADmonkeying as normal very soon. I’ve got a bunch of cool new stuff to post, some great tips from some of you to share with the rest of the fans, and a lot of awesome new shows in the queue.

Talk to you soon.

Apollo (a.k.a. Sir archiCADmonkey)

Digital fingerpainting art on iPad

ipad painting david kassan

Portrait artist David Kassan has joined an emerging community of iPad artists, showing the world that the iPad can essentially replace the artist’s sketchbook, using the Brushes app to create a painting of a live model of a man. Kassan’s use of the iPad as a canvas was brought to mainstream attention by Stephen Fry on Twitter, and we’re so happy he did.

As you’ll see in the video, he starts out quite roughly but very quickly starts looking like an actual oil painting. Continue Reading... >>

the new archiCADmonkey iPhone app

archicadmonkey iphone app

Continue reading...

Archicad 14 trial on MyArchicad

my arhicad dot com

So Graphisoft has finally released the reins on the new free Archicad 14 trials, ranging from the Professional, Student, Teacher, and School versions. They each give you a 30-day free trial + the ability to download and try out a bunch of great add-ons and partnering software

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Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Half Life 2

falling water and half life 2

“Fallingwater” , a.k.a the Kaufmann residence, designed by Frank Lloyed Wright in 1935 is a very well known house in the architecture community. There have been many who have remade the house in 3D CAD, exploring the intricacies of the house on top of the waterfall, but an architecture student called Kasperg has gone a step further, creating a 3D model of the house, not using traditional CAD but rather the Source Code of the Half Life, the science fiction first-person shooter computer game.

The short film demonstrates the visualisation quality of Half Life, and games engines in general, for standard walkthroughs and even fly-throughs, providing a very good example of alternative uses for game engines.

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How to use Apple's Magic Mouse with CAD!

magic mouse and cad

Back in October 2009, Apple surprised us with a new introduction to the mac peripherals, the Magic Mouse the world’s first multi-touch mouse. In the past Apple hasn’t been very successful with its mice, but many are starting to come around now that the company has seemed to have nailed it.

The drawback has been for us CAD users that there’s one tiny thing missing..... the essential middle scroll wheel...! Without it to pan + zoom, and orbit around a model, it just takes ages to model anything really - thus rendering the device quite useuless for 3D design.

Well despair no longer, there is a way.....

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Viewing PSD files on iPad? Adobe wants your input

Photoshop iPad

Adobe + Apple may not have the greatest relationship of late - due to the neverending “no flash on the iPhone or iPad” grudge - but it seems Adobe is trying to sneak their way in again, as they first did by collaborating with Wired to create a very interactive and immersive version of the magazine for the iPad with InDesign CS5.

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Archicad 14 : focus on exchange + interoperability

archicad 14

So, if you remember last month I mentioned Graphisoft was releasing the new version of Archicad, well a couple of days ago they finally announced the launch of Archicad 14 due to ship next month!

As you may know, Archicad is usually used for architectural modelling, but the newest version is focusing on greater integration and collaboration workflow of the architect and the engineer, aiming to squeeze in to the multi-discipline practices’ workflow.

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BIM on iPad shown off by Bentley systems

bentley ipad

A great find for today, Laura Handler of
bimX has had an interesting encounter at the annual Bentley conference - BE Community Live - with some tablet technology + a bit of augmented reality in the mix.

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archiCADmonkey musings on iPad


Hey everyone, just a quick update. If you’ve been following me on twitter @acmonkey you probably noticed that on Friday (which coincidently was the day of the iPad launch in the UK) I went out for a quick jog, having no intention of going by my nearest Apple store (Manchester Arndale) but somehow ended up there, and I thought I may as well try the iPad out to actually see if it’s any good.

Suffices to say, after a half hour of controlling myself my tech geek side overpowered me and I gave in. Continue Reading... >>

Artlantis Render Contest : June 2010

artlantis render context

Ok so by now after the tutorial shows “
Intro to Artlantis” and “Artlantis 101” you’re probably starting to get the hang of it, experimenting further with shaders and rendering a few scenes.

Now you can test your knowledge on an Artlantis Rendering Contest, created Design8 and Artlantismedia.nl. There is no modelling involved just download a ready-made model and render it to the bone!
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Photoshop 1.0 on iPhone

Yesterday’s post reminded me of something I had seen a couple of months ago. Although Adobe has had their Photoshop for iPhone app out for a while - which is truly awesome - many may have missed back in February when a limited-edition Adobe Photoshop 20th anniversary commemorative iPhone app was released to 50 select attendees of the anniversary event.

