To the delight of CAD users on the Mac platform, ArchiCAD 8 has been announced by Graphisoft — and it’s Mac OS X compatible. The latest version is due this fall.
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ArchiCAD, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March, is a 3D model-based architectural CAD software. Version 8 sports a streamlined interface and boosted performance. For example, a simplified menu structure with customizable features is designed to make ArchiCAD friendlier to both inexperienced and proficient users.
You can arrange a project into typical documentation sets like planning submissions, tenders or construction drawings. It can also be used to ensure documents comply to office standards, according to Bence Kovacs, Graphisoft’s vice president of product management. Additionally, documents can be easily distributed to the local network, printer or even to a web- based FTP server, he added.
A new Layout Book is designed to help users reduce documentation time by organizing a project’s entire documentation automatically into one file with timesaving features such as automatic page numbering, multiple master pages and intelligent title block elements. All updates on the Virtual Building are automatically documented on the final drawing sheets.
There are also improvements in detailing and drafting features to expedite 2D work, Kovacs said. Fully implemented Polylines ease tedious drafting work, eliminating the need to re-shape elements, he added. New intuitive data entry also helps architects to create new elements how they want them, right from the start. The new detail tool features direct links to dedicated workspace as well as parametric detail markers that can meet users’ local standards as well as individual documentation styles.
ArchiCAD 8’s Solid Geometry Operations offers power to model complex shapes using Boolean commands. Architects can create more sophisticated elements simply, with good visual feedback options, without having to custom program objects, according to Kovacs. Using solid operations also improves accuracy in bills of materials and other quantity surveys, he added.
Both 2D and 3D navigation have been improved. No matter how large a floor plan is, users can navigate in real-time using the mouse scroll button. OpenGL graphic card support exploits the power of hardware accelerator cards for real-time 3D navigation in a photo rendering quality with the building remaining fully editable. ArchiCAD 8 also boasts reduced section generation time.
ArchiCAD 8 will run on Mac OS 9.1 and later (with the CarbonLib extensions installed) as well as Mac OS X. English, German and French versions of ArchiCAD 8 will be available through Graphisoft’s Distributor Partners beginning in the fall, with other localized versions released through the first half of 2003. ArchiCAD is available through a large network of authorized resellers.