Brochure (pdf)
  Evaluation Version 9 NG (30 days free trial)
  Integrated Architectural Environment

IDEA is the IntelliCAD based BIM solution for Architectural Building Design, covering all the range of the Architectural needs (model creation, rendering and virtual walkthrough), within a high productivity, user friendly, environment.

IDEA introduces new standards in the AEC industry, as it proposes an effective and powerful BIM approach, based on the IntelliCAD engine, offering practically the interface expected by any AutoCAD (*) or IntelliCAD user.

(*) AutoCAD is a product and trade mark of Autodesk.


IDEA is the IntelliCAD-based BIM solution, designed to meet in a very friendly and flexible way all the needs of an architect, including advanced architectural design, rendering and virtual walkthrough. IDEA adopts a modern BIM structure, totally redesigned within the framework of the "new generation" development project of 4
M Suite, the integrated building design suite of 4M. Intelligent model shaping and high design accuracy are directly applied on the real 3D model of the building. IDEA embeds IntelliCAD engine, the world famous CAD alternative, keeping all the usual CAD features and functions (as they have been introduced by AutoCAD, the Autodesk's product and trademark), so that its functionality is as already known by the majority of the CAD users. On the other hand, IDEA guarantees the communication among designers, due to its compatibility with DWG files. 

Upgraded Features of the latest release IDEA 9 NG:

• Better performance (i.e. speeds), smaller and “smarter” DWG files due to a new, innovative design of the building structure mathematical model.
• Expansion-Adaptation of the standard CAD commands (copy, move, trim, extend ęëđ) to meet the needs of IDEA objects too (walls, openings, beams etc). 
• Enhancements of the “smart” functions & commands regarding the design & modification of walls (automatic unions, extensions, crosses etc), increasing the expert behavior of IDEA
• Enhancements of the “smart” functions & commands regarding the design & modification of openings.
• Real time appearance of the transformations of the building elements (i.e. while moving a window on a wall etc).
• New, rich libraries of walls and shutters with more parametric options (i.e. definition of the degree of openness in 2D & 3D views, frame parameters, photorealistic images of the openings etc) and enhanced dialogs.
• Grip facilities regarding all the objects that require more flexibility during their synthesis and editing operations (walls, opening, slabs, columns, beams etc).
• Generalization of the operation “right button -> properties” for direct editing through the dialog boxes and visual retransformation of the results.
• All the advantages of the latest IntelliCAD release (opendwg even for ACAD2006, multiple layout, audit & recover commands, new plotting functions and many others). The CAD engine of the new IDEA is the engine of IntelliCAD latest release.
• Advanced Solid Modelling environment, powered by Open CASCADE Technology for really impressive performances of the 3D Solid Modelling aspects and full ACIS compatibility.
• Advanced virtual reality features (WalkIDEA new generation) for higher performance of the IDEA walkthrough component plus the option of a real Stereoscopic view


Architectural Synthesis & Design with IDEA

Walls & Openings: IDEA embeds all the features required for the unrestricted "shaping" of the basic building framework, such as parallel moving of walls, trimming, extending, joining, breaking, copying, mirroring walls etc, as well as placing on them openings of any kind and type (windows, sliding, doors, openings, arches). Drawing facilities, such as the "right click -> properties" or the extended use of grips on any building object (walls, opening, slabs, columns, beams etc), speed up the design process. In addition, the real time display of the model transformations, during the modifications, enables the user to focus absolutely on the design process, thus avoiding time-consuming drawing tasks.

Composite Building Elements: IDEA considers all the building elements, such as slabs, staircases, roofs, rails, gables, ramps etc, as intelligent objects too, logically linked to one another so that they can properly respond and automatically update themselves to any modification. In particular, each element has its own attributes that can be edited by the user at any stage. More than simple drawing tasks, the object dialogs may also enable sophisticated drawing algorithms, ensuring the correct element shaping in every case (i.e. a freeway staircase, a complicated roof etc).

Working with IDEA, the user can shape his/her model with practically no limitations, working either on the view plan, any 3D view or even on front views, cross-sections and perspectives, watching at the same time the effects of those interventions. The fact that the user deals with an "intelligent" model is due to the BIM structure of the program. Thanks to this structure, IDEA handles efficiently important aspects of the design & construction processes, such as the bill of materials, the smart topographical functions, even the seamless integration between IDEA and each one of the other 4M Suite software solutions (STRAD & STEEL for Structural Design, FINE for the Building Services – HVAC, Electrical, Sanitary etc), all of them using and referring to the same, standard Building Information Model (4M-BLD file format).

Libraries: IDEA includes a large number of objects and symbols grouped into 4 large libraries, each of them containing 9 categories of 100 symbols each. Thus the package contains a total of 3600 drawings, many of which are provided ready for the designer to use. Note that the first 3 libraries refer to 2D, 3D and view drawings correspondingly, while the 4th library may be defined right from the start by the user, even regarding the categorising. In particular, as far as the 2D and 3D drawings are concerned, there are ten individual categories (General, Living Room Furniture, Dining Room Furniture, Kitchen Furniture, Office Furniture, Equipment, Plants etc) while the view drawings include existing drawings (plants, people etc) in view, for further configuration of the views. It is pointed out that the balustrade and opening (doors, windows etc) libraries are not included in the libraries mentioned above, since they are included in the package section described earlier. Moreover, there are hundreds of symbol and detail drawings within the program CD. It is quite important that the library contents may be edited through the Dynamic Library Editor of IDEA/AutoIDEA. This Dynamic Editor is a powerful and, at the same time, user-friendly tool, which enables updating (adding, modifying, deleting) any symbol as well as the easy integration of existing drawings into the package libraries.

Rendering: IDEA embeds PhotoIDEA, the flexible rendering tool which produces high quality photorealistic representations. PhotoIDEA uses a rich library of real materials with texture (e.g. marble, wood, stone, carpets etc), which can be selected and adjusted properly if necessary. The fact that the attributes of the IDEA building objects include material information simplifies the editing process. The selection and editing of the materials the user wishes to use in the project, the positioning of the lighting sources, the selection of background and photographic objects and, finally, the running of the "Photorealism" command with various quality options are all performed in a friendly and fast way through the "PhotoIDEA" group of commands.

Virtual Reality: WalkIDEA is the virtual Walkthrough module of IDEA, which enables the user to take a "walk" inside or outside the building model, in order to face the reality. WalkIDEA makes “alive” the scenes of PhotoIDEA in a very simple manner: Either by using the mouse or a joystick or by defining a viewing path. Any virtual "trip" can be stored as an avi file. More than a simple walk, the "WalkIDEA" group of commands also includes some supplementary effects, such as the ascension of a staircase, the option to open a door while "walking" etc. In addition, WalkIDEA can offer the experience of a 4D stereoscopic reality through a pair of stereo glasses.



Ray Tracing Photorealism






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