Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Report from the Construction Classification International Collaboration seminar in Tallin

Public seminar of the Construction Classification International Collaboration (CCIC), an international non-profit organisation, was held in Tallinn in December 2022. CCIC develops and promotes the Construction Classification International (CCI) classification system. There are plans in several European countries to use CCI as part of their respective BIM mandates. The seminar featured speakers from various countries where the CCI classification system is being actively developed and implemented. Although the seminar was held a few months ago, the development in the field of classification systems is not progressing so fast, that the information from the seminar would not be up to date. This article summarizes what the various speakers presented and provides an interesting insight into the situation regarding classification systems and BIM mandates in each country.

Jaan Saar giving his opening speech at the CCIC 2022 seminar

Jaan Saar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CCIC, opened the seminar with a brief description of the CCI classification system and the reasons why it was created. CCI is based on ISO 81346 tables augmented with some elements of the Danish CCS, while following the ISO 12006-2 standard. CCI was created as a single language to unify communication across all AEC professions and also across borders. In addition, Jaan Saar stressed that the facility management and operations sector is an integral part of the use and focus of CCI. In terms of the use of CCI, it is important that CCIC organization guarantees that any entity can use CCI free of charge, as the tables are licensed under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.

Subsequent contribution from Jaroslav Nechyba presented CCI from a more technical point of view and with a broader description of the reasons why a uniform classification in the construction industry is necessary. Particularly interesting was the answer to the question why to create a new classification system and not use an existing one, such as Uniclass or OmniClass. Mr. Nechyba gave the example of a window that has dozens of classes in the previously mentioned classification systems, whereas in the CCI classification it is one class. This more simple approach enables use of the same class for one element throughout the whole lifecycle process from design, through construction, to facility management and operations without having to change the classification.

Jaroslav Nechyba at the CCIC seminar

The next speaker, Raido Puust from Tallinn University of Technology and The Chair of the Technical Committee of CCIC, described the current situation of CCI implementation in Estonia. In Estonia, the requirement of The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to develop a building classification system was established in 2018. Over the following years, the CCI-EE system was developed, using CCI as a basis and extending it with the Estonian data standard (CCI-EE). Raido Puust then presented two pilot projects. This is an existing cruise ship terminal where CCI-EE has been tested for cost management. The second example is the digitalization of the Tallinn University campus, where CCI-EE will be used in digitization of 15 buildings and will be further used for facility management and operations.

The description of the current situation with adaptation of CCI in the Czech Republic was again taken up by Jaroslav Nechyba. The national BIM strategy was presented, including CCI and the Data Standard for Buildings (DSS). Plans for linking CCI to other governmental agendas, such as use within the Czech Office of Surveying and Cadaster, The Register of Territorial Identification, Addresses and Real Estate or the Czech Statistical Office and subsequent use for example for construction management or tax collection, were also mentioned.

This was followed by a presentation of Elzbieta Wielechowska from Poland, where the situation with the BIM mandate is a bit less advanced compared to the situation in the Czech Republic or Estonia. In Poland, it was only in 2022 that discussions have started with the state apparatus to envision the requirements for a BIM mandate and a working group will be formed in 2023. However, buldingSMART Poland representatives in this group will promote the use of CCI and CCI-PL, which is extended Polish classification system. The Polish colleagues are inspired by neighboring countries where the preparation of digitization of the construction industry is a little further along, such as the Czech Republic.

The presentation by Martin Mišún from BIM Association Slovakia shed light on the situation in this country. The support from the state apparatus here is also not at the same level as in Scandinavia, for example, but the situation is starting to move in the right direction. In 2021 four working groups have been established to work on digital building standards. The Slovak association is working closely with their Czech colleagues with the expectation that CCI will be used as a standard classification system. The translation of the CCI tables into Slovak language was completed last year and the plan is to create a similar website with CCI classification and API interface as in the Czech Republic. A new specialized plugin for classifying elements with CCI classes in Autodesk Revit software, Class Feeder by Arkance Systems CZ, was introduced. CCI tables available in Class Feeder are currently localized in English and Czech languages. The BIM Association Slovakia is planning to create an open API for the Slovak CCI translation database so that similar tools could use Slovak language CCI tables. As a brand new application, Class Feeder will be available free to use until the 30th June 2023. Users can access the Class Feeder application currently for free, just by filling the request form. After June 30th, commercial sales of this application will start.

