Thursday, April 03, 2008

Archicad Parts 3-4

Floors and roofs

The BIM Experience continues with chapters 3 and 4 which include creating floors, roofs, doors and windows. Considering the simplicity of these tutorials, I completed them both in about one hour and will summarize them in one post.  Floors and roofs are created with the Slab tool and continue to make use of the Favorites palette for pre-made roof and floor types. I am still curious to explore the creation of such favorites from scratch. Similar to polygonal walls, creating slabs is accomplished through either sketching or using Space-Click to enact the "magic wand" and selecting an existing polyline. An interesting and easy feature is quick void creation in slabs.  Use Shift-Click to select an existing slab, then use SPACE-Click to create voids in the slab. In Revit, this would be accomplished by re-editing the sketch of the floor or roof or using the Opening tool. Because the sketch is not exposed as a separate element in Archicad, the slab must be edited directly. As previously mentioned, creating voids is fairly straight-forward, but there are several additional geometry tools exposed in a pop-up when a slab is selected. I will explore those later...


Doors and Windows

Placing doors is a 2-click method - insertion point, then placement of leaf.  Archicad does not offer a preview of the door leaf until you're done nor are options for re-positioning the leaf and swing after insertion (unless I'm missing something obvious). As a comparison in Revit, the SPACE bar is used to rotate any component prior to placement and the door or window has flip arrows to change its position at any time. In the Archicad animation below, notice the ability to use a point grip to simply adjust the plan swing angle of the door.

Placing doors in Archicad:


Placing and modifying doors in Revit:


Towards completion of these chapters I was directed to use the Multiply command (a powerful type of array) in an elevation view and I stumbled upon yet another highly useful function. By right-clicking on any other view in the Navigator, such view can be used as a Trace Reference in the current view. In the tutorial example, I used a floor plan as a trace reference in an elevation:

Here's the work to date:


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Archicad Part 2

Continuing the BIM Experience trial with Archicad 11, we learn how to model the walls of the Massaro House. Using a CAD file as a trace underlay, we gradually build up linear walls, polygonal walls, and parapet walls. Customized views have been created within the Navigator to guide you through each step of the lesson - a BIM-by-numbers, if you will...


ARCHICAD-000We don't learn much about why the wall ends seem to conform to the tapered edges of the indicated points, but I'm assuming they are joining to previously created walls which have been turned off with various customized filters for the purpose of the tutorial. If you are adventurous and dig down into the properties of any view, you'll see a plethora of "Layer Settings" as indicated in the screenshot to the left.

The wall creation method is straight-forward - choose the Wall tool and double-click on a wall style in the Favorites palette - then click on the points indicated in the tutorial views. What bothers me is the cursor. It changes based on snapping points, but I'm not sure what it is snapping to exactly. The cursor changes to a check mark, but it is unlike other programs which give you feedback as to the type of snapping being provided by the geometry at the cursor. Also, on some occasions I have a checkmark, other times a pencil - filled or not filled.

Another quirk I have yet to understand is the ability to select walls in plan and use Draw Order on them. What are their 3D properties that allow one wall to be show 'over' another?

A few really cool tools are exposed in Part 2 of the tutorials. First, while creating polygonal walls, simply holding the SHIFT key over a polyline in the CAD underlay allows you to create a wall in the same shape. Second, at any time you can 'peel away' the model to reveal the trace underlay below. See the animations below...