The app itself was a replica of Photoshop 1.0, which Adobe debuted in 1990 exclusively on the Macintosh.

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Photoshop - Ke$ha "Tik Tok" Parody

Ok I just saw this a couple of minutes ago and had to share it. For all fellow Photoshop geeks out there, Mr Anthony Dalton honours us with his hilarious parody rendition of
Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”.

Oh come on, you know you love it!

For the lyrics click
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Autocad for mac beta "Sledgehammer" found on video


Autocad finally coming to the Mac!

autocad LOVE mac

It seems the Fates have not forsaken us!

A couple of months ago
I had mentioned that Autodesk had conducted an online survey which suggested the company was evaluating the interest of Mac CAD users, and possibly even alpha testing a Mac version of Autocad! Now it seems the rumours may have actually been true thanks to a sneaky beta tester from Italy....

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Integrated versus discrete graphics, which one?!

nvidia discrete mac graphics

It’s a bit confusing which choice to make if you’re buying a new Mac or PC to get high quality and fast processing graphics needed for 3D design. Do you go with an integrated graphics card - meaning that it’s built directly into the motherboard (or logic-board for macs) circuitry - or with a “discrete” one, which is a separate dedicated
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) usually hooked up directly to the board ?

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SitePAD™ : the first true CAD app for iPhone + iPad

SitePAD - Pokcket Aided Design

In a couple of past articles I’ve talked about the different options offered for CAD on iPhone and iPad, and how nothing has really impressed anyone yet - bringing great frustration to many design professionals. We’ve transitioned from desktop to laptop quite quickly in the past few years, and now we’ve been aching for someone to create a useful app on the go. The existing apps are either too simplistic or just vector-based drawing systems - which give the impression of an architectural drawing - without any practical use other than creating an image of say a floorplan, which later must be traced over - most times inaccurately - in a proper CAD application to become useful.

SitePAD : Pocket Aided Design for iPhone and iPad!

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Archicad 14 is announced and on the way!

archicad 14 logo
imags source : Graphisoft

After only a few months since Archicad 13, which brought astonishing improvements to the BIM universe, Graphisoft has announced the latest version of its award-winning architectural design software, ArchiCAD 14 !

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Shanghai Wold Expo 2010 boasts Archicad designs

shanghai expo 2010

This year’s Shanghai World Expo included more than 190 countries and over 50 international organisations, making it one of China’s largest ever expos. The innovative pavilions are always a major focus boasting many ground-breaking structures, and this year many of which were designed in
Archicad, including the entries of Norway, Hungary, Finland, Iceland and Russia.

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ArtlantisObjects.com : the Artlantis media mecca

So in the previous tutorials (ACM006 + ACM007) I mentioned the Catalog - Artlantis’s great object manger. By now you’ve probably started using Artlantis a bit more and explored using the objects + shaders provided with the package; and though there are plenty to get you by at the early stages, if you want to step it up a notch you’re probably going to want some more!

Well fear not, archiCADmonkey’s got ya covered. I found a fantastic site called
ArtlantisObjects.com, where you can find all sorts of Artlantis news, interviews, some Artlantis tutorials and media all in one place.

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ACM007 - Artlantis 101

artlantis 101

So this is a followup show to
ACM006 - intro to Artlantis, where I explored what Artlantis is and why it’s such a fantastic piece of software - especially for architects. It would probably be best to check out that show for a quick introduction before diving into this one, but still this is just going through the basics. Abvent Artlantis is recognised as the fastest and most powerful solution for photo-realistic rendering and animation developed for architects and designers. This show will bring you up to speed on lots of the functions and capabilities of this great piece of software!

I’m exploring how to download the Artlantis 3 trial from the
Artlantis site as well as MyArchicad.com - where I downloaded the Archicad 13 trial in the Archicad 101 show. If you’re a student or teacher, just like with Archicad you can apply for a free 1-year educational license for Archicad and Artlantis from myarchicad.com.

