University of Sydney - Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning
ArchiCADWhat is ArchiCAD ?

ArchiCAD is a 3D modeling and CAD (or computer aided design) application which allows you to draw, model and display building designs simply and quickly.

ArchiCAD is object oriented, which means that it will enable you to generate and modify three dimensional objects, not just lines, and produce 2D architectural drawings and 3D models of buildings. ArchiCAD combines a variety of tools, with which you can select, configure and form different building object such as slabs, walls, doors, windows and roofs, to construct a virtual building.  

ArchiCAD is very useful when designing,  for producing simple 3D models that are easy to modify. This enables you to visualise and test your ideas more rapidly than by building a physical model, and more thoroughly than by drawing sketches. 

As your design comes together ArchiCAD may be used to produce accurate drawings and models incorporating realistic surfaces and surroundings. You can create scenes with lighting and shadows and display these either as still images or dynamically, as movies, or interactive virtual reality scenes, objects or environments. 

Some forms are not easy to model if they don't correspond to an existing Library object. ArchiCAD's graphic description language, called GDL, allows unusual building forms to be specified in code and then saved as Library Objects. You can use GDL to create new shapes and forms or to modify and create variants of existing objects. For more information, look at the GDL Reference manual on the ArchiCAD Help Menu.

Development of ArchiCAD and its competitors has contributed to a profound re-framing of the role of CAD, beyond drawing to simulation using Building Information Technology, or BIM. The makers of ArchiCAD BIM forsee an additional major role for architects as both creators and caretakers of virtual buildings, continuing their professional relationship throughout the building life cycle. As BIM technology is still relatively new the opportunity exists for you to become a leading practitioner or developer.


TOP______Design Lab  -  February 2011______