Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Corner Windows (Butt Joint Glazed) – What happened to “Ribbon Window 17”?

Corner Window Banner

I was recently asked to update an older article I posted ‘HOW TO: BUTT JOINTED GLASS WINDOWS IN ARCHICAD’.

The request was, “Gideon Any chance you could update this for version 18 onward? The ribbon window is no longer standard in the libraries…”

The good news is that it is still possible to achieve this. So for the release of ARCHICAD 18, GRAPHISOFT advised us that they had made Window Improvements. This included two New Multi-Sash Windows, namely:

  • Horizontal Multi-Sash Window
  • Vertical Multi-Sash Window

Horizontal Multi-Sash Window 18

So basically the “Horizontal Multi-Sash Window” has replaced the Ribbon Window. It has the same option “Custom Corner”.

Custom Corner

And under the option ‘Corner Connection Type’ there is the option for ‘Glass’.

Corner Connection Type

Then just to point out the position of the button for ‘Custom Corner…’ in ARCHICAD 19 with the new overhauled Graphical Interface for the controls of Door / Window Settings.

ARCHICAD 19 Horizontal Multi-Sash Window 19

Note: the ‘Vertical Multi-Sash Window’ does not have the option for Custom Corner > Corner Connection Type = Glass. But it is possible to create a ‘Vertical’ looking butt jointed glass window using Horizontal Multi-Sash Window.

H-V GridVertical divisions

ArchiCAD 17 INT New Feature – “BIM pen sets” by Material

The assigning of pens to an element for the  ArchiCAD INT version has been around for some time. In fact it was introduced in ArchiCAD 10 INT for the very first time. ArchiCAD 10 was released in 2006, so it has been with us for 7 years with very minor changes in its workflow.

ArchiCAD 9 INT to ArchiCAD 10 INT

That was until the release of ArchiCAD 17 INT and the introduction of “assigning pens to a material”. This functionality change of course was due to the introduction of “Building Materials…”.

“A Building Material is a “super attribute”, a combination of multiple attributes having defined properties. Starting with ArchiCAD 17, all model elements use Building Materials instead of Cut Fills.” The most important part about this statement would be the part I highlighted in bold.

I am trying to seek simplicity in emphasizing this. Previously model elements had a cross sectional representational Cut Fill, but this has been replaced by skins of composite structures. Each skin of a composite structures are assigned with their own building material, and building materials have their own surface definitions.

This means that “Composites…” in ArchiCAD are no longer represented by 2D fills but are in fact “solid” which is now evident in both 2D plan, elevations/ sections and of course 3D. This change in functionality has brought about a change in how pens are assigned to both Building materials & Composites in ArchiCAD 17. We now have Pen Index Number Assigned by ‘Material’ in addition to Pen Index Number Assigned by Element.

Pen Index Number Assigned by 'Material'

The strangest thing is there does not appear to be any documentation or reference to this change in functionality by GRAPHISOFT. The only reference I could find is to the subject of ‘Pen Sets”, the new Help Center refers to Pen Sets with its related subtopics. But I could not find any reference to Pen Index Number Assigned by ‘Material’. So herewith my explanation for:

ArchiCAD 17 New Features – Pen Index Number Assigned by ‘Material’.

ArchiCAD 17 - 03 Architectural 100

Changing the Pen Set from ’03 Architectural 100′ to ’04 Building plans 50.

ArchiCAD 17 - 04 Building plans 50

For more information on Pen Index Number Assigned by Element in ArchiCAD, please refer to the ARCHICAD WIKI article > Pen Sets

I don’t want to appear to be “reinventing the wheel” when looking at this subject. The easiest way that I can think of describing how Pen Index Number Assigned by Element works, is to change the way you look at the pen table. That is to say “look at it sideways” (by column) instead of horizontal (by row). Each column represents an element in ArchiCAD. And the most important thing to note is don’t change the pen position to change its Pen Weight, but change the Pen Set. Changing the pen set re-assigns the Pen Weight to the Pen Position.

For example, walls are assigned a default cut line pen with index 27 (column 07 Walls / Curtain Walls, which corresponds to the function “Walls – Cut Structural.”

Pen 27 (column - 07 Walls : Curtain Walls = Walls - Cut Structural

But maybe a little “history” will not hurt.

ArchiCAD 9

255 Pens with Pen Weight assigned to each but no description

ArchiCAD 9 Pens & Colors

ArchiCAD 10 New Feature – Named Pen Sets

In ArchiCAD 10, named Pen Sets are available as a new feature, and the matrix “Pen Index  Number Assigned by Element is introduced. All Pen Sets have 255 pens which are arranged in 20 columns and 14 rows.

ArchiCAD 10 Pens and Colors

ArchiCAD 11 New Feature – Pen Sets in Views

Pen Sets are assigned to the views (as a result model views will be WYSYWYG). Pen Set selection is available from View Settings and can be varied for placed drawings in Drawing Settings. Pen Sets can be edited directly from Drawing Settings.

ArchiCAD 11 New Feature - Pen Sets in Views

ArchiCAD 11 to ArchiCAD 16 Pens & Colors (Model views) functionality:

ArchiCAD 16 - 03 Architectural 100

Changing the Pen Set from ’03 Architectural 100′ to ’04 Building plans 50

ArchiCAD 16 - 04 Building plans 50

Last but not least, to better understand ArchiCAD 17 New Features – Pen Index Number Assigned by ‘Material’ I produced the following table from ArchiCAD that I saved in PDF format for printing out to A3 for reference purposes.