In addition to the trial, I download the
Archicad to Artlantis exporter - enabling me to save my 3D Archicad model into an Artlantis one, so I can edit and render it. Next I export the 3D building model I created in show ACM005 from Archicad, import it to Artlantis, and give a quick overview of the general interface. I then add some shaders to the model from the Catalog - Artlantis’s great object manager - while replacing some of the Archicad materials with the more sophisticated Artlantis shaders, setting the scene with the heliodon and cloud formations, and then finally rendering a scene for final output.

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Sivak Dmitry's winning free-form building designed in Archicad

sivak dmitriy 02

Back in show
ACM003 I had mentioned ArchitectsJury, a community website where you can upload your work, get feedback, get inspiration and get noticed. Your work can get reviewed by others, you can make contacts with other students and even potential employers, or just get some ideas, plus from time to time there are even some student competitions where prizes are given out.

Segwaying nicely into my subject today, a winning project in the
2009 Fall ArchitectsJury competition - a very dynamic museum of modern art designed in Archicad by Sivak Dmitriy - a student at the Odessa State Academy of Building and Architecture (Ukraine).

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Autodesk's Project Dragonfly graduates to 'Homestyler'

autodesk homestyler

Some might have been aware of an innovative web application Autodesk had been working in its Labs called ‘Project Dragonfly’; the labs experiment with new approaches to CAD design on the ground as well as in the cloud, and Dragonfly was a ‘technology preview’ for quickly designing a floor-plan using only your browser.

Well I’m very excited that Autodesk has taken its training wheels off and renamed it : ‘
Autodesk Homestyler’.

autodesk homestyler

Homestyler is a very simple 3D home + garden design application all of which runs on your browser - meaning that it’s ‘cloud-based’, just like many of the services we use everyday like Gmail, Gdocs, Flickr, or Youtube, whethere you’re running Mac OS, Windows, or Linux.

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creative NERDS show off Photoshop CS5

creative nerds

Following Adobe’s online event, the excitement skyrocketed about the entire CS5 suite. The improvements across the board are amazing - bringing more control + flexibility in design, allowing the creative process to flow more naturally.

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Adobe CS5 online sneak preview event

adobe cs5 preview
Adobe is offering a sneak preview of it’s new Creative Suite 5 software, online today at 4pm BST.

CS5 is said to have over 250 new features across the Suite, but I’m most excited about the great stuff they’re bringing with Photoshop CS5.

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the architect who became a 3D film maker : Joseph Kosinski

tron legacy

Having been a great fan Disney’s 1982 film, “Tron” was probably one of the first movies that sparked my interest in 3D modelling and animation. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a fantastic film - especially for those early years of computing. Compared to today’s 3D realism it’s archaic obviously, but still very impressive for the ‘80s.

I had heard that someone was possibly working on a Tron remake/sequel, as it seems most series and movies are being done - best of all until now being hands down “
Battlestar Galactica”, but that’s a topic for another post - so I was delighted to read Cliff Kuang’s post on Fast Company about the new “Tron Legacy”.

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archiCADmonkey featured on the Artlantis blog

artlantis blog

This morning I was catching up on some RSS feeds after my brief time in Greece for the easter period, and an article jumped out at me and what d’ya know, over the weekend the archiCADmonkey show was featured on the official Artlantis Blog : Artlantissimo - of course the episode they blogged about was the ACM006 - intro to Artlantis, a brief introductory video showing why Artlantis is great for 3D rendering architectural models.

It’s such an honour to be recognised by Abvent while the show is still in its early days. The next show will be even better when it’s released - I’m still working on a few screencast pieces - so “ Artlantis 101 ” should be up on the bitwaves in the next couple of weeks.

Till then please show some love to the folks over at Artlantissimo


goBIM™ : the first BIM iPhone app

goBIM iphone

Hold the presses, the day has arrived! It seems just in time for the release of the iPad - due this Saturday - a cunning developer has created what looks like the first BIM app for the iPhone + of course the iPad. (and no I promise...this is not an April fools gag)

A few weeks ago I had talked about the possibility of
Graphisoft bringing out an iPad / iPhone app for viewing 3D BIM models - similar to their Archicad project viewer ‘Virtual Building Explorer’ - but it seems this guy has beat everyone to the punch.

It's called goBIM
- write that down! ...or you know, just click the iTunes link at the end.

Continue Reading... >>

ACM006 - intro to Artlantis 3

intro to artlantis 3

Abvent Atlantis is recognised as the fastest and most powerful solution for photo-realistic rendering and animation developed for architects and designers, used by roughly 65,000 users in 80 countries, in 7 languages.

