Category Archives: Attributes

Cadimage Updates – Door Leaf Errors

The latest Cadimage Door and Window update fixes some problems, but has created others in some projects. If you notice your door leafs suddenly showing with a brown or yellow plan fill where they were previously a white fill, there is a quick fix.

  1. In 3d, select all doors (choose the door tool from the tool box and type com+A)
  2. Reserve the doors (not required if working in a .pln iteration study)
  3. Change the pens indicated below to Pen 91:

Cadimage Window Fills

An interesting issue came up yesterday afternoon. Windows were showing with a green (pen 27, openings fill pen) fill over the opening.

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.52.14 AM.png

After spending an hour adjusting every fill pen in the attributes, plan and section overrides, and even the Cadimage All Parameters… tab, I was at a loss. I then discovered tht the “Open Automatically In Fly-Through has a sub-parameter called maskFill. If this is set to a non-empty fill (something that has a foreground color), it will show with the frame fill pen.Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.52.49 AM.png

Just change this fill to empty fill or air space:

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.52.55 AM.png

and the window shows correctly in plan view:

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 9.53.03 AM.png

Wall Junction Trouble Shooting

There are times when walls just do not seem to want to clean up. There are several “tricks” to getting walls to look good in plan. Areas to pay attention to are:

  1. Wall Reference Lines
  2. Layer Intersection Groups
  3. Building Material Priorities
  4. Wall Junction Order Settings
  5. Composite Core/Finish/Other Designations

Here are a few videos to help trouble shoot these plan connections:

Common Teamwork Error

tw error.jpg

This is a common error in our daily teamwork operations, and an easy one to prevent. It is not always easy to fix, depending on how many people are in the project.

This error happens when one team member has a portion of a file reserved, and another team member modifies a subpart to that. Two examples of this are the embedded library and the attributes.

If one team member reserves the entire embedded library, and another team member loads an image or object to the embedded library, this can block the user who made the modifications from sending and receiving changes. Also, with regards to attributes, if one team member has an attribute type reserved, the other team member creates a new attribute, they will not be able to send their changes until the first team member releases that attribute type.

This gets complicated, however, if multiple attribute types are reserved, and modified, all by different users. At this point, ARCHICAD is caught in a catch 22 situation. User A can not release attributes, because Users B/C/D have modified those attributes. Users B/C/D can not send their modifications, because User A has the attributes reserved. When things get this tangled, we normally have to save someones local data to .pln, force quit, and kick them out of the file, so that other users can send and receive. This is definitely a worse case scenario, and should only be done if release all (by all team members) and send and receive does not work.

Now for prevention of this teamwork error. These are measures you can take to prevent this from happening in your projects:

  1. Never reserve all
  2. Always reserve the attribute type you are working on or creating a new attribute for before creating it. If someone else has that attribute reserved, request it before creating new attributes.
  3. Release all frequently. Any time you plan to be away from your desk, and periodically throughout the day, even while working on the file.
  4. Send and receive often, every hour at a minimum, to prevent loss of work should ARCHICAD get caught in a cycle of teamwork errors.

Collision Detection

With the increase in MEP and Structural integration into our ARCHICAD models, we have started to explore the Collision Detection features in ARCHICAD. These have been baked into our template and explained in the BIM manual. For those who may be interested in trying this feature out, but are not using the current template, this video explains the settings:

Layer Intersection Groups

Here’s a quick note on the layer intersection group concept in our template. We use 4 numbers in most of our project layer settings:

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 9.54.47 AM.png

  • 0 is for layers that are hidden and should not intersect with visible items in a given layer combo
  • 1 is for layers that are set to intersect, and should be the most common, especially among visible layers
  • 2 is for layers that should not intersect with standard “1” group layers. Examples of conditions that may require a Group 2 Layer are:
    • barge rafters or sloping trim that needs to run in to perpendicular and horizontal trim (this always results in a messy connection)
    • walls being trimmed with SEO to a roof plan, whose trimmed portion is interfering with content above the roof
    • there are defualt layers for these conditions already set up:
      • A | ROOF  – EXTERIOR.TRIM NON-INTERSECTING
      • A | WALL – EXTERIOR ACCESSORY.NON-NTERSECTING
      • AI | MOULDINGS.TRIM NON-INTERSECTING
  • 999 is commonly used for module content placed from IFC files received from consultants.
    • This is a variable not accounted for in our template, since IFC coordination is on a project by project basis

Pen 0 and Pen -1

Pen 0 and Pen -1 have specific functions, as background pens for fills; to show transparent or solid white but matches the background (regardless of work environment customization of the background color).

