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Design forum

Component Level Design Workflows - Conversation & feedback

James B

Hi All,


Now in Archicad, most design and data are handled at the element level - assigning properties, using Graphic Overrides or setting renovation status are a few examples.

To express design intent and extract data at a more detailed level, the component or skin level requires further data and flexibility. We already visualise these skins, have Offset Modifiers for Profiles to create smart parametric extrusions, and Component/Surface Schedules to extract data.

We plan to further develop the component/skin level of elements and expand existing functionality in that area, so we are exploring more about what you need. Some questions:


  • What type of data do you need to store in components/skins that may be separate or different to existing Building Material properties?
  • How is this data used and presented in documentation and schedules?
  • Renovation of components, are similar for the same composite/profile? Or mostly unique for all placed elements separately?
  • Modelling flexibility of components, in which common situations are you resorting to workarounds, like stacking elements, that existing composites/profiles with modifiers can't achieve?
  • Visualisation of components, in which situations do components need be visualised differently compared to the whole element? Such as requirement for submission to highlight structural skins.


As we progress in this area, your input will be invaluable to understand priorities and our direction moving forward. Thanks in advance.


James Badcock
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager
127 REPLIES 127

Mathias Jonathan

A wish linked to the component question that can impact the modelling flexibility:


Actually, if you change a complex profile (of a wall for instance) , Archicad reset this profile (and modifiers) to the default value. It makes it difficult to change this complex profile in the project if the value are not the default one.


Can you give the possibility to change to a different complex profiles without losing our modifications (height, modifiers with the same name) ?

Remi Lecomte

Hi James, a few thoughts about renovation tools, composite skins and openings:


To me it would be very very useful to allow a composite skin to have a renovation status.


This way you can quickly add an insulation layer to an existing wall rather than creating a new wall, on a different layer with different layer number.. this tends to be complicated and creates conflicts.

Or quickly show that you are removing a ceiling (its skin being as downtaking the rest staying as existing) rather than drawing a slab and a ceiling, or adding a new floor to an existing slab.. I find that limiting the amount of elements drawn (sometime exactly the same on plan) is so useful.


It would seem to me a really good easy addition, those who prefer drawing several slabs on top of each other or several adjoining walls could still do it if they like it.


I'm not convinced of a workaround using complex profiles, although having the possibility to determine if an element in a complex profile is existing/to be demolished/new sounds like a good idea too.


Another thing concerning renovation tool is to make openings smarter with it.. if you put an existing opening as downtaking, then the "hole" disappears, (that's not like that in reality). 

Then you need to battle with layer and priorities to show how you fill up the opening with new materials. You want to keep a smooth connection with the new filling though especially in elevation where you don't want to see the old opening line.. I guess if the external material was the same it shouldn't be a problem




If it has not been said, it would help to be able to show a partial demolition of a wall composite such as removing the existing gypsum board or removing a facade's existing stucco. I don't know how complex this would be, but I have had many projects that require a partial demolition.



Thank you,

Thanks Marek for your additional feedback, and diagram. Apologies for the long time to get back to this 🙂

James Badcock
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Thanks for your detailed answer, much appreciated. But apologies for the long delay in responding.

For the visualisation of skins, you mentioned structural and MEP, can you elaborate on this further? What specifically needs to be shown and in what way? More likely Plans? Sections? 3D views? We want to make sure specific use cases are covered. If you have any examples as you mentioned, please post or send me a DM.

James Badcock
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Thanks for the feedback, if you have additional feedback and more details please add to this discussion.

James Badcock
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

I'm not quite sure if it fits in this subject, but there seems to be some information about composites that is not available for scheduling.  In particular, a skin list label can generate a list of the skins.  I would love to have this in a schedule of wall types but it currently seems to be impossible.  I can have an drawing of the wall build up but have to type in a description of the build-up manually.


Slightly related, I would like to be able to have a plan/3d views of any element in a schedule - for instance I'd like to create a schedule of morphs used for bespoke stone elements with a drawing of each but this doesn't seem to be possible - despite being able to do this for other types of object such as doors and windows.

Archicad 25 / Windows 10

To have a list of skins from a composite you can do a component schedule (instead of element) - this can help:

As for previews, you can add a 2D and 3D preview (these are fixed sizes but correctly show the assigned composite/building material/surface colour. In a Surface schedule, you can list other Surface details including a swatch of the colour. Hope that helps.

James Badcock
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

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