Martin Mišún presents Class Feeder for Revit at the CCIC seminar

After the lunch break, the presentation by Gunnar Friborg from Denmark started. The presentation was very interesting, as Denmark started working on the requirements for the use of classification systems in the public sector back in 2007 and the author of the presentation was there from the beginning. Thus, in the framework of the Cuneco project, between 2011 and 2015, they developed a CCI classification system based on international standards. The development happened in collaboration with representatives from the public and private sector. One of the main requirements was for the classification system to work well in coordination with IFC. Most publicly funded construction projects today thus require the use of CCI or the Danish version of this system, CCS. CCI/CCS is adopted in many software solutions and is also used for facility management. On top of the CCI/CCS classification system, a system of standardized entity properties called the Molio dictionary has been developed. In the last four years work has started on the use of CCI in infrastructure projects, where CCI is now starting to be used on pilot projects in both the public and private sectors, such as in the design of the Femern tunnel, Denmark's largest infrastructure project. Gunnar Friborg points out that the implementation of CCI to production has taken a long time and a long time horizon should not be feared.

Gunnar Friborg presents At the CCIC seminar

The subsequent presentation by Andreas Persson from Sweden was conceived from the perspective of a property owner (AB Familjebostäder is the public real estate company owned by the Stockholm municipality) and generally described the use of the CoClass system for these purposes. CoClass is a classification system used in Sweden, similar in structure to CCI.

Jiří Buneš then presented experiences with pilot projects from the Czech Republic. He presented not only the experience with the use of the classification system, but also the identification part and use of data templates. The first two pilot projects shown were road construction infrastructure projects, followed by examples from the building environment. Practical application was shown mainly on the examples of property management and a renovation project of Prague Airport. This was followed by a demonstration of the idea of using CCI for construction management, technical infrastructure construction and urban planning. Jiří Buneš concluded by emphasizing that currently the deployment of CCI depends mainly on the personal initiative of individuals. He also added, that companies which have deployed CCI on pilot projects will continue to use it in the future after positive experience with the classification system.

A presentation on the use of CCI in Lithuania was given by Mindaugas Kiriejevas from The Construction Sector Development Agency and Darius Pupeikis from Kaunas University of Technology. In Lithuania, BIM mandate is being prepared for oversized construction contracts (contracts over 5 million Euro). Furthermore the NSIK, which is the Lithuanian national classification system, is under development and is based on the CCI. This classification system was presented by Darius Pupeikis in depth.

At the end of the day Mindaugas Kiriejevas signed the accession documents and Lithuania became the fifth member of the CCIC.

Mindaugas Kiriejevas signs Lithuania's CCIC accession agreement with Jaan Saar

It is evident from the whole seminar that in all concerned countries, the application of the BIM mandate and consequently the CCI classification system faces the same challenges and individual countries can learn a lot from each other. The CCI classification system appears to be a good basis for classification and subsequent work with data within the requirements of both the public and private sectors from design, through construction to facility management and operations. A broader data system is being developed in each country, with CCI as a basic building bloc, whether it is Czech Construction Data Standard (DSS), Estonian CCI-EE, Lithuanian NSIK, Polish CCI-PL, Estonian CCI-EE or the Danish Molio dictionary. These systems have different names and are adapted to the needs of different countries, but the purpose is the same with all of them. The most advanced country with regards to BIM mandate and classification is obviously Denmark, but positive developments can be seen in all countries which were presented on the seminar.

If you are interested in learning more about CCI and the situation regarding the standardization of BIM classification systems in different countries, the full seminar was recorded in the video below.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Custom development of CAM postprocessors for Fabrication CAMduct


A key component of all CAM programs is the translation of their results, the computed toolpaths and manufacturing processes, into the language and capabilities of a given CNC machine - the so-called postprocessor. This applies both to standard machine CAD/CAM software applications (machining, cutting, bending, 3D printing) and to specialized CAM software, such as furniture or sheet metal parts, for example air ducts.

There are currently only two CAM postprocessor developers worldwide who have been authorized by Autodesk to develop postprocessors for the manufacturing module of the Autodesk Fabrication family of BIM software - the Fabrication CAMduct, designed for manufacturers of building MEP components (HVAC). One of these selected developers is based in Atlanta, USA, and the other is Arkance Systems in the Czech Republic. At Arkance Systems, we have many years of experience developing and customizing custom CAM postprocessors for dozens of machines and control systems.

So if you don't find a VPL postprocessor file for your cutting, shearing or plasma machine already in the standard Autodesk Fabrication CAMduct offering, you can contact Arkance Systems CZ to develop or customize the new postprocessor you need.

