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:



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  2. wondering if this was the last you had to say about your archicad experience. would love to know your overall feel about things?

  3. Hopefully this will not be the end of my Archicad research. A lot has been happening in recent months, most time-consuming is my new job as adjunct professor at NYU Poly in Brooklyn for a class called "Construction Modeling and Data Structures". I'll be commenting on that soon.

  4. Hi James,

    I really appreciate you are going through this experience (I hope you still do...).

    I'm an ArchiCAD user myself since version 6.5 (now at 11). Just wanted to point out that doors/windows are of course adjustable after placing them. They can be draged (as any other construction element would, only in this case restricted to the parent wall). They can be extended-shortened both in lenght and height (from plan, section/elevation and 3d views). They can be "rotated" (so the open in the reverse direction). And they can be mirrored (so they swing to the left or right). Once placed they can also be changed to other type of door/window from the properties dialog.

    I really don't expect you'll find a huge difference between Revit and ArchiCAD in the provided functionality or "BIM" implementation. Differences are found mainly in the process of getting things done the way the user wants to (and of course you can get used to either). In the end I guess your comparisson with the washing-maschine buyer fits pretty well. Regards, Ricardo.