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The Masters of ArchiCAD 2016 Summit Explained – Themes, Topics, Program Info

cropped-eric-bobrow-headshot-circle-revised.jpgPeople are calling this week’s Masters of ArchiCAD Summit the online ArchiCAD event of the year.

It’s our second annual virtual conference featuring presentations by a dozen ArchiCAD veterans from around the world.

These are users who design buildings, create models, produce construction documents, and deal with clients.

Just like you, only a bit further down the road, perhaps.

So…what’s in it for you?
Why should you care?
What’s this all about?

In this post I’ll tell you!

The Masters of ArchiCAD Summit is a unique, “can’t miss” event for all passionate ArchiCAD users. It’s absolutely worth your time to watch these webinar sessions, either live on Thursday and Friday (see schedule below), or later as recorded videos.

First of all…

Masters of ArchiCAD Summit is made for YOU if…

  • You want to get the most out of ArchiCAD
  • You get excited when you learn how something tricky and/or time consuming can be done more easily and quickly
  • You know your 3D model could be taken further
  • You aspire to deliver higher quality documents that make construction go smoothly
  • You aim for continual improvement; “good enough” isn’t good enough for you
  • ArchiCAD is a key competitive advantage that helps you win projects


I’ve carefully selected presenters who push ArchiCAD to the limits. Not necessarily in terms of exotic architecture (although a few of them do projects that are pretty “far-out”), nor in terms of size (most work on smaller projects), nor materials.

However all of them drive this tool hard, and make it deliver the goods. In general, they’ve figured out how to make it perform like a precision instrument, carrying their design firm to success, making clients happy and actually having some fun themselves.

Here are some of the themes that we’ll be exploring during the Summit:

  • CONCEPTUAL DESIGN – making conceptual design more fluid, efficient and flexible (Yanes, Gilchrist, Haynes, Horvath)
  • DATA AND COLLABORATION – leveraging data / building information flow / improving collaboration (Hopkins, Ball, Lettner, Matthews)
  • WORKFLOW AND SPEED – optimizing project workflow and speed of delivery – (Hohman, Matthews, Lawes, Bobrow, Horvath)
  • CLIENT COMMUNICATION – creative adaptations of tools and methods (Horvath, Haynes, Hohman, Gilchrist, Allsopp)
  • PUSHING THE LIMITS – cutting edge tools and ideas (Allsopp, Ball, Hopkins)

The Masters of ArchiCAD Summit will inspire you and teach you practical methods that you can take back to the office. It’s an event AND it’s a reference library of case studies, tips and tricks, and eye-opening peeks behind the curtain and over the shoulder of these veterans.

CLICK HERE for advance price tickets at half-price
(Only $147 through Wednesday night)

Hey – what if you can’t fit this in to your schedule?
Or can only watch a little bit this week?

No problem.
Sign up now and you’ll get permanent access to the video recordings.




9 am – Phil Allsopp, USA
Using Point Cloud Files from Laser Surveys for As-Built Data

10:30 am – Gary Lawes, UK
Hacking GDL – Practical Parametric Object Making, Part 2

12 Noon – Timothy Ball, UK
IFC Automated Specifications and Keynotes

1:30 pm – Van Hohman, USA
Optimized Workflow and Client Communications for Remodels

3 pm – Eugenio Fontán Yanes, Hong Kong
From Concept to BIM: ArchiCAD Design Strategies

4:30 pm – Karoly Horvath, Australia
Managing Colour Schemes in ArchiCAD


9 am – Ed Haynes, USA
ArchiCAD Design for Live Events, Restaurants and Theater

10:30 am – shawn B hopkins, South Africa
Using Data to Inform the ArchiCAD Design Workflow

12 Noon – Andreas Lettner, Austria
Collaborative Design with ArchiCAD BIM Server

1:30 pm – Duncan Gilchrist, USA
Concept Modeling: Complex Geometries and Large Projects

3 pm – Eric Bobrow, USA
ArchiCAD Speed Tricks, Shortcuts and Power Tools

4:30 pm – Rich Matthews, Australia
How to BIM an Indian Palace in Australia

Click here for complete information and registration for the Masters of ArchiCAD Summit.

REMINDER: The half-price advance ticket offer ends Wednesday night.


Registration opens for Masters of ArchiCAD Summit 2016!

The Masters of ArchiCAD Summit returns for a second year on February 4 & 5, 2016.

A dozen ArchiCAD experts from around the world share their knowledge, insights and tips in this virtual conference, a series of live webinar presentations over two full days.

All of the live sessions are recorded and may be viewed later on demand, creating a powerful, inspiring reference library of best practices, case studies and training materials.


Almost 450 ArchiCAD users participated in the 2015 Summit, one of the biggest ArchiCAD events ever held.

Feedback was extremely positive, with many attendees reporting they were “glued to their chairs.” Some wrote in that it was the most inspiring series of ArchiCAD presentations they had ever seen.

With that sort of feedback, we’ve scheduled an encore performance, or perhaps more precisely, a sequel!