More information:

Autodesk recommendation:Autodesk's Postprocessors for CAMduct
More about Fabrication: Autodesk Fabrication product page (in Czech)
For inquiries, contact info.cz@arkance-systems.com

Friday, December 16, 2022

The 19th Christmas CAD giveaway by Arkance Systems

With the Year 2022 coming to its end, the joyful Christmas time, we at Arkance Systems CZ continue our long tradition, giving out our CAD presents - our free tools for all CAD users, so they can extend capabilities of their Autodesk design software. But it is not only these Christmas presents - do not miss also hundreds of other useful CAD applications, web tools and CAD/BIM libraries offered for free on our portal CADforum.cz.

As a part of the tradition, this year's Christmas-tree utilities by Arkance Systems include (all can be downloaded from Freeware):


  • GEarth - linking your georeferenced DWG drawing with an interactive window with the popular mapping application Google Earth directly in AutoCAD or Civil. You might use it e.g. for tracking Santa... See the Tip

  • AutoClass - allows you to automatically classify the properties of DWG drawing objects (lengths, areas, diameters, elevations, volumes...) into separate ranges of colors or layers. See the Tip

  • IncText - renumbers texts in a DWG drawing in an incremental series of numbers. You can use a wide variety of options and style settings. It works with texts, block attributes and with table cells. See the Tip
  • NumInText - performs various types of arithmetic operations with numeric texts or attributes in a DWG drawing - you can add values in bulk, multiply by a factor, round, fill-in, format, and otherwise modify integers and reals in your AutoCAD drawings. See the Tip

  • LookupXLS - lookups and fills in DWG text values from Excel spreadsheets. You can use this "text-feeder" to find and fill-in texts/attributes in DWG drawing from Excel spreadsheets (e.g. from price lists, code lists, product catalogues, phone books, lease contracts, IP addresses, etc.). See the Tip
  • Txt2XLS - transfers selected texts from a DWG drawing to a table in Excel - interactively creates a table of texts from the drawing. See the Tip
  • Random Number Generator - flexible online random number generator for use in CAD applications and elsewhere. Adjustable ranges and generation methods, ability to work with XY and XYZ coordinates. See the section Converters on CADforum.cz - random numbers (in Czech)
  • USD Viewer - a universal interactive online viewer of 3D models in the USD/USDz format (incl. materials) can be used in the Converters section of CADforum.cz portal - just drag the file from your computer to the viewer window. See the section Converters on CADforum.cz - viewer page (in Czech)


  • Class Feeder - a new plugin for Revit that allows you to automatically classify your BIM projects according to the CCI standard chosen for the upcoming BIM mandate in the Czech Republic (and other EU countries). Speed up your BIM project creation. The app is now available for free as a gift. See product page (in Czech).
  • Arkance Systems Dynamo node library for Civil 3D - a free library from our Dutch colleagues, a package with over 800 useful nodes for the Dynamo automation tool in Civil 3D. Plus an example Dynamo script CS_2D points to 3D 1.0.0.dyn for processing points to 3D. The library is available as a package download directly in Dynamo.


  • Assembly COG export - this iLogic macro (rule) for Inventor exports the masses and coordinates of the centers of gravity (COG) of all parts in the current assembly to an Excel spreadsheet (using a template XLSx). Download AssyCOG.
  • Export STL parts - this iLogic macro (rule) for Inventor exports the individual parts of the current assembly to separate STL files for 3D printing. The files are located in the temporary folder C:\TEMP or another preset folder. Download Export STL.
  • Fusion 360 - Open from My Computer - a useful Fusion add-on for faster opening of native .F3D and .F3Z files from your local disk folder. Unzip the archive to a subfolder in API\Addins (see the Tip). Download Open from My Computer.
  • Steel codes - conversion table of steel classes and codes and their designation, according to DIN, CSN, ISO, GOST See the section Converters on CADforum.cz - Steel codes (in Czech)

And as usual - all these CAD utilities (and many other) can be found for download on our Freeware download page, some also on Autodesk Apps - or you can still try to write a letter to Santa Arkance Systems.

Best Wishes for the Year 2023

Enjoy Christmas with your families and let's build 2023 together!

Monday, May 9, 2022

1 Million Registered Users On The Portal CADforum.cz

The international web portal CADforum.cz operated by the Czech company Arkance Systems has already recorded its millionth registered user.

Over the 22 years of its existence, CADforum.cz has become a trusted source of technical information on Autodesk software products for professionals and students, not only from Czechia, but also from all over the world. This web service provided by Arkance Systems is a proven repository for tips and tricks, CAD software utilities, libraries of 2D/3D CAD and BIM blocks. The user community readily exchanges experiences and advice in the discussion forums, helping less experienced users to better use Autodesk design tools. Arkance Systems customers can also directly access the professional Helpdesk.