It’s not a full blown modelling + rendering program like 3DS Max or Cinema4D, but a stand-alone rendering application, as it has simple tasks and does them awesomely well! This is due to its rendering engine developed especially for architecture, offering accuracy and speed unmatched by any other product on the market.

In this introduction I go through a quick intro of Artlantis 3, the reasons why it’s sometimes more suitable for architectural visualisation, the two versions (
Artlantis R + Artlantis Studio), some of the amazing features it offers - including the innovative and superfast radiosity preview, the drag+drop process of adding objects and shaders to your model, water animation + interactive cloud formations, + more.

Plugins : Artlantis plays very well with others, being able to interface directly with popular 3D CAD + BIM applications like ArchiCAD, VectorWorks, SketchUp Pro + more. But with the recent addition of the DWF, OBJ and FBX import formats and updated DXF, DWG and 3DS plug-ins, Artlantis seamlessly interacts with all the leading CAD software as well.

artlantis media

Finally I mention the extensive media, shader, and object libraries offered in both versions, as well as where you can download or buy some additional libraries to use in your model, including the Artlantis Media Libraries and ObjectsOnline.com, a virtual product library created by Abvent offering the largest collection of 3D parametric objects dedicated to architecture and design.

I’d like to thank everyone again for all your fantastic emails and comments about the show, on iTunes, Facebook and all the online video sites. Please keep ‘em coming!

If you download the iTunes version, I've added chapters into the video so you can jump to any part you want.

If you’d like to share any tips, or need any additional help I’d be happy to provide some,
just email me at
archicadmonkey@gmail.com or from the contact me section.

view show on iPhone - ACM006

A quick review on
iTunes would be very much appreciated!

Enjoy the show!



Mac Architect - Thomas A. Heinz

archicad_thomas heinz

The Chicago architect Thomas A. Heinz has been featured in
Apple’s Pro profiles section, speaking about how he uses Archicad with his Mac. As a renowned Frank Lloyd Wright scholar he was approached to construct the Massaro house, which was never finished by the original architect. Wright designed the house to stand on an amazing location in upstate New York - on Petre Island on Lake Mahopac - in the 1950s, only to have stopped after understanding that his dramatic structure would be exceedingly costly and complicated to build.

Heinz was the author of 30 books on Wright, and had experience in restoring + rebuilding many of Wright’s designs, so he was the best person for this major task. Heinz had to develop the design from only 5 original sketches by Wright.

He explains in the profile how he used Archicad and his mac to create the whole site + building step by step (...pun definitely intended), while exploring the virtual building process that was later mirrored at the actual construction phase. It’s worth reading
his story about creating of such a beautiful structure.

Petra Productions Ltd. even produced a 90-minute documentary on the Massaro project and Frank Lloyd Wright’s design philosophies, called “Building Wright.” Check out the trailer here



Archicad online object libraries

Don't miss my new ArchiMAG article :

the archiPad - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era

all about new and exciting Apps for Architects, Engineers and Designers!

archicad objects

Update 2011 : Get your hands on ALL previous ArchiCAD Libraries, from v4.1 and up! >>>

Archicad has hundreds of objects you can use embedded in its Standard Library, ranging from simple geometric shapes to Parametric objects like stairs or kitchen cabinets. Though most are preconfigured to standard settings, nearly everything is extensively editable - as they are GDL objects. Every few months the Archicad team even sends an update for the standard library, fixing a few bugs and adding more objects.


Want to learn how to Manage & Migrate your ArchiCAD Libraries effectively?

Check out the Week #4 Tutorials of the ArchiCAD Best Practices Course

Some third-party developers have created more specialised and detailed objects to add to your designs including furniture, electronic equipment, trees, you name it! Some are free, though the really good ones come at a reasonable price. To start off I’d go with the free route and try the GDL Object Depository created by Graphisoft, where Archicad users can exchange free objects and texture libraries. Loving the free and open-source, the Open GDL board is a place for developers mostly, but has plenty of free stuff to download.

Though if you’ve got some cash to spare, Objects Online is a great resource - these guys have created hundreds of great high quality Archicad objects, most have a pricetag on them, but a few are free to download - with a “donation” option. Similarly Archicad Solutions specialises in creating and customising GDL objects for Archicad, and CADGarage has some library parts for sale along with books, DVDs, and accessories for Mac + Archicad.

