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ArchiCAD: Correct Project Setup

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Setting up a new ArchiCAD project or template consists of setting up the correct combinations of settings, to ensure your output drawings are of a consistent high quality.

The criteria for these combinations per view is:

Layer Combination


Structure Display

Pen Set

Model View Options

Renovation Filter

1. Setting up new views

By creating new views you can set up your entire project file to fit any design aspect or design stage from sketch plan to submission by simply building a model and working with the correct combinations of criteria.

To find out more about setting up views click on the images on the right.

The tutorial below helps you get accustomed to how the Navigator works and how to set up new views and to  discover the potential of working in your View Map.

2. Layer Combinations

Layer combinations enables you to work more productive on your drawings, by making it easy to view the correct layers for the type of drawing you are currently working on. For example the figure on the right shows how to use layer combinations to distinguish between two different types of drawings. For a explanation on how layer combinations work click on the image on the right.

For information with images, in ArchiCAD go to Help > ArchiCAD Help, when your browser opens click on the "Search" tab, and input "layer combinations" in the search box.

For a guide to updating Layer Combinations click on the image on the left.

3. Scale

Working with the scale is very straight forward. All you need to set is the scale you're working with depending on the type of drawing. For a a better explanation of how this works as well as some tips click on the link below:

Working with Scaled Drawings

(Press Ctrl+0 to view the full size pdf  when loading the link above, or Apple+0 for Mac users)

4. Structure Display

The Partial Structure Display function allows you to display and output architectural elements in a simplified form, this is helpful whenyou want to show a detail or documenting your design.

To find out more how Structural Display works click on the image to the right.

Below is a tutorial on the different views you can create with the Partial Structure Display.

5. Pen Sets

An essential part of setting up a project is setting up your pensets. To get the most productive results it is very important that you understand how to set up your pen sets correctly and use the attribute to it’s full potential.

Especially if it’s your first time working on ArchiCAD; it can be tricky grasping the function and purpose of 225 different pens, when in 2D software all you used to require was 7 different pens with different line types.

Below is a very helpful tutorial to understanding pen sets:

For a descriptive blog entry by Francois Swanepoel, explaining the inn’s & out’s of Pen Sets click on the image on the left.

Working with Pen Sets correctly can be a time saver as well as a productivity tool to organize your design, thus learning to use Pen Sets will benefit yourself & your company.

Some more helpful links providing more information on Pen Sets can be accessed by clicking on each of the images to the right.
6. Model View Options
Setting up your model view options makes a difference in how your elements gets displayed, it is an essential part in setting up displays for different design stages.

For more information on how to access the Model View Options & the different settings & the effects of these settings click on each of the pictures on the left.

The video on the top of this post also deals with Model View Options.
7. Renovation Filter
The Renovation Tool is a new feature of ArchiCAD 15 which makes working with renovation plans & multiple option layouts much simpler.
Below is an set of video's explaining the Renovation Tool & how it applies to your project:

7. Publishing your Drawings

Below is a video explaining more about the basics of publishing:

Now that you know how to set up a project & how to use it’s associated settings correctly, you will find working with your project will be much less time consuming & you will become more productive and produce a better quality work flow.

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