Easy solution for ARCHICAD users with very nice interactive viewing
January 30, 2018

Easy solution for ARCHICAD users with very nice interactive viewing

Stefan Boeykens | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Bimx

As a consultancy company, we advise and educate clients about BIM applications (technology & management process). BIMx is a specific solution to ease a specific problem. When companies are using ARCHICAD, it is an easy-to-use and powerful visualization tool to allow designers to share their design as an interactive model. The ideal use seems to be publishing it for use on an iPad, as that where the main benefit lies.
  • (Almost) one-click export from ARCHICAD model to interactive app
  • Flexible navigation - walk, fly, orbit... with good touch gestures on mobile app
  • Rich view - especially with the interactive linking of 3D model and 2D drawings
  • Decent graphical quality - especially with the GI pre-calculated
  • It is an out-of-the-box solution for end-users. There is almost no customization possible (e.g. API for developers)
  • Pricing is a bit confusing with two options for in-app purchase (PRO and Share a Model) and the separate Desktop Viewer
  • Android version takes a long time to get updated to iOS version
  • Only for ARCHICAD users. No other software is supported.
  • As our business is consultancy, it is mainly the benefit of our clients using BIMx. They are consistently thrilled about it.
  • Its main success is ease of sharing models with clients, contractors but usually in one direction > viewing the model from the designer
  • As the software has had numerous changes throughout the years, including feature removal for the Desktop version, it sometimes difficult to understand what the current feature set actually is.
  • I would look at BIMx as an easy-to-use solution. As long as its feature set appeal, it is simple to integrate. But there is no customization.
  • Graphisoft has stated numerous times that they see BIMx evolving in the future as a more broad document and model sharing and collaboration tool. Only some of that is currently implemented.
Direct publishing to a 3D model can be done with a few other tools, but if (and only if) you are using ARCHICAD, it is the easiest to use.
For Revit users, there is more choice, including Revit Live or some online model-viewers and publishers.

For full custom interactivity, you have to look at e.g. Unity3D or Unreal where you can include and extend endlessly, but you will lack the ease of BIMx. You'd also have to look for good similar navigation. Especially the link between 2D views and 3D model sections is hard to beat. But in that context, if you want to e.g. allow users to choose design alternatives, select another material or include animations and sound, this is not possible in BIMx.
As an ARCHICAD user, this is almost a no-brainer. BIMx is included (although there are some paying options) and works well out-of-the-box. There is little to setup from the ARCHICAD side. You prepare a set of layouts/views and can publish the model on Ine go. The free version focuses on the 3D-model viewer. You publish an interactive model and can walk through it. With the PRO version, you also can publish the "Hyper-Model" - an integration of 2D and 3D views.

If you are looking at tuning your own interactivity, e.g. in precisely defining what can happen and what information to show, you cannot customize BIMx that way. You have to look at alternatives, such as game engines or other 3D visualization software.

Using Bimx

1 - In our office, I'm the ARCHICAD specialist and as such the only user of BIMx. I have to properly understand its features and possibilities, in our consulting services, but also as a BIM-teacher and lecturer. In most cases, our clients who use ARCHICAD do apply it in the communication with their clients and contractors and as such, we hardly have to push for them to use it.
1 - As it is a fairly easy-to-use software, the only consideration is understanding ARCHICAD and what you can include with the "Publish to BIMx" options. It is not too difficult, although people tend to be happy with what they get out-of-the-box. It is more difficult to fully understand the different licensing options and the technical limitations or constraints of the software, as it is not represented as something that can be tweaked much.
  • Putting the use of BIMx in the context of our clients for whom we consult
  • Using it as an example in lectures to show some of the BIM benefits
  • Explaining its usage but also its limitations in BIM workflows
  • In the past, we could export from ARCHICAD and add GI afterwards to enable a standalone clean viewer. This functionally got lost along the updates, alas.
  • We are still looking at better ways of integrating the model information
  • It is a very inspiring app considering the gesture-based navigation
  • We hope that it evolves to allow more customisation (e.g. with an API) so we can integrate it in other workflows
  • We are looking forward to the CDE (Common Data Environment) direction Graphisoft is taking and the possible role of BIMx beyond ARCHICAD users
  • We are hoping for more architecture clients using ARCHICAD and push its usage towards BIM collaboration (many architects still focus on sharing 2D drawings)
Most people using it are thrilled about it. But our use of ARCHICAD in projects is (alas) a bit limited, especially compared with the attention for Revit with our clients. And as an ARCHICAD teacher, I have to remember to keep introducing it as it is accepted well with most users.