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ArchiTrek "The Next Generation" - 10 Reasons to attend the ACADIA conference


I was fortunate enough to be selected by Novedge to attend the ACADIA conference in LA to report on their behalf. This is one of the articles I have written for the Novedge Blog, about my experience at the conference, my findings and musings of the workshops and presentations, as well as the extremely fun Hackathon on the final day of the conference.

Read the original article on the Novedge Blog : http://blog.novedge.com/2014/11/architrek-the-next-generation-top-10-reasons-to-attend-the-acadia-conference-image-1-durotaxis_chair-in-o.html

ArchiTrek The Next Generation - Top 10 reasons to attend the ACADIA conference

In our era of digital abundance, the way we approach design is changing fundamentally. It’s no longer a novelty in our profession, but a process that defines our expanding realm of architectural exploration that can inform our design intent, while embracing constraints, iteration and user-input in the creative practice. Through intense workshops, paradigm-shifting conversations and enlightening lectures, the ACADIA 2014 conference strived to expose the bleeding edge of contemporary computational design + aesthetics in the “post-digital” age.

Coming down from the high of this year’s ACADIA conference took a few days of recovery and reflection, as it was an electrifying experience of creativity, applied research and knowledge exchange with some of the leading experts of the field, concluding with a design “Hackathon” that had the participants firing enough neurons to power the entire campus.

The conference gathered an international crowd of over 550 architectural explorers, focusing on computational design through experimental research of generative modeling techniques, robotic fabrication, emerging design technologies and creative coding. New paradigms of computing, experimental practice and innovative ways of design thinking were presented, all challenging the conventional methods in which architecture is generated and experienced. The Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) is all about delving into the intricacies of design through research and education, while striving to promote the importance of enhancing computers and technology for the fields of architecture, planning and building science.


Instead of a protracted day-by-day report of the presentations and events, which presented state-of-the-art research and applications in their relative branch of computational design, I thought it would be more useful to list some of the best reasons anyone excited by design should attend the conference. Continue Reading... >>

InfiniteSkills offers Autocad for Mac 2014 Training Course

AutoCAD_2014 copy

So, Autodesk took the leap to the Mac by redesigning the minimalistic interface and some functionalities from the ground up, laying the foundations for future growth and increased capabilities. But if you’re switching from the Windows side to the Mac version, there are a few things you need to get used to - for one, there’s no Ribbon! It’s not a full Windows to Mac porting porting of the environment, but an app that feels to fit in the Mac OSX ecosystem, while still preserving the familiarity of the other side.

That’s where great video tutorials come into play, I must watched over 150 hours of tutorials on my iPad while commuting in the past few weeks. The visual learning path - which is the core of “monkey see, monkey do” - is essentially a direct link to the Matrix. Books and help manuals are great for reference, but if you wanna learn fast and effectively, VIDEO is the holy grail. I’ve seen a lot of brilliant tutorials on Youtube and used all the big guns in the professional visual learning field including Lynda.com, Digital Tutors, CGcookie, Udemy, Skillshare,…..you name it, I’ve probably tried it, and they’re all fantastic.

So, to get to grips with Autocad for Mac, I’ve found the Infinite Skills’s course Learning Autodesk AutoCAD 2014 For Mac & AutoCAD LT for Mac - A Practical AutoCAD Training Course That Teaches Real World Skills to be extremely helpful, taking a step-by-step video tutorial series approach to guide me through the recent changes. It’s a practical training course that shows you project-based tasks based on real world issues. The course is separated into easily digestible chunks of wisdom, allowing you to learn at your own pace, whenever and wherever you have time to watch them. To enhance the learning experience you can even work with the provided working files to practice the skills shown. Continue Reading... >>

Interview with Maxwell Render expert James Coleman


James Coleman has become a popular name in the Maxwell Render community, especially due to his weekly instructional Youtube videos, as well as his work at the University of Brighton. I first contacted James a few months ago when I was getting back into Maxwell Render, and his tips & tricks have been exceedingly helpful to streamline the production process. I thought it was a great time to pick his brains, as the exciting release of Version 3 is just around the corner.

