Tag Archives: Building Materials

A Simple Look at Complex Profiles

Profiles are a great way to add the level of detail you need in your model; obtaining complete control over the shape, surface and appearance of Walls, Columns, and Beams. But it is important to keep in mind the shape and reference origin of each of these tools.

Profiles applied to Walls and Beams may seem to be interchangeable; or a wall may seem like the better tool simply because it is called a “wall”, or because you need an opening in addition to the complex profile. But Walls and Beams behave very differently, especially when using profiles.

First, walls do not miter, they interlace and intersect at the corners. This is obvious, even when looking at a basic composite wall.

Things get even more cluttered at the intersection when you start to look at complex profiles, especially with curving and sloping faces. The examples below are completely fabricated, but emphasize the downside to using Complex Custom Profiles on walls.

If you look closely, you will see some odd irregularities and jutting projections where the above images are intersecting with another wall at their corners. By comparison, Beams intersect cleanly (as long as they are both flat, non-sloping, and at appropriate angles).

Now I am not saying that we should use Beams instead of Walls for all complex profiles, but being aware of how each tool is placed and reacts to their attributes (Building Materials, Surfaces, Composites, Profiles), how they interact with other elements, and how they affect file performance is critical in choosing the correct tool. I have seen at least one project that poor file performance was pin pointed to overly complex profiles applied to walls.

Keeping it Clean Part III: The Sandbox

You may recall the posts on keeping your library clean; here and here. But maintaining a clean, legible, and highly functional BIM file is more than just library management. It is also awareness of the attributes, and keeping those properly organized, sorted, named and vetted.

When creating an attribute it should be named and numbered appropriately for clear function, intent and organization. But attributes can become polluted, just like the libraries. This happens when bringing in downloaded objects which contain their own attributes or new attribute references, or when copying/pasting content from one ARCHICAD file into your working project.

Attributes are almost certainly going to come in in either case. So you can either bring the content in, then fix the libraries and attributes, or you can create a quick sandbox to preview and pre-clean the content.

To do this, simply select file > new, and set the resulting window use the latest project settings and launch in a new instance. This ensures the attributes and settings will match your current project for assessing the damage of copy/paste before traumatizing your project.Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 1.27.13 PM

Once the content has been pasted or added to the sandbox file, review the embedded library for stray or polluted content, and the attribute manager for content that came in with the content.

In the attribute manager, look for any attributes (typically under lines, fills and surfaces) that have come in with the paste. These will typically show at the bottom of the list when sorting by attribute ID. Look for attributes with big gaps in ID sequence, or attributes underlined or italicized in the case of teamwork projects.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.08.01 PM

Once these attributes have been removed in the attribute manager, simply search for any content with missing attributes (find & select works wonders for this), and reassign attributes that will copy/paste into your working project file.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.09.54 PM

This is a little work up front, but will save tons of time on the back side trying to make sense of the project attributes and figuring out which attributes your project needs and which ones came in through sloppy copy/paste practices.

Wall to Wall Relationships

Walls can relate to each other, and other element types, based on several factors. First, layer intersection priority defines which layers will intersect. Second, building materials determine how different composite or custom profile skins interact with each other. Lastly, wall/beam junction order determines in which order walls or beams will intersect.

Layer Intersection Priority

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 9.17.08 AM

Walls with different layer intersection priorities do not intersect in plan. Walls overlap to their reference line.

Building Material Priority

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 8.48.04 AMWalls with different core building materials will have a separator line at the core. Skins may be cut through by the core if the finish skins have a lower building material priority, even if the reference line is set to the wall core.

Junction Order

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 9.35.42 AMAll walls have the same junction order (8)
Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 9.35.10 AMHorizontal & angled walls have a higher junction order (10)
Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 9.36.01 AM
Vertical & angled walls have a higher junction order (10)

Wall Intersection + Column + Custom Profile

Sometimes no amount of building material priorities, wall junction priorities and creative composites will yield the plan view you are aiming for. For example, this is a wall relationship with cluttered cores and finish skins applied to 4 different composites:Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.32.04 PMThis can quickly be cleaned up by creating a new custom profile. Copy the walls in the plan view and paste into the custom profile window. Delete all lines, crop to the minimum effective dimensions, consolidate fills, and adjust fill border pens to match the composites. Store the profile for future editing.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.31.47 PMThe result is a clean plan symbol, which matches all building materials and surfaces already applied to the model:Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.34.54 PM

Deleting & Replacing Attributes of a Teamwork Project

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Many of us have taken advantage of this great feature in ArchiCAD’s attribute settings. We have the ability to globally replace all elements attributes with another, wether it is building materials, surfaces, line types, fill types or composites. Zone tags and pen sets are also available, but rarely changed from the template.

The feature allows a quick clean up with little worry of missing attributes… Unless you forgot to reserve. Because this Delete and Replace feature effectively changes the settings of elements or attributes affected by the attribute that is being replaced, you must FIRST reserve all elements and attributes which may be affected.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 8.33.43 AM

Failing to do so will result in missing surfaces in your elements settings, missing fills in the model and plan as well as the attributes which were using those fills. The best practice would be to reserve all before cleaning up attributes.