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ArchiCAD + Office Set-up Sytems

Anonymous
Not applicable
I have a small architectural practice, one without an IT oficer, and no experience with setting up a CAD office. Consequently, I would like any help that I can get beyond the STS system of how to organize, set-up etc.. the basic office standards for a small practice trying to use the very large program of ArchiCAD...

thanks....Paul
11 REPLIES 11

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
look for Link in any of the forums and private message him. He does consulting for firms using AC and he travels.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

Anonymous
Not applicable
a personal opinion which others will probably disagree with

small practice/smallish projects

draw everything on just one layer (Archicad layer), why not?

i think that layers are just a leftover from the autocad(etc) way of working

at most have a construction layer and ME (MEP) layer, and maybe furniture layer

judicious use of the phat marquee will speed up 3d work rather than using layers for this

Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
I disagree on using only one layer, because then you will have trouble creating the different views. But I don't mind limiting the number of layers and organizing them by groups like; construction, demolition, reflected ceiling, site,etc.
eduardo rolón AIA NCARB
Another of the forum moderators.
Macbook Pro 2.4 i9 32GB ram
OS X 10.XX latest
AC25 US/INT -> AC08

TomWaltz
Newcomer
draw everything on just one layer (Archicad layer), why not?
The biggest cause for use of layers is to separate what you want to show in different views.

If you want to show all your elevation trim work (window headers, trim bands, etc), in elevation, but not in plan, you have to use more than one layer.

If you want to speed up your elevations on larger buildings, you can only turn off your interiors if you use more than one layer.
Tom Waltz

Anonymous
Not applicable
The number of layers is not a real problem for me...but How & Why of the organization ofr a $500,000 to $1 mil project is quite different from the $20 Mil that ArchiCAD is set to be able to accomodate..ie the new 80 story residenbtial tower in Australia. But what about pen weights, Libraries, organization of files and copies, etc, etc. so much that is offered that I do not even understand whay or when...?

again thanks - Paul

Anonymous
Not applicable
atelier wrote:
The number of layers is not a real problem for me...but How & Why of the organization ofr a $500,000 to $1 mil project is quite different from the $20 Mil that ArchiCAD is set to be able to accomodate..ie the new 80 story residenbtial tower in Australia. But what about pen weights, Libraries, organization of files and copies, etc, etc. so much that is offered that I do not even understand whay or when...?

again thanks - Paul
There are three ways for you to approach this:

1. Search through old threads here. All these topics have been discussed at considerable length and you can learn a great deal reading through them. The subject of standards in general is much too broad to revisit as a whole. If you then have specific questions please feel free to ask.

2. Hire a consultant to help set up your standards. Your reseller may be able to help you directly or refer you to a local consultant. You could also call Link who is a frequent contributor to this forum, is very knowledgeable, and willing to travel.

3. Use/adapt existing templates. These include the NCS and MAXats which are included with your copy of ArchiCAD, and Eric Batte's STS templates which are available at http://www.getstandardized.com. Eric's system is based on the NCS but includes much more coordinated and preset templates for ArchiCAD and PlotMaker than the included examples.

Another way to advance your expertise (besides hanging out here) is to attend ArchiCAD University (http://www.archicad-university.com). You just missed the one down in Ontario, CA this Spring, but if you feel like an Autumn trip to England it is happening in Nottingham on September 9, 10 & 11. (Of course for you that's about 11hrs each way - CA and UK are about equidistant for me.)

You should also check to see if there is a user group in your area. There are certainly a lot of users in SF and GSUS used to be based there so I would be surprised if there is not.

TomWaltz
Newcomer
A couple of other free, online guides:

ArchiGuide
http://www.graphisoft.com/support/archicad/archiguide/
little tips & trick of Archicad Usage

Graphisoft US Technical Resouces
http://tr.graphisoftus.com/
More tips & tricks, as well as updates and downloads

Graphisoft Handbook Collection
http://www.graphisoft.com/products/productivity_tools/handbooks/
A couple PDF's of Archicad manuals not included with the software, such as "Archicad for CAD Managers," "Creating Large Building Models,"

Digital Vision
http://www.digitalvis.com/archicad_tips.php
Website of an Archicad dealer in California, with lost of great Archicad usage ideas and documentation
Tom Waltz

Anonymous
Not applicable
as i said, others will disagree

quote

If you want to speed up your elevations on larger buildings, you can only turn off your interiors if you use more than one layer.

no, like i said, use the phat marquee with ' elements to show in 3d' menu item (ie marquee the interior and show elements outside maquee)

all i'm saying is keep it as simple as possible

you don't have to follow 'standards'. they're too disparate these days to be meaningful. communicate your ideas in the most simple and direct way possible

Paul:

I found the "Project Framework" book an excellent guide to the thinking behind setting up projects, including layers and pen weights. Also when to model vs. draw in 2D. Highly recommended.
Richard
--------------------------
Richard Morrison, Architect-Interior Designer
AC25 (since AC6.0), Win10

Anonymous
Not applicable
As for when to model, we always draw in 3D it helps when your looking at certain construction elements, where you can cut a section line or see it in 3D view so you can determine how your going to do something, its much better to understand in 3D/Section than trying to work it out from a 2D view.

As for layers, being a small practice we usually use some of archicads standard layers i.e. external walls, Internal walls (though depending on stories we usually have a set for each storey) drainage, external works on separate layers, furniture, lighting, plumbing etc etc.

We try have a standard but some jobs are just non standard, and it depends on how your office works and the type of projects as to what a good layer combination would be.

Also to make it easier to go through the layers we always purge unwanted layers that Archicad set, especially if we have merged a site plan map from Ordnance survey as they add about 300 layers to your drawing of which probably only 50 are used for that particular site plan.

Thats how our office works at the moment, but we are trying to form a set of commonly used layers for all the projects we have done on Archicad over the last 16 years to create a template for any job, though you can agree this is quite difficult to do as no job is ever the same.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I think you are on the right track and personally feel that an office template that is specifically set up for your needs will save you 1000's of dollars in saved time down the road. If you hire a consultant to help you with this you might consider waiting for 10 since the templates will change with the new features of 10. I am of the philosophy of using as few layers as possible, using non cryptic layer names, and using a layer organizing strategy that makes locating a layer simple. For me this represents about 65 layers on a new construction project and close to 100 for a remodel. As mentioned previously, the "project framework" book is a good resource and I would recommend this to any new user. This forum is a great resource and reading everything in it for your first year will be invaluable. Good Luck.

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