Category Archives: How to:

Wall intersection issue/ control of – creative use of the Polygonal Wall

Sometimes when dealing with certain configuration of wall intersections, a problem can occur with the correct display of “tricky” intersections. In this example 4 walls joining create an intersection with an overlap. Changing the reference line of the walls by inverting them can sometimes help. But one can waste time trying out different permutations and in this instance I want control over the ‘sharp’ corners. A much overlooked, simpler option is to make use of the polygonal wall.

For more information and instructions on the use of the polygonal wall visit my page ArchiCAD Help and use the context-sensitive Help system by searching for “polygonal wall”.

In this example I selected the polygonal wall and started tracing the outline of the intersection. Please note: that this method allowed me to control the construction of the sharp corners that would have been difficult to plaster.

Once completed I then trimmed back the other walls using the split command. To do this select the wall and then Command/ Ctrl click the edge to split, then delete the ‘fragment’ wall.

I was then left with a clean wall intersection that I had complete control over.


How to uninstall and reinstall CodeMeter or Wibukey drivers

As per a previous article “The Pros & Cons of CodeMeter License Borrowing” which explained the difference between a Wibukey and a CodeMeter key. It  highlighted the fact: Currently the full commercial version of ArchiCAD is licensed using WibuKey or CodeMeter hardware protection, allowing full functionality of the software. CodeMeter is currently the latest “model”.

There are times that it is important to update the driver for the WibuKey or CodeMeter due to a change made to your computer, for example installing a new Operating System. e.g. Upgrading your computer from Windows 7 Professional 32-bit to 64-bit or Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to 10.7 (Lion). Another reason would be due to experiencing an inconsistency with functionality of the keyplug.

The first place to start would be to go to the Graphisoft webpage WibuKey and CodeMeter Driver and CodeMeter Enabler download this has:

  • The following WibuKey drivers were tested by Graphisoft to use with ArchiCAD version 7.0 to version 15.
  • The CodeMeter drivers were tested for ArchiCAD version 10 to version 15

But in certain circumstances (e.g. you experience a problem with the keyplug responding after applying a new OS System update) it might be necessary to download the driver directly from WIBU – User Software if directed to do so by a support consultant.

Uninstalling an “older” Wikukey or CodeMeter driver for Windows

From the Windows – Start menu > Control Panel – if you have:

“View by: Category” selected, then click on “Programs Uninstall a program”

“View by: Large icons” selected, then click on “Programs and Features”

Then in the list you will find: CodeMeter Runtime Kit OR WibuKey Setup (Wibukey Remove). It is possible to find both CodeMeter and WibuKey drivers installed on the same computer, including more than one driver listed, in which case select one by one to delete. N.B. before uninstalling or reinstalling the key plug must not be plugged into the computer. To uninstall > double click item in list – Confirm all prompts.

Once you have done this you can now proceed to install the new driver you downloaded. After you have done this it is a good idea to restart your computer (a prompt might appear to do this)  then you can plug your key plug back into any available USB slot.

Uninstalling an “older” Wikukey or CodeMeter driver for Mac OS X

The uninstaller for CodeMeter is called “CmUninstall”

The uninstaller for WIBU is called “WkUninstall”

N.B. For Mac OS X it does not matter if the key plug is connected to the computer or not, it makes no difference.


The Pros & Cons of CodeMeter License Borrowing

First some background

ArchiCAD requires a hardware protection key to run in unlimited “full” or “commercial” mode.

There have been different types of these hardware protection key over the years. Currently the full commercial version of ArchiCAD is licensed using WibuKey or CodeMeter hardware protection, allowing full functionality of the software. CodeMeter is currently the latest “model”. It is a USB device with a shiny metal body.

The previous “model” was called a Wibukey. The earlier version had a parallel port interface for PC or ADB port interface for Mac, with time a USB interface was introduced. Both the parallel port and USB version had a green plastic body.

Introduction to CodeMeter: 

CodeMeter key was introduced with ArchiCAD 13 in year 2009.

Changes in Software Protection System from ArchiCAD 13

For new ArchiCAD users, GRAPHISOFT provides the new CodeMeter protection key (developed by WIBU) with ArchiCAD 13+. Like the familiar WIBU-key protection system, you can use it to transfer the license from one machine to another.
If you use the CodeMeter NET key, you have the option to purchase the license borrowing feature from your ArchiCAD distributor. This feature lets users borrow a license for a limited time, without having to transfer the physical network protection key itself. Consult your distributor for details on how to purchase the various types of borrowable licenses.

CodeMeter can still run ArchiCAD 10, 11 & 12. But to do this a CodeMeter Enabler needs to be downloaded and installed. Click here!

License Borrowing

The License Borrowing feature – available only with the CodeMeter NET protection system – allows individual users to “borrow” a license key temporarily if they will be going off-site, to enable use of the software even when the license server is not accessible – e.g. when visiting the client or on a business trip. This technology significantly reduces the risk of a lost or stolen hardware key.

The user can borrow a license with a single click using the ArchiCAD interface, and return it before it expires so that other users can access it.

