Signing off from Cadimage – 20 years

Following on from the press release regarding the sale of Cadimage to Central Innovation, today I signed off from Cadimage after 20 years and a busy week. The fact this coincided with ArchiCAD 20 is a pure coincidence and I apologise for the repeated use of 20 in this post!

Auckland – Monday

We started the week with the Auckland ARCHICAD 20 Launch which included the news of the sale of Cadimage. The breakfast launch was closely followed by the signing of all the paperwork related to the business sale and then a celebratory drink with the Central Innovation team who were in town for the day.

New Plymouth – Tuesday

As mentioned in an earlier post, the ArchiCAD 20 Signature Project is the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth. So on Tuesday we chartered a plane to take a dozen of our long term customers down to visit the building and present ArchiCAD 20 inside the centre.

It was a great day for flying and great to connect with customers who have been using ArchiCAD over my last 20 years.

Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown – Wednesday/Thursday

Wednesday / Thursday we quickly jumped around the country for more ArchiCAD 20 launches.

Friday – Cadimage Sign Off

Today was a humbling experience as the team shared a number of items and videos about my time at Cadimage. It was a great afternoon with both past and current members of the Cadimage Team including Murray the founder of Cadimage.

As a present, the team had arranged a physical representation of the Cadimage ‘C’ which is absolutely amazing.

Still able to demo ArchiCAD!

When I first started with Cadimage I helped launch ArchiCAD for Teamwork (ArchiCAD 5.1)

20 Years later I am proud of the fact that this week I could still travel the country and demo ArchiCAD – I haven’t done it every year but at least I still know my way around the product!

Signing off

20 years is a long time for someones ‘first job’ but I have had an amazing journey from a fresh university graduate to managing director, I am immensely proud of what both I and the entire Cadimage Team have achieved over the last 27 years in business.

Business truly is all about People, I’ve been fortunate to work with a group of absolutely amazing people and will remember my time fondly.

Also without customers there is no business. Many of my customers over the last 20 years have also become great friends.

I’ve had a wonderful journey, it’s now time for a new direction.

Thank you all.

Central Innovation acquires Cadimage Group

AUCKLAND, 1 AUGUST 2016 – Central Innovation Ltd and Cadimage Group Ltd has announced an agreement in which Central Innovation has acquired 100 per cent of the assets of Cadimage Group and Cadimage UK. This action is intended to advance Central Innovation’s mission to become a leading provider of design and workflow solutions to the manufacturing and AEC sectors in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ).

The acquisition combines the strengths of both organisations to create a comprehensive suite of OPEN BIM solutions in A/NZ. The range of solutions includes best of breed software ARCHICAD, DDS-CAD and Solibri of which Central Innovation is the exclusive distributor across A/NZ.

Chief Executive Officer of Central Innovation, Max Piper, said, “with the joining of Central Innovation and Cadimage we can leverage the strengths of both teams to create complete solutions for customers across the AEC market in Australia and New Zealand.”   

“Cadimage Group has over 27 years in New Zealand and Central Innovation has 25 years of service in Australia to AEC customers. By combining these two great companies, we are essentially placing the final puzzle piece and will be able to go to market stronger than ever.”

“This really is a great step forward for both companies,” said Cadimage Group Managing Director, Campbell Yule. “For us we have found a company that values and understands our business and customers. This deal ensures that our existing team and solutions offering will continue to expand.”

– Ends –

About Central Innovation 

Central Innovation sources, builds and advises on world-class design process solutions to the manufacturing and construction industries. We have over 25 years of experience advising our customers on optimising their design, processes and systems by using the world’s most capable design and modelling software, run on the highest performing hardware, utilising the best people. We enhance this with exceptional technical expertise, specialist consulting, on-going training and education plus access to our specialist recruitment team. 

We are the parent company to Intercad and GRAPHISOFT Australia. Both are leading resellers in their vertical markets of CAD 3D software solutions. We are also Australia and New Zealand’s only licensed reseller of the DDS-CAD product suite. The IC3D suite of specialist software and hardware products is also part of Central Innovation. 

About Cadimage Group 

Cadimage Group distributes, develops and supports a range of design and performance evaluating software for architects, engineers and construction companies that enhance design capability and reduce risk and cost. Established in 1989 as a CAD Bureau, Cadimage Group has evolved into a customer-focused sales and support organisation in the AEC industry to distribute a wide range of products including ARCHICAD, Artlantis and Solibri Model Checker, as well as developing and exporting its own software.