These are generally the sites I’ve found useful, though Graphisoft has compiled the mother-list of all GDL developers’ websites. Go ahead and check them out and if you find any other good ones please feel free share them with me and I’ll spread the word. Happy GDL hunting!



3D sketching with ILOVESKETCH

Don't miss my new ArchiMAG article :

the archiPad - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era

all about new and exciting Apps for Architects, Engineers and Designers!

ILoveSketch from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo.

A while before all the hype of tablet PCs and iPads, some great minds over at the Department of Computer Science of Toronto University developed a system giving the ability to “sketch” in 3D space while using a tablet-type device. ILoveSketch” is a 3D curve sketching system that brings the benefits of drawing like pen on paper, while automatically creating a concept 3D curve model. It’s a really clever system integrating traditional sketching techniques and user interaction with a 3D model in novel ways.

“I Love Sketch” could become a great asset to industrial designers to rapidly draw up 3D concepts designs, though you can easily see it being used for conceptualising architectural forms and complex designs before moving onto CAD or BIM apps. As
Google Sketchup revolutionised quick + easy modelling to a point where nearly anyone can draw in 3D, this kind of system could do the same with virtual sketching methods as sketching is more natural than using a mouse and requires less training to get the hang of. This isn’t just t two-dimensional sketching, but an evolution of a kind using nurb-based geometry to create freeform shapes via curves of high precision and great ease. ILoveSketch takes advantage of multi-stroke sketch techniques and gesture-based functions to create groups of these curves while drawing with a Stylus-type pen.

The video above demonstrates what ILoveSketch is all about while taking the viewer through the basic techniques used to create an airplane model in 3D without needing any kind of command or specific buttons.The environment is easy to navigate - zooming, panning, rotating, etc. are intuitive, while easily switching between the different sketching techniques.

If this sort of system could become integrated somehow into a powerful multi-touch surface like the iPad together with something like the
Pogo Sketch, it could change the designers workflow dramatically and even be a major step up from the previously discussed CAD or BIM app. Hopefully in the near future we’ll see what these guys can come up with - one thing’s for sure, cadmonkeys of the world are itching to see in the next few months what’s boiling in the iPad pot.


App : archiCADmonkey on Android

archicadmonkey on android

I’ve been looking into how to create an archiCADmonkey app for the iPhone - though I’m not really comfortable with the code yet. So, I’ve taken the easier route with the help of the Wizzard Media team at my podcast hosting service Libsyn. They’ve created a great online system to automatically create iPhone + Android versions, distribute them and analyse the download stats. The process is simple, as I finished it in under an hour!

So, the archiCADmonkey app features a direct stream of the blog, the
@acmonkey twitter feed, the Vimeo videos, and the Flickr pictures feed. The iPhone version is going to take a couple of weeks to get through the App store process, but the Android version is up + running! As I understand you can search for Android apps online, but you have to download it directly from an Android phone, as there isn’t an online Android app store.

So go check it out and if you like it, don’t forget to review it !

Now go get it

The archiCADmonkey app on Android


What's the best computer for 3D CAD + BIM?

Don't miss my new ArchiMAG article :

the archiPad - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era

all about new and exciting Apps for Architects, Engineers and Designers!


I’ve gone through a few computers in my time, from basic laptops to building my own super-PC with an
NVidia powerhouse, moving onto a Macbook and now even growing slowly out of my superpowerful Macbook Pro. Though I do love my macs - as I am mad with multitasking - I do try and be objective when recommending a piece of hardware, or software for that matter, to be the best fit to the individual. There’s one thing that every designer has in common, we need POWER!

So, what’s the best computer for 3D, CAD and BIM?

David Fano over at
Design Reform has written an article about just this subject, putting this question out to the PC and Mac community. Though his recommendations are mostly aimed towards windows users, the general concept of processor power, RAM + hard drive size and such are quite universal. It depends in the end if you feel comfortable with a certain setup and are happy with the final results....while not having to wait 24hrs for an image to render....!

comments after the article are definitely worth a read, very interesting seeing what other powerCADers use.


ACM005 - Simple Archicad Building


This time we get a bit deeper into Archicad and go step-by-step how to draw up a simple building + get used to the tools of the workflow. It's a simple design, nothing very exciting, but a good start to get you on your way to Archicad mastery.