You can purchase borrowable licenses with your NET key up to the number of ArchiCAD licenses available in the key. E.g. if you have a NET-10 key, you can make any or all of the 10 licenses borrowable.

There are two types of license borrowing:

CodeMeter “Act” (Soft) License Borrowing: The borrowed license is represented by a license file on your computer – this license file is specific to the computer and cannot be transferred to another computer. After the borrowing period the license will automatically be released to the server. The license can also be manually released before the borrowing period is up. This license type is recommended for laptop users who wish to travel without a physical hardware protection key.
CodeMeter “Key” License Borrowing: The license is borrowed into a physical CodeMeter hardware key. This is recommended for users who wish to take a license away to be used on their home (or any other) computer. The advantage of this compared to having a single-license hardware key is that losing the key does not mean losing the license, as borrowed licenses are automatically returned to the server after the expiration date.

CodeMeter “Act” (Soft) License Borrowing (CMA) and CodeMeter “Key” License Borrowing (CMK) are two different products. Only one type of borrowable license is allowed per CodeMeter NET key. If you want to buy both “Act” and “Key” borrowable licenses, you need to have 2 separate Codemeter NET keys – although we do NOT recommend having two NET keys in the same local network.

CodeMeter protection known issues Click here!

CodeMeter Error Codes Click here!

CodeMeter and License borrowing – “DO NOT”

As long as any of the licenses are in borrowed state,

  • do not uninstall the CodeMeter driver 
  • do not change the server computer’s IP address or hostname
  • do not reinstall the operating system on the server
  • do not transfer the key into an other computer even with the same network specification

All of these can be done after all licenses are returned and after the changes are made borrowing can be used again. If the server key has been already corrupted: contact your local distributor.

How to: Determining door hand in ArchiCAD

Door handing can be confusing, but in ArchiCAD it is relatively easy as it does the job for you.

Forget everything that your lecturers, colleagues, carpenter, builder, contractor or Uncle ever told you about door handing.

The “standard” method for determining a door hand is to always look at what side of the door is outside, and what side is the inside. The door handing is done from the OUTSIDE of the door. Whatever side the hinges are on, when viewed from the outside is the same as the door hand. If the hinges are on the right, it’s a right hand door. Then depending if it is swinging toward or away it is determined to be a LEFT HAND, LEFT HAND REVERSE, RIGHT HAND, RIGHT HAND REVERSE. Forget about this. 

ArchiCAD does not have “Artificial Intelligence” to decide which side of a door is outside, and what side is the inside. When dealing with exterior doors it is relatively easily to apply this rule but when dealing with internal doors it gets more tricky. For example a door connecting two rooms (which is inside and which is outside?).

The method that GRAPHISOFT applied for ArchiCAD is doors are either LEFT or RIGHT hand. This is determined by the “observer” standing looking at the door ON THE HINGE SIDE. Therefore if the hinge is visible on the right it is a RIGHT hand door, if it is visible on the left it is a LEFT hand door.

How to: Forerunner to how to Number openings + using Interactive Schedule

First some background.

Every company should have their own prescribed “manual” for staff to follow when dealing with Door/ Window Scheduling, otherwise there could be chaos or heated arguments over the “correct” way to do this. Herewith are some points to incorporate:

Before I continue for ease of explanation I refer to Door Schedule only instead of keep repeating Door & Frame Schedule / Window Schedule.

Opening Information in Construction Documents

  • The main entry drawing into a set of construction documents is the floor plan. You show what you can there, and what you can’t, you reference to another drawing, the Door Schedule

Door Information on Floor Plan

  • On the Floor Plan, show door:
  1. Location,
  2. Swing
  3. Opening Number
  • The opening number will guide the reader into the appropriate information row in the Door & Frame Schedule.
Door & Frame Schedule
  • Door Information that cannot be easily shown on the Floor Plan is shown in the Door & Frame Schedule.
  • A Door & Frame Schedule is really an Openings Schedule because it schedules not just doors, but frames, glazing, and finish hardware. In other words, everything in the opening.
  • The Schedule also provides sizes, types (configurations), materials, fire resistance ratings and other information.
Opening Number
  • There are two options for assigning opening numbers, based on the Door Schedule to be used: 
  1. Standard Door Schedule, where every opening will have an individual, unique number.
  2. Optional Door Schedule, where identical openings are assigned the same number to reduce the size of the Door & Frame Schedule.
  • Each opening number will be assigned to a horizontal row of information in the Door & Frame Schedule.
Standard Door & Frame Schedule
  • Openings are numbered based on the number of the room that they serve. Every opening in the project has a unique number assigned to it.
  • Where more than one opening serves the same room, a suffix letter is added to the room number (-A, -B, -C, etc.).
  • Only one number is assigned per opening, regardless of how many doors are contained in the opening.
  • Doors that are typically provided as part of a window or storefront may be referenced elsewhere, but should still have an opening number for reference purposes.
  • In remodeling projects, existing openings with no work may be undesignated. Those with work (such as door or hardware replacement) must be assigned numbers.
Numbering Example
Each style of door should have a different ID suffix.
In this example:
D-01-A is door 1 of style A.
Another door of the same style would be D-02A.

