ArchiCAD 15: Part 2
by Lachmi Khemlani
This software review takes a detailed look at ArchiCAD 15 in two parts, continuing here with 3D interface enhancements, improved support for renovation projects, and other changes, along with an overall analysis of this release. —Editor
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3D Interface Enhancements
The new freeform modeling capability in ArchiCAD 15 is nicely complemented by some interface enhancements that make 3D elements easier to create and navigate.
To start with, there are no primary or secondary view types to create or edit the BIM model — you can work in any view, 2D or 3D, and even in 3D perspective views. In contrast, in Revit all the model creation and editing tools are deactivated in perspective views. It feels more natural for architects to work in perspective views, and ArchiCAD is now one of the only BIM tools to provide this capability.
Also, a new "editing plane" is now visible in the 3D window, allowing modeling elements to be created on a visible plane rather than in midair. This plane is dynamic, automatically enlarging as more elements are added to the model so as to accommodate all of them. You can use it to model elements more accurately by enabling a grid display on the plane at desired grid intervals and turning on Grid Snap; you can also enable the Tracker feature for precise coordinate input.
By default, the editing plane is automatically set to the base elevation of the currently selected tool, but its position can be changed by changing the user origin. In addition, the editing plane can be rotated if required. For elements such as shells, the editing plane changes dynamically depending upon the position of the cursor detected on different surfaces, allowing points to be selected on them to create different shell profiles. You can also move the editing plane during an editing operation and position it where required to perform the operation more accurately.
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This article is excerpted from "ArchiCAD 15" by Lachmi Khemlani, copyright © 2011, with permission of the publisher, AECbytes.
In version 15, ArchiCAD's modeling interface supports full object creation in all view modes, including 3D perspective view.
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Subtle improvements to the ArchiCAD modeling interface include improved guides and object snapping.
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