These pens can be a bit dangerous if applied to anything but the background pen of a fill or cut element.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 7.42.40 AM.png

In the case of a file audited this morning, there were over 500 3d elements using Pen -1 as the foreground and, in some cases, the contour pen of model elements. This resulted in a file prone to crashes, and lengthy error warning cycles.

I was able to fix these by using a combination of the element ID manager and the Find and Select tool. Read about that here.

In the end, it is best to avoid pens -1 and 0 whenever possible. Pen -1 should be replaced in your workflow habits with pen 91 or 51. Those pens are always white for all pen sets. In many cases, especially with drafting and cover fills, pen 0 is unavoidable, but should still be used carefully, so as to not apply it to anything other than background pen settings.

Avoid Library Pollution

We have gone through waves of library pollution, and it seems like one is washing over our projects again. So it’s time for a refresher on what this pollution is, the cause, how to avoid this pollution, and how to clean it up. It is important for all ARCHICAD users at WWA to read this post carefully to avoid this issue running through all our projects again.

What is the pollution and what causes it?

The pollution is a infiltration of unwanted attributes into a project. These attributes include Surfaces, Fills, and Line Types. The pollution is disruptive to our workflow because it pushes attributes out of sequence, creates massive gaps in attribute numbering, and gives us an annoyingly long list of attributes to dig through when working in ARCHICAD. As an example of the damage this issue can cause, here is a quick glance at some of the surfaces that came in from one instance of polluted library parts:

A-WWA Polluted.png

As you can imagine, sifting through that list of surfaces can be really annoying, even if it drops most of these surfaces at the end of the list. But as I mentioned, this also has an impact on fill types and line types.

So what is the trigger? It is caused by an infiltration of objects called Master_GDL.gdl into one or more of the libraries. Typically it is seen in the embedded library. This infiltration happens any time an infected file is copied from, and pasted into a clean file. So opening an old file and copying anything and pasting into your project will bring in these polluted attributes.

How can this pollution be avoided?

It is fairly simple to avoid the issue. If you need to bring anything in from another project, check the libraries and attributes first. If the file has any of the polluted surfaces (typically these are italicized and have names like Topas, Innivik, HAG, etc), do NOT copy from that file. You can either clean the file before copying from it (see below), or sandbox the content and clean it up before pasting, or redraw/model the content completely from scratch. It is important to note that no content is “safe” to copy/paste if the file is polluted. A single line/fill/text/label/wall/slab/etc copied out will drag the Master_GDL.gdl part with it.

How can the pollution be cleaned up?

If the pollution occurs anyway, it needs be cleaned up before it starts to impact productivity, and certainly before new attributes are generated. For the most part, the clean up is simple. Open the Library Manager (File > Library Manager), track down any folder/subfolder containing a file with the name (or name similar to) Master_GDL.gdl. This can almost always be tracked to a folder called “From 201101”.C-WWA Library.png

Once these files and folders are purged, open the attribute manager and delete any polluted attributes. It is usually easiest to sort the surfaces by name, as the polluted attributes almost always show after the default surfaces due to naming convention. But any attribute that stands out as out of place should be deleted. The offending attributes are usually italicized and have very odd seeming names. These can just be deleted, rather than delete + replace, since they shouldn’t be used anyway.

B-WWA Polluted.png

If a file uses hotlink modules, this can be a little more complicated. Because hotlinks have their own Embedded Library folder that can not be edited in a host library, there is a different process. The host file needs to be cleared of all modules. I recommend marking module locations with polylines, fills, and/or hotspots before deleting. After the modules are removed, verify that the module libraries are gone, and there are no additional offending Master_GDL parts in any other libraries. Then clean up the attributes.

Next, open all module source files, and run the clean up there; purging libraries and attributes. I also recommend running an attribute match again after all files are clean. Once all files are clean, new modules need to be saved. Do not save over the top of old modules. It is best to create a completely new and clean module.

Lastly, open the host (site) file again, and replace and relocate all modules. Obviously, this issue is compounded even more with projects using nested modules.

Other considerations

Because the Master_GDL objects are so infectious, it is important to stay on top of keeping these things clean. They really are like a disease. We had all current projects clean, but they are rearing their heads again. It is important to be aware of consequences when copying/pasting from one file to another. No two projects have identical attributes, so any copy/paste is likely to bring attributes. If the file is polluted, it will bring in attributes not even used by the copied content.

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).

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 6.29.07 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 6.29.21 PM

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 6.29.33 PM

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

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 6.29.52 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 6.31.30 PM