ArchiCAD 13 Makes Ground-Breaking Leap in BIM File Sharing

1 Sep, 2009 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

Introduced today, the new version allows multiple users to work in the same model simultaneously, as well as share updates and communicate in real time.

"ArchiCAD v13 will be a game changer – not just for ArchiCAD but for the BIM industry," says Akos Pfemeter, director of global marketing at Graphisoft. New technology in the latest version of the building information modeling (BIM) solution will allow multiple users to work on a building model simultaneously and virtually in real time as well as communicate with one another within the application itself, eliminating common BIM workflow bottlenecks.

Announced today and shipping in the second half of September, ArchiCAD v13 introduces a client-server-based collaborative environment that has been years in development. The new GRAPHISOFT BIM Server is a major technology leap beyond current file-based team collaboration solutions, Pfemeter says. Optimized to minimize network traffic, it lets users model and collaborate in real time over standard Internet connections. Updates by other users can appear in the model in as little as a few seconds and work can be synchronized even across continents in real time.

ArchiCAD v13's new Teamwork environment provides live visual feedback about element reservation by users. If one user wants access to elements currently in use by another team member, he or she can request access via an instant message sent inside the application, which automatically displays the elements in question for the message recipient. "Any [model access] conflicts can be resolved in a matter of seconds with the exchange of just a few messages," Pfemeter explains.

The new Teamwork in ArchiCAD 13 offers on-demand element access and server-level conflict management. Colored workspaces represent which users are working in which areas of the model simultaneously.


CAD/BIM managers will appreciate improved workflow control and user rights management enabled by the new, patent-pending GRAPHISOFT BIM Server. In the team collaboration environment of ArchiCAD 13, user roles and access rights can be established project by project, meaning users can have different roles in each model. Roles can be customized at the level of single functions, including varying control in terms of element modification, documentation access, and more.

Other productivity improvements in ArchiCAD 13 include associative door and window annotations in interactive schedules, flexible view orientation, intelligent soft insulation, improved library object management, and enhanced DWG file exchange and engineering data exchange. Full details are available on the Graphisoft web site.

ArchiCAD 13 ($4,250 for a full commercial license) is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista® and Windows 7 with native 32-bit and 64-bit support and for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 with 32-bit support. All 26 local versions are scheduled to be on the market by the fall season.

Watch for a Cadalyst Labs Review of ArchiCAD 13, coming soon.

About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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