Student Awards 2015

A project combining contemporary digital fabrication techniques with traditional Māori craft methods and design approaches has won James Durcan the 2015 Cadimage Group Student Design Awards.

It’s that time of year again where 12 architecture students from Auckland University, United and Victoria University get prepared and undertake their presentations for the Cadimage Group Student Design Awards .

As with previous years the level of design thinking and presentation levels increased.

This years winner James Duncan of Victoria Wellington had even created his own large format 3d printer that “combined contemporary digital fabrication techniques with traditional Maori craft methods and design approaches”

The project proposes both a building for a Maori community on the Poverty Bay coast and the off-grid technology that will enable its construction. The work is a most impressive fusion of contemporary digital fabrication and indigenous craft culture. It combines digital design, self-taught craft skills, material experimentation and inventive engineering, and was made possible by the author’s personal commitment and the support of the local Ngai Tamanuhuri iwi. The project is the product of huge engagement, and reveals a willingness, on all sides, to learn and collaborate to realise a meaningful outcome.

Judges citation

Tessa Ford of Auckland University and Unitec’s Hannah Broatch received Highly Commended Awards.

I continue to be immensely proud to support these awards – the effort put in by the students is immense – and the results are outstanding.

Gibbs Farm

Yesterday the Cadimage Team visited the Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park. This is something I have wanted to do for a while, but it is only open once a month, you need to plan well ahead.

By signing up months in advance you need to take a risk with the weather and while we got pretty wet we have a great time walking around the park and staring in awe at the scale of many of the sculptures.

I especially liked Horizons by Neil Dawson and how he has used the open space to create an amazing optical illusion.

The shear size of Bernar Venet’s 88.5° ARC x 8 is something you have to close to truly experience.

While Dismemberment, Site 1 by Anish Kapoor needs you to step back to observe it’s scale – especially when trying to photograph it!

It might have been wet, but it was well worth the visit.

Lisbon – IPC 2015

Last week I was in Lisbon to attend the annual GRAPHISOFT International Partners Conference.

This is a great to meet up with old friends, make new friends and find out what has been happening around the world with ArchiCAD and the plans for the future.

I was proud to collect a Sales Growth award for the third year in a row – some real momentum in NZ ArchiCAD Sales that our Team can feel extremely proud of.

Lisbon was a beautiful city, and while I didn’t have a large amount of time to explore, we got to see a lot of the city during various events.

Cub Studio / Shoreditch House

Earlier this year we engaged the guys at Cub Studio to produce an animation for us following a word of mouth introduction from JD at Raygun / Mindscape.

Great design needs many different types of people from Cadimage Tools on Vimeo.

Having produced this animation solely using email communication, this morning it was great to actually meet Ben Skinner and Fraser Davidson the founders of Cub Studio.

Cub Studio actually work out of a shipping container for an office so we had agreed to meet at Shoreditch House.

Before heading off, I was going to iron a shirt. I then decided better of it. Heading to Shore Ditch – London Start Up Central – and meeting with creatives, I figured my IceBreaker Hoodie would be sufficient. My reasoning was confirmed when I arrived and was confronted with a large poster declaring “no suits” and subsequently found very casual attire.

On entering and being told to head up to the 6th floor I was somewhat taken aback to see a swimming pool as I exited the lift. Shoreditch House is one of a series of clubs providing facilities from bedrooms, to workspaces, a restaurant and a pool. The environment was addictive and buzzing and overall based on the number of facilities these guys run, it appears to be a great business.


Fraser has previously lived in NZ and Ben visited a number of years ago. It was a really great time to meet them and talk about our businesses and our next project we are doing with them.

Not surprisingly, it confirmed again that even though we can work virtually on other sides of the world, it can never be a replacement for actually meeting people face to face.

Cadimage turns 25!


18 years ago I started with Cadimage Solutions as a summer job during university holidays and never left! During my initial six weeks I convinced Murray to take me on permanently and I decided having completed my Bachelor of Architectural studies to take a break before completing the full B.Arch.

Over the last 18 years I have grown with the business, first becoming a shareholder in 2002, then Managing Director in 2005 and buying Murray and Sue out in 2006.

18 years is a long time in business with many ups and downs. It will come as no surprise that I have learnt the most during the downs.

This month we celebrate 25 years in business which is a milestone the team is truly proud of.

What do the next 25 years hold for Cadimage? I don’t know exactly but I do have some ideas about the next 5-10!

