Home  /  BIM and ARCHICAD   /  BIMx Docs pricing explained perfectly, well actually not really.

BIMx Docs pricing explained perfectly, well actually not really.

Jared’s note: before you read the official press release from Graphisoft, here’s a simple graphic I created that explains everything about the new pricing scheme. Oh and then there’s a few hundred word rant… (I’ve got an e-mail out to Graphisoft to verify I’m understanding things correctly; I’m not optimistic that I am wrong).

BIMx Docs Cost seven day limitationI am very disappointed with the seven day window limitation for the download links of the new BIMx Docs pricing option, but I guess I can see the reasoning. Think of it like putting out a bid set—everyone has seven days to receive the documents. This aligns well with tradition and isn’t that unreasonable. Every time you have to print sets it costs money. You send the files to the printer and then they all get delivered (one way or another) to the recipients in a given amount of time. This new BIMx pricing is really no different. Except much cheaper. $39.99 for everyone to get their sets is a steal, compared to the old ways. Fine. And for late comers to the team, they can just pay the $9.99 themselves. That’s not a huge deal, right? But this arbitrary time limitation will also hold back the adoption of BIMx Docs as the great tool that it should be. We pay again and again for printed documents because each print takes discrete resources. Digital is different. The beauty of (for instance) a PDF is that it is open and infinite. Everyone can access it and everyone can receive it whenever they want. This openness is only made greater by the plethora of tablets and smart phones.

A time limitation for download is an artificial barrier.

By limiting the download link time of a BIMx Docs file, it means model authors can easily share the file for one week. Then when they need to share it again with new team members, prospective clients, subcontractors, etc. someone will have to pay again. And again. And again. This serial requirement to pay for something that has already been paid for will hold BIMx Docs back. It decreases its utility. If I as an architect pay $39.99 for everyone to access the BIMx Docs file this week, what do  I do next week when one or two more people need the file. Or the week after that? And after that. And that. And that. It’s not a good solution.

I hope the time limitation is removed. Let us pay a price and have the ability to do whatever we want with these files. I would love to put a BIMx Docs file on my webiste to be downloaded as an example of how awesome it is to work with me (or to show other ArchiCAD users what badass stuff we can do with BIMx Docs). But I can’t do that. Unless I pay $39.99/week and keep updating the download link. That is stupid. If charging for all this is a way to pay for development costs and some profit (which I am 100% cool with) then change the pricing once again. Charge me $150 for the full unlimited models app and $100 for an unlimited model. I don’t care. I actually really like the idea of an unlimited app, an unlimited model, and a one-off model. It’s a good breakdown and it aligns with my needs, and my clients needs. BUT. Pick a price. Make me pay just once. And then let me do what I need with the app and with the file. Until that time comes, there will be plenty of us taking advantage of this great tool. But it won’t become central to our business models. It won’t start replacing what it was designed to replace. We’ll all still just be dabblers.

Graphisoft needs to make one more tweak to this pricing model.

Think of it this way. What is better? Having some of us pay $39.99 for some projects a few times as teams change over time. Or having most of us pay $59.99 or $99.99 on EVERY project so that all our teams on every project are always using this great tool?

When it comes down to it, it’s not about the money. Not for me at least. It’s about the ease of use. The biggest problem with the time limit is that it makes my life harder. I can’t have a permanent link I can send to everyone. I can’t build a project website with that information on it. I can’t make it central to the communication of my project. It’s one more thing I have to manage. And it’s a mistake.

Let me make a BIMx Docs file for a project during Schematic Design. Let me pay to share it with whoever I want. Let me use that file to create great architecture. And then let me keep sharing it with an ever expanding team as the design develops and goes from initial idea to completed project. And then let me figure out how to use that BIMx Docs file as part of Facilities Management—and for other atypical creative uses. These are things I want to do. But I can’t. Not until the pricing is fixed one more time.


04/13/2014 Update: There are some BIMx surveys on the ArchiCAD-Talk forum. I highly encourage everyone to fill them out and voice your concerns. Speak your mind here and let’s fix this!



New Licensing Option for Sharing BIMx Docs with Clients

BUDAPEST, April 8, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT®, the leading Building Information Modeling (BIM) architectural software developer, announced today that its award-winning BIM presentation app, BIMx Docs, will now be available through a new licensing option allowing architects to easily share their Hyper-models with clients.

Answering its top user request for BIMx, GRAPHISOFT introduces a new license option for an architect to share BIMx Docs with clients and other AEC stakeholders for a per project fee of $39.99. Shared BIMx Docs projects can be accessed from iOS devices within 7 days after sharing.

In conjunction with the new license option, GRAPHISOFT has also adjusted the prices of its existing BIMx Docs license options:

  • The basic BIMx app remains free of charge, allowing clients to fully explore the 3D part of BIMx Hyper-models.
  • The previously introduced BIMx Docs function packs giving access to the full project documentation including 2D drawings are available for $9.99 for one project; $74.99 for an unlimited number of projects.
  • The standalone BIMx Docs app can be purchased for $74.99 from the AppStore.

Please visit Apple’s App Store to download the BIMx app.

About BIMx Docs

BIMx Docs is a professional BIM project viewer featuring “BIMx Hyper-models,” a unique technology for integrated 2D and 3D building project navigation. BIMx Hyper-models offer extremely smooth handling and outstanding performance even for projects with complex 3D building models and extensive 2D documentation. See an example of how BIM technology providers choose to use BIMx as a technology platform in BIMobject® AB’s latest press announcement.


GRAPHISOFT® ignited the BIM revolution in 1984 with ArchiCAD®, the industry first BIM software for architects. GRAPHISOFT continues to lead the industry with innovative solutions such as its revolutionary BIMcloud™, the world’s first real-time BIM collaboration environment, EcoDesigner™, the world’s first fully BIM-integrated “GREEN” design solution and BIMx®, the world’s leading mobile app for BIM visualization. GRAPHISOFT has been a part of the Nemetschek Group since its acquisition in 2007.


  • April 11, 2014


    This raises many, many liability and copyright questions…

  • April 11, 2014

    Kenny McNally

    Thannks, nice summary, but I’m still a bit unclear. If you buy the $79 one, can you share all the docs with anyone else?
    Or do you need to spend a further $39 for each project you want to share with someone else?
    And is it $39 for each party you want to share with (client, structural engineer, M&E engineer, contractor, sub-contractor…) or does one purchase cover sharing the file with everyone (seems unlikely given the 7 day redemption period)?

      • April 12, 2014

        Kenny McNally

        Thanks for clarifying Jared. And the update to your post captures the nonsence of this ‘7 day download’ window in the real world.
        Making it $39 for a free-to-distribute BIMx docs file without updates woud be more logical (everyone gets the Tender model, for example), but just as backward in terms of making the most of this new technology.

  • April 12, 2014

    BIMx Docs could potentially replace paper drawings in all stages of design and construction. Graphisoft could have a home run here, but they are stuck in a Byzantine pricing scheme. I always favor Software As A Service pricing models. Offer yearly subscriptions with the option to auto renew. Charge on a project, not model basis. Unlimited projects costs more than one project. Make it easy. Make it fair. Make a difference. Make a fortune.

  • April 12, 2014



    Thank you for the update. I agree with you 100%…I will pay if you make my life easier. I will not pay you if you make my like more complicated.

    Keep up the good work.


  • April 12, 2014

    Wow – this is still super confusing to me. So let’s say I have a project and want to share it with all my subs, I pay $39.99 and everyone can access it on their iPads? I also have the $79 version but it’s limited to one ipad (mine)… how do I get the model to my subs? I agree with previous comments…this pricing model is nonsense! This is a home run if implemented properly. I as the builder need to be able to pay for and give access to a model, without time restrictions. And i should be given access to the same model revisions within that purchase. I can see myself paying $39 or $79 or $150 for that matter for an unlimited, unrestricted, accessible from all my subs ipads, up to 10 revision project. Otherwise I might as well print sets.

  • April 12, 2014

    David R

    I totally agree with you as well Jared. I hope Grahisoft is listening.

  • April 12, 2014

    Jared – to clarify… If we pay $39 for the model and everyone downloads it within the 7 day period (which is a totally stupid time limitation IMHO) we can revise the model and distribute it without having to pay for it again? Also, do our subs still have to pay for the app itself or is it free now?

  • April 12, 2014

    So just tried this – uploaded the BIMx model and then try to pull up the 2D docs in the app. It gives me purchase options: License for all your projects $74.99 – access the complete documentation of all your models. It does not mention that I can share this with subs and clients. Sharing your current project $39.99 – use this option to share this model with someone else… implies I can share w one person. Or I have the $9.99 version for current project which does not mention sharing at all. Could Graphisoft make this any more confusing and difficult? How about a simple option – purchase model and all revisions to this model and share it with all your subs and client? 🙂

  • April 13, 2014

    John Sullivan

    All we ever want is ease and clarity of use, but unfortunately Graphisoft rarely listen to us mere mortals! I have been trying to get a fundamental change to arch top windows now for about 5 years, and although I have been told it will be changed in v18 I am. to holding my breath. I agree Jared, if the costing is to cover development costs, fair enough, but we need a one off price for everyone, not this typical ‘legal’ drivel! There, rant over.

  • April 13, 2014

    Clarence Bricklyne

    It should be telling, that even with your great graph and explanation, Jared, that people are still no clearer and have no better understanding of how this policy works (through no fault of yours, of course).
    Which partly explains everything wrong with this pricing model.

    I have to disagree with you on the analogy to printed format.
    This simply is not the same thing.
    The whole point of a digital format like this (or like PDF, etc) over traditional print sets, is precisely because it saves you printing costs – paper and ink toner – (and transportation and conveyance costs) for every re-issue.
    With this format the only real “cost” is download bandwidth and cloud/online storage space (which you probably are already paying for and is negligible in the larger picture) as well as the cost of the viewer – both the hardware (of which people already have in the form of their tablets/smartphones) and software (which would be the bone of contention here in how GS charge or make money out of this product).

    I already explained what I believe to be the main problems with this approach (which is only slightly better than what they had before in that they replace the embarrassment of making you make your clients pay for a product they’re already presumably paying for with a convoluted, confusing and unnecessarily restrictive pricing scheme) in the LinkedIn discussion linked to this, as well as one possibly suggestion to a potential solution.

    I don’t know who does marketing and pricing at Graphisoft, but they have really not doing GS any favours in the last couple of versions with this, an unfortunately I don’t really believe or feel like Graphisoft actually listen to users, unless you’re in one of their inner circles (just take a look at the Wishlist sections at the ArchiTalk forum), so it probably really doesn’t matter what I (or any of most of you) think they should or should not be doing and this could easily be another example of a great product that dies on the vine thanks to the disconnect that the developers have with their user base..

  • April 14, 2014

    A store down the street from anywhere that tried this kind of obfuscation pricing would be out of customers real quick like.

  • April 17, 2014

    Eric BAtte

    This is a useful feature, but unnecessarily complicated. Of greater concern to me is that the BIMx docs workflow disregards the other team members (engineers) whose documents are not part of the ArchiCAD publisher set. There isn’t a simple way to include them. We could add their PDFs to our layout books and publish, but that puts more overhead on the architects to manage it that way…

  • April 19, 2014

    My comment is not well written or very coherent but this issue is really bugging me, my thoughts…

    Graphisoft totally doesn’t get the App Store concept. The apps that make money are the ones that are $1-3 dollars – people don’t even think about spending a couple bucks on something that seems moderately useful.

    With this new pricing scheme I feel even less inclined to use BIMx on a regular basis. We pay $6000 initial purchase + $650 annually for upgrades AND you want to nickel and dime me for sharing a glorified PDF?

    Yes, BIMx Docs are very cool but are they worth this confusion? We have been sharing PDF files for free with owners, consultants and contractors for years. THEY WORK JUST FINE. If people want to print them they do, on their own dime.

    Many of our more sophisticated contractors are using web services that keep documents synchronized 24/7 and subs walk around with iPads instead of big sets of drawings – seriously. This is happening now. What does BIMx Docs do better than this? What is worth to have the 3D included? Is it cool? Yes. Is it helpful? Yes. But it is difficult to put a price on something that might be used for a $1,000,000,000 sky scraper or a $15,000 bathroom addition – either way the “team” pays $39.99 (seems weird to me)?

    Graphisoft should see this as a way for them to be RELEVANT, not as a way to make money. I believe they would sell more $6000 copies of Archicad if BIMx Docs were completely free. How many copies of BIMx Docs does it take to make $6000? …500 single projects @ $9.99 or 125 team projects @ $39.99 or 66 unlimited personal use @ $74.99. I obviously don’t know the app store financial numbers for BIMx but I would be surprised if Graphisoft has even made $6000 from the App store purchases. I don’t know anyone at my office of 50+ archicad users who has paid for BIMx docs.

    Make it all free or make 1 dollar for everyone.

    If they do this Graphisoft will be relevant and sell more Archicad licenses and make more money and we will all dance in the streets with joy and gladness.

  • April 19, 2014

    Clarence Bricklyne

    Just to add on to Matt’s comments (which I agree with whole-heartedly), ever since the videos previewing this concept were released ( getting everyone excited about the possibilities and the potential, in the process), and then the actual tool itself was released, it’s been a series of fumbles, mishaps and missteps and general PR disasters on Graphisoft’s part with how to roll out this tool and integrate it into their larger framework and ecosystem of products.

    Whether it was the lop-sided single format (iOS) release, leaving more than half of your Android (and Windows 8 Surface) Tablet and mobile users out in the cold ( I guess it’s clear now that they were trying to beat the likes of Trimble with their dual Sketchup and Tekla viewers, to the market – more on that in a bit), or the convoluted pricing scheme, the first was which was an embarrassment (for users) and which they’ve now had to go back on with an even more confusing one, it seems like the same old story of a company developing a revolutionary product way ahead of their competitors and way ahead of its time and then proceeding to squander the real estate, the advantage and any goodwill with a bull-headed tone-deaf approach to PR and the marketing of said product – right before a better positioned rival/competitor with more resources takes cue of the idea (in this case Trimble), rushes out a half-baked competing product with lower quality and less features but still cornering the market, simply because they understand the market better.

    Where have we seen that movie before?

    And speaking of rivals, who didn’t see it coming with someone like Trimble releasing a Sketchup viewer for the Tablet format or an Tekla IFC viewer for tablet format (and just think of how many more Sketchup users there are out there not to mention non Architecture IFC model users and viewers on the IFC end of things who might not be interested in investing in the BIMx DOCs format)?

    Also, how long before Autodesk are out with a dedicated Revit viewer for the Tablet (I know they already have Autodesk 360, but that’s more of an open viewer for all their Autodesk line of software) to compete with this,
    Even with a lower quality, less-features version, all they have to do is bundle it with their already heavily proliferated AutoCAD and Revit licences out there, eat the initially costs of giving it away for free while it saturates the market and then start charging once it becomes the industry standard (and has pushed out the likes of BIMx DOCS to niche status).

    Again, where have we seen this movie before?

    I’m sorry but I just have to say, Graphisoft’s PR, marketing and money people are killing them right now bone-headed strategies, and I realize a lot of them don’t like hearing people like myself airing these sorts of frustrations, but in all honesty I’m no longer even excited about the Android version that’s supposed to be upcoming (for one thing we can almost be certain, it’s more or less going to be a ‘poor cousin’ version of the iOS format one if the regular BIMx is anything to go by).
    I’m now genuinely more concerned that this might in some way be compromising the development and quality of ArchiCAD itself and that version 18 will not see much improvement or will see upgrades of features that don’t really help majority of us, ( I have yet to see any evidence that this new BIMCloud concept is something that will help me personally as a non-corporate user and from the looks of it, it looks like it might be the flagship new shiny feature of the new version. Meanwhile, things we really need improved like the Stair tool and a more intuitive non-coding Custom GDL library object maker or interface go begging once again).

    I don’t really know what the future holds for this product, but they seem determined to make money off of it even as they pursue means and ways of doing so that only seem destined to put off more people than get them excited.
    But, I don’t really know anymore.

    Anyway, that was my rant. Sorry, I needed to vent.

    Rant over.

    Carry on.

  • July 14, 2014

    Hi Jared

    We have a full license of BIMx Docs ($75 iTunes).

    Which from my understanding BIMx does allow us to share their ONE model including the documents with ONE client.


    We tried sharing the BIMx Model & Docs with a client, it let them see the BIMx model but, BIMx did NOT let them see the documents without them making a purchase

    From my understanding the client DOES NOT have to purchase BIMx. Correct?

    So I am wondering if maybe we did not share it correctly???

    Can you share a little insight please?


    John Adrian

  • August 26, 2014


    This is seriously daft. Nice product but I’m throwing my hands up in despair at the pricing structure. And I’m not going through the embarrassment of sending to clients. It may as well be a technical glitch that makes a promising product unusable.

    The only pricing structure that makes sense is for a yearly, unlimited licence paid by the model owner.

    It makes it easier for Archicad to manage also. In the end its all going to be free/BIM-licence included anyway its just a question of who gets there first.

Post a Comment