This is the longest video in the series - 22 minutes long - so get a nice cup of coffee ready. If you download the
iTunes version you'll see I've added chapters into the video so you can jump back + forwards to whichever part you want.

Enjoy the show!

Stuff mentioned :

The Wall tool | Editing Walls + Settings | Splitting Walls | Material selection | Storeys + Settings | Slabs + Settings
The Roof tool | Polyroof + Manual | Stairs + Slabs | Doors + Windows | The Mesh Tool | Adding vegetation


Suspending Groups | The Cursor Tracker | The Pet Palette | The Magic Wand
The Eyedropper | The Syringe | General 2D + 3D views | Show All / Selection in 3D


Useful links
Graphisoft Archicad
Abvent Artlantis

If you found this show useful, a quick review on
iTunes would be very much appreciated!
You can
contact me if you have any comments, ideas for new shows, or would like to share any tips



book : Archicad for Autocad users

Archicad may seem like a completely different world if you’re used to using Autocad, but actually many of the concepts are the same - especially the 2D drafting side. Some have different names or are executed in different way, but the outcome is the same or better.

Geoffroy Magnan wrote - a few Archicad versions ago - a very comprehensive piece called the
AutoCAD to ArchiCAD 2D conversion guide, still very useful to start with. Similar to this is Digital Vision Automation’s AutoCAD/ArchiCAD Cross-training (PDF), which goes through most of the most common commands in both apps and the differences between them.

Though if you’re looking for the “Holy Grail” for Autocad users switching to Archicad, look no further!


ArchiCAD for AutoCAD Users (US amazon affiliate link)

The revised (2009) version of the book by Ralph Grabowski + David Byrnes + Geoff Langdon, “
Archicad for Autocad users” covers all the commands, procedures and concepts usually known from the Autocad days, and how to replicate, simplify, and even evolve those processes in Archicad. It goes through all the essentials of drawing up floorplans, sections + elevations effectively by providing practical knowledge.

This doesn’t mean that Autocad is completely replaced, there are plenty of ways to share Archicad 2D + 3D files with Autocad, but as Archicad is a full BIM package you can increase your productivity significantly with the Virtual Building Model.

I think I’ll let the authors sell the concept themselves :

We’ve actually found it fun to go from an extensive but general CAD package
like AutoCAD, to an advanced architecturally intelligent package like ArchiCAD.
Here’s why: a lot of what you had to worry about in AutoCAD
(scale, layers, units, setting limits, trimming walls for door openings, and more)
is handled automatically by ArchiCAD...

... It is also fun for architectural designers to have the immediate visual feedback
of 3D perspectives, sections, and elevations as they are designing,
just as they had when designing with cardboard (only better)...

... Over 80% of ArchiCAD users were AutoCAD users in the past,
so you have a lot of company. We invite you to see what all those
experienced CAD users have discovered in ArchiCAD...”


The Mac in Toy Story 3


The new Toy Story 3 trailer shows Apple appearing a lot more than usual in a Pixar movie. We get the occasional cameo, like when Wall-E plays the classic boot-up sound when recharging from the sun rays, or when he’s watching scenes from “Hello Dolly” on a video iPod, even the spinning beach-ball appeared between the hundreds of balloons in the movie “UP” .


But never have they had such an “in your face” approach as it seems with Toy Story 3. Over at Macenstein there’s a breakdown of all of Apple’s cameos in the Toy Story trailer, ranging from Safari + iTunes, For the cherry on top, on Cult of Mac there’s a picture of the the Director’s (Lee Unkrich) tweeted screenshot - @leeUnkrich - from his airplane seat, when he was editing the movie on his MacBook Pro!


This comes of no real surprise as Steve Jobs - founder + CEO of Apple - was the owner + big boss CEO at Pixar, having also co-founded it, until it was acquired by Disney in 2005. He is still on the Disney Company Board of Director’s and the largest individual Disney shareholder, playing an active role in the company. Toy Story was Pixar’s big debut film, and though the 3D graphics were revolutionary in 1995, the bar has been significanlty raised by films like “Wall-E”, “Ratatouille” and “Up”, so it will be very exciting to see how they can improve on the classic and how much more Apple may pop up in the film.

watch the movie teaser



Will Archicad be the first true CAD app on the iPad?