AC17 Pen Sets

How to: Add Door / Window Markers to Elevations or Sections

In this example I have placed 6 windows in a wall and applied the Dimension Marker = “W Marker 16”.Now open any relevant section / elevation on which you want to display the window numbering. Then open the Label Tool > “Label Default Settings” window.Select “Window Tool” > “Curtain Wall DW Label 16”. Change the Marker Geometry to suite your needs. Click “OK” to close the window. Select all windows in the elevation by selecting the Window Tool and Ctrl + A (Win) or Command + A (Mac). Open the “Window Default Settings”.Under the tab “Listing and Labeling” check the box “Label Window”. Click “OK” to close. You should now see the window markers on elevation. Please note that you can adjust the position of the markers.

Angled Parking Bay Object Available On BIMcomponents.com

Does your design require angled parking bays? If so then with a quick search you can find this on BIMcomponents.com. This is so easy to do by searching the cloud-based community database, directly from within ArchiCAD 16. Open the Object Default Settings and then in the search field type in “parking”. Then click on the arrow and select either “On BIM Components Portal” or “Both” then click “Enter”. This will initiate the search and in almost no-time you should see “Parking Stall”. Then it is a simple matter of selecting “Parking Stall” and clicking on the button “Download and Embed”.

You will then see the “Downloading from BIM Components Portal” dialogue window. This can happen very quickly depending on the size of the object.

Once this has completed the object immediately becomes available.

Downloaded objects are stored in the Embedded Library.

Please note the “diamond” hotspot parametric’s

 

How to: Display dimensions in “mm” & areas in “m2”

A common request I receive is “how do I get my dimensions to show in mm and my areas to show as m2”.

The first thing I refer to is the fact that views in the “Navigator -View Map” control the output of dimensions.

Under the tab “2D/3D Documents” there is an option for “Dimensions:”. The default option is set to “Plain Meter”. If one changes this to “Plain Millimeter” then both dimensions and area are displayed as such. The solution is to set your own dimension preference using the Project Preferences. To do this from the Menu > Options > Project Preferences > Dimensions…

Select the option “Plain Millimeter” but change the button “Area Calculations” = to “meter”. This will then display name as “Custom”.

You can rename “Custom” by clicking on “Store as…”. In this example I called it “Dim = mm & Area = m2”.

If you now return to your floor plan you will see the result.The last important step is to open up the “View Settings” and change “2D/3D Documents” > Dimensions to “Dim = mm & Area = m2”. This will then control the display of dimensions and areas to your specification.

How to export ArchiCAD Models for Graphisoft BIM Explorer without the need for a parachute!

The instructions for saving from ArchiCAD to Graphisoft BIMx are relatively simple:

1) Open the project in AC15 and check the consistency of the model and the surface textures before starting the export process. Note that you can’t modify the 3D model and the surface materials in BIM Explorer.

2) Open the 3D window (perspective or axonometric views).

3) Launch the File/ Export for BIM Explorer command.

4) The Export for BIM Explorer status window opens.

5) Once the export process is finished, click on the Launch button.

6) The BIM Explorer application starts automatically and the exported model is loaded into the program’s memory.

If you follow these steps you might just experience induced vertigo for yourself or your client, if following step 2 blindly. The reason I say this is that the person who wrote these instructions made some assumptions that you will figure out the fact that you need to set the camera for the 3D Window (be it perspective or axonometric) to be close to the ground. If you didn’t  you most probably will experience a period of free fall (without a parachute).

As per the screenshot below showing the Perspective Settings window the Camera Z height is 85892 and the Target Z 11299. If one then saves this to BIMx, with the opening screen the viewer will appear to be free falling to earth. Worse than this is the fact that the viewer will initially be looking at the ground, until they figure out that if they move their mouse then they can control what they are looking at.

Rather as per the screenshot below choose a more appropriate view that you want to start your introduction with for the BIMx model. A recommendation is to set both the Camera Z and Target Z to the same “eye” height. Which would give you a 2 point perspective.

I chose 1600mm as this is the default camera height in BIMx. Therefore using these settings instead of arbitrarily chosen settings  for the “opening scene” in BIMx the viewer will be “standing on the ground” facing the building without the fear of “falling” into the scene.

Mac OS X Lion & HP Plotter/ Printer Drivers

Further to the previous post titled Mac OS X Lion and ArchiCAD compatibility I received a request from a client who had taken the plunge and upgraded all their Macs in the office to Mac OS X 10.7. and were now unable to plot. My initial thought process to the question was “where does the problem lie?”, is it with  ArchiCAD, is it with Mac OS X 10.7 or is it with the HP Plotter. Then thinking it through I knew that from past experience new Operating Systems require new drivers. It does not matter if it is Mac or Windows 7, drivers are an issue, especially when considering 64-bit. Therefore I started my search by going to hp.com > Support & Drivers > selected Drivers & Software tab. Then when prompted ” Enter a product name/number” I typed Designjet 500 plus. The search returned “4 matches found. Please select one below”. I selected the second one in the list after establishing from client that they had the A0 version.

I was then presented with “Select operating system”. At this stage I held my breath and thumbs, hoping that I did not get message “not supported”. But I could once again breathe as I could immediately see that there was support and a driver. I then clicked on the “Obtain software” button which opened a PDF titled ” HP Designjet printers – Updating HP Software to Support OS X 10.7 Lion”. According to the Introduction – With the release of OS X 10.7 Lion, HP is providing updated print drivers and software. These updates will be available through Apple Software Updates in Mac OS X.

I then instructed the client that all he needed to do was to go to System Preferences > Print & Fax and to click on the “+” button to initiate a search for printers connected via his network. According to the client a HP designjet 500 was detected and when he clicked on “Add” the OS started to download the driver via Apple Software Updates.

Of course the client could also have read the instructions “Getting HP software updates immediately”.