THE COBBLER’S WORKBENCH
There are a lot of objects, add-ons, tutorials, templates, etc. out there for ArchiCAD. Below is a partial collection of websites that have resources to help you use ArchiCAD to its fullest. If you think there’s a website I should include e-mail me. Want to know why I created the list? Read this.
These are the current official training videos from Graphisoft. I haven’t had time to look at them, or maybe I saw them months ago before they were released. I can’t remember. (Note: you will be requested to Sign in with your GRAPHISOFT ID, which is also used on www.MyArchiCAD.com)
I’ve started compiling a list of YouTube channels with ArchiCAD Tutorial Videos. Right now it’s just a long blog post, but I intend to create a similar page like this one once I flesh out the list some more. Click on the above link to find out more and also to share your favorite YouTube Channels for ArchiCAD Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks.
I’ve written about Eric Bobrow’s Courses before. His courses are a combination of online videos, live webinars, and personalized training calls.
According to LearnVirtual’s website, offers the largest collection of ArchiCAD online training with over 1,200 videos and 200 classes.
David Nicholson Cole wrote the definitive book(s) on learning GDL and making Objects in ArchiCAD. The link will take you to an article on my blog written by one of my ArchiCAD heroes as well as links to download the various versions of each book (for free!).
If you want even more GDL textbook learning, check out Cadimage’s offering. This book was written by Andrew Watson, a developer in the Cadimage Group team who has worked on “almost all aspects of the Cadimage suite of Objects and Tools and is the original developer of the Stairs and Door+Window tools for ArchiCAD”. So if the guy who has written endless lines of GDL script for Cadimage is writing a book about GDL, you know he’ll have good things to teach you.
BIM PROTOCOLS – ARCHICAD
The above link will take you to a post on Shoegnome talking about the UK protocol document for ArchiCAD designed for use with BIM projects, known as the AEC (UK) BIM Protocols. It‘s a great document and should be used as a model for future protocol development.
Currently I’m not aware of any other BIM protocols specifically for ArchiCAD out there, so if you know of one please let me know.
CADSwift has a combination of 3D objects, enhanced label objects, and templates. Read Kristian’s guest post.
In addition to being an ArchiCAD Reseller based in the UK, ADL has a decent number of GDL objects for sale.
3DMD makes a number of awesome 3D polyline based objects, including a polyline railing, fence, and pathway.
Ben Cohen provides a suite of 160+ library objects geared for the Australian market.
Dimensions Design Group, Inc. makes Smart Parts. The various libraries include windows+doors, kitchen+bath, trim+stairs, various furniture and more. One of my coworkers still swears by his ArchiCAD 6.5 Smart Parts that he purchased over a decade ago.
Rik Corporation has a really extensive landscaping and exteriors library. It looks like there are some pretty incredible features. The page I link to is in English, but the rest of the site is in Japanese. And unfortunately while my brother lives in Tokyo and is fluent in Japanese, I live in Minnesota and am essentially monolingual. However it looks like Rik Corporation might have some other ArchiCAD Add-ons and libraries.
The goal of this site is to create a centralized store for small sellers of BIM content (tools, add-ons, objects, etc.). While their initial release is focusing on ArchiCAD, they plan on branching out into other platforms (Revit, Allplan, Vectorworks, Microstation…). If you have ArchiCAD objects or add-ons to sell, perhaps selling through World of BIM will be a good fit for you; visit the main ArchiCAD page and see what’s already available: www.archicad.worldofbim.com. The director of World of BIM, Mark Beauman, wrote a guest post for Shoegnome that talks more about the goals of the site. Read that guest post here. (oh and they’re non-exclusive, so you can sell your stuff elsewhere too).
I’ve made my ArchiCAD template available to anyone who wants it. Monetary support is appreciated, but not necessary. You can learn more about the Shoegnome Open Template and how to download it here.
From BIM6x’s website: “The BIM6x Template Kits for ArchiCAD 18 are the culmination of decades of ArchiCAD implementation experience and are based on the feedback of thousands of users, with ongoing support from Graphisoft.” Half of BIM6x is Link Ellis, who is one of my ArchiCAD Heroes. BIM6x offers a free Starter Kit and two paid levels of template (Launch Kit and Power Kit). Since their Starter Kit is free, there’s really no reason not to check it out.
From Eric’s website: “Created by two ArchiCAD masters with a combined 35 years of experience using and teaching the program, it is a catalyst that will jump you up several levels in terms of organizational efficiency, saving you immense amounts of time while supporting you to produce higher quality work.”
From their website: “macinteract is a Sydney, Australia-based company providing Apple-based IT services to creative professionals.” Arne Heeres wrote a guest blog post for me about both their template and their template creation philosophy. You can read that post here.
ADD-ONs & Plug-ins
AECobjects (a division of ARCHIVISTA, inc) has Modelport, which is an add-on that will import OBJ, FBX, DAE, and 3DS files into ArchiCAD as Objects. “MODELPORT uses the Autodesk FBX SDK, which is the same code used by Autodesk to create a bridge between their popular 3D software: Maya, Softimage XSI, 3DStudio MAX, etc.”
Cadimage has a range of plugins to help extend the functionality of ArchiCAD. They’ve got tools to build custom Cabinets, Doors+Windows, detailed Cladding for exteriors and more. I know a lot of users that are rabid fans of many of their plugins and Objects. Encina is now also a part of Cadimage. So FrameWright Pro, gbXML Export, and most importantly OBJECTiVE are now part of the Cadimage family. If you’ve ever asked how to model something extremely difficult and complex on the ArchiCAD forum, you’ve probably gotten a reply from Ralph Wessel showing how easy it is to do with OBJECTiVE.
