Archicad 12: Heavy-duty Virtual Building Application

Archicad is one of the few softwares that I consider ‘heavy’. Not only in the download size – around few hudreds megs, but also in what it can do, the computer resource it consumes, and of course its price tag. The software will assist the user in designing and presenting “Virtual Building” starting from line drawing to 3D movie walkthrough. Every tools needed are there, you just add creativity and taste to the ingredients.

Free Licence?

General computer user might have never even heard about this piece of software (the price tag usually scares them away – do googling for “Archicad price” and you’ll see what I mean), but I’m sure the name is very familiar for architects (professionals, students, teachers, wannabes) and everybody else related to this field all over the world.


What most people don’t know is that you can try this application for free for 30 days, and if you are a teacher or student, you can have the education licence to use the software for one full year for free. (Moreover, the process of getting the educational licence is not that strict. So…) The only catch is that education version will bear watermarks in the final result. But for personal use or educational purpose, this limitation is acceptable.

Complete Multimedia Tutorial

Basically, using Archicad is similar to building the real thing. You start with the floor, walls, roof, then adding other elements such as windows and door. Amazingly, everything that you draw in the floor plan will also appear in the elevation and 3D view. Archicad is also able to do simple task for everyday use like drawing vector lines, and curves and turned them into three dimensional object. If you want, and have a lot of spare time, you can even create a 3D Model of a Battle Robot. (I sometimes use it do design 3D logos, and the precision is amazing).


Explaining how Archicad works require a book-length text (or more), so I’ll let you go directly to the developer’s site. They have already provide users with complete tutorials (pdfs, movies) on how to use this software. Visit their Interactive Training Guides page to get every tutorial available. Users can choose which format of the tutorials is suitable for them. The options range from choosing the operating system (Windows or Mac), languages, and measurement format. But please be warned that the sizes of these tutorials are also “heavy”.

So, if you are planning on redesigning your house or even building a new one yourself (or just curious after looking at several images above), why not try this virtual building solution?

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