Doors of a different style would be D-01B, D-02B, etc.

Doors of a third style would be D-01C, D-02C, etc.

How to: Make a “Composite” Door/ Window Schedule

A common request received from Users/ Clients is how do I make my ArchiCAD door/ window schedule look the same as the company “standard”. In other words at some point in time, maybe when the company was first established, someone was tasked with producing a door/ window schedule. Remembering that most probably it was set up manually to look a certain way on a drawing board or 2D CAD software without any consideration for automation of the output. Of course this discussion would not be necessary if there was a “South African Standard” for how a door/ window schedule should be set out. Then it would be relatively easy to set up such a door/ window schedule “standard” and make it available to clients/ users.

Therefore the alternative is to look at allowing for flexibility of how a door/ window schedule can look, but at the same time use the automation process of the Interactive Schedule. The following explanation proposes the use of a “Composite” door/ window schedule consisting of more than one Interactive Schedule placed onto a layout, in this example I used 3. From the “Scheme Settings > Door List” click on “Duplicate…” and then “Rename…”. At this point it is important to point out that any filtering “Criteria” needs to be duplicated for all instances. E.g. I added “Library Part Name  –   is not  – Empty Door” to Door list 1-3.

After duplicating the Door List it is important that these are reflected in the “Navigator – View Map” as explained in a previous post. For this example I renamed the 3 Door lists to Door List – Top, Bottom & Middle. It is important to access these from the Navigator – View map as this dictates the scale for set-out.

When looking at the setup of Scheme Settings for Door List 1 – 3 it is once again important to have common “Schedule Fields:” for the filtering process. The important ones that I have underlined in the following 3 screen shots are: Orientation, Nominal W x H Size & Door Panel Style

But then this would mean that when these 3 are placed on the same layout there would be duplicate fields shown. To help eliminate this I propose the use of “Custom text 10” found under “Available Parameters: > General > Custom text 10” to act as a separator.

I then used yellow highlighter to indicate those fields that are displayed on the layout

For this example when setting up the “Style:” of the 3 Door Lists I used “Records by Rows” but you can use a combination of “Records by Rows” & “Records by Columns” depending on the look of the schedule you want to achieve.

For the layout I placed the 3 door lists one above the other. The purple rectangles indicate “superfluous” fields that are repeated but are necessary for the filtering process. I set up the schedule in such a way that these are not on the page.

It is important to point out that another common factor that the 3 Drawings share is “Split Drawing among Multiple Layouts” and “No Title”.

Please note: there are limitations to what the “Restructure Table” command can do. It is not able to ‘obscure’ the unwanted fields, therefore I propose the system of a separator field and then arranging the drawings so that they are off the page and therefore don’t plot or print.

How to: Door & Window Schedules using the Interactive Schedule

Introduction & Background to the Interactive Schedule

ArchiCAD’s Interactive Schedule function allows you to automatically generate  schedules. Unlike simple lists created with the commands of the Document > Schedules and Lists menu, the Interactive Schedule not only displays quantities and other parameters – you can actually edit it. This makes it possible to notice and correct inconsistencies resulting from a data entry error or from the merging of the work of several people on different parts of the same project.

For example, the schedule may allow you to detect that all but one of the thirty or forty doors placed in your building have the same height and width. You can then select this door directly from the schedule and check whether there is a reason for this inconsistency. If you find that this was a mistake, then you can correct the setting in the schedule and automatically update the door in all views.

Similarly, it’s easy to double-check how many of the doors open to the right or the left. There are two categories of Interactive Schedules:

  • Element Lists show characteristics of simple construction elements.
  • Component Lists are optimized to list information about each component of composite elements (composite walls, slabs, roofs and/or multi-component profile elements
To make a door or window schedule you would use the Element List . Go to Navigator > Project Map > scroll down list to Schedules > Element > select Door List or Window List
Setting up the Door or Window List as a View
When setting up a Door or Window schedule for the first time using the Interactive Schedule it is important to know that you should save the Door or Window List as a View. When the Door or Window List is viewed as a view one can control the output scale, especially considering the setting out of the schedule on paper.
The one way to save the Door or Window List as a view is to right-click on it in the Navigator > Project Map and then select the option “Save Current View…”. You will find the Door or Window List at the bottom of the Navigator – View Map.
The other way is from Navigator – View Map > click on button towards the bottom of Navigator called “Clone a Folder…”. This will then open up the “Clone a Folder” window > scroll down the list and double click on Schedules to expand > click on Element (Note: under the General tab – Scale: is blanked out and cannot be changed, don’t worry about this as we can change this later).
Select “Clone”

You will now see the view “Element” at the bottom of the Navigator – View Map. Expand the “Element” View and select Door or Window List then click on the button at bottom of Navigator – View Map > “Settings…”

View Map > Door List > Settins” src=”” alt=”” width=”163″ height=”384″ />

Under the View Settings > General Tab you will now be able to set the “Scale:, Pen Set:, Model View Options: etc. At this stage 1:50 would be recommended.