On Monday night Graphisoft Australia hosted the Brisbane ArchiCAD User Group Meeting. The second event in its new and improved format held at the XXXX Brewery is growing in popularity and the venue packed out with just under 60 attendees. The beauty of the new format is the event is given back to the users with only users presenting their experiences with the group. Graphisoft Australia are essentially facilitating the growth of the ArchiCAD user community something that has dwindled over the last few years.

The three presenters covered a broad range of interesting topics. Matthew Johnson from POWE Architects talked about Collaboration, Vince Zbasnik from Cottee Parker Architects presented their ArchiCAD template and Hugo Riveros from Dixon Homes discussed how ArchiCAD 17 communicates with 3D Printers.

Click on the image above to be taken to the POWE Architects Website to view a copy of Matthew's presentation.

First to the Stage with Matthew, he talked about all of the different possible collaboration formats beginning with the traditional print and review through to full 3D+ Collaboration. Matthew is one of Brisbane’s top ArchiCAD users and has significant experience in IFC collaboration. POWE have been working with Consultant Teams for a number of years in 3D. The first comment of the evening was regarding the ArchiCAD 17 box and the inclusion of the Collaboration Guide and the question, "Who has read it." Very few actually had read it and I almost felt like an ArchiCAD geek having been one to put my hand up to that question.

POWE Architects use ArchiCAD and Tekla BIMsight as part of the BIM process. The main take away for the evening is that to bring a Consultant’s model into ArchiCAD is relatively easy but there is no quality in doing that. The model should be checked for quality prior to inserting in ArchiCAD. POWE use Telka BIMsight to undertake clash detections prior to bringing IFC files into ArchiCAD.

Matthew believes that the use of freeware Tekla BIMsight is a great way to engage the consultant and client into the collaboration process, as it is a piece of software that all parties have access too.

Matthew’s rules for success to achieve successful Coordination Models

  • Plan your process with a BIM MEP
  • Get whole team buy in
  • Understand that capability is not just a measure of technology
  • Who is going to want access to the model
  • What is the output target

Next up was Vince Zbasnik from Cottee Parker Architects he presented his Practice’s ArchiCAD Template. Cottee Parker is a large Australian Architectural Practice with over 60 users in ArchiCAD on a daily basis. Cottee Parker Architects upgrade their ArchiCAD on every second release, as they believe that the work required in updating templates and training staff is greater than the gain from upgrading. They will be upgrading from ArchiCAD 16 to ArchiCAD 18 this year.

Vince talked about the importance of Structure within your template and that having everything ready in Favorites assists their large team to model their projects quickly and to Company Standards.

The take away for me from this presentation was the inclusion of preset 3D documents in their template for Sun studies. This is something that we have never had in our template to date. The 3D document format is great for shadow diagrams from above for Development Applications or other views that are important to quickly check sun exposure on your building during critical part of the year.

To close the night out with the "Pretty Stuff," Hugo Riveros from Dixon Homes talked about 3D printing from ArchiCAD. He brought a machine in that was printing live for everyone to see and get excited over. Dixon Homes have been using 3D Printers to demonstrate to clients the 20 different façade options for their house designs. This has proven so successful with client’s interacting with the models so well that Dixon Homes now how 4 x 3D Printers.

He explained the basic workflow that he uses

  • Model in ArchiCAD
  • Export STL file (from ArchiCAD 17 onwards)
  • Open in 3D printer Software
  • Generate G File
  • Send File to 3D printer
  • Printer Prints

Tips for those that want to start 3D printing models.

  • Know your resolution – too detailed for the scale you print will not work. Windows etc.
  • Plan out your printing – too many voids means lots of material for scaffolding.
  • Printing Time – 3D printing is a slow process, allow the time to print.
  • Filament Printing – If a spool runs out the printer will not know and keep building the model with air!

Then we topped the night off with XXXX Beers right from the Brewery along with networking with other users. This event was a great success and at a point where the number of attendees means a new venue will need to be sought for the next event. Look forward to seeing you all at the next event.