updated 07:40 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Aimed at small and new BIM firms
Graphisoft is now shipping copies of ArchiCAD Star(t) Edition 2012 for the North American market. The program is a powerful Building Information Modeling (BIM) authoring tool that allows users to create and manage a virtual building model of the physical and functional capabilities of a building. The information is useful for construction, engineering, maintenance, and expansion of facilities even before they are built.
The program is a full-fledged BIM solution that can generate architectural documentation for floor plans, 3D views, detailed maps, section/elevation plots and more. The new version features Intelligent Element Connections, 3D design space and compatibility with the latest DWG and DXF formats for easy interoperability between different systems. The program, priced at under $2,000, is aimed at sole-practioner or small office BIM consultancies.
As Mac architecture/CAD specialty site Architosh points out, the program is an affordable alternative to full CAD programs like ArchiCAD but allows users to upgrade later if their needs grow. The ArchiCAD Star(t) 2012 edition lacks the Teamwork functionality of the regular program, as well as not having the Lightworks rendering engine, no NET license, no XRefs or Hotlinked Module support and not as much of the sophisticated modeling tools are supported.
The 3D Design Space tools offer 3D guidelines and plans that allow for virtual building exploration in a 3D space, including axonometric and perspective views. The Intelligent Element Connections, which are automatic connections with building elements and structures that help users maintain and create the BIM model while retaining flexibility architects need for future changes or renovations.
The ArchiCAD Star(t) Edition can read files created with earlier versions of Star(t) as well as ArchiCAD 8.1 and 9.0. Resellers can be located via the company's website. [via Source]