Six of our most popular presenters return to share their latest projects and experiences, plus we’re adding six new presenters, dedicated ArchiCAD users doing inspiring work, to cover new topics.

Masters of ArchiCAD is a rare opportunity to peek into the working methods of experienced users, to help you learn and implement optimized strategies in your own office.

Each presenter brings their unique perspective to the virtual table, focusing on one or more projects or on a topic that they are passionate about.

Topics include:

  • conceptual design strategies and programming
  • Morph tool usage for design development
  • speed tips and tricks to boost productivity
  • hacking GDL to quickly create custom parametric objects
  • how to leverage quantity data as you design
  • automated generation of specifications and other reports
  • managing client communications for remodels and additions
  • using laser scanning and point clouds for as-built surveys of historic buildings
  • ArchiCAD case studies for live events, themed restaurants and live theater
  • and 3 more fascinating, inspiring and eminently useful presentations!

During the Summit, you’ll get to see how ArchiCAD can be deployed in different contexts, often with distinct workflows as well as building sizes and styles.


This is a can’t miss, unique event for all active ArchiCAD users. It will enrich your understanding, expand your knowledge and give you practical tools to take back to your own office.

CLICK HERE to read all about this year’s Summit, and take advantage of the $200 Early Registration discount (this week only)

Questions? Comments? Feedback?
Post a comment, I’d love to hear from you!


Announcing Masters of ArchiCAD 2016 (YOUR INPUT REQUESTED)

MOA-SUMMIT-LOGO-400WThe Masters of ArchiCAD Summit returns for a second year in 2016.

In February 2015, a dozen ArchiCAD experts from around the world shared their knowledge, insights and tips in the first Masters of ArchiCAD Summit, a virtual conference presented as a series of live webinar presentations over two full days.

Over 400 registrants attended live or watched the recordings, making this one of the biggest ArchiCAD events ever held.

The second annual Masters of ArchiCAD Summit will be held February 4 and 5, 2016. Some of the most popular presenters are returning to share their latest projects and experiences, along with a number of veteran users covering new topics.

Masters of ArchiCAD is a rare opportunity to peek into the working methods of experienced users, to help you learn and implement optimized strategies in your own office.

Each presenter brings their unique perspective to the virtual table, focusing on one or more projects or on a topic that they are passionate about. Topics in 2015 included rendering tips and tricks, creating custom parametric GDL objects, quantity calcs, IFC data exchange, modular design, optimized modeling, design-build, etc.

The entire community gets to see how ArchiCAD can be deployed in different contexts, often with distinct workflows as well as building sizes and styles.

There are a few spots left to fill for the 2016 event, so I’m opening this up for your input.

1) Would you like to present? (Note: Presenters receive a substantial honorarium.)

2) Want to nominate or suggest a possible presenter? It could be someone well-known to our global community, or not. Tell us about a colleague who is passionate about their work and pushes the limits of ArchiCAD!

3) Is there a topic you want to see included in the Summit? Your ideas and requests will help shape the final roster of presenters.

Please post your comments, ideas and suggestions here or send me an email with the words “Masters of ArchiCAD” in the subject line.

Details of the 2016 Summit program will be announced in January.

NOTE: To add a comment, click on the title of this article (“Announcing Masters of ArchiCAD 2016”) to go to the actual blog post, then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

ArchiCAD CyberWeek Begins: Back to the Fundamentals (free tutorials plus some special deals)

eric-bobrow-headshot-circle-revisedI’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Black Friday.
And Cyber Monday.
But CyberWeek?

It’s an idea that I’ve put a lot of thought into.
As an ArchiCAD user, I think you’ll find this story of interest.

This week I’m sharing some free goodies (some of my best video tutorials on the fundamentals of ArchiCAD) as well as offering some tasty deals. Read on for details…


I’ve created and produced plenty of highly advanced ArchiCAD training this year. Things like the Masters of ArchiCAD Summit, with 12 experts from around the world showing their work. And the Masters of ArchiCAD Training Series, 5 short courses on advanced topics. And my recent set of ArchiCAD video tutorials on YouTube, focused on IFC fields and specification reports.

Wow. Pretty heady stuff.

It’s inspiring and eminently practical if you’re already working productively with ArchiCAD and want to get an edge, optimize your process, shave minutes or hours off your daily routine.

However, for many of you, this advanced stuff is not that useful.
You need to work on your ArchiCAD fundamentals.


As I contemplated Cyber Monday, and the idea of creating a promotional offer on my ArchiCAD training materials and resources, all of a sudden it hit me.

It’s time to go back to the fundamentals of ArchiCAD.


There’s a whole new generation of ArchiCAD users.
Our ranks are increasing.

And there are a LOT of users who are just getting started, or just getting by.
Architects who have just bought ArchiCAD.
New staff members hired as firms get busy.

Note that it may not be an entirely new generation, age wise.

For example, I talked over the weekend with one white-haired FAIA who has been working with that “other BIM software” in his office, and now wants to learn ArchiCAD. Why? Because he’s heard that it’s going to be easier and more enjoyable for HIM to use.

