Graphisoft Offers GDL Models Online

22 Apr, 2008

Company teams with FormFonts 3D to develop, host, and share Geometric Description Language building-content libraries for users of ArchiCAD.

Graphisoft and FormFonts 3D have teamed up to provide ArchiCAD Geometric Description Language (GDL) models online to ArchiCAD users.

FormFonts, a provider of Google SketchUp models, is working with Graphisoft to develop, host, and share GDL building-content libraries. These libraries include both generic and manufacturer-specific content for residential, commercial, and institutional projects such as hospitals and research laboratories.

The GDL objects found on FormFonts can be placed into ArchiCAD's 3D workspace. Once placed, they can be edited at any time, including modifications to color, material, or any other parameter setting. GDL objects are information containers that carry 2D and 3D geometry, product logic and behavior, parameters, material definitions, and an object-specific user interface. GDL objects take advantage of parametric technology.

"FormFonts 3D is unique in the marketplace," said Patrick Mays, vice-president of Graphisoft North America. "It creates value -- an economic platform for the ongoing creation of professional virtual building objects. We believe this is the only rational and viable approach to generating the vast model library BIM [building information modeling] requires."

The FormFonts Web site offers both a content-trading section and a professional subscription library of more than 35,000 3D models. All models are available in multiple 3D formats and can be accessed for as little as $16.58 per month in prepaid annual subscriptions. FormFonts reportedly pioneered revenue sharing for 3D developers under the subscription model in 2003.

"We have a professional community of modelers producing excellent content on our Web site today, and now we will expand that community to encourage GDL developers to contribute content in exchange for royalties," said Fred Abler, principal and CEO of FormFonts. "In BIM environments, digital product models are not just content; they are essential data. High-quality objects are a 'must have' that people gladly pay for." Abler said he sees this awareness growing rapidly as users increasingly exploit the analytic capabilities of their BIM environment.