Published 20 September 2012
|Written by Martyn Day|
In the last edition we looked at the latest release of Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD. Since then there have been a number of changes to its product range and pricing.
Since then there have been a number of changes to its product range and pricing.
Graphisoft’s UK operations have recently been restructured. Reseller Applecore Designs now operates as Graphisoft Connect, the only UK reseller of commercial ArchiCAD, taking on responsibility for other areas such as marketing. Scott Berry of AppleCore Design talks to AEC about how this will affect its product offering.
Last year AEC looked at an entry-level product bundle from Graphisoft called ArchiCAD Start. This was based on the previous release of ArchiCAD and would get architects into BIM for less than £1,000.
This product has segued into ArchiCAD Solo, which was put together at the request of Graphisoft UK, and offers great entry-level value for money.
While the Start version of ArchiCAD always lagged the current version, Solo ships at the same time as the current Teamwork version. The package includes energy evaluation, workbooks, a range of 2D detailing objects (roof tiles, brick and block, etc), and local content as well as 12 months service for upgrades for £1,699.
ArchiCAD 16 Solo includes all the modelling capabilities of Teamwork such as Morph, Shell, new multiplane roof, complex profiles as well sketch rendering, publisher and the renovation workflow. It does not include Lightworks rendering nor the BIM Server/Teamwork technology.
The MEP variant of ArchiCAD Solo is also available at the same price (but does not include the detail library).
Graphisoft offers a unique model sharing capability called BIM Explorer (BIMx), which allows for the distribution of models.
The self-extracting files run on PC, Mac, iOS and Android. BIMx can be added at the point of sale bringing the cost of the whole Graphisoft BIM Solo package to a total of £1,899.
ArchiCAD 16 Solo supports multi-core processing and runs natively on PC (as a 32-bit application) and Mac OS (64-bit). On upgrade to the full version of ArchiCAD all money paid for Solo is discounted off the full copy of ArchiCAD Teamwork.
ArchiCAD Solo is a powerful entry-level system, a good starting point to get into BIM from 2D CAD, with a no-loss upgrade path. Firms that need multiple seats will be better off with the full version with Teamwork capability.
The omission of high-end rendering could be easily rectified with the purchase of the Abvents Artlantis, which costs from £391 and integrates well with ArchiCAD.
ArchiCAD licencing works on a concurrent basis, with users free to install software on as many machines as required. Both versions use hardware keys as software protection. While this locking annoys some, it allows considerable flexibility when using the software dynamically. For instance a license of ArchiCAD can be ‘borrowed’ for up to 28 days, say, for a laptop while on site.
It enables software rental based on three, six or 12 months. Prices start at £657 per quarter (including upgrades in the rental period) and works out at £477 per quarter over a 12-month hire. This could be used to evaluate the software or for overflow requirements should a project require more users, without adding to future software overheads.
The entry level BIM market will become a battleground over the coming year. Autodesk has quietly announced the availability of Autodesk Revit LT, formerly Project Spark on Autodesk Labs (see page 8). With Graphisoft offering a very capable entry level solution, designers will have a choice, or could afford to have copies of each should a project demand it.
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