ArchiCAD 16

This review explores the capabilities of the recently released ArchiCAD 16 in detail, including the new Morph tool, which brings SketchUp–like conceptual modeling capabilities to ArchiCAD and also enables users to create complex freeform structures; the new BIM Components portal, which gives ArchiCAD users easier access to a wide variety of BIM objects from various sources, expanded built-in energy analysis capabilities, and improved interoperability with other applications.


4 thoughts on “ArchiCAD 16

  1. While I have not had a chance to use ArchiCAD 16 hands-on, I do have some comments:

    The MORPH tool is probably inspired by SketchUp, but whereas the SketchUp models have been and always will be polygonal mesh objects (made by drafting edges), the MORPH tool seems to be fundamentally volumetric (as is the case with most ArchiCAD geometric 3D entities). This ensures knowledge about volumes and facilitates the generation of plan views and sections. In that sense, it seems much more relevant for modeling in a BIM context: for modeling, for drafting, for estimations…

    The integrated energy analysis is also really welcomed, but I can not predict how open (or closed) it is for local customization, e.g. to have a local reseller or developer adapt it towards local regulations. This would really be a huge push for ArchiCAD and for BIM in general.

    And finally I do agree on the “problem” of BIM applications working object-by-object, modeling a whole building piece by piece. The reverse is true with approaches in parametric design, where you rather define an overall concept and generate the individual pieces from there on. It would be nice to see both approaches getting closer and collaborating. There are some individual efforts to link parametric design and BIM (e.g. GeometryGym tools for Grasshopper) and the Vasari project from Autodesk seems also focusing in that direction.

  2. Good article.

    I would argue that “Not as easy or intuitive for a new user compared to its main rival, Revit” is in the eye of the beholder.
    I also think the fact ArchiCAD is a dedicated architectural BIM application that relies on interoperability rather than direct integration for working with other disciplines is not a con but a pro. It is obvious that Revit is lacking in information exchange (especially structure and MEP) because of its focus on integration. One of the key concepts of BIM is interoperability.
    I also would love to see your review of VectorWorks 2012.
    Another interesting application is

  3. Thanks for this review.
    This is for sure one of the most exciting ArchiCAD version. However I don’t know what to think about the new modeler :
    The Morph tool is undeniably a great addition to the ArchiCAD Arsenal. it addresses the modeling limitations elegantly à la Graphisoft ( offering more that what was expected ) and resolves ‘theorically” the problem of importing geometries from external softwares as those can now be transformed into morph elements.
    Stills, it is strange that a parametric software ( ArchiCAD ) went into a direct modeling “paradigm” while Grasshopper ( holder of a new modeling paradigm) was conceived upon a direct modeler.
    While you are critical vis a vis the massing tool in Revit, I see two differences about the morph tool and the massing tool in Revit/Vasari and even sketchup:
    First, the revit massing is parametric, with the rationalization of forms through the paneling tool: this, is missing on the ArchiCAD side.
    Secondly, In Revit, every massing is able to be transformed into Bim elements, This link about the massing phase and its transformation into real building elements is critically lacking in ArchiCAD ( combined with the limitation of the classical BIM elements walls, curtain walls ; defintion of floors…etc, in ArchiCAD ).
    The example of the Vennesla Library shown in the Graphisoft webinar shows how flexible is the morph tool and how a workflow killer it could also be: the shelf elements show on the video is a great example of how precious a function like the adaptative comonent in Revit could be instead of repeating the modeling of the same element with different configurations .
    About sketchup:
    ArchiCAD seems to have integrated into the morph tool some Sketchup functions in addition to some popular add-ons (like Artisan ( subdivise and smooth ) ). However, the intrest of sketchup ( aside the fact that it is free) is the ruby scripters who extend the sketchup modeling capabilities , making it even better in this area ? I’m wondering what Graphisoft is going to offer in this side ( one interesting thing though is the new archiforma version3 plugin from Cigraph which will have some missing function like a loft tool)
    As the theme of freeform modeling has probably ended with this version , it is unlikely to have more advance on this side in ArchiCAD. I hope that the parametric side will not be forgotten by Graphisoft.

  4. Conspicuously absent in the past couple of Archicad releases is point-cloud support & integration. There is simply no way to access laser scan data directly in Archicad, natively, or with a plug-in.

    Revit is making significant strides every year on this front.

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