I get a lot of requests for guidance from students. They write to me from all over the world, including quite a few from places I have to look up on a map.

They’ve seen my ArchiCAD tutorials on my YouTube channel. They know I have a kind heart, and a gentle way of explaining things. So they ask me questions, sometimes specific, sometimes just “please help me learn ArchiCAD.”

I asked myself: “What can I do to help?”


OK, so it’s a cute name (at least I think so). Instead of offering a special sale promotion for one day, Cyber Monday, let’s try it for a whole week. (This is just the beginning of my cunning plan.)

Instead of giving away an occasional video tutorial, every once in a while, I’m going to pull out of my vault some of my best training on ArchiCAD fundamentals and post a new one every day this week.

Each day I’ll post a new free tutorial, and I’ll also announce one or more new sale items. By the end of Cyber Week, we’ll see where we stand.


To start this out, I have uploaded to my YouTube channel an 11 minute video on View Settings, one of the essential concepts in ArchiCAD. Views are the primary way that you control your working environment for modeling and documentation, and layout out your drawings on sheets.

Over the years, I’ve seen lots of ArchiCAD users confused about the Project Map and the View Map. They look much the same to the new user. Some people even ask me “why do they have both of them – what’s the difference?”

A while back, I created a video on this topic and shared it on YouTube. If you haven’t watched it, I suggest that you check it out, to make sure you’re really clear on the differences and when you should use one versus the other:

Project Map vs. View Map


To kick off Cyber Week, I have just posted this video:

ArchiCAD FUNDAMENTALS Tutorial | Intro to View Settings


Over the next few days, I’ll post additional videos on:

– Layers and Layer Combinations
– Layer Management
– Clone Folders
– Advanced View Options

NOTE: These lessons are all pulled from from my Best Practices Course on ArchiCAD as my gift to you and all ArchiCAD users this week.


CyberWeek wouldn’t be worthy of the name if I didn’t offer some special pricing on my ArchiCAD training and template products.

To start the week out, let’s begin with ArchiCAD basic training. My QuickStart Course provides 29 easy-to-digest lessons totaling 13 hours of instruction. It’s designed to get a raw beginner up and running, comfortable with the ArchiCAD environment and able to produce a clean model and accurate drawings.

Many people have reported that they’ve gone through QuickStart in a weekend, or just a few days, then stepped into a new job at an office using ArchiCAD and been able to take direction and get going. It may not be a miracle, but QuickStart is probably the most effective way to get started as a new user, with my Best Practices principles incorporated throughout the teaching.

Normally this course retails for $197, but during Cyber Week, you can purchase the QuickStart Course for only $97, less than half price. After payment through our secure shopping cart via credit card or PayPal, you’ll get immediate access and can get started right away.

For even more value (and support) pick up the QuickStart Course bundled with 3 months of my ArchiCAD Coaching Program for only $144 (a savings of $150).

FYI – as a member of the ArchiCAD Coaching Program you’ll get my personal assistance on your ArchiCAD questions. You’ll get started right, and keep going strong with my help!

NOTE: These limited time offers are valid during CyberWeek, then disappear.


P.S. What’s the deal for tomorrow? It’s a surprise. Something I’ve never put on sale before. In fact, there are several goodies in tomorrow’s basket. Stay tuned!

New ArchiCAD video tutorial: Specifications Tips & Tricks with IFC Fields (Part 3 of 4)

eric-bobrow-headshot-circle-revisedI have just posted another in my continuing series of free ArchiCAD tutorials on my YouTube channel.

ArchiCAD Tutorial | Specifications Tips & Tricks with IFC Fields | Part 3 of 4

Perhaps you’ll want to watch it between Thanksgiving courses?

(Then again, maybe it’s better to wait till later in the weekend.)

In this 27 minute video (part 3 of my 4 part series on the innovative use of IFC fields) I’ll show you how to:

  • Add clickable web links into your schedules and labels
  • Use a “link shortener” to provide a short version of the URL for web pages and PDF documents
  • Create a durable, reliable web link for construction document references using Dropbox
  • Add a Cost field that can be used as part of budgeting
  • Learn a few variations of IFC Mapping to pull precise, current BIM information into your associative labels and schedules


Please add your comments and questions to the YouTube page.

I’d love to know what you think, and whether you feel this will be useful in your practice.


Almost everyone here in the U.S. is getting ready to gather with family or friends tomorrow for the big Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a time to be thankful and express gratitude, and FEAST!

I am so thankful that YOU are an active member of the ArchiCAD user community, and that I can make an honest living by sharing my training materials with you and your colleagues.

As a small but earnest gesture of thanks, I’m going to give all of my email subscribers a gift on Friday. As you probably know, we have this strange “new tradition” in the U.S. of shopping for bargains on the day after Thanksgiving. Anyone know when this actually started?

Anyway, look for it in your inbox on “Black Friday”.

I’ll also be announcing my biggest sale of the year (in case you’re in the shopping mood).


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