Don't miss my new ArchiMAG article :

the archiPad - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era

all about new and exciting Apps for Architects, Engineers and Designers!

There are many rumours going around about which will get to be the first official CAD application on the magical iPad. I discussed in a previous article about the possibility of the tablet device having 3D technology, as many recent Apple patents are steering to such a conclusion.


UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2011 - In the not so far future, we may see something very interesting from the company, who has been secretly hard at work in developing something, and the multiple rumours and signs are rapidly converging into only one possible outcome : the legendary and anticipated ….BIM Explorer (BIMX) for iOS !
Check out the new blog post >>>
BIMx : ArchiCAD on iPad ?

Of course there are a few CAD-ish apps on the iPhone - like
Mark on Call Home Interior Layout Designer - Mark On Call - M.O.C. Interior Designer, LLC or CADTouch cadTouch R3 - neoDev - but these are mostly vector based drawing applications similar to Adobe Illustrator , only less advanced of course.


“...maybe VectorWorks or ArchiCAD” says Randall Newton as they are both established CAD + BIM applications on the MacOS X platform. Both programs are now under the umbrella of Nemetschek - one of the leading companies for the AEC software sector - having matured to a position where it wouldn’t take as much work to get onto the iPad as say the highly anticipated Autocad for Mac which is still in alpha testing. Autodesk is mainly a Windows based company, though their amazing sketching application Autodesk SketchBook Pro SketchBook Pro - Autodesk Inc. was met with great praise on the Mac and the iPhone|iPod Touch. They’ve taken a good step towards possibly edging their way in with Project Butterfly which makes it easy to view + even edit Autocad drawings via an internet browser, making it technically cross-platform.

If Graphisoft could bring out a native iPad application or at least an Archicad project viewer like
Virtual Building Explorer, it would become a great tool to show off and describe designs anywhere with a great touch interface easy enough for anyone to understand the design over coffee or on the building site.



ACM004 - Archicad 101


In this episode I continue the
Archicad series, firstly exploring the educational + professional licenses, downloading the trial versions + installing them, as well as Archicad 12 + 13 compatibility with mac + pc. Following with a tour of the basic interface, and the general workflow logic to get you started, we dive into one of the major parts of the Archicad interface - the “Navigator”, defining the “Project Map”, “View Map”, “Layout Book”, and “Publisher Sets”.

To view the show, subscribe via
RSS or through iTunes or Miro.

You can also watch a lower quality version below:

If you found this show useful, a quick review on iTunes would be very much appreciated! Thanks

Useful links

If you have any comments, criticisms, ideas for new shows, or just to say hi , please email me at archicadmonkey@gmail.com

Enjoy the show!

View the show on iPhone



What's the best video card to run Archicad on?


ArchicadWiki is a great resource for all technical info about Archicad - including troubleshooting. Based on the Wiki software - the same as Wikipedia- it allows easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages. Generally it’s a hub of information that anyone can take advantage of and add information

Illes Arvay has produced a very comprehensive article about
recommended video cards and relevant drivers for Archicad 13, both for Windows + Mac. Also some test results for Windows XP + 7 with Nvidia Quadro FX , ATI FireGL cards, and Asus Geforce cards.

It’s worth checking out if you’re considering buying a new Mac or PC and running Graphisoft Archicad 13.

> Link to source


Apple finally unveils the iPad

Don't miss my new ArchiMAG article :

the archiPad - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era

all about new and exciting Apps for Architects, Engineers and Designers!

It seems my predictions weren’t far from the truth. Yesterday Apple finally announced their “magical and revolutionary product”, the aptly named
iPad. Bigger than an iPhone, smaller than a Macbook, it’s juuuuust right. Most may not see it yet, but it’s got all the features to become another game changer.

The pieces of the keynote I was able to see - before nearly every site reporting the event live crashed from the overwhelming bandwith - were very exciting. When Steve Jobs was unveiling it and strolling on the stage, it reminded me of something from my final year university project. I designed a multi-sensory education environment, where students + tutors could present their lectures, exhibit their work, and communicate interactively all in one massive “ambi-theatre”. To exhibit the concept I wanted to show how a lecturer could achieve this interactivity without a podium to rest his laptop on. As the rumours of the mythical tablet had started a few months earlier, it was the obvious solution. I imagined a LED-floodlit Steve doing what he does best.

View the larger version on Flickr


ACM003 - intro to Archicad


In this episode I introduce one of my favourite applications, Graphisoft Archicad the world’s leading 3D parametric design software for architects, interior designers and others in the design industry. It has established itself as a highly intuitive, flexible and mature product, with which over a million buildings have been designed.

The show covers:

  • Quick intro to Archicad
  • The Virtual BuildingTM | BIM
  • Version compatibility with mac + pc
  • Award-winning designs
  • Virtual TraceTM
  • Partial Structure Display
  • 3D Document
  • Collaboration
  • Useful websites

To view the show, please subscribe via
RSS or through iTunes or Miro.

To check it out now, play the lower quality version below:

If you found this show useful, a quick review on iTunes would be very much appreciated! Thanks

Useful links

If you have any comments, criticisms, ideas for new shows, or just to say hi , please email me at archicadmonkey@gmail.com

Enjoy the show!



Will Apple's fabled Tablet have 3D technology?

Mac fans around the world are holding their breath in anticipation that the fabled Apple Tablet / iSlate / iGuide / MacTabletNetbookThingy(MacOsKen) will be announced at next week’s special Apple event (Jan 27th). It will the culmination of over a year’s exhausting rumours.

For those of you who have missed a few steps - or have been living in a cave with no WiFi for the past year - check out the
definitive rumour roundup (via TechRadar) + the awesome concept 3D renderings (via DVice)

This type of multi-touch device can obviously be beneficial in many fields but especially CAD; from
sketching + annotating drawings, or by providing a more interactive user interface for viewing / editing 3D models + navigating through CGI environments. Imagine having a supersize iPhone while “pinching” + “flicking” through a Sketchup file, or even just tilting it 360° to view a 3D rendered environment - creating a more “natural” experience. The possibilities are mind-blowing if you could integrate this with 360cities or even better - 3D video panoramas!

Another potential revolution could be on the way from Apple, as a recent
patent surfaced not long ago about 3D head-tracking technology. The logic is that an embedded camera with face-detection would track the user’s movement and adapt accordingly, creating even more realism to 3D objects and spaces:

“Using the detected position of the user, the electronic device may use any suitable approach to transform the perspective of three-dimensional objects displayed on the display.”

“It’s a new level of virtual reality, meshing the real world with a nonexistent one, but giving the visual perception that an object is real.” (via AppleInsider)

If the Tablet also has a camera on the back as well (doubtful as the iPhone only has one), this concept could pair well with some form of
augmented reality apps that have surfaced on the iPhone in the past year, blurring the boundaries between virtual + reality even further.

The rumours keep multiplying every day and will undeniably increase until Apple’s special event. Then, we will be at peace knowing that most of the rumours were actually true ...of course the peace will not last long, the second it’s over we’ll be scouring the net to find any way to guarantee we get our hands on...whatever it is. As fun as it is speculating - don’t get me wrong, as any tech geek may admit I could do it for hours - it seems 2010 is going to be a great year full of more gadget goodies, a year full of possibilities.

Continue Reading... >>

ACM002 - archiCADmonkey reborn | back in business

I’m very excited to get archiCADmonkey back on the bitwaves with my new website and revamped show. I’d like to firstly thank everyone for your patience, and especially all the great comments + feedback. It’s been over a year since my last show, as a lot has been going on since then. After a tough final year at university, I finally graduated from architecture in July. Since then I’ve been working in Greece + the UK as an architectual assistant, while redeveloping the show in my spare time.

it’s more than just a screencast ... it's the archiCADmonkey blog!

So, the archiCADmonkey blog will feature the tutorial posts, some up to date information on the software I cover in the screencasts, along with useful CAD news and websites.

The upcoming shows will cover introductions, tips + tricks of many of the established architectural programs, as well as some other useful applications on the mac + pc + iphone.

I have received a few requests about some advanced features of the programs, but I think that the evolution of the shows should reflect the learning path of the beginner to the experienced user. So the first shows will be focused on the basic principles + techniques for CADnewbies and will evolve to more advanced techniques for the more experienced and CADveterans.

To view the show, you can subscribe via RSS or through iTunes or Miro.

To check it out now, play the lower quality version below:

Please feel free to comment on any of the posts, give some feedback on the content or just say hi at archicadmonkey@gmail.com

Continue Reading... >>
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