How to transfer BIMx models to Android devices

by GRAPHISOFT, Katalin Götz and Csaba Kézér · updated: 08.12.2014

GRAPHISOFT released the latest BIMx innovation specifically targeted toward Android device users.

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Read more: GRAPHISOFT releases BIMx Docs for Android devices

There are numerous options to consider when sharing your BIMx project. These options depend on both the method of upload and your ArchiCAD and BIMx license type.

 


Prepare the Model in .bimx Format

BIMx

This step can be skipped if you are sharing your models through the BIMx Community Site.

Export your ArchiCAD model to the BIMx for ArchiCAD (BIM Explorer Add-On).

  • Open a 3D view (perspective or axonometry) in ArchiCAD.
  • Choose File/Export for BIM Explorer and click on Export.
  • After the export is done, click the Launch button.
  • Perform Global Illumination render if required and set the preferred settings such as background color, etc.
  • Hit Esc in BIMx, choose File/Save and save a .bimx file.

Download BIMx App on Your Android Device

Anyone who wishes to view the BIMx file needs the BIMx application on their Android mobile device:

  • Open Play Store.
  • Search for BIMx.
  • Click on install and wait until the download finishes.

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Public Way

The models shared this way are public and accessible by everyone. If you would like to limit sharing access, choose one of the private sharing methods.

BIMx Transfer Site

The BIMx Transfer Site is the central hub for sharing interactive 3D building models.
You can upload and download models here using any kind of ArchiCAD license (including educational and trial licenses).

3d models on the BIMx Community can be uploaded and downloaded in the .bimx format.

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Upload

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Download

  • Access the site using your browser: BIMx Transfer Site
  • Click on “Go to BIMx Community Page” button
    or
  • Open the BIMx App
  • Go to the Model list. At the bottom of the screen you can find a link to the BIMx Transfer Site
  • Click on “Open BIMx Community” button
    or
  • Open the BIMx App
  • Open BIMx Settings
  • Settings/ About > tap on the BIMx Transfer Site link

It is recommended to store the downloaded BIMx models in BIMx Documents folder. This folder is automatically generated after the first launch of the BIMx app.

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Private ways

BIMx Community Site

The BIMx Model Transfer Service is a new “cloud-service” offered to BIMx users with active Software Services Agreement. This service is available to the extent of the number of BIMx licenses they possess and to the duration of their Software Services Agreement. The private BIMx models stored in the cloud can be only accessed through a direct link or they can be password protected.

To activate the cloud-service of BIMx, register for the BIMx site.

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Upload

  • 1. You can upload an existing .bimx file to your account on https://bimx.graphisoft.com/, or
  • 2. The 3D models can be directly uploaded from BIMx (BIM Explorer) desktop version

For details, see: Uploading BIMx Models

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Download

  • 1. Hidden BIMx Models: the uploaded model can be accessed through a direct link, or
  • 2. Protected BIMx Models: the uploaded model can be accessed through a direct link, but they are password protected, too

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Connect via data cable or WIFI

Devices running Android can be connected to the computer directly. Setup cable or WIFI connection between the Android device and the computer.

It is recommended to store the .bimx files in the BIMx Documents folder. This folder is automatically generated after the first launch of the BIMx app.
The models stored on the device will be added to the model list of BIMx app after the data cable is removed.

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Upload

  • Use the computer interface to move the saved BIMx files between the two platforms. When you are done, the files will appear on the Android device as well.

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Manage

  • Some file managers are also able to match the file format and the relevant application.
    For example X-plore app offers to open .bimx files in BIMx application.

Tip: Hold your finger down on a model selected in the BIMx model list to remove it from your device.


Sending as an email attachment

You can send models as a simple mail attachment, but note that even a small size model can take up more than 10 Megabytes. Not many email providers support such large attachments, so you have to make sure that the recipient’s mailbox is capable of handling the attached model’s size. (e.g. Gmail supports attachments up to 25 Megabytes in size.)

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Upload

  • Attach your model to an email message

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Download

  • Open the mail on the android device
  • Tap on the attachment to download and save
  • The saved files can be opened directly from the mail system, too

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Using Dropbox

{i} Google Drive works almost on the same way as Dropbox.

Dropbox is a very popular cloud based file syncing tool and can be used effectively to share models.
You can download dropbox from: http://www.dropbox.com Registration is free and you get 2GB of space for every account.

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Upload

  • Install dropbox on your computer
  • Place the .bimx file in any of the shared folders

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Download

  • Install dropbox on your Android device as well
  • Open Dropbox on your Android device
  • Navigate to the file and click on it
  • The file will be downloaded automatically
  • Click on the file again to run it in BIMx

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With Dropbox you can share folders with other Dropbox users so this can be one of the ways to transfer the model not only to your own device but share with others. You can also share models with clients not having a Dropbox account.

  • Copy the model to the Public folder within your Dropbox folder
  • Display the additional menu of the file
  • Share it in one of the listed ways.

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Share the file

You can share a .bimx file in various ways. You can use the traditional FTP protocol or any other file storage such as WebDav, Cloud based storage (Amazon) or simple network shares (afp, smb) etc… By default these connections are not supported on the operating system level, but with applications available in the Android Play Store you can use these. (X-plore, Astro, etc.) Of course the perviously mentioned Dropbox also does belong to this category.

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