Read a little more about our 25 years at or for more history check out

Cadimage Group – New Auckland Office

In October 1999, Cadimage Solutions moved from a home office to an actual office. This office was at 41 Taharoto Road, the place we’ve called home for 14 years.

When we first moved in the TelstraClear Building (now The Vodafone Building) was nearing completion, as the first building at Smales Farm.

A couple of years later the Tranz Rail Building was built (now the Air New Zealand Building.) Then came the Sovereign Building and Q4 – a retail and office complex.

Over the last 14 years it has been great to see Smales Farm develop and the place become a great office park with great facilities. When we first moved in to Taharoto Road it was the old Service Station pie that had to suffice for lunch, now at Smales Farm there are numerous eating options.

Fast forward to earlier this year and the ideal size office became available on Level 3 of the Air New Zealand Building and we decided it was time to upgrade and expand.

We engaged Peter Keys from Kay and Keys Architects to design the fit-out. Kay and Keys were one of the first companies I installed ArchiCAD in when I first started with Cadimage in 1996. Peter and Alastair were also the first people I trained in ArchiCAD.

Amongst other things the new office space gave us the opportunity to design a purpose made space for training  – up until now we had used a multi-purpose space.

A touch over 4 weeks ago after 5 months of design and fit-out we moved in. We are still putting on some finishing touches and we are still a couple of weeks away from having the whole team in the office at the same time but overall we couldn’t be happier.

2011 – A brief look back

I have been planning on writing this post since the first day of 2012 and am only now getting round to it and we are almost 5% into the year! [Updated: I didn’t complete this till the 19th January so we are now over 5% into the year!]

One year ago I was beginning my 15th year at Cadimage Group (formally Cadimage Solutions) and my 7th year as the Managing Director.

In general I spend more time thinking about the future than looking at the past, but I find it good as I plan for a New Year to review and reflect on the previous year.

Without going into a huge amount of detail as I look back on 2011 I would  say that like most years Cadimage Group has achieved a lot. A few highlights across our Group include:


We started there year by reaffirming our commitment to Architectural Education in New Zealand by sponsoring the Victoria University FirstLight House. This was the first time a Southern Hemisphere team had been picked to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. As keen observers we followed the progress both in New Zealand in preparation and then in the US as they were competing and we were stoked to see them take out third place.

In mid-year we released ArchiCAD 15 throughout New Zealand. This was the first time I had visited Christchurch since the disastrous earthquakes and I was a little nervous. Overall I was impressed with the resilience being shown by our Christchurch based customers and there approach to simply getting on with the job at hand.

The end of the year saw the fourth year of the NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards which saw 60 Architecture Students receive prize money totaling $60,000 and Software to the value of $30,000.


2011 started with us securing the distribution for Solibri Model Checking Software in New Zealand and Australia. Taking on a new product is a major undertaking and we were pleased to complete the year with a  handful of sales and a strong position for 2012.

In March we launched a couple of new websites which marked the completion of the Strategic Branding work we had done with Brian Richards and his team.

Mid-year in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 release we released the updates to all our Tools. This is the sixth successive version where we have launched our Tools on the same day as the ArchiCAD International release. June was a record month for our export sales in conjunction with the ArchiCAD 15 Upgrade but this was short-lived with July trumping June by a further 15% increase.

Later in the year we expanded our website to include additional ArchiCAD software from different suppliers and relaunched ArchiCAD Objects.

Overall we have continued to grow our international business during a tough world economic climate. While growth is not at the level we would hope for progress is being made!

Cadconsult & Cadconsult PLM

In October the biggest event of the year took place with the merger of Cadconsult into the Cadimage Group and the formation of Cadconsult PLM.

Andrew Ecker the founder of Cadconsult has been involved with ArchiCAD as our South Island Reseller for 20 years and has also been selling and supporting Solid Edge Mechanical Engineering software since 1997. We merged the South Island ArchiCAD business in to GRAPHISOFT New Zealand and created Cadconsult PLM to focus on the Sales, Service and Training of Solid Edge and a number of other Siemens PLM Velocity Products.

As with all mergers there have been challenges and teething issues but 3 months in the entire team is excited about this achievement and the platform it has created for 2012.

Cadimage Team

As a result of the merger and growth we were pleased to see our team expand by 3 full-time and 2 part-time people. The New Zealand economy has had a bumpy recovery and still has a long way to go but I do enjoy being able to grow and expand our team.


