#justthetip

Command and Control ARCHICAD - Part 1

Ken

This is the first of a series of four #justthetip articles showing you how to master the primary keys you need to Command and Control ARCHICAD… and a clue to what these first keys are has just been given right there!

The first key we will look at is the Command or Control key depending on your operating system.  In the articles that will follow over the coming weeks, we will also look at Shift, Alt and the Spacebar.

Find the Maximum Fillet/Chamfer Radius for Closed Polygons

Ken

When you are working with a closed polygon (Fill, Polyline, Slab, Roof etc) and want to apply a radius or chamfer to a corner you do not need to guess the maximum value, or work it out manually - you can get ARCHICAD to do this for you, automatically.

To find the maximum value is really simple - you select your closed polygon then click a corner and choose the Fillet/Chamfer… option as shown with the Fill below:

Unleash the Custom Stair Tool

Ken

Anyone who has used ARCHICAD for any length of time will be more than familiar with StairMaker and the bewildering array of Stair (or Ramp) shapes that are possible.  These are often difficult to configure and require lots of to-ing and fro-ing from plan to section to StairMaker to get all the necessary dimensions required.  Surely there must be an easier way!

Well the good news is, there is - all thanks to this little button that most people overlook...

Don’t be controlled by the Wall Reference Line

Ken

When you use ARCHICAD to create building models, you learn pretty quickly that thinking about the direction of a Wall and it’s Reference Line is pretty important.   

Very often you spend a lot of time violently throwing the mouse from one side of the screen to the other just to change the Reference Line position of a Wall… without that, inside ends up out and vice versa!  

This can be pretty annoying - but can easily be solved with the help of a couple of shortcut keys!  

Don’t have boring drawing frames!

Ken

Drawing Frames in ARCHICAD and most packages are typically drawn as rectangles… but why stick with something so simple?  Did you know you can make the frame (boundary) of a drawing almost any shape?

Let's get one thing straight though before going too far into this - when we talk about a ‘drawing’ we are meaning a Drawing in the ARCHICAD sense.  This is either an imported document (PDF, image, DWG, DXF etc) or a View that has been saved then placed on a Layout.

Using the Quick Options Bar

Ken

You may, or may not, have noticed the new Quick Options Bar in ARCHICAD 20:

By default, this is shown to the bottom of each window in ARCHICAD 20, with the content varying slightly depending on what type of window is open (Plan, Elevation, Detail or 3D etc).

If you cannot see the Quick Options Bar - go to Window> Show Quick Options Bar:

Updating your key for ARCHICAD 20

Ken

ARCHICAD 20 is almost here so it is time to think about what you need to do to use it.  The one thing you absolutely definitely MUST do is upgrade your key so that ARCHICAD 20 will run!

Tame the Dimension Line Preview!

Ken

Dimensioning Linear elements in ARCHICAD is very simple.  However, the feedback given by the Dimension Line Preview can appear a bit wild sometimes - so it is important to understand what is happening!

Let's start with the basics and begin with choosing the correct Geometry Method:

Three types are available:

  • Any Direction and X-Y Only (grouped)

  • Arc Length

Shortcuts to Speed you Through the Day!

Ken

There are loads of keyboard shortcuts in ARCHICAD and getting to know some of them can certainly increase your productivity… but a few are more complicated to remember and not used as often than others.  The ones we will outline in this article are ones you can potentially use ALL the time and are very, very simple!

Import Standard Steel Profiles in ARCHICAD

Ken

If you work regularly with Structural Steel components and exchange data with Structural software using IFC - you might find it useful to use the Standard Profiles for Columns and Beams that are available within ARCHICAD.

The database contains national standards for 32 localizations… even if you work outside your home country, there is still a high chance you will find the Profile you need!  Within each national standard there are hundreds of options available for a range of geometry types: I/H, C/U, T, L, Rectangular and Circular.

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"I attended a multi day training session with Chris and Link of BIM6x. Their knowledge of ARCHICAD, organization and accessibility during the course were exceptional. I left the class feeling more confident using ARCHICAD, with many useful techniques to save time and produce better drawings and models. It was extremely helpful to work with instructors that know the software inside and out and who were able to share their knowledge in a clear and enjoyable way."

Jake Ostlind, Carney Logan Burke Architects
Jackson, WY
“BIM6x has played a crucial role in helping our company grow and become more efficient. BIM6x is professional, responsive, and they are fun to work with. I would recommend that anyone who is contemplating using the cutting edge technology that ARCHICAD has to offer architects and engineers start off on the right foot and contact BIM6x for training.”

Patrick Bird, Riverstone Structural Concepts
Boise, ID