ArchiCAD is an architectural BIM CAD software for Macintosh and Windows developed by the Hungarian company GRAPHISOFT. ArchiCAD offers computer aided solutions for handling all common aspects of aesthetics and engineering during the whole design process of the built environment â€” buildings, interiors, urban areas, etc.
Development of ArchiCAD started in 1982 for the original Apple Macintosh. ArchiCAD is recognized as the first CAD product on a personal computer able to create both 2D drawings and parametric 3D geometry. In its debut in 1987, with GRAPHISOFT “Virtual Building” concept, ArchiCAD also became the first BIM CAD software in the world. Today more than 100,000 architects are using it in the building design industry.
ArchiCAD allows the user to work with data-enhanced parametric objects, often called “smart objects” by users. This differs from the operational style of other CAD programs created in the 1980s. The product allows the user to create a “virtual building” with virtual structural elements like walls, slabs, roofs, doors, windows and furniture. A large variety of pre-designed, customizable objects come with the program.
ArchiCAD allows the user to work with either a 2D or 3D representation on the screen. Two-dimensional drawings can be exported at any time, even though the model in the program’s database always stores data in three dimensions. Plans, elevations, and sections are generated from the three-dimensional virtual building model and are constantly updated if the user ‘rebuilds’ the view. Detail drawings are based on enlarged portions of the model, with 2D detail added in.