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Category Archives for "ArchiCAD Tutorials"

Tutorial videos and articles on ArchiCAD.

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New Tutorial: ARCHICAD Spiral Stair with Custom Treads, Balusters, Newel Posts and 2D Symbol

I couldn’t resist Colorado architect Steve Nickel’s challenge: build his custom-designed spiral stair with the new ARCHICAD 21 tools.

It seemed straightforward, but as with so many things, led me down uncharted pathways to figure out how to make everything work.

In this new 65 minute ARCHICAD tutorial video, I distilled dozens of hours of exploration, testing and optimization into a tightly scripted, step by step training that goes over methods applicable to a wide variety of stairs.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, GAME ON!

The challenges started with the fact that while ARCHICAD can easily make a spiral stair, it refuses to go past 360 degrees. This stair has 13 treads at 30 degrees, a total of 390. I settled pretty quickly on creating two separate elements that aligned to look like one continuous spiral.

Then came the question of attaching the railing: could it be one railing that spanned both stair elements? After some experimentation, I found this could be done surprisingly easily, as long as you set up the stairs in the correct way. (Hint: Set both stairs to start with a riser, and end with a riser, to make the railing continue in a smooth curve.)

Creating custom treads, balusters and newel posts each had a learning curve, as I tested different options until I mastered the key controls. Making the 2D symbols read cleanly was an interesting process, as I found literally dozens of different settings that allowed finessing the graphic appearance.

Now almost everything seems straightforward to me, as the tools that Graphisoft programmed usually work elegantly and give fine control of the model and symbol. However this 65 minute video moves along briskly, with few wasted motions or superfluous explanations, which may be evidence that these tools require extensive study to learn and master.

ARCHICAD MEANS AND METHODS

Topics and methods covered in this tutorial include:

  • Defining the precise geometry of the stair
  • Choosing a basic structure and finish for the schematic model
  • Aligning two spiral stairs to go beyond 360 degrees
  • Adding an associated railing to both stairs in one step
  • Calculating the pattern dimension and baluster spacing
  • Reworking the floor plan symbol; tread numbering, break line, description
  • Creating a custom tread; understanding coordinate references
  • Defining a custom baluster using an outline in the profile editor
  • Changing base and top heights of balusters and posts
  • Creating a custom newel post using a set of modeled elements
  • Defining a similar, more versatile newel using the profile editor
  • Swapping the new stair and railing into place using the Renovation filter

Please add your comments or questions below or send an email to support (at) bobrow.com.

As always, I wish you the best on your journey towards ARCHICAD mastery, and am always happy to help!

HOW TO SHORTEN YOUR ARCHICAD LEARNING CURVE

TIP: If you’d like to shorten your learning curve, and be able to design, model and document stairs and railings with fluidity and efficiency, I invite you to check out my new ARCHICAD Stairs & Railings Course.

For more info and to sign up, please visit bobrow.com/stairs.

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New ARCHICAD Tutorial on Stairs & Railings – “Subtle Controls”

The new Stair and Railing Tools in ARCHICAD 21 are very powerful and flexible. While generally intuitive in approach, due to the inherent complexity of the design options, there are many essential settings, buttons and input fields that are not obvious and take a while to figure out.

In my latest ARCHICAD video tutorial, I share some of the “subtle controls” that I discovered through dozens of hours of experimentation as I developed a wide range of stairs and railings over the past few months.

This 17 minute presentation is packed with carefully explained step by step sequences that demonstrate some of the essential methods that are NOT obvious yet you absolutely need to know in order to “get the job done.”

To really get the most out of these new tools (and even to get the basics done and out the door) requires careful study and patience.

If you’d like to shorten your learning curve, check out my new training course on ARCHICAD Stairs & Railings. I will present it as a series of 4 live online webinars starting tomorrow October 12 which will run over the next few weeks. Video recordings will be posted for permanent reference (and believe me, you’ll want to refer to them more than once to fully absorb the materials).

You can sign up now and join us live (which means you can ask questions and submit challenging examples for me to model or explain how to approach) or purchase the course later; either way you can watch the training sessions at your convenience.

For more information and to sign up for the ARCHICAD Stairs & Railings Training Course, click here.

NOTE: The new course is offered at half price during the intro sale for a very limited time.

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NEW: ARCHICAD Stairs & Railings Course

ARCHICAD 21 introduces powerful new technology to create and manage Stairs and Railings. When I first saw this demonstrated at the Graphisoft BIM Conference in Las Vegas in March 2017, I knew that it was an exciting game changer, with virtually limitless possibilities.

