ArchiCAD For Beginners

portrait, Josh Bone

Josh Bone

Level 1

4h 20m

In this course, Josh Bone will show you how to create detailed 3D models in ArchiCAD 20.

First you will learn the basics of ArchiCAD and how to navigate within the software. Then, you will learn how to draw walls, add stories, and place objects, columns & beams. Finally you will learn about documentation within the software and how to place labels, identify sections & elevations, and incorporate external file formats.

When you are done with this course, beginner level users will know how to create a detailed model using the most common authoring tools within the software while still maintaining flexible workflows that allow you to edit and make changes to your models throughout the different design phases. Intermediate level users will learn modeling techniques that improve their productivity within the software.

ArchiCAD Environment

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed

When you're done with this course, beginner level users will be able to create a detailed model using the most common authoring tools within the software while still maintaining flexible workflows that allow you to edit and make changes to your models throughout the different design phases. Intermediate level users will learn modeling techniques that improve their productivity within the software. All the files that we'll be using here will be available to members on the course website.

10m 12s
Log in

You will see that that is checked, and that is the default work environment, but for today's training, let's make sure we're starting from the same page and we're going to start with the ArchiCAD 20 profile, Standard Profile 20, and we'll begin with New. Now, as ArchiCAD is coming up, it's loading the libraries and this is out-of-the-box settings, everything that you'll see here on the screen will look identical to your screen. Here at the top of this window I want to highlight the most important palette.

9m 19s
Log in

Now, I'm going to scroll forward again to zoom in, I can scroll back to zoom out, I'll click my scroll wheel down and I'll move around here as I'm panning my space, and then, one of the quick ways that I can do a Fit in Window, this is a Zoom Extent for you AutoCAD users, if I double-click on my scroll wheel, that's going to fit everything into the center of my screen. That's called Zoom Extent within ArchiCAD. And this allows me to navigate both in 2D and 3D.

Should you change your background color these may need to change as you start to change other settings an customize your work environment within ArcCAD. Tracker and coordinate input as you start to draw and it's giving you feedback directly from your mouse and you're looking to input distances. This is the tracker, again the standard default settings work very well out of the box.

If I want to set this simply to D, a lot of you are gonna go in here, and you're gonna hit backspace, and you're going to see that it's going to show up as backspace now. Then you're gonna get frustrated. You're going to hit delete.

Productivity Tips & Tricks

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
17m 18s
Log in

You can click on the slab tool with me; and if I hold down shift, we know that holding down shift is going to change our cursor to a selection method. And from here, I'm going to start to the upper left-hand corner of my walls. From here, as I hold down shift, I click one time; I can now let go of shift.

14m 11s
Log in

I'm following my cursor and from here as I move to the right, I want to type in a distance here of 32 feet. Again, all we're going to have to do is just type in 32. It highlights the distance and enters that value in my distance and remember we can hit the enter key on your keyboard or we can hit the check mark and we can have it accept that value.

7m 28s
Log in

I've selected that now and as long as I'm on the wall tool here in my toolbox, I'll rest on the plane that I want that to extend to, I'll hold down command on my Mac, control on Windows, and I click one time and that extends. Now for those of you that are getting frustrated, you're probably doing one of two common things. Here, I'm going to select two walls.

5m 11s
Log in

I want to select my wall by shift and click, we select our wall so it's now editable, and if I rest on a dark Mercedes, hold down command on my Mac, control on my Windows, I can extend that wall out and then I want to pan back down here to this side where I have a light Mercedes, that's a non-reference line side of the wall, that's not going to clean up. By holding down command on my Mac, control on my Windows, I can click, I'm on the wall tool, I have my wall selected, it extended to the inside face of the wall. And now you'll see as I zoom in, one side cleaned up because my reference lines touch, the other side did not clean up because my reference lines did not touch.

If I "alt" click here to change that to the metal brass, and now when I draw this wall, you'll see that these walls clean up because of the same material, so they will clean up. It will not clean up, different materials will not clean up within ArchiCAD. You will see that based on the priority, which we'll talk about later, the priority of brass is higher than the priority of generic exterior material.

16m 10s
Log in

Now, from here with my slab selected, I'm on the slab tool because I did the alt-click, I want to now hold down space bar again, the magic wand will appear, I rest on my plane, and I click and now you'll see that we've edited the shape of that slab to cut a hole and extrude out of that slab shape that ellipse shape. If this is the only thing I have selected, if I hit F3, to go into 3D, everything shows up. You will see the ellipse hole that's been cut out of the slab.

