“I love to create tutorials that show users how to take advantage of the full potential of ArchiCAD. I have worked with ArchiCAD for over 21 years, and it’s a pleasure to share with you my knowledge and experience. What do you plan to create?”
– Eric Bobrow
Below, and on the navigation menu, you will find an extensive list of the free ArchiCAD Tutorials I’ve created over the past 5 years. I have been asked by many web portals and magazines to write about ArchiCAD, and I’ve collected all of my articles and video tutorials here to make it easier for you to learn from my experience.
If you like my free tutorials, you’ll love my new Best Practices ArchiCAD Training Course. If you are serious and would like to optimize your practice to get the best possible results in the least amount of time, find out more about it here.
This ArchiCAD tutorial video shows how to use Attribute Manager to swap in and out different materials quickly. It’s easy to learn and will save you lots of time.
Here are some quick ways you can save your settings (and save time and work) using the ArchiCAD Favorites palette. Try it out, and see how easy it is!
In this short 11 minute demonstration, I show many different ways you can use parameter transfer (with the eyedropper and syringe) to speed up your work. Some of what I do may surprise you – this is so fast and easy it seems almost like magic!
In this quick little 8 minute demonstration, I show how to work with terrain models using Solid Element Operations (SEO) and Complex Profiles to simplify, speed up and improve your construction documentation. There are some simple “tricks” in this video that may open your eyes to new possibilities!
This 5 minute video will help speed up a tedious part of the documentation process – setting up window and door ID’s sequentially so that they coordinate nicely with window and door schedules. One of my clients wrote to me saying that she had used this approach in a recent project to set the ID’s for 99 windows and doors in just a few minutes. She said it saved her at least a couple of hours compared to the way she had previously done it.
Simplify one part of ArchiCAD that you use frequently – the popup layer palette in the Info Box. This 6 minute video shows how to use one of the Options menu – Work Environment settings to Hide Locked Layers in Popup Palettes, and give yourself the gift of a much shorter, less confusing layer menu to work with.
Learn how to use Microsoft Word and PDF to create general notes and specifications quickly and elegantly for your ArchiCAD project.
ArchiCAD Tutorial Articles
(Originally published on AECbytes Tips and Tricks, Cadalyst, and ArchiMAG)
I believe there are seven key principles that will help you to use ArchiCAD to its best effect. These best practices are common ideas, like getting organized, and doing things once instead of over and over again. But when they’re applied in the right manner with an understanding of ArchiCAD’s core principles, they’ll help you be much more effective and efficient.
Graphisoft offers an innovative tool for sharing ArchiCAD-based Building Information Models with clients, colleagues, consultants and builders. The Graphisoft Virtual Building Explorer is an add-on available to ArchiCAD users for a nominal cost that makes it simple to export a project as a self-contained 3D model file.
ArchiCAD users have the ability to import industry-standard PDF format files. This opens up many options for bringing 2D information into ArchiCAD. Any program that prints can create PDF files, either internally or by using Adobe’s Acrobat software (or other free or inexpensive utilities widely available on the internet).
ArchiCAD makes it easy to create a Virtual Building, a 3D Building Information Model (BIM) of an architectural design while simultaneously developing coordinated 2D construction documents. This article catalogs the various ways a BIM model can be viewed in 3D in ArchiCAD.
ArchiCAD’s Complex Profiles are a powerful technology for creating extruded shapes for use in the wall, column and beam tools. The Profile Manager allows the user to draw the equivalent of a section cut through the element, and will extrude that shape along the path of the wall, column or beam.
Office standards set the graphic appearance and organization of documents produced by a firm. They also play a significant role in promoting consistency, efficiency and usability of the project files and workflow. A key ingredient in making standards work is to embed them into template files that are used to start projects.
