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...


  1. looks like you can paint wall sufaces w/ raster texture maps.
    is that correct?

  2. The raster texture maps are part of the material definition assigned to the wall. Unlike Revit, Archicad uses the GDL engine which is more like a gaming graphics engine, allowing material maps in real-time navigation.