Week #21 – Creating and Customizing Library Parts
21-3. Combining 2D and 3D Elements; Scripting the Object ID; Changing the Object Subtype

ArchiCAD Training (Best Practices Lesson 21-3)

This ArchiCAD training is the third in a three part series on creating custom objects for the ArchiCAD library.

In this section, we go further and combine 2D and 3D elements into a compound library part. The symbol is derived from the plan representations of the elements, while the 3D model information is based on the 3D elements incorporated into the new object.

Optimization of the hotspots or selection handles is done in the same way as before: placing Hotspots manually wherever you want to be able to insert, select or snap to the element, and including these hotspots in the selection while creating the object. Remember to turn off the Bounding Box hotspots in the Details > Compatibility Options section of the object editing dialog.

Another variation is shown for setting the text that will be shown on the floor plan for certain objects. In this case, the script is changed to use the Object ID instead of a custom parameter; this is done by typing in the global parameter reference GLOB_ID in place of the original quoted text (e.g. GLOB_ID replaces “ABC”, and there are no quote marks or inverted commas surrounding GLOB_ID).

I demonstrate how you can move the ID input to the left side of the Info Box using the controls in the Options menu > Work Environment > Info Box > Object. This will speed up setting the desired ID for elements on the plan, since you won’t have to scroll in the Info Box to see the ID field.

New custom objects are set up by default in ArchiCAD to use a “subtype” called “Model Element”. For the new object to be usable within Interactive Schedules such as Appliance or Equipment Schedules, change the Object Subtype in the Details section of the object creation dialog, and resave the object. To make the best match possible, open up a similar standard library object by selecting it on the plan and using the File menu > Libraries and Objects > Open Object command (or the keyboard shortcut Command-Option-O or Shift-CTRL-O) and verify the Object Subtype for that part.

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
Want to download this video, pause or resume playback, jump to a specific point or watch this video in a larger window? Click here for Video Playback and Download Notes...

Your Downloads

You may need to right-click the following links and select Save Link As to download the file to your computer

Click here to see the transcript of this ArchiCAD training lesson...

Please post your comments and questions below.


ArchiCAD Training: Combining 2D and 3D Elements

Let us know how you feel... (6 comments so far)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. Roderick Anderson
    11 years ago

    Dear Eric,

    As you know, I’ve been toying with creating a symbol library of 2D elements to use as symbols for light fixtures on a reflected ceiling plan. With your great help I have been able to create the symbol from 2D linework, add text that then I can edit parametrically and even got it to keep horizontal even when the symbol was rotated, etc. So all of that worked great.

    Now my issue is that I thought I had everything right, I changed the subtype of each object to Model Element > Electrical Element > Light. Doing this I get a large number of “Parameters for Listing” which I even customized as per my needs, thinking that this would all show up on a schedule, but when I create the schedule, and select the fields I want to show up in the Scheme Settings then I only get about 5 really unimportant items for the light. None of the parameters for listing are showing up as fields that I can select and have appear in the schedule. What could I be doing wrong now?

    • Roderick Anderson
      11 years ago

      I figured it out !!! All that I was missing was that in the Scheme Settings dialog box, down in the FIELDS section, there was a small arrow next to the ADD button, and by clicking on it an option for Show Objects Parameters appeared and that allowed me to select the parameters I needed to be listed on the schedule !!

      • Eric Bobrow
        11 years ago

        Glad you figured it out yourself! Excellent work.

  2. Scott Newland
    11 years ago

    This was a good lesson, and it was encouraging to see how one can customize existing objects as well as create new ones. I also didn’t know about the export subtree option and the “Load Other Object” command in the Library Manager.

  3. Paul Demars
    11 years ago

    Hi Eric,
    As always, I enjoyed this tutorial. You make it easy to learn and to then more fully use ArchiCAD. I liked learning how to export and import objects from one project to another. My question is, what about exporting and importing complex profiles. After viewing your video on complex profiles I began creating roof soffits. It allows me to create the exact profile I’m looking for very simply. I have a profile for each roof pitch and I’d like to have them available on new projects without having to re-create the profiles.

    • Eric Bobrow
      11 years ago

      Paul –
      You can export or import complex profiles using Attribute Manager, and you can also simply copy and paste elements with complex profiles from one project to another (and the profile definition will come in along with the sample element that you paste).