London 2012 Olympic Kodak Brownie project by James Coleman

Maxwell Render is a physically correct, unbiased rendering engine, meaning that it calculates complex light interactions, making it capable of simulating light exactly as in the real world. It doesn’t use tricks to simulate real world behavior like other renderers, everything is reproduced as it is through governing physical equations. A great advantage of the software is that it is cross-platform and has plugins for many 3D applications, including 3DS Max, Maya, Sketchup, ArchiCAD, Revit, Rhino and more.

maxwell examples
Examples of Maxwell Render from the Gallery

Maxwell Render is great for for 3D visualizations in design and architecture, as well as film, animation and VFX. I really enjoyed Ronen Bekerman’s Maxwell Render Museum Challenge where designers created some stunning masterpieces to adorn Mies van der Rohe’s “Neue Nationalgalerie” (you can still download the 3D model here )

Ronen Bekerman’s Maxwell Render Museum Challenge winners

So without further ado, here’s the interview : Continue Reading... >>

Interview with Gabriel Mathews of Polyplane.com


I am very happy to have had the opportunity to interview Gabriel Mathews (@sirgabe), creator of Polyplane.com, Director of Creative Services at Con Cor Design, industrial designer and transhumanist with a lust for technology. Continue Reading... >>

Interview with Limitless Computing Inc. President, Dr. Errin T. Weller


The “Cloud” and Augmented Reality (AR) are quickly becoming standard terms in the tech world. AR is essentially the superimposition of graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements onto the real world, thus “enhancing” our reality, using advanced smartphones or innovations like Google’s Project Glass. Cloud Computing is a revolution similar level to jumping from basic 2D & 3D to full blown Building Information Modeling, fundamentally changing how buildings are designed, visualized and developed.

In this quick interview with the President of Limitless Computing Inc, Dr Errin T. Weller, we explore how these two concepts are affecting the AEC community and the future possibilities of this great technology.

So, Limitless Computing has had some pretty amazing achievements in the past few years, from cloud computing services for Sketchup and Revit to Augmented Reality apps for iOS and Android devices. I wrote about SightSpace 3D in an ArchiMAG article last year as part of the most innovative AEC apps on iPad and Android devices, because I was fascinated with augmented reality technology and what it can offer the future of the industry. How long has the company been involved in developing for architects, engineers and other designers?

Thank you. We have been working in AEC since 2009 when we first saw a need for faster rendering using the cloud. Our friends at Hilliard Architects in San Francisco were nice enough to be our guinea pigs for cloud rendering. They gave us valuable feedback and information on how architects work and what their needs are. Our Augmented Reality technology was the result of realizing that the ideal tool for architects would be to visualize their designs in the real world. Continue Reading... >>

ArchiMAG magazine is finally on iPad!


ArchiMAG magazine is now available on the App Store in your NewsStand! It’s a free app and within the app you’ll get a free sample issue.

ArchiMAG is an international ArchiCAD oriented e-magazine, exploring the BIM revolution, showcasing CAD software & hardware solutions as well as featuring case studies, architectural best practices, tips & tricks, and productivity enhancements.

The new issue is packed with interesting articles such as Use of BIM in Renovation of Swedish Theatre in Helsinki and Case Study of Sustainable COR Building by Oppenheim . Also, there arereviews of RIK Landscape Pack
and Share your Design collaborative portal, as well as a tutorial of how to photograph and edit interior shots, and more….
Continue Reading... >>

The Shape of Things to Come - mobile CAD in the Post-PC era (Part 2)


The evolution of tech is always difficult to predict, I mean who’d have thought 10 years ago we’d be using Tablets and Smartphones that mimic tech we’d only ever seen on Star Trek! But it’s always fun to dream, and there are loads of great ideas for future products and technologies, plus some hints of what's just waiting over the horizon. These are some of my favorite rumors and concepts of the future of CAD and 3D technology. From 3D Head Tracking, Augmented Reality, Holographic 3D Interaction with tactile feedback & more….Continue Reading... >>

The new ArchiMAG issue is out now!


This final 2011 issue (#4) is out!

ArchiMAG is an independent but ArchiCAD oriented periodical. The magazine covers articles about software and hardware as well as users. We also share tips and tricks for ArchiCAD users to help improve productivity while using the program. ArchiMAG is an international version of ArchiMAD magazine with a global distribution. The readership consists of architects, designers, educational institutes and students from all over the world.

In this issue there are several articles about working on BIM projects over the internet and how to take designs on the road, also Graphisoft’s CEO Viktor Várkonyi’s article about BIM in the cloud, which is followed by an article about BIMx – Graphisoft’s answer to working on tablet devices.

Also my article (
the archiPad : mobile CAD in the Post-PC era) about the influence of the tablets to the CAD industry, several great apps for architects, engineers and designers, as well as the Shape of Things to Come.

Continue Reading... >>

What new features will be in the next AutoCAD WS?


Autodesk has been stealing the show for a while on the iOS front, with Sketchbook Mobile (paint and drawing), 123D Sculpt (quick and easy 3d modelling), Autodesk Design Review (review and annotate DWF models), Buzzsaw Mobile (project document viewer), Bluestreak (real-time messaging and collaboration), Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer (3D assembly instructions viewer) and especially Autocad WS, which has registered over 2 million users online with around 4 million drawings uploaded.

Some exciting news has just surfaced about the next release of AutoCAD WS, which will apparently have some really cool features, including the ability to work with 3D drawings, GPS capabilities, as well as “Plot-to-Print” for remote printing to any HP ePrinter, including Designjets.

Continue Reading... >>

Interview with ArchiCAD Master Eric Bobrow - Dec 2011


I’d like to welcome back Mr Eric Bobrow to the show. Many of you may remember him from his previous interview on the site, he’s an internationally recognised ArchiCAD expert and author, who has been in the industry for over 20 years.

In this interview we discuss his experience with his highly successful
Best Practices Course, which is celebrating its one year anniversary, and his most recent ArchiCAD QuickStart Course, his online Coaching programs, along with his great plans for the new year and more.

Continue Reading... >>

the archiPad : mobile CAD in the Post-PC era (Part 1) - ArchiMAG

the archiPad

So what does the Tablet Computer have to offer us today, and is it worth all the hype?

Can something like the
iPad really bring a new dimension to the CAD / BIM industry and the architect’s design workflow, from simple 2D drawings to complete virtual experiences?

What is the future of “untethered” design via the
Cloud and its companion, the Tablet?...

Continue Reading... >>

BIMx : ArchiCAD on iPad?


Remember my article back in Feb 2010 where I talked about the possibility and how great it would be if Graphisoft created something similar to its Virtual Building Explorer for iPad?

Well, 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 highly anticipated ….
BIM Explorer (BIMX) for iOS !

Continue Reading... >>

Interview Part Deux with Eric Bobrow - June 2011

< < Check out the first full interview of the ArchiCAD Jedi Master

eric bobrow interview

So, we last spoke in March just before you reopened the Best Practices Course and the videos have seemed to have got raving reviews from the course members. How have  the past few months been for you? Are you enjoying directing the course?

This is an amazing journey that we're having together. I'm digging deep to find ways to communicate the essence of ArchiCAD's structure and principles of workflow. Many course members tell me that things in ArchiCAD are making more sense, that I'm connecting the dots, and that they are really enjoying the program far more.

I'm finding the community process very satisfying, as I interact directly with frequent coaching calls - we had been doing one per month, but since March, it's been three times each month. The questions people ask have really stretched me - while frequently I know "the answer" because I've explained it to others many times before, on other occasions I need to work hard to come up with a short and elegant solution to a challenging real-world design challenge, right on the fly, while explaining each step along the way. I explore solutions right in front of the group, trying different options until I reach something fairly satisfying.

One of the course members wrote:

"I really enjoy your fearlessly exploratory style as you work through various solutions to a problem. You make it seem as though anything is possible.  It is a pleasure to be taking your course.  It has been literally life changing."

Wow! This gives me great joy, as I know that I'm not only teaching, I'm empowering course members to master ArchiCAD and use it creatively without fear....

Continue Reading... >>

CAD user? Autodesk Mac division needs you...

Autodesk Research is seeking perspectives from all kinds of CAD users, not just AutoCAD, for a paid research study. If you’re a Mac user and you frequently work with CAD software, they wanna here what you have to say.

The 1-hour study sessions start from May 24 - May 27 and the following one from May 31 - June 3 from 9am to 6pm (Pacific Standard Time), at Autodesk San Francisco, where participants will receive a $60 Amazon.com gift certificate as a thank-you for your time. They are mostly looking for in-person sessions, but also will be conducting some of the sessions remotely, using web meeting software and the phone, offering a $30 gift certificate.

Continue Reading... >>


ArchiCAD 15 reveals its mighty paws! - May 2011

archiCAD 15

"Broaden Your DESIGN Horizons!" is the phrase of the month, as ArchiCAD 15 was announced last week and there've been some eager beavers (myself included) to see if all the rumours are true, together with our hopes and dreams wrapped up in a nice little installation package! Well, they haven't let us down.

The new version brings many new features that ArchiCAD users have been requesting to improve their design workflow. It is considered to be one of the strongest upgrades since version 10. As always some prayers have been answered, yet some people have been disappointed that their requests have not been heard, but as Jared describes in his blogpost "I upgrade, you upgrade, we all upgrade" on the Shoegnome blog, ya can't make everyone happy, but I gotta say I’m thrilled :)

ArchiCAD 15 addresses architects in their native language with an innovative approach to handling design spaces and forms,” said Miklos Szovenyi-Lux, vice president of product management, GRAPHISOFT. “In addition to reinventing the 3D design space and providing architects with a wide array of new design tools, ArchiCAD 15 also addresses the increasing number of architects who earn their living from renovation and refurbishment projects,” he continued.

ArchiCAD 15 enriches architectural forms available for designers to unleash their creative minds. The new version also expands the scope of the BIM workflow to include renovation & refurbishment projects.

The general features in ArchiCAD 15 include an impressive list of new and refined design tools and workflows, but also improvements to its IFC interface and OPEN collaboration workflow with engineers, full 64-bit support for the Mac OS, and improvements to its parametric object libraries as well.

Check.... them.... out : Continue Reading... >>

My article in ArchiMAG magazine : April 2011


So, a few days ago I was contacted by ArchiMAG, the international ArchiCAD focused magazine, saying that they wanted to feature one of my tutorials on their blog, and they did, which was great! But then we got talking a bit more and they asked me if I’d like to possibly write for their magazine. I’ve never written anything professionally before, but a couple of articles on the blog have actually brought some consistently large traffic, so I’m giving it a shot!

The periodical covers articles about software and hardware as well as tips n’ tricks, and this month the ArchiMAG magazine is featuring one of my older but still relevant blogposts, “How to use Apple’s Magic Mouse with CAD”. I’m attempting to have at least one article for each future issue of ArchiMAG, so stay tuned.

Check out the cover of this issue’s magazine along with the article! I gotta say, it looks pretty awesome! Continue Reading... >>

Still Life | The 3rd Artlantis Render Contest : April 2011


Come test your rendering skills on another Artlantis Rendering Contest from Artlantismembers.com. So, similar process to the 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 APRIL 15th! Continue Reading... >>

It's LIVE! The ArchiCAD Best Practices Course is open

Man Standing at the Entrance

There's no time to lose, so you've seen the
FREE videos, go reserve your space in the Best Practices Course experience!

I've had the chance to take a sneak peak behind the scenes and I can honestly tell you the amount of great videos and content is mesmerising. This might be the most important opportunity you’ll ever have to transform your professional life! Continue Reading... >>

My interview with Eric Bobrow!


< < Update June 2011 - Check out the interview Part Deux of the ArchiCAD Jedi Master > >

So I had the chance the other day to interview Mr Eric Bobrow. As I mentioned in my
earlier post, he’s an internationally recognised ArchiCAD expert and author, who has been in the industry for over 20 years.

In this exclusive interview we discuss Eric’s long and illustrious career, the birth and evolution of ArchiCAD, striving for more efficient workflows, his first product called “
MasterTemplate”, his previous career as a professional dancer, as well as the upcoming reopening of his ArchiCAD Best Practices Course, and more!

Continue Reading... >>

Autodesk Project Vasari 1.1 - Teaser video


I don’t usually post much about the windows side of CAD, but I came by this very alluring video the other day. It’s a great teaser video of Autodesk Project Vasari , a conceptual design tool ...Continue Reading... >>

Eric Bobrow on Youtube


If you haven’t already checked out Eric Bobrow’s free preview of the Best Practices Course, what are ya waiting for? But if you want even MORE free stuff, Eric’s been kind enough to add a few videos with valuable tips n’ tricks of the trade on his new Youtube Channel. That’all folks, happy ArchiCADing!

Lessons from an Archicad Jedi Master - Eric Bobrow


Having trouble with Archicad? Do you want to save hours of work with a few simple tips? Well our long-time colleague Eric Bobrow, internationally recognised Archicad expert and author, has brought out a new online training course on the most effective methods for working with ArchiCAD and not battling with it.

Continue Reading... >>

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.
Continue Reading... >>

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. ‪

Continue Reading... >>

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!

Continue Reading... >>

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!
Continue Reading... >>

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!!!

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

Continue Reading... >>

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.

Continue Reading... >>

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.....

Continue Reading... >>

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.

Continue Reading... >>

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.

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!
Continue Reading... >>

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!

Continue Reading... >>

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 !

Continue Reading... >>

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.

Continue Reading... >>

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.

Continue Reading... >>

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).

Continue Reading... >>

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.

Continue Reading... >>

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... >>

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.


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



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


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... >>

ACM001 - Sketchup 101

In the first of the series we explore Google Sketchup. Most possibly the most intuitive three-dimensional design program, it offers unparalleled user friendliness, simple design tools and techniques. This allows the user to quickly draw up conceptual designs, while also having the ability to add extensive detail to the 3D model.

Users can simply draw lines to create a traditional 2D CAD drawing, or take it a step further and quickly create 3D objects. Along with its seamless integration with Google Earth, it is a very powerful piece of software which practically anyone can learn and master.

Following an overview of the program’s capabilities and main user interface we continue with some basic and essential techniques to get you started.

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

You can also watch a lower quality version below:

acm001 - Sketchup 101 from archicadmonkey on Vimeo.

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!
Continue Reading... >>
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