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jeff prince

Vectorworks / Archicad collaboration - best way to exchange 3D files

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I am collaborating on a 3D project where the architect uses Archicad, and I am using Vectorworks.

 

What is the best file format for me to import their Archicad model and subsequent updates.

Same question for the Vectorworks export to Archicad.

 

We are getting ready to test a few formats.  Hoping for geometry and textures to stay intact at the very least 🙂

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VW to Archicad by IFC works great.

They can work with and edit VW PIOs.

 

The other way round I think Archicad IFC objects where just

dead objects with bad geometry.

 

 

(Similar but vice versa to to VW DWG.

Import is great and nearly lossless, but export is unfortunately very poor)

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Yes, for me collaboration by exports was always trial and error

for me. Unfortunately some conservative clients aren't always

willing to play through all export options to find the best solution.

(its 4 pm I have to go into weekend now ...)

 

So I may end up with a plain RVT file 🙂

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@zoomer Funny story... I joined a design build firm as their director of landscape architecture back in August.  My role was to lead a team and modernize the company's processes from concept to construction.  Shortly after receiving the furniture and computer I ordered, I realized that the company would not be a good fit, so I resigned.  Shortest gig in my life... the ink on my business cards hadn't even dried 🙂

The computer was nice though, pretty screen and super fast.  I should have offered to buy it from them since nobody there uses Macs and I spent 3 days setting it up.

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Import solved.....  Archicad -> Sketchup -> Vectorworks

Works great and seems to have preserved texturing.

 

I have my doubts that any format exported from Vectorworks will have a similar result.

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On 9/9/2020 at 5:56 PM, jeff prince said:

I am collaborating on a 3D project where the architect uses Archicad, and I am using Vectorworks.

 

What is the best file format for me to import their Archicad model and subsequent updates.

Same question for the Vectorworks export to Archicad.

 

🙂

I'll also like to know a good workflow for this, I'm thinking seriously in moving over the entire office to Archicad...

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This is a timely topic for me.  We started working remotely with another architect in California a few months ago.  He uses VW that is why we got the work.  All is good when his work is all in house.  But now we are working on a pretty big project where the client is in a business that is involved in the construction industry.  So I am asked to send him Revit and IFC files.  It takes a really long time to make the Revit file and when done some walls are missing.  I filed a bug on this.  For the IFC we don't use stories and I don't really know much about the format, so any input form others is welcome - like step by step how to setup my VW file for a good IFC export.  Actually I am not sure the final client would even know what to do with it.  We are in the process of asking.  

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John, there is a very good post by Wes Gardner that will help you. Please search for it.

Stories are another building site altogether, in terms of hateful things.

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So, I finally heard back from the Architect on Archicad about the results of importing the work I sent him in IFC and C4D.

 

He says “Nothing was really USABLE in the sense that it would be better for me to RE-CREATE hardscape using native ArchiCAD tools that I can measure and extract BIM info from….”

 

I’m kinda shocked by that.  Everything I sent him was created using Vectorworks Object such as Walls, Hardscapes, Roofs, Doors, Windows, etc.  He has decided to trace 2D DWGs of the landscape.

 

I’m sitting here wondering if Vectorworks to ArchiCAD requires secret sauce

or

if the ArchiCAD user lacks the knowledge on how to import files correctly

 

Wish he would have had a zoom meeting with me during the import so I could see what happened 😞.

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Many years ago a customer was happy with my ARCH BIM IFC Exports.

Once unlocked she could not really edit my e.g Door PIOs but she got

in Archicad Doors that she could move inside Archicad Walls and such.

 

Hardscape PIOs may be a bit more special.

Does Archicad even have something similar ?

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@zoomer 

14 minutes ago, zoomer said:

Hardscape PIOs may be a bit more special.

Does Archicad even have something similar ?

 

I have no idea as I’ve never used or had a client on Archicad.

I don’t recall having issues with importing the same kind of content into Revit, but that was a few years ago last I tried.

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12 hours ago, jeff prince said:

So, I finally heard back from the Architect on Archicad about the results of importing the work I sent him in IFC and C4D.