Some of the most popular content here includes over 9,400 tips and tricks for AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, Civil 3D, Fusion 360 and other Autodesk products, hundreds of freeware CAD utilities with over 12 million downloads, over 44,000 blocks, models and symbols, thousands of discussion posts, online converters, viewers and other web tools, AutoCAD command dictionary. The most used online tools on CADforum are the physical units converter, the map coordinate converter, the STL converter, the barcode generator, the 1D/2D/3D optimization - nesting, or the web-based 3D USD file viewer.

The CADforum portal offers international content in English and separate content in Czech. And it is from the English-language part of the portal where the majority of the over 895,000 registered users come from, with the remaining cca 105,000 coming from Czechia and Slovakia. According to the international overview of user groups - "Autodesk Group Network" - CADforum.cz is today the world's largest online community of Autodesk product users (it is twice as big as the official group AUGI - Autodesk Users Group International). Most registered members come from the USA, UK, India, Canada, Australia, Brazil and the Philippines.

From the history of CADforum: 20 years of CADforum.cz

About Arkance Systems

Arkance Systems belongs to the European group Arkance (Monnoyeur Group). It has 125 employees in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and almost 600 employees in 11 European countries. It is one of the largest resellers of Autodesk products in Europe, has the highest status of Autodesk Platinum Partner and is also an Authorized training center and Application developer. It delivers CAD, CAM, BIM, PDM and GIS solutions for both large organisations and smaller companies. Some of its software applications can also be found on the Autodesk Apps store.

See also www.arkance-systems.com, www.cadforum.cz, facebook.com/CADstudio, linkedin.com/company/CADstudio, youtube.com/CADstudioCZSK

Friday, December 17, 2021

The 18th Christmas CAD freeware giveaway by Arkance Systems

The Year 2021 is coming to its end, the Christmas time, so we at Arkance Systems CZ (former CAD Studio) have decided to continue our tradition and again give out decorated presents - our free tools for all CAD users, so they can extend capabilities of their Autodesk design software. But do not miss also hundreds of other useful CAD applications, web tools and CAD/BIM libraries offered for free on our portal CADforum.cz.

As a part of the tradition, this year's Christmas-tree utilities by Arkance Systems include (all can be downloaded from Freeware):

  • ScaleBB/RotateBB - a LISP application for AutoCAD - scales or rotates multiple objects in relation to their individual reference points or bounding boxes. See the Tip

  • CopyBlockE - allows to copy-in a selected "borrowed" block from an external DWG file into your current AutoCAD drawing, or update that block from the foreign DWG, while maintaining its attribute values. Supports also dynamic blocks. See the Tip
  • GeoCode - to our AutoCAD app for forward- and reverse geocoding (conversion of address/location), we have added the support of the API of the what3words mapping service and an easier link to Google Maps - see the app page

  • RRename - an enhanced version of the AutoCAD app for mass renaming of layers, blocks, layouts, linetypes, style, groups or Civil objects using regular expressions - now supports more object types and allows global (multiple) string replacements. See the Tip
  • GeoRefImg - one of our most popular freeware apps, now allows to insert images directly with automatic placement to their georeference position, scale and rotation (by their World file), including mass-insertion. See the app page
  • CADexcel - we didn't forget AutoCAD LT users, this add-on for MS Excel allows mass import of XY/XYZ coordinates from an Excel sheet into AutoCAD (LT) - as points, polylines or blocks. See the Tip
  • Snake - modified two variants of the interactive game "Snake" in Visual LISP for AutoCAD
  • F360 Diry (Holes) - a useful plug-in module for Fusion 360 - bulk-selects all faces of the same color (according to an example), creates a selection set from them, which you can then use e.g. for CAM operations. See Download.

  • najdiDiry (findHoles) - an iLogic macro for Inventor, also locates holes, on the first solid in the current IPT document. After you select the holes, you can e.g. change their color or bulk-change their diameter using direct editing. See Download
  • exportujPlechy (exportSheetmetal) - an iLogic macro for Inventor - bulk-exports all sheetmetal unfolded shapes from an assembly into DXF, with preset settings, explained in the Tip, for download on Download
  • SelectParentOccurrence – a simple iLogic macro - in an Inventor assembly model, selects the parent component. See Download
  • HELUZ - in cooperation with HELUZ, we have prepared a gift for designers in the BIM application Revit - the application "HELUZ Lintels" inserts and displays the structural elements of lintels and additional bricks of the lining into the model in Revit. It also produces layout plans, documents for construction companies. See details and download (in Czech)
  • Converters - we have also extended function of the Converter section on CADforum.cz - so e.g. the online converter of mapping coordinates now supports the German coordinate system Gauss-Krüger. The new web app BarCode generates CAD versions of various types of barcodes. The IFC viewer displays you BIM model in the IFC file format - online, without installing any viewer software. See CADforum - Converters


