Tag Archives: Layer Management

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:
  • 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

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)

Design Options With Hotlinks

If you have two building designs for the same site, you can avoid multiple site models/building models scattered around your model environment by creating two new layer combinations.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.29.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.29.14 PM

First create two new layer combinations module option A & B, then three new layers. The first is the “modules layer” which contains all common hotlink elements.The next two layers are the toggle layers, one is only on with layer combination “A”, the other only layer combination “B”.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.30.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.30.55 PM

The last step is to assign hotlinks to one of the toggle layers (I learned something new about this today!). First select the hotlink to be assigned to toggle layer A, go to File > External Content > Hotlink Module Settings.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.31.28 PM

Change the Master Layer for this module to the correct toggle layer and follow these steps for each module which will be part of the option A or option B schemes.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.31.40 PM

Layer Intersection Groups

Reading a Shoegnome post recently I came across a concept which I have integrated into our latest template version. That is a layer intersection group “0” for all layers not shown in the current layer combination. While I don’t normally recommend mass attribute purging for most projects, this suggestion for layer management has huge potential to improve the way your model views in 3d and elevation.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.43.00 AM

Layers that are not visible can have an impact on the model. For elements like the operators of an SEO this is a good thing. For things like roof only walls or trim elements that show up in one view but not all this can be problematic. You can end up with elements that are turned off which are interfering with the appearance of your model. By changing all layers which are off for a specific layer combination to intersection group “0” you reduce or eliminate the chance of this happening.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.47.46 AM


If you have a complex profile applied to a beam and column to represent your trim, you may find it tricky to get them mitered properly. Notice the overlapping “square” boxes at the intersection in the image below.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.23.23 AM

A solution was recently developed by Boyce which quickly resolves the lack of interaction between beams and columns. Insert a morph object as a single plane at a 45º angle through the intersection point. Using this plane as an operator with upward extrusion on the column, and with downward extrusion on the beam you will have a cleanly mitered trim in elevation, section and model views.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.26.08 AM

Note the miter line shown in the image below due to different surfaces being applied to the beam and column. This is a bonus tip if you want to express the miter in your documents and model.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.27.03 AM

In most cases we will want to see the miter “disappear”. If you apply identical building materials and surfaces to both beam and column the intersections clean up. You will see a line where two curves intersect, but this is due to the handling of curves vs planes. For most instances this profile could be altered to use a plane rather than curve to represent the coved portion of the trim; this wold give a clean intersection across the full miter.Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.27.45 AM