 

He says “Nothing was really USABLE in the sense that it would be better for me to RE-CREATE hardscape using native ArchiCAD tools that I can measure and extract BIM info from….”

 

I’m kinda shocked by that.  Everything I sent him was created using Vectorworks Object such as Walls, Hardscapes, Roofs, Doors, Windows, etc.  He has decided to trace 2D DWGs of the landscape.

 

I’m sitting here wondering if Vectorworks to ArchiCAD requires secret sauce

or

if the ArchiCAD user lacks the knowledge on how to import files correctly

 

Wish he would have had a zoom meeting with me during the import so I could see what happened 😞.

I am guessing he does not know how to use his tools.  At the minimum he should be able to import a dwg plan into Archicad and not have to trace everything.  

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If one exports IFC out of the box and the document is not touched by whatever faulty IFC mapping attempts, the VW defaults will get you a stainless perfect export.

And we don't even begin speaking about DWGs being traced over.

 

 

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The last November I went to a Solibri presentation. Among others, an interesting project in the Subway arcs of Berlin was presented as particularly well done and IFC compliant.

It was Vectorworks Germany, no IFC settings aside of the regular shipped stuff.

The speaker said it was the best IFC export he ever saw.

 

It will not hurt thanking the gray eminence behind all this: @Mihail Rizov

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6 hours ago, Helm said:

I am guessing he does not know how to use his tools.  At the minimum he should be able to import a dwg plan into Archicad and not have to trace everything.  

 

He is able to import the 2D dwg and will use that as the basis of creating his Archicad model.  Seems like an exceptional waste of time to do so, but that is his business.

 

I never have such drama when importing Revit or Sketchup from my architectural clients.  I just create a new document to quarantine the architect's work, import the architect's work, and reference this quarantine file into my work.  This keeps things pretty orderly and protects my work from any kind of corruption.  At worst, I end up having to do a little housekeeping and delete objects I don't need.  It usually take longer for VWX to import the Revit file than it does for me to put it to use.

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5 hours ago, _c_ said:

If one exports IFC out of the box and the document is not touched by whatever faulty IFC mapping attempts, the VW defaults will get you a stainless perfect export.

And we don't even begin speaking about DWGs being traced over.

 

 

Are you using stories in your file.  I don't know much about IFC but I read that it wants the file to be using stories. I did one small export and it made them for me, we don't use stories.

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@_c_ 

5 hours ago, _c_ said:

If one exports IFC out of the box and the document is not touched by whatever faulty IFC mapping attempts, the VW defaults will get you a stainless perfect export.

And we don't even begin speaking about DWGs being traced over.

 

 

 

Yes, I don't understand why he is having difficulty.  Fortunately, another member here volunteered to import my files into Archicad and see what happens.

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I just installed Archicad and began running through one of their tutorials.

At one point, the instructor proudly says "Archicad was designed by architects, for architects"...

I promptly closed the software and uninstalled it before any further damage was done 🙂

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ha ha! 

Never forget. These are tools and we are not married to them nor bound to loyalty.

 

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4 hours ago, _c_ said:

ha ha! 

Never forget. These are tools and we are not married to them nor bound to loyalty.

 

That's very true. Nevertheless it seems some companies manage to elicite more excitement and brand loyalty than others, e.g. Apple, Archicad, etc. And I am always puzzled by their devotion.

 

On the topic of Ifc-Export, my experience was that we have a decent export. There is just to much expectation linked to it. People always expect it to turn automatically into a native format, no matter if they use Archicad; Allplan, Revit, etc. That was never the intention so far with either IFC2x3 or IFC4. They are mostly for referencing, hence "Reference View". If your software kind of manages to transform it into some native objects, good, but it's not a given.


Every use case has different demands for the ifc model. The structual engineer needs only the load-bearing walls as IfcWalls, the hvac engineers need mostly IfcSpace and for energy analysis you need to have one IfcWall with the different components as IfcMaterials and IfcSpaces (Eventhough here most BIM-Software is lacking in so far as you need, I think, at least 3rd level space boundaries for proper energy analysis)

 

Ifc-Export is a very dry and boring technical topic, that, at least in my case, had a long, long learning curve.

 

 

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