Graphisoft’s Virtual Trace™ is a powerful ground-breaking technology. Similar in concept to the architect’s familiar trace paper, it allows any drawing or view to be overlaid on top of or beside any other view. This digital light-table is amazingly versatile, and can be used in a large variety of contexts to simplify coordination of information and speed up the design process. Moreover, it can be a revolutionary catalyst, since it facilitates various hybrid 2D / 3D workflows which can ease the transition from 2D CAD to 3D BIM (Building Information Modeling), both inside the office and with consultants.
As I’ve trained and talked with ArchiCAD users over the years, I’ve identified several different strategies for working on remodels and additions. Each approach has different strengths, and users may choose between these methods in order to handle a wide variety of project sizes and scenarios.
Within the Navigator View Map, ArchiCAD has a powerful, yet little-known and underutilized feature called Clone Folders. They define a viewing “style” for Building Information Model (BIM) project information. This style is automatically applied to each entry of a particular type (story, section, elevation, detail, etc.) in the Project Map structure, and creates a separate View definition for each. This is a tremendous time-saver, particularly when set up in an office template for use in multiple projects.
Graphisoft has developed an innovative interactive tutorial for ArchiCAD called the BIM Experience Kit. It is offered as part of a free 30 day ArchiCAD Trial Version, allowing prospective or new users the opportunity to “get their hands on ArchiCAD” and learn the basics of Building Information Modeling (BIM).
- ArchiCAD Tutorial | Optimizing Detail Creation, Referencing and Cataloging in ArchiCAD: The Detail Marker Tool and Detail Drawing Window (Part 1 of 3)
Detail drawings are one of the most important (yet sometimes under-appreciated) parts of the architectural design and documentation process. They can be very time-consuming, often involving meticulous 2D drafting for each separate drawing, as well as careful placement into the construction document set and coordination of callout references.
- ArchiCAD Tutorial | Optimizing Detail Creation, Referencing and Cataloging in ArchiCAD: Using Parametric 2D Objects and the Detailer Template (Part 2 of 3)
In this section of the 3 part detail tutorial series, we’ll look at how to use parametric 2D object components (from the standard ArchiCAD library) as well as the free, downloadable Detailer Template to work on these drawings more quickly and efficiently.
- ArchiCAD Tutorial | Optimizing Detail Creation, Referencing and Cataloging: Compiling, Managing and Integrating Your Own Detail Libraries (Part 3 of 3)
This final installment in the 3 part detail tutorial series focuses on compiling, managing and integrating your own libraries of details.
One of ArchiCAD’s “hidden gems” is the Favorites Palette, a very powerful resource that improves both efficiency and consistency. It allows frequently-used standard settings for any tool or element type to be recalled at a moment’s notice, speeding up both modeling and documentation.
ArchiCAD’s Solid Element Operations (SEO) are powerful tools to carve and model complex shapes and forms that would otherwise be a challenge in Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs optimized for conventional architectural vocabulary such as walls, doors, windows and roofs.
Every tool in ArchiCAD has many options and settings to allow it to represent a wide variety of forms, shapes, and conditions. For example, the wall tool has parameters for thickness, base and top heights, materials for the finish on each side and the edges, fills for the floor plan, and section that represent its construction components, plus other settings that affect how it is drawn (Projected with Overhead vs. Symbolic, for example) and when it is seen (e.g., Show on Home Story Only vs. Show on All Relevant Stories), etc. Parameter Transfer is a set of methods using the eye-dropper and syringe tools to pick up and transfer all or part of the parameters between elements, saving time and ensuring consistency.
ArchiCAD’s Quick Layers palette is a complement to the Layer Settings dialog box that allows layers to be turned on and off or locked on the fly to suit various needs. It is elegant, intuitive, and compact, and it has a memory of layer states so you can retrace steps and undo and redo layer manipulations instantly.
For more “ArchiCAD How to” check out the Best Practices ArchiCAD Training Course.
If you enjoy working with ArchiCAD as much as I do, or would like to learn how to use it better so that you can enjoy it… please get in touch.
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Let me know how you’re using my tutorials – add a comment below!