Graphisoft Building Systems  Releases DDScad 18: Highly Functional Planning Tool in a New Outfit

Author photo: Ralph Rio
By Ralph Rio
Company and Product News

A modern appearance as well as numerous functional innovations for the high-quality planning and visualization of building technology characterize the now released version 18 of the building services planning software DDScad from Graphisoft Building Systems (formerly Data Design System).

Thanks to a fundamentally revised user interface, the planning tool, which can be used across all trades, now fits perfectly into the Graphisoft product range. Newly designed buttons, function icons and input windows provide a better overview and building services planningfacilitate operation. Electrical installations can now be modeled even faster and more precisely thanks to new routing, configuration and calculation options. In addition, electrical planning can be based on room information from an IFC reference model. This makes it possible to enter OPEN BIM projects directly without any conversion effort. In the HVAC area, new visualization filters and a holistically designed functional interface for pipe and duct networks simplify and accelerate work processes.

Furthermore, DDScad users now benefit from the extensive presentation and collaboration options of Graphisoft solutions. For example, the software now has a connection to the interactive app BIMx, with which 3D building models and project information can be accessed and displayed on a variety of mobile devices and operating systems - for example, in order to coordinate with other construction participants on the construction site. If specialist tradesmen and planners work together with an architect who uses Archicad, they can now exchange project data quickly and securely via the BIMcloud collaboration platform. Last but not least, a new tracker dialog borrowed from the Archicad architecture solution has been implemented in DDScad, which displays the most important geometric parameters of objects directly on the cursor and allows them to be changed during modeling.

The new cable functions for electrical make installation planning even more flexible, simple and efficient. With just a few clicks, you can create your own cable types almost freely, taking into account the type of installation, number of cores or material. The diameter and bending radius of cables can now be displayed graphically in the workspace and edited directly. In addition, DDScad 18 automatically determines the shortest path that an electrical cable can take from the distributor to the consumer via an installation system, if desired. A new calculation function for the filling level of cable trays, cable ducts and empty conduits shows whether they are sufficiently dimensioned. A practical layout configurator for electrical diagrams ensures greater clarity in distribution documentation. The auxiliary tool can be used to adjust the number and position of objects in a row as well as the text information displayed as required.

The SHKL system navigator introduced with the previous version has been consistently expanded into a comprehensive central function interface. It provides an optimal overview of all piping and duct systems in a project and also enables direct editing of system data. The tree structure of the navigator displays all sub-lines and consumers down to the last detail. If required, additional system, line and object information - such as calculation results or the most unfavorable system path - can be displayed here. In addition, there are two property windows that display the design criteria and calculations for the system or the selected subline, as well as the object properties of a selected component. The complete networking of workspace and functional area also makes it possible to jump directly from the tree structure to the 2D or 3D model and vice versa.

Another highlight of the new software version is the visualization filters for drinking water systems. These can be used to color-code excessively high stagnation volumes and discharge times in the 3D model in order to identify problem areas in the system at a glance and rectify them immediately. This ensures that users retain full control of the drinking water pipe network they have created at all times - even in large-scale projects.

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