Building Materials in ArchiCAD 17 – Video One
I asked on the Shoegnome Facebook page what my next ArchiCAD tutorial video should be about. There was some interest in Pen Sets, but the overwhelming majority of people wanted more on Building Materials. I definitely want to do some more posts on Pen Sets (how has it been almost three years since that first Pen Sets post!?), probably some videos even, but those will wait. It’s time to talk about…
Building Materials in ArchiCAD 17
To start, there is required reading for this video. I wrote three posts for BIM Engine that you need to read to better understand what I am talking about.
- Global vs Local: Macro Solutions vs Micro Solutions
- Parameter vs Attribute: the data in your elements
- Two Ways to View Global Data: an introduction to the split between graphic data, metadata, and digital approximations
Seriously if you still haven’t read those and you use BIM, especially ArchiCAD, stop everything and read them. Number 3 is the most important, but it helps to read 1 and 2 because they are all intertwined.
Got it? Read those? Understand the difference and value of Graphic Data, Metadata, and Digital Approximations? Good. In this first video we’re covering the basics: moving from ArchiCAD 16 to 17 and general concepts about Building Materials. One caveat before the video. Most of the previous videos were based on the concept of learning by watching over someone’s shoulder. So I was just walking you through some of my best practices. This video is a little different. Think of it more as a conversation. Some of the ideas are still a little rough and I need to explore and experiment with Building Materials further. But hopefully this video will get you thinking and asking questions. Please ask questions. My hope is that your questions will lead to a whole series of Building Materials posts and videos. The more I explore Building Materials the more I see it as the future of ArchiCAD. Enough small chat! To the video!
Now for Additional Notes and Corrections:
I state in the video that consolidating Building Materials is all you need to do to use your ArchiCAD 16 template in ArchiCAD 17. Obviously that’s a bit of a stretch. There are some other minor things you need to do to your ArchiCAD 16 template to make it ready for 17, but this is the biggie. Another one is swapping out the libraries so that you’re using the ArchiCAD 17 library instead of the 16 one. Fortunately that should be easy and painless. I noticed when I did that, that even my Favorites updated properly, which is a huge relief.
It’s worth noting that when you migrate a template from ArchiCAD 16 to 17, Complex Profiles will be converted to building materials but they won’t be using the Building Materials for the Surface representation. This is okay to start since everything will appear right. But you should go through and make them pull from the Building Material where possible.
When you convert your old template, don’t worry about missing Building Materials (ei, ones that weren’t created by the conversion of your old template which you feel you need, like say glass, earth, or plastic). You can add them when you find them during a real project. Remember, there’s a difference between missing and not yet needed. And creating new Building Materials is super easy, so it shouldn’t slow you down later during your ArchiCAD 17 pilot project.
And remember, I’m talking about a quick, dirty conversion of your template. Not a reinvention or a complete update. I’m just describing the bare minimum you need so you can stop dragging your feet about moving to the latest version of ArchiCAD.
Questions for you:
Converting my old template resulted in 16 Building Materials. I think my new template, because it covers a few more things, will have closer to 24. How about you? I hear there’s someone with 900. I want a guest post explaining why! My hunch though, for most users it will be best to have as few Building Materials as possible. We’ll talk more about that in future posts (including the next video).
What other questions do you have on Building Materials. This video is just a start, so I’ll be answering questions in the comments below and in future videos (though not the second video, since that’s already recorded).