I also knew that it would have to be extremely complex in terms of options and controls in order to handle the wide range of designs and building contexts that ARCHICAD users would throw at it. It was clear that learning to work comfortably and efficiently might be a challenge, even though the systems and structures appeared to be intuitive and well-suited to the requirements.

CLIMBING THE STEEP LEARNING CURVE

When I started to work with these tools in July while teaching my ARCHICAD 21 Upgrade Training Course, I found the learning curve to be even steeper than I imagined. I struggled with some things that should have been easy, but were controlled in unexpected ways: for example, how to make the beginning or end post of a railing extend beyond the stair to rest on the landing.

I put in dozens and dozens of hours, working through the settings to craft stairs and railings that matched various designs, or to replicate some of the built-in objects provided in earlier versions.

After a long while, I understood the methods, settings and strategies on a deeper level. It was as if I had immersed myself in a foreign country and forced myself to only speak their language; after a while it became natural and now I can easily and naturally find my way.

In my ARCHICAD Stairs & Railings Training Course, I’ll teach you the new language so you can find your way and work comfortably and efficiently with these powerful tools.

BEST PRACTICES FOR STAIRS & RAILINGS

In four 90 minute live online webinar sessions, we go over:

  • How to think about your stairs and railings in the context of your project model
  • Initial settings and Favorites that will make your life easier
  • The various structural styles of stairs and how to choose the closest match to your design ideas and requirements
  • Railing styles and associativity and how to lock in your design intent
  • Levels of hierarchy and control – how to get these tools to behave and do what you want
  • Customizing components: stair treads, newel posts, balusters, railing ends and connections
  • Railing transitions and connections – the things you absolutely have to know
  • Understanding how parts are linked together and knowing how to break links when necessary
  • Editing modes that allow selection and modification of hidden components
  • Using the tools in unconventional ways to handle other modeling challenges
  • Knowing where to look: how to diagnose issues and fix them quickly
  • Step by step: building common and uncommon stair and railing designs

BONUS: I’ll also show you how to load back into your ARCHICAD 21 project all of the old standard railings and stairs, so that you can continue to use them while you’re learning all of the new methods. This does NOT happen automatically when you migrate a project, and in fact Graphisoft makes this a bit tricky to pull off – but it’s easy when you know how.

SIGN UP FOR THE STAIRS & RAILINGS COURSE

The course was presented live during 4 webinar sessions in October and November 2017.

All sessions have been recorded and posted for easy access on the Masters of ARCHICAD member website.

The course registration fee is only $297. It will save you a huge amount of time and frustration.

Please post your comments or questions below, or email me at support@bobrow.com.

I look forward to sharing this new course with you and the entire ARCHICAD community!

ARCHICAD 21 Upgrade Training Launches Thursday July 6

We’re about to get underway, and you can still get on board at special launch pricing.

If you’ve got ARCHICAD 21, or will be getting this fantastic new version this year, there is a bit of a learning curve.

You can get a jump on this, and hit the ground running with my ARCHICAD 21 Upgrade Training.

Over the next couple of months, in 4 live webinar sessions spaced every other week, I’ll teach you exactly what you need to know.

This goes beyond the “what does this button do” types of short little training videos that Graphisoft provides, and will help you integrate the new tools and methods into your workflow with a minimum of downtime or confusion.

We’ll also go over upgrade and migration strategies for both ongoing projects and templates, so you’ll know exactly what to do.

The sessions will be recorded and available for convenient online access any time, however it’s always more fun to attend LIVE (and you’ll be able to ask questions too).

Maximize your investment in ARCHICAD 21 with my upgrade training, with a small outlay of time and cash:

MASTER ARCHICAD 21

The upgrade training is one of three parts of my MASTER ARCHICAD 21 project.

The other two include:

  • the expanded, revamped version of MasterTemplate 21, which incorporates all of the enhancements I’ve learned from studying other template systems and brainstorming with my colleagues
  • and the groundbreaking MASTERS of ARCHICAD 2017 online training, which runs over the next 8 months, exploring Best Practices methods for running a complex project from concept through working drawings and beyond

For more details (and special launch pricing through July 14) please visit bobrow.com/ac21

Questions? Feedback?
Post a comment here – I’m all ears!

Eric

P.S. One last reminder, while you can still get the discounted launch pricing: