Archicad for Architects

What is Archicad?


Archicad is a BIM design software, used by architects and design professionals to design, document and visualise their projects.


Archicad was released in 1987, and continues to be a favoured software amongst architects for its intuitive use and excellent features.


Archicad can be used on a windows and mac operating system. It is a popular choice with Mac users as Revit is still not available (at time of writing) on a Mac unless using bootcamp, or similar alternatives.


Archicad allows you to model in 3D, creating an intelligent model, the information can then be easily extracted or exported into simple 2d planning drawings, through to construction drawings and visualisation images.

Is Archicad a good software for architects?


I am a massive fan of Archicad but of course, it is very dependent on your needs.


Archicad takes a good while to learn, and to set up correctly in order to save time in the long run. However, this applies to BIM in general – it is a steep learning curve when you are used to using more the simple 2d modelling of Autocad. Once set up, I find that Archicad can be a joy to use – but for early users, it can be a headache. It is a complicated software with so much functionality, it is easy to get lost when trying to accomplish simple tasks.


Whether you are a small practice or large, Archicad can certainly fulfil your needs. The issue arises when you have to shift your projects and team from Autocad to Archicad, and the training and preparations that are associated with that.

Is Archicad better than Revit?


Of course this is completely subjective. Both softwares have different strengths. It is about the workflow that works for you. Thankfully it is possible to download a trial of both Archicad and Revit to see how they both work and check out the interface etc.


I find that Archicad has great design libraries straight out the box, a great 2d and 3d interface, good OpenBIM/IFC support and so much more.


A consideration is how many practices use Revit vs Archicad. If you are looking to learn a new software in order to improve your career prospects, it might be worth investigating which software your favourite practices use and upskill accordingly.

Is Archicad compatible with other softwares?


Absolutely. Archicad can support a wide range of file formats. It supports Autocad DWG, DXF, Microstation DGN, Navisworks NWC, Solibri SMC, SketchUp SKP, OpenBIM formats IFC and BCF.


Archicad also has a great app for tablets – BIMx. BIMx allows you to explore the architectural models interactively through the BIM model on iOS and Android mobile devices and tablets. This is a great way to share your model with clients allowing them to experience the design first hand.


In addition to the Archicad has a BIMx desktop viewer, a native Mac/Win application that allows you to explore the designs interactively – again another great way to share the project with your client.

Where can I learn Archicad


There are a number of options when it comes to learning Archicad. Here we will explore a few of our favourite.


Graphisoft have a number of training programs available.


LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning remain on my firm favourite lists when it comes to learning a new software or skill. Some of the archicad training highlights include Archicad Essential Training and Archicad Architectural Design Techniques.




Udemy have a number of courses on Archicad, the course below being one of their most popular options.

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Archicad and VR?


Archicad is all set up for VR. Archicad supports multiple VR softwares including Twinmotion, Enscape, Fuzor, Google Cardboard, Lumion. This allows for exciting client presentations and further explorations into the world of VR visualisation and design.



Archicad is a dynamic and exciting software for architects that allows for efficient workflows and collaboration. To find out more about Archicad and to download – visit Graphisoft

Images courtesy of Graphisoft.

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  1. Great now to hear that besides being an absolutely phenomenal SketchUp resource that you are into ArchiCad as well! I am sure you are aware of these Archicad resources at First In Architecture, but as you have opened up this subject, and for your readers benefit, here are some training resources in addition to Graphisoft, practitioners with many years experience :

    Eric Borrow, probably the deepest training resource, including being a gateway to other practitioners, with weekly webinars :

    Robert Mann, Australian architect and Archicad lecturer :

    John Hallgarth at ContraBiM, with helpful insights into using SketchUp models inside ArchiCaD, also a vendor of associated estimator’s packages :

    And for the niche resources, of which there are many, but with SketchUp users in mind, Tim Mann, UK architect who designs in 3D from scratch, with no 2D line work at all, on Eric Bobrow’s YouTube channel :

    • Hey Alec,
      Many thanks for your input – really appreciate it 🙂
      Some great suggestions there.


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