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Modelling and drafting in ARCHICAD. (Example: How can I model a Roof soffit/fascia?)

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

User avatar
By Erwin Edel
#295377
I have to agree with the complexity comment.

I've not seen any of the bugs questioned here, but it's sometimes hard to tell if you have a bug or if you just can't find something. There are so many places for settings to hide that affect a Railing (or Stair) that it's very time-consuming to make a simple adjustment. If it doesn't look right, the problem could be in the main Railing settings, or one of the many sub-elements (each has several panes of parameters), or one of 3 different panes of the Model View Options, or even an On-Screen View Option (and that doesn't even include the usual Renovation Filters, Trace Reference, Layer combinations, Graphic Overrides, etc.).

The extreme granularity of the Railing (and Stair) makes it nearly unusable for all but the most technical designers. The key so far is to have really good Favorites for each component, but that has taken me (a part-time BIM Manager and Architect) months to figure out, and I still have a very limited library. Our AC21 Template never really worked, and I'm just now getting the AC22 template so it can draw a decent Railing. Still, every time someone uses it, they find another way to make it wonky.

There is simply no need for many of these parameters. It has 10 separate Pen settings for each of the 9 sub-elements, so that's 90 selections just to get the line weights right! Then you have Fills, Materials, Line Types, etc., and I haven't even started on the Geometry. It's absurd to have different line settings for every one of these items (especially when you find little additions like Fixings and Plates), and no unified Preview. There should be ONE pane for the WHOLE railing with 2D and 3D appearance settings. It is just too much. It has to be culled back, or at least provide an "Easy" button!

Most of my stairs are all steel, with concrete treads. Though the old StairMaker was less than perfect, I could get a close approximation of a custom Stair in less than 30 minutes. Now it takes DAYS. For something that the Fabricator is going to change on their shop drawings to match their company standard, anyway.

I guess, as a Commercial architect, I just don't care about the intricacies of Railings enough.

So, my recommendations:
1. "Easy" button that consolidates all Attributes in one place (or make that default, with the option to Override a specific element).
2. Provide ONE preview window to show what the WHOLE assembly will actually look like together in plan/elevation/3D (like Objects).
3. Consolidate the 3 MVO panes into one, and make the icons more clear (they are way too small with no explanation). Organize it to be graphically self-explanatory, like many tools in ArchiCAD.
4. Provide more Favorites, either in the Template of available to download online, for various region-specific common Rail or Fence types.
5. Figure out how to insert schedulable gates into Railings (perhaps the Door and Railing could interact). I'm writing another thread on this.
6. Play-test the interface with an average Architect.
I feel your pain and share some of the sentiment, but I think all of this could've been fixed (along with the stair tool) with a set of 'fire and forget' favourites that at the very least offered a close approximation of the old railing objects as a starting point. You'd still have all the detailed options for when you want to dive in, but at least you have something close to begin with.

It feels sort of like the Curtain Wall tool: you can sort of get a quick thing going in early design, if you're not too picky, but then it throws a lot of detailed model stuff at you that doesn't quite match up to what you need and you end going back to rudimentary combinations of the other tools.
User avatar
By Da3dalus
#295396
It's not well known but it was the railing tool that got the better of Pyrrhus after defeating the Romans.
And that is why ArchiCAD-Talk needs a Like button :wink: