100% DWG & 100% IFC Compatible, IDEA Architecture is the 64bit powerful BIM software for 3D & 2D Architectural design, Rendering and Animation, as well as for 4D Scheduling, 5D Costing and 6D Energy Sustainability (IDEA FineGREEN) and 7D As built documentation (IDEA FineMEP).

IDEA is the low-cost alternative to Revit® or ArchiCAD® yet easier and faster to use and significantly more affordable to purchase and maintain.


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IDEA Features & Highlights



New IDEA BIM Generation

Now IDEA is here with a total code restructure, which introduces a new BIM Generation with plenty of new and innovative features:


Total Code Restructure following the 4M Innovative BIM Design

  • 64bit Architecture
  • ODA Teigha
  • ITC8.x important features
  • Very Fast Open/Read/Save functions
  • Very Fast Display engine (Zoom, Pan etc)

General Interface

  • Totally new interface
  • New Ribbon menus
  • New options for Visual styles
  • New status bar, with new buttons for GRID, ORTHO, ESNAPS etc just like in AutoCAD
  • New options and functions in status bar, like Annotation scale list, Annotation visibility etc
  • Changes in the toolbars
  • New property panel with many more abilities and functions in combination with command filter and quick select
  • Real time zoom/orbit to all the BIM entities through their dialog boxes.
  • Changes in the dialog boxes of BIM entities with new interface.
  • Updated dialogs in roofs and rails types


General functions

  • Ability to change any of the characteristics of the BIM entities from the property panel. All these characteristics could be used as filter to select specific entities
  • Grips in all the BIM entities to change real time the length, width, angle etc
  • New grip options like grips for changing the width in walls, in beams etc, rotation in gables and many more grips options in stairs roofs etc
  • New dialog for the building definition with many more options, like use of images as xrefs and insert/delete levels between other levels

Specific functions (related to the building objects)

  • Corner openings
  • Single-sided roof by pline
  • Real time editing in roofs by grips, showing real time the inclination
  • Walls with any user’s shape in view (user walls)
  • Openings with no casing
  • Two different ways to create staircases and unchanged dialogs. Ability to edit riser and thread
  • Advanced options in stairs to control the limits in riser and thread, the rounding details etc
  • New tables for even more entities like doors, spaces, roofs, materials etc.
  • Use of Orthophotomaps, including the most precise and comprehensible visual information
  • Ability to raise walls with a stair or a roof as outline


  • Improvement of the Rendering algorithm (redesigned and enhanced)
  • Higher quality of rendering result

IFC2x3 Compatibility

  • Adjustments in the IFC input/output functions for even better compatibility with other BIM programs (practically at the same level with Revit® and Archicad®
  • Adjustments in the IFC functions for even faster import


  • New 3D furniture libraries
  • Rendered preview in furniture’s libraries  (not simple slides)
  • New rendered interface for the roof types
  • New rendered interface for the stair types
  • New rendered interface for the rail types

New CAD Engine

Includes all the features of the latest 4MCAD v.19, like for example:

  • Notification manager to view messages and alerts
  • New enhanced dialogs with new features, make them even easier to be used and more parametric, like in “purge” and “block” command
  • New enhanced dialogs with more options in “mtext” command (to support stacked text, overline text, number/list settings, background settings and more)
  • Autocomplete commands when typing at the command line, with various settings
  • New abilities/options in 3D Orbit command
  • Increased zooming capability for Print Preview
  • New commands like “txt2mtx”, “rtext”, “Helix”, “3D Polyline”
  • New Draw Order options to quickly push back or bring forward annotation and hatches
  • New File Management (Input/Output, Import/Export, Conversion) options
  • New LISP method (protect) to create protected LISP files


  • New commands in Plus menu (like in Express tools of AutoCAD) (etransmit, overkill, “blockreplace”, “bcount”, etc)


IDEA BIM at a glance

BIM Innovative Design

  • Innovative BIM design with a total code restructure based on a 64bit architecture, the ODA and ITC libraries and over all the 30 years of BIM experience
  • Smart BIM structure to obtain unrivaled speeds regarding the Open/Read/Save functions and the display engine (zoom, pan etc), regardless the building size
  • IFC/BIM full compatibility and native DWG compatibility at the same time




