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ArchiCAD Tip: Managing 'BIM Components' Objects

In ArchiCAD 16, Graphisoft introduced a new feature, 'BIM Components', with the ability to download new ArchiCAD objects from an online pool of objects, uploaded by ArchiCAD users.
This is a great new tool as it allows access to new content directly from ArchiCAD - more information can be seen on the Graphisoft webpage HERE.
The previous & alternative approach (which is still valid and appropriate), is to go to various specific websites (bimstop, objectsonline etc) and download & manage the objects directly.

The benefit of BIM Components is that the objects are searchable and downloaded directly within ArchiCAD itself.

One slight drawback of this new feature is that objects are downloaded 'embedded' into the current ArchiCAD project file.
They are not automatically available for ALL projects.
The process to make them available for ALL projects is very simple though.


  1. If you do not already have an Office ArchiCAD Common Library (for objects acquired from various sources, but not those available from a standard ArchiCAD installation), it is suggested to do so.
    See our ArchiCAD Common Library tip HERE.
  2. Within your ArchiCAD Common Library, create a new folder - for example 'BIM Component Objects'.

  3. Ensure that your ArchiCAD Common Library is loaded for all projects, it would be appropriate to include this folder as part of your ArchiCAD Template, so that it is loaded automatically at the start of every project.

Suggested management technique for downloaded BIM Component Objects:

  1. Open the Object Tool and search for objects when needed
  2. Download and embed (as normal) - below a simple search for 'car' discovered a useful looking object for Car Turning Curves.

  3. After download, open Library Manager (via the bottom left hand button on the Object Tool Settings dialog or via File > Libraries & Objects > Library Manager)
  4. Browse the Embedded folder, noting the new objects

  5. Click on the newly downloaded object(s)
  6. Click Export

  7. Browse to your 'BIM Component Objects' sub-folder within your ArchiCAD Common Library
  8. Save/export the objects to this location

  9. Once exported, delete these selected objects from the Embedded section of the Library Manager
  10. Reload all libraries

  11. • This process should be repeated for all BIM Components Objects either: straight away at the time of download (suggested) or at the end of the day/week
    • If your ArchiCAD Common Library is loaded in other projects, as soon as you re-open those projects, all libraries are re-loaded, thus all newly downloaded BIM Components Objects will be also available.

NOTE: If you become much more accustomed to searching within the BIM Components online interface, you may prefer to use LCFs directly from the BIM Components website, but bear in mind, the suggested workflow above keeps everything within the ArchiCAD environment.

Last Updated: 13 November 2012