ArchiCAD’s intelligent, parametric objects based on GDL technology make BIM outstandingly effective for architects, constructors and product manufacturers.
GDL (Geometric Description Language) - contains all the information necessary to completely describe building elements as 2D CAD symbols, 3D models and text specifications for use in drawings, presentations and quantity calculations. ArchiCAD users have long enjoyed the benefits of GDL, with tens of thousands of BIM components available and in use around the world.
GDL intelligent object technology offers an efficient way for building component manufacturers to market their products. The selection of building components during the design phase benefits both the architect, who can design using real-world objects, and the component manufacturers, who can provide product information to support the design process.
Parametric ObjectsRich “topology” options enable one component to stand for several objects. Object libraries of a small file-size are available that describe the complete product range of manufacturers.
Graphical EditingInteractive 2D and 3D editing makes modeling smoother. The graphical hotspots can be moved either on floor plans or in any other views to set the properties of a selected instance of an object.
Advanced User InterfacesGraphically illustrated settings dialogs make objects’ parameters clear, easy to understand and adjust. The advanced user interfaces flexibly and effectively support even complex and object specific problems.
Product Specific DataManufacturer and product specific data support provides the ArchiCAD users with product support contact information and helps automated quantity listings and energy evaluation.
Construction Management (CM) and Facility Management (FM) data support makes BIM components valuable during their whole lifecycle from planning through construction and operation to renovation.
BIM component sources
ArchiCAD is shipped with a wide set of highly parametric components developed by Graphisoft describing thousands of objects and symbols.
BIMcomponents.com, GRAPHISOFT’s GDL content sharing platform, hosts thousands of third party objects for free and helps GDL developers and ArchiCAD enthusiasts share their work.
BIMcompents.com offers smooth ArchiCAD integrated workflow both for up- and downloading GDL objects. Thorough tests ensure the good quality of uploaded content. ArchiCAD users get served components that suit their ArchiCAD version, which also makes BIMcomponents.com outstanding among CAD content sharing websites.
Several hundreds of sate-of-the-art real manufacturer product contents are available on BIMcomponents.com provided by BIMobject®.
GDL is easy to learn. GDL’s simplicity is intended for architects and others without professional programming skills.
Parametric objects. Complete set of products can be represented by only a few GDL scripts. This saves time for the GDL developer and provides better transparency for the ArchiCAD user.
Product placement. Manufacturer's information can be included in the GDL object information, which means product-specific information is available not only to the designer, but the facilities manager and all other building professionals who need access to such information throughout the building's life cycle.
Licensing and sharing. Licensing and author information are organic parts of GDL objects that is available also after sharing on Internet. Advanced password encryption helps protecting copyrighted intellectual properties.
Conversion to other CAD formats. GDL objects can be saved to other CAD formats from ArchiCAD. This makes ArchiCAD the ideal platform for developing for multiple environments saving huge amount of time and cost.
GDL Reference Guide
The description of GDL is available online. You can learn the syntax of the language and all commands.
GDL Programming Standards
The two decade expansion of GDL increased the demand for GDL objects and object libraries. As a result, many independent or third party GDL programmers have begun developing GDL libraries.
To ensure the compatibility of these libraries, and to guarantee the level of quality people expect from Graphisoft products, we have published qualified macros, examples and guidelines for professional GDL authors. This programming strandards document also includes tips, tricks, examples and descriptions of some ArchiCAD features which don't fit in any other do.
The up-to-date version is available online: Basic Library Documentation
Library Developer Toolkit
For those who develop complete libraries of GDL objects either for commercial use or for free it is recommended to use the Library Developer Toolkit. For details and download please visit Graphisoft Developer Center.