January – June 2013
ArchiCAD Training – Coaching Call – May 29, 2013
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 Session Notes

Bringing in a dwg file as an underlay The caller wants to bring in a dwg file into ArchiCAD to be able to trace around it to create a 3d model of the 2d dwg file. Eric has produced a video on this see link on the right 0:01:17
Wall assemblies Eric explains composite walls and how to create them go to – options>element attributes>composites. Composites can also be created for slabs, roofs, and shells if required. 0:06:20
Polygonal wall tool Eric goes through the uses for the polgon wall tool. He describes how useful this tool is for helping to clean up walls at difficult junctions 0:11:52
Default position for settings Eric explains how the text tool, dimension tool and the label tool each has its own text settings. And changing the font in one of these doesn’t change the font in the others. Unfortunately there is no individual control to enable you to make changes to all at the same time. Eric tends to use favourites/favorites to speed things up a little – go to window>palettes>favorites. Eric explains how to set up a favorite. 0:19:07
How to set up a template in the layout book, so that all the little things like the text (and its settings) and the bubbles are changed to a typical setup text Eric explains how to change the titles (font type and size) in a master layout. This will affect everything that uses this particular master layout. A quick way to correct an incorrect title (set-up) on a drawing is to inject it with the settings of a correctly set-up title (Eric shows what to do). When you use the inject procedure make sure that you haven’t got any drawing titles set to “custom” (in the drawing settings), otherwise it will change the title name too – here you must use “by view name only” in the drawing settings. 0:26:49
When walls are drawn on first floor and caller then selects the second floor the walls vanish. Why is this happening? The reason that they weren’t showing was because their settings in the floor plan display were set to “home story only”, and they should have been set to “all relevent stories”. If the walls still aren’t showing on the story above, it is because the walls are not tall enough to be seen on that story. What is and is not seen is controlled by the cut plane and Eric has produced a video on this topic – see link on right. 0:39:48
How to draw a representation of an expansion joint and how to go about drawing large details. (Eric doesn’t start to draw until about time 0:53:00). Eric first shows how to draw an expansion joint. By creating a new material, but keeping the settings (of the original) you can have the two joining walls showing where they join together, this creates an effect that looks like an expansion joint (this effect creates a crisp line with no dimension between the two touching walls). To create the new material go to – options>element attributes>materials – and then duplicate the material that is being used for the walls and give it a name and then you are done (leave all the settings as they are, so that they will match-up in elevation and 3d views). Use the original material for one side of the joint and the newly created material for the other side of the joint. 0:43:40
Eric then show how to create a worksheet for showing details. This allows the caller to show the building at a larger scale and show more detail. A worksheet will create another drawing window with the graphics of your choice (in this case the elevations). You can choose if you want the worksheet to have/show all or part of the elevation, for you to work with. The worksheet is an independent view, and does not effect the view from which it was copied when you work with it. If you later want to re-coordinate the two, (after changes had been made to your model) you would have to use trace and reference, Eric goes through the procedure.
What is an ArchiCAD “pla” file, and when is it used? A “pla” file is an archive that contains all the library parts used in the project. This is used when you want to archive a project, or if you want to send your project to someone who has different librairies than you. 0:46:05
How to turn off grids View>grid display – Sometimes grids can make it hard to see details in the drawing and need to be turned off.
How to draw rebar Eric shows how to draw a representation of a tubular structure in a section view. He then shows how to use the beam tool and complex profiles to draw a representation in 3d. A caller says that there are some objects in the object library that can be used to signify rebar e.g. dowels, cylinder. 1:06:45
Favourites/favorites preferences This is a little known feature that exists in favorites, and it enables you to exclude some parameters, so say for example you don’t want certain things like the height or layer to change. You would use this feature to do that. 1:21:00
A quick explanation on place external drawing and merge when bringing in a dwg file into ArchiCAD Eric goes through the various options when bringing in a dwg file. He describes – place external drawing, merge, explode into primitives etc. – and Eric also talks about when he would personally use the various commands. 1:24:22
Explanation of dwg translator 1:34:50
How to rescale a drawing (if it needs it) when you bring it in ArchiCAD 1:36:25
The Morph tool (the morph tool explanation starts here and goes through to the end of the coaching call, so you may want to watch it all) The caller wanted to learn how to use the morph tool to help him at the design stage draw a concept building for his client. Eric goes through some of the basic, but crucial morph commands. Eric explains how to use the morph tool very well, so well that a complete beginner could watch this and have a reasonable grasp into the basics of how the morph tool works (enough to be able to start drawing shapes). Note: you need to be aware which arrow tool you are selecting with i.e. selecting an element of a particular object, or the entire object, as these will effect what options become available and therefore what you are able to do with the morph tool. 1:38:20
One particular great feature with the morph tool is it allows you to put intricate mouldings around door casings. You just either draw a 2d shape, or get a 2d moulding shape from the ArchiCAD library and then turn it into a morph. The beauty of the morph tool here is that you can draw the shape in a vertical direction, and then switch to a horizontal direction, whilst still keeping everything joined together. So this is perfect for drawing architraves. 1:56:12
What is the shaded square around the cursor for? It is to show where the current editing plane is. It can be turned off in ArchiCAD 17 by going to options>surface snap (this procedure may work in other ArchiCAD versions too) 1:59:45
The morph tool vs. the zone tool for drawing a concept building A quick discussion on using these tools for drawing a concept 2:01:50

ArchiCAD Training – Coaching Call – May 29, 2013

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