Drawing Walls

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
8m 17s
Log in

If I made a mistake on my last point, I can hit backspace, come right back to this location, move up, type in 30, and as I type in 30, I can hit enter and now I want to move over to the left, I want to move in this direction, 16, enter, then I'll move down four feet four inches. I wanna move straight down, doesn't matter, I can over exaggerate, I do not wanna move up, I wanna move in the correct direction 'cause I'm looking at distance. It's a relative distance here and I'll do four dash four, four feet four inches, I'll hit enter, then I'll move over to the left again.

11m 8s
Log in

If I want to go back in here and edit this wall, just like we did in 3D, I go to the plain and if my slab is selected, it's going to edit the slab. Let's not edit the slab. Let's hold down Shift, let's click on the slab to deselect it right now.

8m 8s
Log in

Now that we've edited this wall here let's go back in right now and let's click rename, and let's call this metal stud, with metal panel. Now depending on how much detail you want to set up here we could start off with just a generic material, generic name, generic setting that you could then go back in and edit per project, or we can be more detailed and we can set this up to a six inch, metal stud with metal panel. We'll click okay and as we click okay now, based on the materials and the settings that we've changed I'm going to click to deslect, I'll zoom into a corner here we'll see our rigid insulation, we'll see our metal panel we'll see our six inch metal stud and then when we hit F3 on our keyboard, we'll see our metal panel now starting to display.

11m 13s
Log in

I'll click OK, and now when I go back up to my second floor level, I will now see those walls appearing, and when I go back to 3D here, we'll hit F3, I only see the area of the marquee that I had before, so on the Mac we'll hit F4, on Windows we'll hit F5, and now we will see all of our elements now and how they're showing. So we've created multiple stories now, where walls go through multiple floors, and then other walls go through individual stories based on their settings.

If I want to create a sloping slab, you would have to go into the mesh tool within ArchiCAD. Right now, I'll move over here to my ToolBox on the left hand side of the screen and i will double-click on the mesh tool. The mesh tool is most frequently thought of as our terrain modeling tool within ArchiCAD, but it can be so much more.

Windows and Doors

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
7m 46s
Log in

I'm going to take this window settings and we're gonna start here under preview and positioning, and I want you to see here in this preview window how you can view the plan view of the window, an elevation view, a 3D geometric view and then a rendered view. Going back into that plan view now, I'm going to come over here on the left-hand side of the screen and I'm going to start with a metal window to begin. I'm going to use from here, a awning window.

5m 15s
Log in

So, I can select my windows here, and as I select both of those, I get the pre-selection information, we'll take this back down to a four foot wide window, and we'll click OK. And to make sure I'm using the same settings here, I'm going to Alt + and click on that window, pick up all those same attributes, and now I'm gonna come back in here, find the center location of this, and I'm gonna place all three of those windows. Now, I've placed those three windows.

3m 30s
Log in

So, I move over and I place this door right now on the exterior face, and then I can tell it which way I want this door to swing. So, I define the exterior face. I'm placing this by a center anchor point.

Rotate a copy, mirror a copy, by just hitting alt on the Mac, control on Windows and if I wanna take multiple copies here we can click on that in the middle of the drag command here I do a command option, the two plus signs appear now and when the two plus signs appearing I can place another window. I can go back in and place another window, and depending on how this is all going to fit I can select each of these windows now, go back to edit to distribute along X, my outermost elements are my windows, it evenly distributes those elements right there across that plain. So here we'll see elements are overlapping and what we can do from there is go right back in, select our windows when I hold down shift you'll see that it's giving me my preselection information.

Columns, Beams, and Objects

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
11m 7s
Log in

I can rest in here and I can start to move this around and think about where I want to place this sink at any location, if I want to place it off of a corner, I can choose the insertion point that represents that. I want to place it off a center point, I can go back in and choose that point. Now as a default, objects do come in on the furniture layer.

11m 16s
Log in

Here I'm gonna choose the upper left-hand corner for my column, and I'll click okay. This is already on a column later by default. One of the few elements that you do have to pay attention to is the object to which we were referring to earlier.