On the personal side there were a few achievements as well. In April I took [almost] a month off. The reasons behind this were two-fold. One, it was time to have a break and, Two, it was a chance for others within the company  to take the lead. While in hindsight the timing was not necessarily the best the team stepped up and as mentioned above we achieved a successful launch of ArchiCAD 15 and our Tools.


In 2010 I ran 15 times for a total distance of 105km – the main catalyst was being stuck in Hungary as the Icelandic Volcano did it’s thing. As a result of this lack of exercise (and a couple of other factors) the pounds went on. 2011 started and I wasn’t overly impressed with my weight so I started running. For the first time in a long time I ran without a goal or an event in mind. Over the year I lost almost 10% of my weight and for the first time since I have been tracking it I ran every month of the year. As I was not training for an event I gave myself little goals. The one I am most proud of was the goal of running ten, 10km runs in May. Over the course of the month I managed to achieve 13 runs and took a total of 5 mins off my time.

By the end of the year I had clocked up 82 runs for a total of 753km.


2011 saw the Rugby World Cup come to town and I was finally able (after two previous attendances) to see the All Blacks lift the trophy (just.) Having watched France knock out the All Blacks at my two previous World Cups I was almost banned from attending the pool match where the All Blacks made up for Cardiff. In the end I managed to watch 11 of the 20 teams play live and ended up watching the French 3 times!

2011 closed with me attending the Boxing Day Cricket Test at the MCG. While India didn’t live up to their quality on paper the MCG test has proved to be the closest in the series so far. The MCG is an incredible ground and attending a test match with 70,000 people on the first day and a total of 190,000 over the 4 days was something quite unreal.


2011 saw me make two European trips. One for the Graphisoft International Partners conference in Berlin and later a trip through Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and the UK where I finished up attending the ArchiCAD Summer School held in Liverpool.

Overall I was away from home for 56 days which is a reasonably significant amount of time and in 2012 am looking to stay closer to home and allow other members of the team the opportunity to attend these events.


As our business continues to change we continue to look forward and plan ahead. 2012 is shaping up to be challenging for us with potential European recessions on the back of the Euro issues and with ongoing quakes in Christchurch the rebuild is further delayed. However, we have a number of exciting initiatives planned and with a bigger team we are all excited about the year ahead.


Previous Posts:

2010 – A year in review


Where have I been? Undertaking a Company Merger!

Today I got an email pointing out that I didn’t post a single article in October or November!

The last date I posted was actually the 27th September when I talked about how impressed I was with Air New Zealand getting me (eventually) down to Christchurch.

The reason I mention this again is that what took place on the 27th September is largely responsible for my lack of posts in the last two months.

On 27th September 2011, Tracey and I (as directors of Cadimage Group) along with Andrew and Marion Ecker of Cadconsult signed an agreement that saw our businesses merge on 1st October 2011.

Andrew Ecker has essentially been part of the team since 1991 when we first started distributing ArchiCAD. Andrew operated as our South Island ArchiCAD reseller for 20 years. In 1999 Andrew established Cadconsult Limited as a great kiwi owner-operator business. Andrew has had enormous success with ArchiCAD in the South Island. Cadconsult was also the New Zealand distributor for Solid Edge – a mechanical design product from Siemens PLM.

As Cadimage Group has developed the board decided to approach Andrew about merging our businesses. We saw that as essentially a solo operator Andrew was having to deal with significant administration which was preventing him from doing what he loves best – interacting with customers and potential customers.

Over a four month period we discussed options with Andrew and initially signed a Heads of Agreement in mid-August working towards the official merger from 1st October 2011. The merger saw Cadimage Group acquire Cadconsult and in return Andrew received a shareholding in Cadimage Group.

Over the last two months I have put in considerable work merging our businesses which also included establishing a new business to continue the Solid Edge related operations – Cadconsult PLM.

While we have extensive systems and processes in our business, merging customer databases with over 20 years of history still takes time. Also getting systems in place helps provide a platform for us to build and grow Cadconsult PLM as a key part of the Cadimage Group has taken time, with yesterday seeing the third iteration of our website launched in 2 months! This coming week sees Cadconsult PLM’s first official events with the launch of Solid Edge ST4 in Christchurch and Auckland.

Two months in we are still excited about the opportunities the merger will give us and are looking forward to a strong 2012.

Along with the merger – though not directly as a result of it – we have also recently employed two more people taking our team to 17. It is great to be growing even after another challenging year. For an overview of the Cadimage Group you can refer to our website.