- and many useful functions (parts are free, not only for customers) offered in our Arkance Systems bonus tools - "CS+":

  • InventorTools ("X-Tools", X-Tools LT) - additional tools for Inventor users
  • RevitTools (aka Holixa Tools for Revit) - set of useful BIM tools for Autodesk Revit
  • CivilTools - set of useful tools for Autodesk Civil 3D
  • PlantTools - set of useful tools for the piping software AutoCAD Plant 3D
  • VaultTools - set of useful tools for the PDM software Autodesk Vault
  • PowerTools - set of useful tools for the CAM software Autodesk PowerMill
  • FeatureTools - set of useful tools for the CAM software Autodesk FeatureCAM
  • FusionTools ("F-Tools") - additional tools for users of the CAD/CAM/CAE software Autodesk Fusion 360

And as usual - all these CAD utilities (and many other) can be found for download on our Freeware download page, some also on Autodesk Apps - or you can still try to write a letter to Santa Arkance Systems.

Best Wishes for 2022

Let's build 2022 together!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

CAD Studio has changed name to Arkance Systems

CAD Studio, part of the European group ARKANCE, has changed its name to Arkance Systems, as part of its ongoing integration.

CAD Studio, the largest specialized supplier of CAD, CAM, GIS and BIM solutions in Central Europe, has been on the market for over 30 years. Since last June, it is part of the fast-growing European group Arkance. Following a planned change of identity, the company has now changed its name to Arkance Systems.

The name change affects both the CAD Studio itself (Arkance Systems CZ s.r.o. since April 2021) and its representative office in Slovakia (Arkance Systems SK s.r.o.) and the recently acquired Varinex-CAD Studio in Hungary (Arkance Systems HU Kft.). The company's headquarters are moving from Ostrava to Prague in the Czech Republic and to Bratislava in Slovakia.

The company website can be found at the new address www.arkance-systems.cz (the English content will move to the planned update of www.arkance-systems.com).

Arkance Systems CZ is one of Autodesk's largest European partners. It is the author of a number of popular add-on applications and Czech software localizations. It offers solutions for engineering and manufacturing, construction and architecture, mapping, infrastructure and utilities, 3D visualization, document management and facility management. It has successfully implemented CAD/CAM, BIM, PLM, GIS and multimedia solutions for thousands of customers in Central Europe and other countries around the world. 130 employees of the original CAD Studio and 470 employees of the entire Arkance Systems group are ready to help both small and large customers to streamline design processes and connect them with other corporate agendas. The solution offering leverages all disciplines of digital design, primarily using Autodesk technologies, including the latest "2022" product line.

The ongoing facelift affects the company eShop (now on shop.arkance-systems.cz), CAD Forum portal (www.cadforum.cz, currently with over 960.000 registered users), Helpdesk portal, blogs and social media channels.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

20 years of the CADforum.cz portal

Exactly 20 years ago, the CADforum.cz web portal by CAD Studio was started, then only as a web interface of the existing e-mail discussion forum for users of Autodesk CAD software. Over time, the portal has expanded to include additional sections and features - a CAD knowledge base, a library of CAD/BIM blocks, a download pool of CAD utilities, a database of AutoCAD commands and variables, videos and training materials, a physical unit converter, online STL and other CAD format converter, map coordinate converter with geocoding, an overview of service packs for Autodesk products, online nesting applications, and more.

Today, this portal has over 93.800 registered users from Czechia ad Slovakia, plus another 834.800 registered users from all over the world in its English version. It records over 1.3 million displayed pages monthly. Autodesk Group Network lists CADforum.cz as the world largest online community for Autodesk products' users (more than 2x larger than the official AUGI - Autodesk Users Group International).

The original look of the website from the deep archives of the Wayback Machine:
and the English version of it, added a couple of years later:

From time to time, we reward the most active members from the Czech forum on CADforum.cz, because it is the questions of users and the answers of more experienced ones, that bring one of the most useful information resources on this portal. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary, we are restoring this tradition and a quick look into the forum statistics we can easily find out that these gentlemen can now look forward to a gift package from CAD Studio: