How ArchiFrame Boosts Archicad?

So how does ArchiFrame extend Archicad into a wood modelling software?

Many of our users are experienced Archicad users who want to add our framing extension on top of their favourite Archicad features and workflows.

The world of Archicad/ArchiFrame can be a complex one to navigate, so we created this short guide with some of the most important ArchiFrame features, how ArchiFrame compares to Archicad, and how the two programs work together.

How does ArchiFrame extend Archicad?

ArchiFrame enhances Archicad capabilities by providing specialised tools for wood framing and timber construction such as plank tools. ArchiFrame gives architects and designers the option to create detailed and accurate wooden structures within the Archicad environment.

Parametric design with ArchiFrame 

ArchiFrame offers parametric design capabilities: users can can create smart, parametric objects such as walls, beams, columns, and trusses based off their Archicad designs. These ArchiFrame objects can be customised based on specific requirements, and changes made to one element will dynamically affect related components. This can save a lot of time when it comes to design changes.

Automated framing processes

ArchiFrame streamlines the framing process by automating certain tasks. This includes the generation of framing elements, connections, and details based on the design parameters and specifications provided by the user.

From Archicad model to ArchiFrame

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words like the ones below from the Norwegian Risørholmen development: https://www.risorholmen.no/.

The Archicad model (above) is translated into an ArchiFrame model (below): all the requisite data is stored in the same model, taking it through to the next stage of construction.

Features comparison Archicad vs ArchiFrame

See below for a detailed feature table for Archicad and ArchiFrame.

Building materialsWide range of building materialsSpecialises in timber and light steel framing pieces like rafters, joists, columns and beams. Also any board type is supported including cross laminated timber (CLT)
ObjectsElements like walls and floors are single objects. Does not contain information about individual planks or the geometry of joints.Each individual plank is defined as a separate object, with stud size and stud spacing etc. Joints between individual planks are modeled.
Element drawingsYou decide which drawings to generate (e.g. a cross-section of a building). The drawings can show structural types but not the dimensions and position of each individual plank.Automatically generates an element drawing of each wall and floor. These drawings show all the planks in the element as a picture and as a list.
Top features– Teamwork
– IFC support for exchanging information with other programs
– BIMx app
– Carbon footprint calculator
– Rhino & Grasshopper live connection)
– Plank tool
– Extended plank tool
– Element tool
– Truss tool
– Foundation drawing tool
– Weatherboard tool 
– CNC output
– Automated elevation

How ArchiFrame and Archicad work together?

BIM workflows

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a key feature of both Archicad and ArchiFrame. BIM allows for the creation of a comprehensive digital representation of a building, incorporating not just geometry but also detailed information about materials, components, and construction processes.

Collaboration and coordination

ArchiFrame enhances collaboration between architects, engineers, and other stakeholders in the construction process. The software ensures that the wood framing details are seamlessly integrated into the overall Archicad model, fostering better coordination across different disciplines.

Detailing and documentation

ArchiFrame facilitates the creation of detailed drawings and documentation for the wood framing elements. This includes generating construction drawings and schedules.

ArchiFrame only: features and tools specific to ArchiFrame

These are the parts of our software that are specific to ArchiFrame.

Plank toolConversion of Archicad beams/columns/walls to ArchiFrame planks for further editing
Extended plank toolFully customisable dovetail,mortise & tenon, and hidden balk shoe joints
Element toolAdd and edit elements including custom composite element types, with different materials, stud spacing etc.
Truss tool
Foundation drawing tool
Weatherboard toolAutomatic visualisation and cut list from weatherboards
CNC output
Automated elevation

As you can see, ArchiFrame’s wide range of features span from the technical to the practical. Opening up on top of the existing Archicad file, ArchiFrame helps take the already impressive Archicad features even further.

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