How to transfer BIMx models to iOS devices

by GRAPHISOFT, Marton Kiss, Csaba Kézér and Brieuc Tassel · updated: 06.21.2016

Share the BIMx model on GRAPHISOFT’s BIMx Model Transfer Site

Use GRAPHISOFT’s cloud service to upload, share and distribute BIMx models to your clients and other parties in the AEC workflow. Both the 3D only and the Hyper-model formats can be shared, downloaded and opened by the BIMx and BIMx PRO iOS apps. Once a BIMx Hyper-model is uploaded to GRAPHISOFT’s BIMx Model Transfer Site it can be shared with your customer via the Model sharing licensing option.


Upload a BIMx Hyper-model

/!\ Depending on your license you might only be able to upload models Publicly (FULL, EDU and TRIAL users). Private upload possibility with 5GB of own storage space is available only for customers with an active SSA (Software Services Agreement) subscription.

Alternative file sharing possibilities

In case you are not entitled to a private upload space on GRAPHISOFT’s BIMx Model Transfer Site or you would like to use another cloud solution to distribute BIMx models first save the model onto your local machine. This can be done both from the Publisher and from the File/Save as… menu:

There are various ways to move the file from your Desktop machine to the iOS device. You can upload the file to a cloud storage solution, move it directly to the iPad/iPhone with iTunes or AirDrop, send it in an email or share it on a regular website/ftp link. The below points explain each transfer method in detail.

Download models from your Cloud Storage

GRAPHISOFT integrated Apple’s Document Picker in the BIMx and BIMx PRO iOS apps to allow downloading and opening BIMx files directly from a 3rd party cloud storage space. Publish the BIMx model from ARCHICAD into your Dropbox/Google Drive folder. If you have the cloud storage provider’s app on your iOS device you can enable it in BIMx from the More menu option (see below). By tapping the icon of your storage you can browse through your BIMx models and download any of them without leaving the BIMx app. Currently iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Box and Dropbox support the Document Picker functionality.

iOS document picker

{i} Note: Document Picker is available from iOS 8.2. Certain storage providers might be available in the More menu even if they are not working properly with BIMx. Compatibility of these apps has to be developed at their end, it cannot be enabled in BIMx.

Send via AirDrop

AirDrop is a simple option for moving files between nearby Apple devices wirelessly. It works with BIMx files just like with any other: find the nearby device and simply drag and drop the BIMx file in Finder to the iOS device where you would like to send it:

 Airdrop BIMx file to iPad 3

Once the file is sent, a message appears on the iPhone/iPad that downloads the file and imports it into the BIMx application automatically.

{i} Note: This option works best with smaller BIMx files, transfer speed and reliability may decrease with larger BIMx Hyper-models.

Upload through iTunes

iTunes supports file management for installed applications. Follow these instructions to transfer any BIMx model to your mobile device.

  • Connect your iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) to your computer and open iTunes
  • Click on your device in the left column in iTunes
  • Choose Apps in the menu and scroll down to File Sharing
  • Select BIMx
  • Using the Add… and Save to.. buttons you can add and remove any model in .bimx format (drag and drop also works, use backspace to delete a model on Mac or delete key on Windows)

upload bimx files through iTunes

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.)

  • attach your model to an email message
  • open the mail on the iOS device
  • tap on the attachment
  • after it is downloaded you will be able to open it in BIMx

open bimx file from mail


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 iOS App Store you can use these. (iFiles, FileBrowser) Of course the previously mentioned Dropbox also does belong to this category.

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