8m 5s
Log in

We do have just like we do in the wall settings, we have very similar capabilities within the Beam Tool. We have our geometry and positioning. One of the differences between the Wall Tool and the Beam Tool is we had the ability to set a beam at an angle, we can cant our wall, we can batt our walls, and just like our slabs and everything else we can grab our walls, and as we click on our walls here, it's easy enough to curve the edges and do other things.

Documentation

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
10m 44s
Log in

By selecting the one witness line, I can now hit delete or backspace and I'll get my overall dimension strand here. I can then go back in and I can select multiple witness lines at a time. I can go here to where we have the rough opening values.

And by setting a center anchor point, that's going to allow me to place that text center alignment along with a center insertion point and notes. We can edit this and it's very easy to come back in within ArchiCAD by shift clicking on any text and if I want to highlight a portion of this, you'll see our text editing bar appears. This is set to job to a preferred position, we can move that down a little more in the center of the screen.

3m 24s
Log in

But I like to use the adjust tool within ARCHICAD, and by using the adjust command, if it's not at the same point, I can now draw a line, and as I draw that line it will set each of those elements up to the same plane. So we can be very clean in documenting within ARCHICAD, using the label tool. If we are using the ID or one of these custom tools here that we can go back in and pick up, for example the ID.

One of my favorite tools to use in ARCHICAD is the ability to incorporate PDF work flows right into ARCHICAD. I'm going to go in right now in ARCHICAD, and I'm going to go to my drawing tool. This drawing tool enables me to go in and pick up DWGs, PDFs, a number of different file formats to be able to bring them directly into ARCHICAD.

Now, whether you're using the section tool, you're using the elevation tool, you'll find as a user within ArchiCAD, the elevation tool, let's break this down for just minute. There's general, there's marker, there's marker symbol and text and model display. There's also back over here, let's click okay, the same settings in the section tool, general, marker, marker symbol and text, model displays, the same settings within the section tool and how we can set those up if it's going to be a limited depth, an infinite depth, or a zero depth.

Roofs

Course Videos
Duration
Viewed
3m 46s
Log in

If you don't know what your roofs are going to look like, or how they're going to come together, we'll start with a multi-plane roof, we'll use here a complex shape, and then we can go back in and pick up the complex structure of the roof, we can keep it simple, so we can use a composite for the roof, we can set the pitch. Here, I'm working in inches so I want to do three forward slash just to start. We're gonna do a three in twelve pitch.

3m 11s
Log in

So now, once I have this roof setup with this multi-plane roof, I can click on that plane, this roof pivot line, and I can go back in, I can give a curve radius to this, I can go back in, I can click on an edge, and I can push this back out so I can push this back out in this direction, I can go back in to this edge, click once, I can add by hitting the plus sign here, a polygon to this, and if I wanna go back in now and use a rectangular construction method, I can add another piece of roof to that, and if I want to come back here, I can click, I can cut a hole away from that if I need to, I can go back in and I can tell this here that I wanna set this up, I can setup a custom pitch by feet, by inches, or I can turn this into a gable head. And as I turn that to a gable now, setting my offset distance, we can change all that for the project or just in one area, I've now created a roof that is very different from the multi-plane roof. Let's select all this one more time and hit F4 on the Mac, F5 on the Windows machine, and now you'll see that I've changed those.

9m 17s
Log in

I select this roof, I go back in, I do a command click on my Mac, control on my Windows, tells me where the two are going to match up. I do another command click, and there we have it. Then if I shift click on this roof plane, and I command click here and here, it tells me exactly where these roofs are going to run into this roof.

5m 51s
Log in

I'll go back in here, I have the one roof selected, I want to go back in here now, Command / click, That's the height that I'm looking for now, that 19 foot one. So with it highlighted, I'll do a Command C to copy that value, then what I want to do is go to this roof, I want to hit Command / click, and from there, I want to make sure that I paste that value right there. By doing that, I have just now set up a custom pitch.

In this course, we learned about the ArchiCAD work environment, tips to improve your productivity when modeling and documenting, how to create a detailed model that can help automate your documentation process. It's important to know all of this because it's a basis for all BIM workflows, creating a clean model enables architects to better communicate their designs while reducing errors and omissions in their construction documents. Now you know how to create a building information model that can be used for coordination, sequencing, takeoffs, and much, much more.

icon: hand holding tablet

Get licensed faster. Become a member now.

Choose your subscription