New Free Video Tutorial on Creating Tilework in ArchiCAD

ArchiCAD Tutorial | Introduction to TileworkToday on LinkedIn in the ArchiCAD Residential Designers group, an ArchiCAD user posted a question: “How difficult is it to set out tiles on a wall?”

Well, as it happens, I just answered that question in a recent coaching call for the Best Practices Course. We have several coaching calls each month, and members are invited to ask me questions about how to apply the Best Practices principles in practice.

I have just excerpted this short demonstration (from the recording of the 105 minute coaching call) and posted it on YouTube:
ArchiCAD Tutorial | Introduction to Tilework

In this 15 minute tutorial video, I show several different approaches to tilework, including:

  • Drawing a simple 2D Fill on top of the Interior Elevation drawing
  • Applying a tile material to an entire wall
  • Creating a thin piece of wall with the tile material on top of the structural wall
  • Embedding the thin wall into the main wall with Solid Element Operations

Along the way, various settings for the Interior Elevation tool are explored, including:

  • 3D Vectorial Hatching
  • Exclude View Blocking Walls
  • Different geometry options

Since it is a “live” demonstration, there are a few missteps along the way. However, part of the fun in the coaching calls is to see me try to figure out why something isn’t working right – and then fix the problem by changing a subtle setting or option. This trouble-shooting is actually quite instructive, since these issues will often come up in real-world practice.

By the way, there are quite a few ArchiCAD tutorial videos on my YouTube channel for you to watch when you get a chance. To be informed when I post another free video, please subscribe to my channel.

Best regards,
Eric Bobrow

P.S. In 15 minutes, of course, I can’t explain everything about modeling tilework. I cover much more on this topic, and in general, how to get the most out of ArchiCAD, in The Best Practices Course, my comprehensive ArchiCAD training resource. If you like my free tutorials, you’ll love the course. It includes dozens of hours of easy to follow video lessons, as well as access to these live coaching calls.

For more information and to sign up for the Best Practices Course, please visit


My new QuickStart Course – the basics of ArchiCAD, but NOT just for new users

The QuickStart Course for ArchiCADOriginally developed as part of my Best Practices Course, the QuickStart Course is now available as a separate, low-cost product from our website. In 29 easy to follow video lessons totaling over 13 hours, the basics of ArchiCAD are explained and demonstrated.

Feedback from Best Practices Course members has been incredibly positive:

“…one day while searching the Web for lessons I stumbled onto this fellow called Eric Bobrow. Well this would have to be the best money I ever spent. I believe Eric’s course should be the tutorial that is supplied with ArchiCAD. The lessons are fun and very easy to understand…”
— Anthony Warburton, Hamilton VIC Australia

“[Eric’s] is a unique and personal approach, as though he were right next to me, showing me all the tricks of the trade. If you are new to ArchiCAD, this will get you up and productive in just a few days. Veterans will also learn all kinds of wonderful new tricks of the trade.”
— Chris Ellis, Brewster MA USA

“I have been a very intermittent ArchiCAD user for some time and the Quickstart Course has been invaluable in getting me over a long frustrating phobia around CAD use.”
— Port Macquarie, NSW Australia

“I must say the QuickStart Course is exactly that, and much more. Very concise instruction on specific practices and procedures and I’ve been soaking up really good short-cuts and tips along the way! Has speeded my production in ArchiCAD and cut the frustration level in a big way.”
— William Buttmi, Dunedi FL USA

You can watch the first 6 lessons of the QuickStart Course – about 2 hours of videos – without signing up so you can get a good sense of the training style and approach. Go to the Course Outline in the member area to watch these video training lessons.

Oh, and there’s one more free video lesson you can watch there: an introduction to terrain modeling (module 7 part 2) which is a 49 minute exposition on what I consider the simplest and easiest (yet also best practices) method for building up a site mesh from an imported DWG file.

The QuickStart Course has an introductory offer good through October 31. Please check it out and/or recommend it to colleagues who may find it useful.


Graphisoft’s New BIMx on the iPad breaks new ground

Graphisoft BIMx video on YouTubeGraphisoft has announced a new iOS app to allow architects to share their building model with anyone who has an iPad or iPhone. This is an amazing achievement.

I haven’t gotten a chance yet to try it out, but I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl, and a pinch, and a double-tap. BIMx for the iPad/iPhone takes full advantage of the native multi-touch capabilities of the devices, and looks to be a lot of fun to explore.

I wrote a Tips and Tricks article about the original Virtual Building Explorer (the predecessor of BIMx) which explains some of the basic functionality of the desktop application.

A demo version of BIMx is now included with all installations of ArchiCAD 15, and a license code may be purchased from Graphisoft to activate all of it’s features. However, as part of a special promotion of the new app, all ArchiCAD 15 users may create full-fledged BIMx models and share them with their clients, either directly or through the new Facebook BIMx community site from September 20 through October 31.

You can check out Graphisoft’s entrancing demonstration on YouTube, and read their press release for more info.


New Free ArchiCAD Tutorial | Guide Lines in ArchiCAD 15

Many of my clients have expressed some puzzlement or frustration in trying to use Guide Lines in ArchiCAD 15. While the new features are powerful and very useful (I particularly like the fact that guide lines show up in the 3D window), it can be confusing when some of the old methods don’t work the same way.

I have created a 15 minute video tutorial on this subject that clarifies the new behavior and methods for guide lines in ArchiCAD 15. This is intended to supplement the excellent videos that Graphisoft has created that highlight the power and flexibility of the new features.

Please check it out on my YouTube channel here:
ArchiCAD Tutorial – Guide Lines in ArchiCAD 15

There are quite a few ArchiCAD tutorial videos on my YouTube channel for you to watch when you get a chance. If you’d like to be informed when I post another free video, you may subscribe to my YouTube channel.

P.S. You will also find it useful to check the ArchiCAD Wiki for the article that Graphisoft posted on Guide Lines.

Some interesting undocumented features in ArchiCAD 15

I came across a fascinating post recently on Shoegnome, a great blog about using BIM (specifically ArchiCAD) in practice by Jared Banks, the ArchiCAD reseller in Minnesota. If you aren’t familiar with his website, I suggest you check it out and bookmark it since he adds new posts frequently.

Jared writes:

“Most of us have read about ArchiCAD 15 on the ArchicadWiki. If you want a refresher, read this and also the official changes guide. Many of us are even using ArchiCAD 15 on a daily basis and enjoying the new features like the shell tool and the 3D editing planes.

But have you also read this list from the [ArchiCAD-Talk] forum: Undocumented Changes in V15.

There are a lot of little tweaks in every version of ArchiCAD that don’t get top billing. Or any billing at all. I’m excited about a dockable quick layers palette, but that’s not marketable news. Neither are the little tweaks to improve scripting in GDL. But some of this is huge and exciting for us nerdy, obsessive users.”


There are several features that I noticed in the Forum discussion that I think are pretty useful:

  • There is now direct feedback on the length of an arc (chord and true arc length) in the tracker, which will make it much easier to input certain types of property line data
  • In the Info Box, you can input roof slope in degrees, % slope, or rise over run (e.g. 5′ in 12′)
  • The background Autosave is now much faster, and can be set to Ultra Safe (save each step)
  • When you eye-drop an object, the node point you click on is set to be the insertion point
  • Browsing PLN files as well as library parts now shows a preview image in the Finder (finally)

I hope you found this useful. Let me know…

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