Author Archives: wwabim

Locate Door in Frame

I have been asked about this 3x this week; so here’s the location of this setting:

Door position within the frame:

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Door Settings > Cadimage Door > Main Frame > Door Setback from Frame:

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As a bonus, the settings for spacing between multiple doors is set here:

Door Settings > Cadimage Door > Door Type > Field C

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Connecting Sea Level & Morphs

Today I have been working on translating a .dwg survey into existing conditions for neighboring buildings for a remodel. The survey locates windows for neighboring properties, giving sill height, head height, and window width only. All dimensions are relative to sea level.

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To locate these windows correctly, I first set the Altitude (Sea Level) properly.From here I could place temporary morph lines in plan to locate center line of windows and other building features.

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Then, in the morph element settings, I set the height relative to Sea Level, and matched the sill and head height described in the survey.

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From this point, it was just a matter of matching and stretching the windows to the morph lines in 3d or elevation.

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Quick Layers Palette

In 2018 I am revamping the WWABIM site with new quick tips. These will be short messages and tips to help improve your workflow, efficiency and general proficiency at modeling and documenting in ARCHICAD. This is the first tip of the year!

Use the quick layers palette! This palette will allow you to turn layers on/off, cycle through previous custom layer sets, and more with out the need to tediously sort through the layer settings dialog.

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Options on the quick layers palette are to hide/lock/unlock a selections layer(s), or all layers not selected, and to switch back to previous/next custom layer combinations. This allows you to turn groups of element’s layers on at once, instead of sorting through the layer lists.

I recommend using the quick layers palette as a standard to your work environment. If you want to strip palettes and tool bars out of your w/e, you can also assign a shortcut to show/hide this palette, similar to how most have a shortcut for the solid element operations palette.

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3d Lines & Drafting

Our BIM Manual has a description of what we model, when we model elements, and why we model them. The third element, the “why”, is one of the most important parts of managing a high quality model, and producing accurate and well coordinated documents from that model.

With this in mind, a lot of our project teams have been pushing the boundaries of even the most basic drafting elements. One example of this is in site models & plans, specifically property lines and setbacks. Intuitively, it makes sense to use polylines or even fills for this. Thinking outside the box however, it makes more sense to use a 3d element, such as a grid or a morph.



Using a 3d solution allows you to coordinate the property & setback lines on all (or select) stories simultaneously with fewer elements. It also allows coordination of the building in 3d. Since our final CD Site Plans are typically drafted anyway, this is largely a process and 3d solution. But using a morph does allow for boundary line type & pen control, so it can also be incorporated into the final documents.

Scheduling Doors & Windows to Zones

This has come up before, but seems to be even more difficult now that we have started migrating to ARCHICAD 21. There are some key steps to make sure that Doors and Windows schedule to zones properly.

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  1. Make sure zones are set to the face of finish of all walls
  2. Make sure zones do not overlap
  3. Zones and schedule elements need to live on the same stories. This may mean you have a zone for a room in a vaulted space for multiple stories.
  4. Doors need to be set to the “exterior” is set facing the zone. This is not the direction of the door swing, but rather the scripted interior/exterior definition of the doors. You can use the Flip command in the door/window settings to redefine interior or exterior, and rotate/mirror to re-align the door or window to the correct direction.
  5. Doors can not be more than 4′-6″ from their home story to schedule to zones correctly. Windows have more flexibility.
  6. Doors & Windows should occupy an entire wall; meaning walls should not be narrower or shorter than the doors or windows in them.
  7. Doors and Windows should be on the same renovation status as the zones they are scheduling to.

These rules should allow doors and windows to schedule to zones correctly.



Interesting Composite Glitch

This is an interesting glitch we ran into today in a migrated project (started in AC16, now in AC20). The file runs pretty well for having passed through so many versions of AC, but there is an interesting error in the composites, one that I was able to replicate to some degree even in AC21 (non-migrated file).

If a composites skin separator is set to “off”, it may appear correct in the plan view (view map or project map), but show with remnants of the skin separator in the drawing (view placed to a layout).

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In the image above, the line selected is deselected, and even though the pen is set to “21”, which is a white skin separator pen in our template, the glitch occurs.

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As you can see above, the composite shows correctly with no skin separators.

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However, once placed onto a layout, the skin separator shows in places. Some composites, depending on skin settings and line/pen types, show up.

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However, by turning the skin separator “on”, as in the image above, and setting all hidden separators to pen 21/41/61 (depending on composite type), we can achieve the desired results, as seen in the image of the placed drawing below.

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Don’t Schedule HLM Content

Often times, we document buildings and place their hot links into the same file. For smaller projects and sites with few modules, this is a quick and easy way to start with no need for attribute coordination. It is important to note, this does not work on most WWA projects, the sites tend to be too large, or have too much vegetation (polygon warning), or have too many buildings resulting in slow building/site file. Typically for these projects, we break the building and site into separate teamwork files.

But, for the cases where we do not need to model the building and site in separate files, and still want to use hotlink modules, we need to control how elements schedule. If an entire building is hotlinked into it’s own file, the content is technically duplicated. So how do we show one instance of the element in the schedules? It is one simple criteria that needs to be added to the schedule.

Set a new criteria that says Hotlinked Module is not Any Hotlink. This will restrict the schedule’s content to only elements in the primary model, and exclude any item located with in an HLM.

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