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making an electrical, mechanical plan

Not applicable
What I usually do when making an electrical (or mechanical) plan.
Is to take the architectural drawings, eliminate dimensions, notes, hatches etc) turn everything to a color that plots very light and then start drawing the consultants diagram in a color that plots thick. But this method originates from my autocad days and it needs to create an aditional individual file for each consultant's drawing(electrical, mechanical etc) not to mention that I have to update manually each file when changes come.
I think this can be done with diferent view sets on one archicad file. Before I start doing this I would like to have suggestions from any of you about how could this be done. any ideas?

Eduardo Rolon
Jose if your consultants work in AutoCAD get them too send you a plt file these can be inserted in PM, without the need to redraw anything which can introduce errors. If you are drawing the plans then you can create a viewset for the floorplan and insert it in PM, over that you can either use layer sets and draw the EE or ME over or you can create a new story and do it there. I prefer the first option it is less work.
Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Not applicable
Jose, it appears that your electrical consultant is providing you with the electrical plan. If you are not drawing the electrical plan yourself, here are suggestions for the electrical plan and the printing of line weights.

Open the DWG file from your consultant in Archicad and save as a .PLN file.

Start a second session of Archicad and open your plan file. Copy everyting in the electrical plan on the consultants electrical layers and paste into your Archicad plan file. Your plan file is now updated with all your electrical information from the consultant.

It is probably best to create an electrical plan layer in Archicad which shows everything you want to print on the electrical sheet. NO need to change line weights for walls, etc in Archicad as this can be more easily done in Plotmaker.

Rather than changing pen colors/weights for each view, you can do this in plotmaker. Here is a link to something I posted earlier on this.

Hope this helps.


i have a series of pens that are used solely for consultant information. i also set up a DWG translator for each consultant that keeps their pen weights, but maps their colours to my 'consultants pens'.

if you ask your M&E consultant to send you his electrical layout not his electrical layout DRAWING you will also (most likely) receive a DWG file with very few layers. this can then be attached as an xref to your archiCAD file in much the same way and autoCAD guy would attach it to other DWGs that make up the final output drawing.

no messing around 'cleaning up' consultant information, no copy this/paste that and a very very easy update when his information changes.

then, as the others have suggested, you change your pens to a grey colour in plotmaker and the consultant pen set to black. job done.

it's worth spending a hour or so talking with your consultants, understanding how they work, how they build their drawings up by overlaying different information and then establishing a protocol for exchanging that information rather than final drawing output.

hope that made sense. there's a lot more about this to be found in the forum here as well . . .

b e n f r o s t
b f [a t ] p l a n b a r c h i t e c t u r e [d o t] n z
archicad | sketchup! | coffeecup

Not applicable
Thank you all for your answers! In small jobs I usually do all the drawings
Including the consultants drawings. (to offer dirt cheap prices, unfortunately) Thats why I dont have a consultants drawing for making an translation protocol. From your answers, I will probably use a combination of view sets (for cleaning up the basic architectural drawings) and the use plotmaker (for changing pen widths). Thanks again

Not applicable
I think I know what you mean. You want walls etc to show in thin lines and electrical symbols (or whatever) to show as thicker lines, right? At the moment you can use display options to turn construction fills off and set "bold cut lines", but "hairline cut lines" would be a good option to have so your symbols stand out. Correct? I think this has been mentioned on a wish list, if not, it needs to be.
Personally I don't like to mess around with different pen settings for different drawings, so for an electrical plan, say, I just turn off construction fills and make the symbols as bold as possible and still readable. Works o.k. especially if you normally have solid fills for walls and can then have thin contours.

Not applicable
I set a layer combination called Ceiling Plan and show thereon ceiling information and electrical and/or mechanical.

I turn off all roofs, furniture, fills, and other extraneous material and show at 1:50. The walls, slabs, appliances and fixed furniture (cupboards, kitchens, bathroom cabinets, etc) which affect electrical items placement, are left showing.

The electrical fittings, wiring etc is set in a colour that stands out against the walls and other items. I usually use a mauve/pink colour for electrical and blue for mechanical.

With modern printers the colours make it very easy for the contractors to see the information.

One of the good things about archiCAD is the ability to have different layer combinations so different lines, fills, model parts etc show on different layer combinations, eg floor plan, section, elevation, furniture, roof plan, roof framing, etc layer combinations.


a simple method for generally suppressing information on a plan is to create white overfill screens - bitmap fills only - where the front/back order of elements is controlled to weaken unimportant material and emphasize important material.
Dwight Atkinson

Not applicable
thanks all for your answers.
I like stuarts sugestion to make the consultants diagrams as thick as possible so as not to mess with different pens settings.
Dwights suggestion seems interesting, I will give it a try also..

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