Posts tagged with ‘bim’

  • learn

    In Training on

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  • mACT ARCHICAD Work Environment

    In bim on

    As part of the annual development of mACT our ARCHICAD Template, we also produce a continuously refined Work Environment.

    It has been optimised for 27 inch displays or larger and includes the following refinements:

    1. Workflow based layout > from left to right, putting the focus on Favourites for efficient modelling;
    2. Quick menus > providing a logical structure to the most important commands;
    3. Drawing essentials > quick feedback on coordinates and drawing method controls;
    4. Logical shortcuts > providing a logical syntax of key combinations;
    5. Performance based Work Environment settings > all performance relevant settings are optimised;

    Only use for the specified ARCHICAD version.

    Included with mACT or available separately for

    only $0.00


  • ARCHICAD 23 replacement icon(s)

    In bim on

    Another year for new versions of our alternative / replacement icons for ARCHICAD 23

    All icons are available in full Retina Display glory…


    Click here to download.


    To install, simply replace the original ARCHICAD logo in:


    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • AC22 replacement icon(s)

    In bim on

    As every year new here are our alternative / replacement icons for ARCHICAD 22

    All icons are available in full Retina Display glory…

    Click here to download.


    To install replace the original AC logo in:

    /Applications/Graphisoft/ArchiCAD 22/

    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • AC21 replacement icon(s)

    In bim on

    As every year new here are our alternative / replacement Logos / Icons for ARCHICAD 21 – this year we did not follow the official GRAPHISOFT colour (darkish blue) but instead opted for a version aligned with the black and white staircase from its physical packaging.

    All icons are available in full Retina Display glory…

    Click here for PC Download.
    Click here for MAC Download. 


    To install replace the original AC logo in:

    /Applications/Graphisoft/ArchiCAD 21/

    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • Guide to Better ARCHICAD

    In bim on

    Use the following Tips and Tricks regularly to keep ARCHICAD project file performance at its best.

    1. SWITCH OFF WIFI on your Workstation
      An ethernet connection is faster and more stable than Wifi. Keeping a single fast connection to the server avoids a lot of problems.
      1. Save or at least send your changes regularly when in Teamwork files – this will prevent data loss should your computer crash or the server connection is lost;
      2. generate Record files > PLA’s need to be saved at key stages.
        (Also see note on Libraries below and do not use a PLA as a Library on a bim server!)
      The main performance hog is the default backup setting set to Ultra Safe, adjust this in…
      ARCHICAD > Work Environment… > Company Standard Schemes > Data Safety & Integrity
      …to either Safe (5 Minutes) or Minimum (20 minutes).
        Besides obviously naming any marker or saved view appropriately:

        1. Sections > remove temp items
        2. Elevations > remove temp items
        3. Worksheets > remove old consultant drawings and temp items
        4. 3d Documents > remove sun studies, diagrams from previous stages
        5. Name markers and saved views appropriately. Including temporary markers so you know they are TEMP and YOURS!
      2. SPLIT FILES
        1. Layouts > separate into a LAYOUT FILE (reduces files size by at least 50%)
        2. split large files > rule of thumb: if it does not fit on A0 at a reasonable scale (very large projects) split buildings into separate files;
    5. 3D ERRORS
      If you get an error report when opening the 3D window, FIX the issues it reports.
      Typically they relate to either:

      1. sloppy editing
        Use a schedule to list elements by type and measured area. Find and select anything that is 0m2 or close to it. Use the show in plan view button and delete if necessary. If the element looks right, but has 0m2, try to cut & paste it in place. Redraw the element if that didn’t fix it.
      2. Library parts parameters.
        Check and adjust parameters. Mostly this is due to incorrect pen assignment of pen 0 or pen -1 to parameters or adjusting a dimension to 0 where this is not allowed. Sometimes the issue can also be a window or door that’s been placed outside of the extent of the wall.

      Often Elements such as Grids, Walls or Objects get accidentally multiplied or Meshes get corrupted during editing. These can increase the complexity of a File dramatically, thus it helps to check regularly by using the Check Duplicates and PolyCount Add-Ons available here.

      1. duplicates
        The Check Duplicates Add-on lets you batch select all duplicates in the current viewport, i.e. you will have to do it in both 2D and 3D to detect all duplicates;
      2. polygon count
        Some Objects or Meshes may have a very high polygon count which will slow down your file, use this Add-On to identify anything that contributes a high percentage to the verfall polygon count of your file and then optimise them. It could ne as easy as switching OFF the 3d display for some tapware;

      ARCHICAD continuously checks the status of linked files at various moments – it is essential you control these update processes.

