For those of you familiar with BIM work and ArchiCAD model-making, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that the whole endeavor – from starting schematics to final plot-able output – is a very tedious process. You’ll try to save time and take shortcuts wherever you can afford to do so. One of these would be the use of generic or industry-standard objects for ArchiCAD. These objects can vary from typical furniture placeholders to generic toilet fixtures, all with typical measurements and generally standardized uses. As standard as they are, you might wonder where you can easily get these ArchiCAD objects.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of 13 websites that offer free ArchiCAD objects for your use. Be sure to check these out and bookmark your favorites so you’ll never have to be at a loss for objects again!
Table of Contents
Let’s start with the one website that has official Graphisoft-provided ArchiCAD objects – BIMcomponents.com. This website is Graphisoft’s platform for sharing GDL content. From generic and standard models to more manufacture-specific products, the site hosts thousands of free to download and use ArchiCAD objects to help out designers, engineers, and other industry professionals. This is the site to be for ArchiCAD users seeking a sort of community forum and a place to share their objects. This is also the site where most leading manufacturers will upload their product models onto, so be sure to check this site out if you’re looking for something specific.
Archibase is a no-frills, straightforward website that offers thousands of ArchiCAD-ready GDL content. Aside from the number, the categorization is also very much on point. You may be a little intimidated by the starkness of their relatively blank interface and web pages, but be assured that this website is perfect for those that need a bunch of objects for their ArchiCAD models. The site also has blog posts concerning modeling and BIM approaches. In fact, if you choose to do so, you could register an account on the site and contribute to the posts. It also has pages dedicated to getting in touch with design and CAD specialists. All-in-all, it’s not the prettiest site for free ArchiCAD objects, but it’s a pretty complete one.
Although not solely for ArchiCAD content, ArchiUp is a free and international online service that compiles and makes available various professional resources for design and construction work. On the site, you’ll find a bunch of digital libraries containing manufacturer-specific products and generic models that can be used for any of your BIM and modeling needs. They have textures on the site as well, if you need that for more realistic renders or portrayals of materials. It has a useful search engine to single out the objects that you need and some nifty tabs that categorize items by things like designers and brands.
Modlar is a website and company founded by architecture and construction industry professionals who know what the typical ArchiCAD drafter would be looking for in free objects online. The site specializes in objects that have something to do with commercial design and architecture. There are thousands of products and product information available on the website, a majority of which actually came from top manufacturers and product suppliers. The site also serves as a bit of a news site, with a page dedicated to news on the latest industry trends. It even has a podcast called “The Modern Architect”.
Caroma is a distributor for different toilet and bathroom fixtures. The site works with brands such as Dorf and Clark. Their website has a comprehensive list of their offered products and also provides different 3D models and digital libraries of their wares. The BIM library that they have for toilets, urinals, sinks, faucets, showers, and other fixtures is as comprehensive as can be, and they also have a tight search function as well as a neat website structure. Not only do they offer ArchiCAD objects but other standard formats as well. If you’re looking for specific bathroom objects, this site is a good place to start looking.
Martela is another brand and website that provides a very specific type of ArchiCAD object – loose furniture and décor. They also showcase bigger but just as transient pieces such as booths. Martela.com does make it a point to categorize and list off the types of products and objects they have, from fabric textures to specific furniture pieces. However, you’ll be pleased to know that the GDL objects they have available for ArchiCAD already all come in a single, easily downloadable ArchiCAD library. Other than that, they also have Revit Objects and material libraries for us to download.
Archiradar is an Italian website that thankfully has the option to translate everything on the site to English. It’s not completely free, as it has paid 3D and 2D objects on the website, but it does still have free objects for download. You simply have to register and create an account on the site to get them. They have blocks, objects, and 3D models for all different kinds of modeling programs. The object type it has the most of is ArchiCAD objects. It’s organized by 2D and 3D objects, so you’ll have an easy time navigating the site.
BIM&CO is one of the most comprehensive collaborative BIM object resource websites out there. It’s a platform for all digital modelers around to world to use in creating, sharing, and downloading for their own free use. It focuses on BIM data and objects and offers comprehensive features and services to make the content sharing process as accessible as possible. With all that it offers and with how clean the website is, it’s a surprise it’s completely free to use.
9. NBS National BIM Library
NBS National BIM Library is the foremost resource when it comes to BIM objects and models in the UK, Australia, and Canada. The site follows the NBS Object Standard when it comes to the content and files that are showcased and distributed through the site. There are thousands of manufacturer-specific and generic BIM models that are available to download. The NBS utilizes a workflow that makes use of plug-ins, making it easy to choose and preview the files available.
OpenGDL.org offers a collaborative way to work on GDL projects on their website. It encourages users to work on projects and personal BIM models. It organizes project developments with to-do lists and bug tracking lists for ease of use. Since it’s a free site and open to the public, anyone can chime in on any projects currently under development, so a truly collaborative atmosphere is always present. The result is a relatively simple but extremely useful source of interesting ArchiCAD objects and BIM projects.
11. Ar. Alexey Skoldinov
What we’re used to so far are websites that are either set up to provide generic and user or supplier submitted objects and projects or manufacturer websites that provide BIM models of their products for ArchiCAD use. This website is unique in that it’s actually a personal website showcasing the portfolio and works of an Architect Alexey Skoldinov. Skoldinov provides various 2D and 3D resources ready for download and use, all on his website. This is an interesting take in promoting one’s self as a designer, but it certainly works for Alexey since we’re including his website on this list.
Eptar.hu is a site that develops, showcases, and distributes BIM models and specific libraries of products and objects for ArchiCAD. It’s a fairly well-established website with about 2 decades worth of experience and clout. The website offers CAD solutions, ArchiCAD compatible GDL product libraries, and a bunch of building material catalogs that have various detail and technical drawings and a fairly decent gallery of architectural works. They also work on developments for GDL and ArchiCAD add-ons and a fair amount of industry-specific BIM and 3D solutions.
ARCAT was founded 28 years ago in 1991 and was then known as the Big Red Book. It was a directory used as a desktop reference with a comprehensive list of manufacturer’s catalogs. Now, it’s one of the most used websites for looking up construction and design product information and CAD-BIM content. It boasts up-to-date libraries and objects made in various formats, including ArchiCAD objects. The content offered also has details about the product and its manufacturer.