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Layers and Layer Combinations

Date: Monday, February 2, 2015

Layers and Layer Combinations have proven to be highly useful in the organization of project data in ArchiCAD. For instance,

They control Elements visibility, they also extend further to filtering of Elements for quantity take-offs, control of connections between intelligent Elements like walls, Locking of elements, turning elements to wireframe etc.

Below are a few examples on how Layers and their combinations could be useful in a project elements management.

Filter Information

Visibility_CheckIn cases where a project plan has entailed so much information that it becomes impossible to look at one piece of information or an element, either in 2D or 3D due to overlapping, intersecting etc of these elements. controlling element visibility via Layers and Layer Combinations  can be a very useful solution. For doing so one can hide and view only that desired piece of information.


Reduction of 3D generated  Model Size For Better Navigation

One may find that some computers can not handle a considerable/specific amount of 3D generated elements, they may crash, not be able to show 3D entirely in the 3D window or provide glitches when navigating through. As mentioned above Layers can control elements visibility and by so doing reduce memory required to generate a 3D and that can make the project much easier to navigate. But mostly this issue would also apply when saving BIMx models, hiding Layers can optimize file sizes so that even mobile devices can open and navigate models. see Link.

Easy navigationBW

Control Intersection of Elements (Walls/Colunms/Beams)

For_SkitchLayers can prevent intersections of intelligent elements like walls, colunms or Beams for a number of reasons. One may be that, the intersecting walls are not supposed to connect in real construction, and the other reason which I applied in this article is that. when I hide certain layers visible elements show with gaps of connecting hidden elements. Check attached walls screenshot. See Link.


I have attached an ArchiCAD 18 AC Wall Layers Practical.pla file, it contains overlapping and intersecting Walls, some of these walls can be reduced to words if Layers are correctly matched. For example, In this article I have Shown some of the words I created from the mess of overlapping and intersecting walls as shown on the figures above. These words are;

  • Layers Can Fix This Chaos,
  • Layers Make My Project Easy To Navigate and
  • Layers Numbers Can Prevent Intersection.

Download the file here. and find if you can create all possible words within the attached file including the ones I have already shown.

Hint: Create Layer Combinations, Group Layers by matching Extension numbers, Match Intersection Numbers With Layer Extension Numbers.

Find an example in this short clip:

For More Information on Layers and Combos visit these link;

ArchiCAD Layer Theory