      1. Drawing Manager.

        1. remove or re-link missing references,
        2. NEVER link anything from your own computer / desktop,
        3. Set all drawings to manual update (YOU should be in control of what updates & when),
        4. NEVER place an xref, place a DWG as an external drawing instead. Its layers can be control via the drawings Settings dialogue.
      2. IFC Files

        1. Don’t merge an IFC into your project files.
          Merging an IFC can have a serious impact on performance & file stability for your project file(s). Instead use a separate PLN to merge the IFC and hotlink this into your file. Use it for coordination only. If you need a reference in your project file either model it or use external drawings if a 2D reference is sufficient.
        2. Oblige suppliers of IFC to use the Graphisoft Revit plugin.
          This helps Revit prepare an IFC for smoother transition into ARCHICAD, i.e. more geometry will be properly translated to ARCHICAD elements instead of into library objects. The plugin is free and available from here:
        3. When merging an IFC you can choose to export the Library it creates to your server instead of embedding it into your project file.
          You can find this setting also in…
          File > Interoperability > IFC > IFC Options:
          “Save Library Parts generated during import to: Linked Library”
          …point it to a default project folder on your server.
      3. HOTLINKS
        1. To control the update behaviour of Holtinks adjust…
          Work Environment > Company Standards & Schemes > Data Safety & Integrity > Hotlink Update to “Ignore Hotlinks”
          …and un-tick “Automatically Check Status of All Hotlinks in Hotlink Manager”
      1. check and remove anything unnecessary from the embedded Library.
        In particular any objects of excessive size (>1MB) or have special characters (” ‘ , : !@#$%^&*()+) in the name!!
      2. NEVER load a PLA as a library, instead extract PLA Libraries into a folder when prompted and if required convert this folder to a LCF.
        PLA’s may contain all used objects and textures, which may cause duplicate objects errors when default libraries are loaded and may result in ARCHICAD displaying the wrong object.
      3. Minimise Texture file sizes.
        Loading Textures bigger than 500KB’s in size is going to eat up your computer’s RAM quite quickly. Unless you know what you are doing only use JPGs in ARCHICAD. If you’re not rendering extreme close-ups (and arguably ARCHICAD isn’t the right tool for that anyway), textures should be reduced in size straightaway and saved into a separate Texture folder ub your Project or Office Library.
      1. reshare teamwork files, once per month to cleanout old users caches.
        Every time a user joins the size of the teamwork project increases, which unfortunately is not removed by forcing a user out of the file.
      2. Adjust Project Settings IMMEDIATELY after sharing.
        In the Share dialogue, tick “Open Project Settings after Share” in the bottom left corner.
        The default settings creates fat too many backups at the wrong time of day, both impacting BIM server performance negatively.
        Adjust the Backup (or Snapshot) settings to:

        1. not make PLN backups & daily,
        2. after hours (stagger times between project files!), keep 3 copies for BIM Project backups.
    10. RESTART
      Restart your workstation and bim server at least once a month and especially when either is acting up a bit.

    Please remember to allow time for the above regularly, ideally before it starts to slow down your file(s).

    In addition make sure you check the following Graphisoft Troubleshooting Tech notes >

  • AC20 replacement icon(s)

    In bim on

    For Graphisoft’s 2016 edition of ARCHICAD version 20 new replacement Logos / Icons with updated looks (once again in full Retina Display glory…).

    AC20 ICON matrix



    To install replace the original AC logo in:

    /Applications/Graphisoft/ArchiCAD 19/

    Please note the above was also posted on AC-talk.

  • ARCHICAD BIM Server backup settings

    In bim, mACT, systems, Training on

    The ARCHICAD BIM Server has a very useful built-in backup function, if configured correctly. Find below some considerations regarding a proper backup strategy.

    1. On Mac OS X we find that people tend to choose Apple’s TimeMachine as their preferred backup option. Although this is a perfect solution for your regular desktop, this is problematic on a server level as it is not easy to control, e.g. the time it runs or what to include or exclude – we use the excellent Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) instead;

    2. We typically adjust CCC to backup after hours, with a preflight script to stop and post flight script to start the ARCHICAD BIM Server;

    3. We also adjust the BIM Server backup settings to typically only do PLN backups, to ensure that in case of catastrophic failure, you at least have PLNs that you can use temporarily without a BIM Server (unless you have a few spare BIM Servers flying around)… note PLN backups are typically bigger in size than BIMSERVER backups;

    4. We also choose to run backups after hours (not all at once at 1600h – not sure how Graphisoft determined that that might be good time to have all TW projects backup at the same time…);

    5. Depending on your BIM Servers capacity and the number / size of your typical project files, carefully monitor that you do not run out of space (and risk corruption of the bimservers mongo database) – unfortunately there is no way to globally adjust the default backup settings easily, i.e. it is a manual process that requires regular checking to ensure that nobody has shared a few 4GB files with the default backup settings;

    6. Offsite backups are essential but depend on your willingness to rotate backup drives / tapes offsite (we do it daily) or your internet connection bandwidth for cloud based backups. Do think twice about cloud backups though, although convenient restoration / download times for several GB of BIM Server data might be prohibitive (we only do tapes and hard drives to avoid massive downtime);

    One last thing to keep in mind regarding the frequency of BIM Server backups:

    If your practice works in large teams and you need to restore or roll back a project file (e.g. if a single user gets detached), we find that hourly backups are not really that useful, as you typically loose as many man hours as there are team members if you reset the project for the whole team (rather than just forfeiting a single users work for the last couple of hours).

  • Autocad for Mac

    In systems on

    a lot of reports (here & here) on the autodesk announcement about autocad on the mac, check out the TV commercial here – uses flash so will not work on your ipad & iphone!

    now the only thing left waiting for is revit for mac.

    on a sidenote: although we are really looking forward to a cool version of autocad (as per the commercial), we also hope that the code name sledgehammer refers more to the peter gabriel song than the eighties TV series… either way autocad was absent from the mac for almost as long as these references are old.