NEWS: ArchiCAD 21 centres on optimised stair design

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New Predictive Design Technology uses algorithms to validate thousands of stair design options in the background

ArchiCAD 21, the latest release of Graphisoft’s Windows and OSX BIM tool, includes a new stair and railing tool that automatically validates thousands of design options against relevant global and local design standards. Other new features include an updated rendering engine, a more flexible way of classifying elements, IFC model referencing and collision detection.

The Stair feature can be seen at work here



And here, modelling the Bauhaus Stairs of Budapest “Szalay Street”

Architects simply place stairs with simple polyline input then chooses from various design options that fit both the user’s graphical input and the chosen standards. The stair’s shape can then be tweaked using ‘intuitive’ graphical methods then structural and finish components customised. Railing can be added with ‘one-click’, creating an instant associative railing along stairs or other building elements, whose posts and panels can be assigned as patterns, or customised individually.

Previous ArchiCAD versions provided a fixed set of Element Classifications, but ArchiCAD 21 introduces a more flexible way to classify elements and spaces for better support of national or company standards and improved interoperability between project participants.

Classifications for construction elements or zones can be handled in a centralized way within the scope of the project using the new Classification Manager function. Classifications can also be transferred between projects via XML file format.

The way in which external IFC models created by consultants – such as Structural or MEP engineers – has also been improved. IFC files can now be placed as hotlinks into ArchiCAD projects as protected reference content. Model Filtering can also narrows the inserted IFC reference content by categories, such as Structural or MEP, or by element selection. The inserted IFC model content can then be updated easily from the linked source file. If the link is broken, elements of the inserted IFC modules can be edited as regular ARCHICAD elements.

Collision Detection often the preserve of dedicated BIM co-ordination software tools, is now part of the standard feature set in ArchiCAD 21. Detection allows two groups of elements to be compared through user-defined criteria sets, including Element Types, Classification values, Property values and Attributes, such as Layer names or Building Materials. Using ArchiCAD’s Mark-Up palette the detected collisions between various elements can be highlighted, identified and edited as needed.

Finally, for photorealistic rendering for architects, the latest version of the ArchiCAD integrated CineRender by MAXON introduces Light Mapping and Secondary GI methods for more realistic, yet fast rendering.

Other features include Touch Bar support for the Apple MacBook Pro, which allows architects to easily access the most relevant ARCHICAD controls and commands, and Uniform Rich Text Format, which has been introduced in all text-related tools: texts, labels, dimensions, interactive schedules.

IFC files can now be placed as hotlinks into ArchiCAD projects as protected reference content

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