ArchiCAD 17 New Features
AC17-2. How to Use ArchiCAD 17’s New Building Materials

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson AC17-2)

This 32 minute ArchiCAD training shows how to use the new Building Materials introduced in ArchiCAD 17 to get clean section drawings and detailed 3D models.

ArchiCAD 17 is very powerful, but it can be confusing when you first try to work with the new interface and the new Building Materials.

In this video you’ll discover the most important things you need to know about the new Building Materials to enable you to get the best results.

Graphisoft has convincing demonstrations that show how the sections clean up “automatically”. However, if you assume this cleanup is going to happen when you model in the same way you always have, you may be disappointed.

There are some special tricks and settings that make this work the way it’s intended. Watch this video to learn how to get control over this powerful set of tools.

Thank you for visiting the Best Practices Course website. The video lessons are available for members only. If you are an active member and would like to watch the ArchiCAD training video on this page, please login to the website. If you are not currently a member, please visit the following pages for more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course or for the Best Practices ArchiCAD Coaching Program. Eric Bobrow, Creator of the Best Practices Course
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ArchiCAD Training: How to Use ArchiCAD 17’s New Building Materials

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  1. IanBooker
    10 years ago

    Excellent tutorial, Eric.
    Can you tell me how, for example, deciding to extend the slab to the outer dimensions or pulling them in to the structural wall, as you ended up doing, effects the a scheduling take offs? Ie the area of the flooring board, for example.

    Also, you didn’t touch on how the doors/windows relate to the new wall functions. Do you have to make certain they are inserted in relation to the storey height?

    • Eric Bobrow
      10 years ago

      Hi Ian –

      Thanks for the positive feedback on the training. Re your questions, scheduling allows you to select from several variations of the area calculation. You can get gross, net or adjusted calculations. Look in the ArchiCAD Reference manual (available from the Help menu) to see what these refer to. I believe that there is a way to get correct floor board calcs if you choose the right option.

      Doors and windows can have their heights relate to the story, in which case the adjustment of the wall base does not affect their position, or they can relate to the base of the wall. If they are set relative to the wall base, then you may need to manually adjust their position after doing certain manipulations (stretching the wall downwards to overlap with the floor slab, for example). However, if you use the Adjust to Slab command, then ArchiCAD will make sure that doors and windows that are set relative to the wall base maintain their proper vertical position, and do not move when you adjust the wall. I suggest you test this out, carefully looking at your sections, to see how it works.


  2. Avatar photo
    11 years ago

    Hearing that good modeling minimizes 2d input… I have been trying to model buildings as I think they go together but I’m finding that does not seem to work.

    For example, in reality, slab-on-grades don’t always go under the exterior walls but run up to the face of the walls and the interior finishes (studs, insulation, drywall) stop at the top of the slab. So when I try to model AC17 accordingly, I create a multitude of conditions that require massive modifications that fail to achieve desired results.

    After watching the above video for the 4th of 5th time, I am sensing that my efforts to match actual construction connections is fruitless and I should draw floor systems (slabs) to the outside of walls and let AC17 do it’s job of making the proper connections…with a little tweaking on my part.

    Is this a correct assumption? If not, can you advise me on a more prudent course of action?

    I believe I’m quite deficient at modeling. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to construct real-world conditions…wall, floor, and roof connections…resulting in unrealistic representations. If I try to do more complicated modeling like curtain walls, I breakout into cold sweats, can’t sleep and do everything I can to workaround or avoid curtain walls. My efforts end in performing a massive amounts of 2d drafting to achieve MY desired results. This includes exterior elevations, especially interior elevations, sections and details.

    Please advise… Thanks.

    PS I’ve seen a model of the Eiffel Tower done with the curtain-wall tool…and I struggle with a simple wall opening installing a “real-world-looking” storefront with proper doors, trim, hardware and glazing.

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Hi Dave –

      I understand your frustrations – the new system can take some time to figure out. Once you do, you’ll love how it cleans things up and gives you more detailed sections right away.

      You can either extend your slabs out to the framing line, then adjust the walls to cover them up (making a wall above the slab extend down, or the wall below extend up). If you extend the slabs out to the face of the exterior wall, it will work well too, as long as the materials of the exterior cladding are set with a higher priority than the slab materials.

      If you’re having problems with things showing in the wrong order or priority (for example, the slab core sticks through to the outside of the building instead of stopping at the framing line), then you’ll need to adjust the settings for the cladding to be higher / stronger than the slab materials.

      If you have a particular project that you want me to look at, feel free to send it to me and I can look at it during one of our coaching calls.