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 and 5D Costing.

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 Generation (v.19)

The new IDEA (v.19) 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)





The easiest Switch for CAD users to 3D and BIM 

IDEA Architecture offers advanced 3D BIM modeling within an AutoCAD-like look and feel. You only need to master very simple 2D commands like polylines, entity snaps, copy... and you will soon be drawing in 3D using our libraries of 3D BIM objects.


Draw like in 2D and get the 3D Building

You just need to draw the floor plans using the intelligent and parametric objects of our AutoBLD menu and IDEA Architecture will build the 3D from it. A simple double-click on any of our objects will display its properties for an easy modification.

The best compatibility with AutoCAD

Unlike other BIM Architectural Software, IDEA Architecture uses DWG as its native file format and includes features to convert the 3D BIM objects into simple vectors that can be further viewed and modified in AutoCAD®. You can therefore freely share 2D or 3D files with most of CAD users. 

Includes a full CAD Software

Our Architectural Software includes all the features of 4MCAD , our alternative to AutoCAD®. You get 2 software in one, you have the BIM features for advanced 3D design and all the CAD features to edit some DWG drawings.


Draw in 2D and 3D faster and easie
Unlike in other BIM software, IDEA Architecture's advanced and very intuitive 3D BIM technology does not come at the expense of speed, it is just the opposite : you draw in 3D even faster than you used to in 2D with CAD software and much easier.
Smart 3D Modeler for Roofs and Stairs
Roofs and stairs are very complex to design in 3D but with our Architectural Software it just requires a few clicks. You can create any kind of shape and adjust the size, options and materials.
Draw faster than with CAD Software
Our Architectural Software includes extensive libraries of 3D intelligent and parametric objects. Instead of drawing each line you just need to choose the object and define its size, materials and options and IDEA Architecture will draw it in 2D and 3D. Besides the software knows how the objects interact one with the other and performs many tasks automatically, saving you a lot of time.

Draw faster than with other Architectural Software
Compared to Revit® or ArchiCAD®, IDEA Architecture is much easier to use and faster. All our 3D BIM objects can be defined either by a few points or a polyline. Using a command as simple as the polyline you can create any kind of custom shape of 3D BIM object: much less clicks are required, you get all the power of BIM but not at the expense of speed or ease of use.


All the 2D drawings in DWG out of the 3D BIM Model

An Architectural project requires tens if not hundreds of 2D drawings to show the building and all its characteristics. IDEA Architecture will help you to generate them in a few clicks and keep them updated in real-time.

Floor Plans, Cross Sections, Elevations, Perspective Views

In IDEA Architecture you just need to create each floor plan either in 2D or 3D view. Then the software will help you to create all the different views you need and add them to the Project tree on the left.

Print them as in Autocad

These 2D views will be extracted from the 3D and our Architectural Software will keep them updated while you modify the project. You save a lot of time while you would have to have created all these drawings by hand and manually updated if you were using a CAD Software like AutoCAD® or 4MCAD.

Using our AutoCAD-like environment you can define layouts and add on them whatever you like using the CAD features such as a drawing detail of the roof or an annotation.

Share them with CAD users

All these drawings are in DWG and you can convert the BIM objects into simple vectors and blocks if you want to share them with non-BIM users. CAD Software like AutoCAD® or 4MCAD cannot read BIM objects because they don't have a BIM technology but using our feature "Screen drawing" you can send them DWG files they will be able to read and modify.


Give life to your projects with our 3D Rendering features

Our Architectural Software includes advanced rendering features to give life to your projects with 3D furnitures, rendered images and walk-through videos.

3D Furniture and Material Libraries

IDEA Architecture includes libraries of modern 3D blocks of furnitures and objects to insert in your building. You can edit the colors and materials of these objects to get exactly what you expected.

We provide also an extensive library of materials and you can add you own ones by importing images. You can attach up to 256 different materials in each project.

Real Time OpenGL Rendering

The real-time rendering offers you the possibility to see your project and keep rendering while you move, rotate, modify or even walk inside your project.

Walkthrough Videos

Our WalkIDEA menu helps you to create a path and export the model to the Walk-through video module provided with IDEA Architecture.

You will be able to create videos like if you were walking inside or outside your building. You can also attach 6 background images to create a 360° background and show your project on site. 

Photorealistic Rendering with IDEA Architecture

In IDEA Architecture you will find a complete set of feature for photo-realistic rendering and work out the materials, lights, background... Several quality levels are available to define all these parameters before performing the full Optical rendering to get the highest quality. 

Import/Export with Google Earth

Background images can be extracted from Google Earth and Google Street view and you can export you project to show it in Google Earth. 

Render with External Rendering Software

IDEA Architecture's in-built rendering features will satisfy most of your needs but if you want to collaborate with rendering experts or simply use your favorite rendering software, it is good to know that you can export to .3ds or Collada format or use the DWG format. As a result you will be able to use rendering software like V-Ray® or Artlantis® to create breathtaking images of your project.



Feel the power of BIM Software for Architectural Design

4M is a pioneer of BIM with a complete suite of BIM Software for Architecture & Engineering initiated in 1993. The 4M BIM Software are reknown by experts to be the BIM software offering the easiest migration for AutoCAD users as they are the only ones to use DWG as their native file format and an AutoCAD-like look-and-feel.

BIM Design in IDEA Architecture

IDEA Architecture's advanced BIM technology will increase your productivity. Using our smart 3D modelers and libraries of 3D BIM objects you will be able to draw much faster and easier.

You just need to work on the floor plans either in 2D or 3D view and our BIM Software will generate the 3D Model. Next you will extract all the 2D drawings you need from this 3D BIM model and IDEA Architecture will keep them updated in real-time.

Bill of Materials

The BIM information can also be extracted to create a Bill of Materials showing the quantities and surfaces of the various objects you created in the building. This file can be further edited in Excel to for example calculate the cost of your building.




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