Cigraph sells ArchiSuite, which is about 17 different add-ons in one.
Éptár Ltd. are longtime developers of ArchiCAD Add-Ons and GDL objects. Their site has a mixture of paid and free objects and Add-Ons. They have a tiling add-on and a Reinforcement add-on that both look really interesting. They also have a free roll-up door object that is quite nice.
KUBUS (the Graphisoft and Solibri distributor for Benelux) developed BCF Managers for both Revit and ArchiCAD. What is BCF? Building Collaboration Format (BCF) allows issues found by model checking software to be easily displayed in ArchiCAD or Revit. BCF enables an efficient collaboration workflow for model quality assurance and quality control, and is supported by Solibri, BIMsight, Tekla Structures and DDS-CAD.
Not only is M.A.D. the Graphisoft Reseller for Finland and the publisher of ArchiMag, they have also created some really cool Add-ONs like ArchiLogs, DoubleCheck, Zonematic, and Revisiomatic. Do yourself a favor and check out Zonematic.
They have a variety of small (and inexpensive) add-ons that do all the little things you wish ArchiCAD could do (copying 3D elements in section, autoplacing gutters, having walls change height when the stories are revised, etc).
If the object, plug-in, or add-on you are looking for doesn’t exist, I know most of these providers would be happy to talk to you about developing a custom object for you.
Orthograph makes a survey program that allows you to input measurements onsite via an iPad and then export native ArchiCAD objects directly to ArchiCAD. I’ve mentioned Orthograph a few times on the blog.
From SyD’s website: “SyD™ cloud computing technology expands BIM collaboration environment to share and discuss designs between architects, engineers and clients. Share part of a floor plan, discuss a 3D view in a model or swap ideas on a specific object.”
A spin-off company from Graphisoft, vintoCON makes ArchiFM which extends ArchiCAD’s functionality into the realm of BIM based Facilities Management.
From dRofus’s website: “We are happy to announce that our first edition of ArchiCAD Add On is out in BETA for testing. This first release focuses on linking and synchronizing rooms, areas and room parameters, making the daily workflow for ArchiCAD users more flexible and effective when working with dRofus.”
This website of course has to come first in any list of ArchiCAD object resources. It is a game changer. It’ll be interesting to see if all the content from the other free sites ends up on BIMcomponents or if there will still be some rogue objects out there. With direct integration into ArchiCAD 16 (you can search BIMcomponents.com from within ArchiCAD and load objects directly into the embedded library), this site has the potential to make most of the other 3rd party free object repositories obsolete. It is essentially Google Warehouse but by Graphisoft and for ArchiCAD. The big ‘killer app’ being that the website can easily incorporate user generated content. And objects can be uploaded from ArchiCAD, so it should be easy to integrate into your object making workflow.
In addition to some free objects, Vistasp’s website also has a search function that will search about 16 ArchiCAD websites.
This was the largest collection of free ArchiCAD objects online (until BIMcomponents stormed onto the scene). There are some nice furniture pieces and a lot of 3D objects that are great for improved visualization. Be warned there’s a lot of garbage and objects ported from other programs. But if you need to populate a BIMx file, this site is your friend!
As the official Graphisoft object depository, this is a great place to look for free ArchiCAD objects. Also if you have objects that you want to share, please upload them here as well!
Another new(er) entrant, this site also has content for multiple platforms. My favorite part of this site is the ease of filtering objects down by file type. I don’t care about REVIT families. I just want GDL objects. Like most (all) object repository sites, I see a lot of objects from other sites. But there’s also enough unique objects to warrant checking it out.
Éptár Ltd. are longtime developers of ArchiCAD Add-Ons and GDL objects. Their site has a mixture of paid and free objects and Add-Ons. Their free roll-up door object is quite nice. They also have a bunch of objects for interiors and a new roof tile object (only for windows as of December 2012).
Ilauszky Endre, the Owner of manuBIMsoft Ltd., wrote a guest post about his company and website. The concept is great, I wish him the best of luck, and the objects he’s already developed are incredible. I look forward to seeing much more from manuBIM.
Modlar (formerly BIMstop and Barrington Architecture) has a large number of quality free objects for ArchiCAD (plus Revit, Vectorworks, and SketchUp). Some are duplicates from the ArchiCAD Talk Object Depository, but most are not. Scott Barrington, CEO of Modlar, wrote a guest blog post about their mission. Read it here.
I’m adding this because the concept is good and maybe it’ll develop into a worthwhile site. You can read about this UK group’s loft goals here. But right now there’s not much value for ArchiCAD users and the site is annoying to navigate. I’d wager this is the first site I remove from my list. Let’s check back in a few months.
This is an interesting looking site. It’s not exclusively ArchiCAD content, but it seems to have a good amount. And stuff I haven’t seen elsewhere. The most intriguing thing I’ve downloaded so far is the the Hunter Pacific fan object. It was actually developed by CADSwift, which suggests that the other ArchiCAD content on this site will be GOOD.
For more information on ArchiCAD resources check out http://archicad.lap.hu/
There’s also a comprehensive list of ArchiCAD object websites on the ArchiCAD Help Center (formerly ArchiCADwiki).