  • Advanced BIM interface including Ribbon menus and enhanced dialogs for the BIM entities (i.e. real time zoom/orbit to every BIM entity in their dialog boxes)
  • Property panel advanced functions in combination with command filter and quick select
  • Visual styles, toolbars, status bar, command line etc have an AutoCAD-like look-and-feel with an advanced BIM technology behind
  • Enhanced dialogs for composite BIM structures (i.e. roofs, stairs, rails, ramps etc)
  • Interface especially designed to offer the easiest BIM transition for CAD users coming from AutoCAD®




  • Unlimited design capabilities, working directly on the 3D model from any view angle and zoom level
  • Quick editing of the BIM entities through the property panel in conjunction with filter selection.
  • Use of grips on every BIM entity for real time editing and shaping
  • BIM objects of any type and shape (i.e. corner openings, walls of any shape etc)
  • Smart building floor manager (use of images as xrefs, floor properties, floor insertion/deletion etc)
  • Tables for all entities (doors, spaces, roofs, materials etc).



Topographical Design

  • Topographical design (triangulation, contouring, excavation volumes etc)
  • Use of Orthophotomaps, including the most precise and comprehensible visual information



Rendering & Walkthrough

  • Sophisticated Rendering algorithm (redesigned and enhanced)
  • Highest quality of rendering representation and walkthrough result
  • Cooperation with Google Earth




  • Full DWG compatibility with all the DWG formats
  • IFC input/output functions for full compatibility with other BIM programs (practically at the same level with Revit® and Archicad® ) and even faster
  • IDEA BIM model includes all the individual disciplinary models for a seamless integration with the latest version of FineMEP and FineGREEN



4D to 7D BIM Dimensions

IDEA 4D BIM (Phasing): the intelligent linking of the individual building objects and components with the project construction phases, results to a complete image of the overall project planning.

IDEA 5D BIM (Estimating): intelligent linking of the building object costs, results to the generation of the project budget.

In addition IDEA Architecture covers two more dimensions in conjunction with FineGREEN and FineMEP which belong to the 4M BIM Suite, as well. More specifically:

IDEA 6D BIM (Sustainability in conjunction with FineGREEN): Detailed Energy Analysis and Simulation via FineGREEN  (which uses as calculation engine the renown EnergyPlus® )

IDEA 7D BIM (As Built project info in conjunction with FineMEP): Building Services Installations (HVAC, Sanitary, Electrical, Gas, Fire Protection, Elevators) are all identified and archived via FineMEP.




IDEA Comparison Table




Revit    LT



AutoCAD®-like Interface

AutoCAD®-like Functionality

Permanent License

Annual License

Native, Full DWG Compatibility

Full IFC Compatibility (BIM)

Innovative BIM design

IFC and DWG Compatibility at the same time

Export to most of the standard formats

Save back compatibility

Support Revit format (.rvt files) and .rfa objects

Import/Export NWC format from Navisworks

Collaboration with Revit MEP

Support DWF / PDF, 3D PDF in Publish command

Support for COBie data


Layer Management

3D modeling, Photorealism and Animation (plus Topography and Bill of Materials), all in one

Flexibility in free shaping

Alternative option to be used as a simple 2D design tool

Smart Wizard to create from scratch user BIM entities like windows, doors etc.

Real time editing/ Properties button

Live drawings 

Sophisticated view layer manager for customized layouts 

Live perspective drawings - Direct editing from any angle

Smart storey manager with automatic adjustments

Library manager

User-defined parametric schedule tables for all the BIM objects

Revision tracking

Rich opening libraries and slides for easy selection

Parametrical building entities easy to customize

Sophisticated Modelers for composite building elements

Bill of materials / Costing BOMs

Topographical design - Excavation calculator

Rendering engine

Walkthrough engine

Google Earth background

Smart Functions

Automatic Lighting/Ventilation control

Seamless Integration with MEP and Structural Design Verticals

Energy simulation

Point clouds support (get geometry from 3D scan)

Rendering in cloud

BIM Dimensions

4D BIM support (Project BoM & Costing)

5D BIM support (Project scheduling and budgeting)

High Value with Unbeatable ROI

Easy migration from CAD

Ability to work productively after a quick training

Very easy to be learned by new users

Small size requested on Disk





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