cadvilla & ArCon [planTEK]: Architecture Software in comparison

Main characteristics for each version in comparison

In the following table you will find important features of cadvilla compared to ArCon [planTEK].

Legends of the following table:

, – Feature is included in this version
, – Feature is not included in this version

ArCon is available only in English and German.

The cadvilla user interface can be displayed in the following languages:
English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian

The cadvilla installation file contains a 32 BIT and a 64 BIT software package. By default, cadvilla is installed in the 32 BIT version. If you have a Windows operating system with 64 BIT, cadvilla is installed in the 64 BIT version.

If you install ArCon under a Windows operating system with 64 BIT, it works but is running in a 32 BIT mode.

You can design and furnish your house or your home with cadvilla and ArCon planTEK.
There are several predefined terrain types as well as the option to input elevation points available when planning the outdoor area.

Furthermore, cadvilla and ArCon planTEK provide the possibility to automatically create sectional views and side views.

Projects designed with cadvilla and ArCon planTEK can have any number of floors, walls, windows, doors etc. We are talking about the professional versions of all three packages without any limitations.

All program versions we offer facilitate an input true to scale – supported by grids, auxiliary lines and other construction aids.

The input of the projects is performed true to scale as well. With the help of a (free of charge) PDF printer a PDF document can be created.

The virtual tour through and around the building gives you a first impression of your project.

In ArCon planTEK you can control the walking direction by using the mouse.

In cadvilla you can control the viewing direction by using the mouse (head) – you can control the movements inside the house (legs) by using the cursor keys.

The position of the project/the house via longitude and latitude is defined with the help of a dialog box (the input can also be performed via definition of country and city).

The exact position of the sun and the moon is defined by taking into account the time of the year, the date and the time of the day.

There is a north arrow included in the construction plans through which the alignment of the altitude of the sun and the shade with reference to the building is calculated.

The project can be displayed in 3D in a photo-realistic way. When inserting a background image (e.g. a photo of the property), you see immediately how your house looks like on your property.

The ray tracing and the quality of the rendered images is extended in the cadvilla versions in comparison to ArCon planTEK.

Parallel display and planning in different viewsIn cadvilla the progress of a project can be followed via different simultaneously displayed views (2D top views, sectional views, 3D views).

You can display different views on the project side by side. Thus, you can also work parallel in different views.

As an example, you can see two pillars and the corresponding landing selected (displayed in red) in the adjacent image. Due to a parallel display of all views you always have a full overview of and on the project. Every modification is carried over to all the other views at the same time.

Creating your own sophisticated 3D objectsArCon planTEK provides the option to generate SIMPLE objects with the help of the plate designer in combination with existing objects.

Cadvilla allows you to create SOPHISTICATED 3D objects via the 3D constructural designs.

This can for example be a carport, a vase but also an antique balcony.

Due to the combination of 3D solids – consisting of base solids, extrusion solids, rotational solids and solids that follow a contour (sweep objects) – new objects can be generated due to blending features (Boolean operations) in order to use them in your project.

The examples in the adjacent image were created with the 3D constructural designs by cadvilla.

The layer technique facilitates the application of layers with content of areas that belong together in order to be able to display and hide them separately.

The most important application areas of the layer technique in cadvilla are:

  • The structure of the floors can be displayed clearer by using layers
  • Information belonging together can be stored on own layers (e.g. different furnishing proposals, separation between old building/existing building and new building, renovation)
  • The applied layers can be switched on and off in order to create different results and drawings.
  • In cadvilla every layer can be allocated to a height/level.

Merging multiple individual roofsToday, the requirements regarding roofs become increasingly extensive due to the use of new technologies and higher requirements of house builders. For this purpose, cadvilla professional plus provides an efficient tool.

Firstly, the individual roofs are positioned and put in – for example a normal gable end roof, monopitch roof or hipped end roof.

Afterwards, the individual roofs are merged by a few mouse clicks. The recalculation of the complex timber construction as well as the entire roof shape is performed completely automatically.

Ex post editing, moving, flipping, deleting and modifying of (already merged) individual roofs is possible at all times.

2D VectorgraficThe generation of vector graphics from top views, side views and section views is required to finally revise the corresponding view for the plan output (if desired).

In the example on the right, we created a vector graphic (right view) from a side view (left view) and then we edited it. You can see, that the floor dividing line has been removed and minor changes to the door and balcony display have been made.

Of course, you can also use and print the automatically generated views, but in some cases such a function is desirable.

In ArCon planTEK every floor can be put out on a single plan true to scale. Side views and sectional views can be displayed optionally on a sheet at the same time.

If a plan output with ALL floors, side views and sectional views is required on ONE plan, you will need a function for a plan layout.

ArCon planTEK does not provide such a function – however, it can be complemented by additional software packages.

cadvilla professional and cadvilla professional plus contain a plan layout.

Toolbar (EN)ArCon planTEK as well as cadvilla provide the option to display the user interface via tool bars.

The upper area contains functions such as for example creating views, opening, saving and zooming.

In the left area of the user interface you can find tool bars for the following categories: – What I would like to do (e.g. putting in walls) – How I would like to do that (e.g. via polygonal input)

Ribbon BuildingIn addition to the known display of the tool bars of ArCon cadvilla provide the option to display the user interface via ribbons.

Ribbons are modern tool bars and are used successfully in many known programs since the introduction of Office 2010.

Ribbons enhance clarity when using the software.

2D DWG and 2D DXF files can be imported, displayed and stored as layers when capturing the floor plan. The lines and vertices on these layers then serve as some kind of catch points and catch lines so that you can construct walls, windows etc.

The dialog box that appears when importing contains two areas. In the first area you can select the desired “layer” – in the second area the layer is displayed visually in a preview.

With this function, 2D DXF files can be generated in other CAD systems (e.g. AUTOCAD) for further processing.

cadvilla also provides the possibility for a 2D DWG export. Furthermore, in cadvilla you can determine on your own which software version of AutoCAD should be considered for the export. This ranges from AutoCAD R09 up to AutoCAD 2018.

ArCon LogoRegarding ArCon planTEK:
You can continue to use object collections for ArCon (*.ACO, *.O2C) in ArCon planTEK without any problems. It is possible to import 3DS objects.

Regarding cadvilla:
You can import the following 3D object ArCon formats in cadvilla:
– ArCon format (*.aco)
– 3DS object file (*.3ds)

Regarding ArCon planTEK:
ArCon projects that were created with an older ArCon version (up to version ArCon +6.30) or ArCon projects that were created with a house design product based on ArCon planTEK can be taken over and can further be processed without any problems.

Regarding cadvilla professional plus:
This function facilitates the import of existing projects (*.acp) based on ArCon [planTEK], ArCon open or on older ArCon versions up to ArCon +6.30.
Ideally, you can take over the complete project with all walls, ceilings, windows, doors in 3D and can then edit, modify and amend it by using cadvilla.

It is not possible to save projects in ACP format with cadvilla because cadvilla is completely new developed software based on Microsoft.NET with a powerful 3D core. The data model of the project of cadvilla is a complete 3D model.