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What's your opinion about this wish?

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User avatar
By James Murray
This would be more than a display option, less than a new window.

AC has practically no reflected ceiling plan functionality. This common, critical drawing puts us right back in drafting mode, drawing over what we've modeled.

To show beams, we have to trace them with a solid line. We can't show the beams themselves- they're drawn with a dashed line to display correctly in plan.

In our office we show elements below 'above' in the RCP- dashed lines for counters, stair treads etc. Again, we trace.

Fortunately, we can script crown moulding objects that display properly for RCP. For everything else, we're in flatland.

I suggest:

1. A display option switch to put the floor plan window in reflected ceiling mode.

2. Added element settings for RCP pen and line type. When the switch is on, draw the element with these settings instead of the floor plan settings. (Once we can put a fill on a slab, etc, there would be a fill for RCP as well.)

3. Elements above showing 'One story down' would display their RCP attributes.

4. The switch would absorb with 'Reflected Ceiling' display option for doors and windows.

5. A global variable (GLOB_REFL_PLAN?), which would enable you to script your classical column to draw the capital instead of the base in RCP mode, for example.

This problem can't be solved with layers, display options, and globals as currently deployed. We need the tools to draw a proper RCP without abandoning the virtual building. It could be possible with just one new display option and a few new element attributes. I can easily see this as an 8.5 feature, feasible within the existing structure of the program, not a radical interface or database change. No need to make the plan window a model view.
James is right. The lack of any direct way to maintain an RCP in the building model is a serious flaw. The workarounds are tedious; such as copy/paste from 3D bottom view, or manually draw elements that have already been modeled. This creates a bunch of extra work every time something changes.

A simple thing which would help to move us down this path would be the addition of global parameters or a request function in GDL to make all the display options accessible to the programmer. This way library parts could be written to respond to the view appropriately. This wouldn't help for beams, and the library parts would need to be written to take advantage of this, but it would be a good start. Oh, and one other thing, it would need to be possible to override the current default behavior of doors and windows in the RCP view option. I know some firms that like to show door swings as grey or dashed lines in RCP, and there is also the problem with things like niches and wall penetrations that should not show up as windows in the RCP.

It seems that this small improvement could be added very easily; maybe even in an r/v-3 or 4 patch.
You are right, but there is a fairly simple workaround that takes hardly any time at all.

Here is what I do and it is fast. If you want beams to show on the floor plan in one way, and then on the RCP in a different way, simply put the beams on their own layer, for instance Beams - Floor Plan. have a different layer that is Beams - RCP.

On the floor plan layer set, do a find and select and only choose Beams - Floor Plan. You don't have to but I usually group these. Copy them 100' (or whatever) to one side. Select the copied beams and put them on the layer Beams - RCP. Select them and change their parameters as you want them. If you prefer not to have duplicate beams on the Floor plan and the RCP, simplly ctrl+ and that will change the beams to 2d lines. Move the beams/lines on the beams-rcp layer back 100' to their original place.

This sounds like a lot of work, but it really only takes less than a minute. The same can be done for stairs as you mentioned, or any other object/group. By using layers and layer combinations and letting the software do the work, the process you describe can be easily accomplished with little additional time.

The method I described above would take considerably less time than drawing 2D lines for the various plans.

Hope this helps. Grant
User avatar
By ~/archiben

the issue then arises whereby something gets changed . . .

in a large drawing office, with several people moving between projects, how do you keep track of what has been copied/exploded onto other layers so that this duplicate information gets changed too?

whilst it is probably a valid 'workaround', it is just that. archiCAD is intended to be a virtual building model, and therefore methods of controlling RCP information need to be (and no doubt will be) addressed.

User avatar
By Djordje
~/archiben wrote:archiCAD is intended to be a virtual building model, and therefore methods of controlling RCP information need to be (and no doubt will be) addressed.

Quite so.

Add to all of the above problems the inability to level dimension the BOTTOM of the slab, instead of the top. Why? Well, if you model the ceiling with the slabs (and I see no reason why not to) the level dimension shows the TOP of the slab - completely irrelevant in this case. Manual editing of the dimension text again, manual updating ... not good in a multiuser environment.
On workarounds...

You can also do drag a copy in place, switch the layer, explode. You can also use cutting planes and a bottom view to cut and paste from the 3D Window. All good workarounds, and needed.

Drawing, or copying, or imaging, or exploding are all relatively fast. It is doing over and over that is the problem. In addition to multiplying the time involved, it introduces forgetfulness, bad planning, poor communication, and other human errors into a process that should be automatic. This is the point of the virtual building.

Drawing over modeled elements is a time sink and an error trap, regardless of technique. Not that we have a choice, so keep those workarounds coming.

Your workaround is a good one, but it only serves for the beams, and I have always had a deep resistance to duplicating model elements. I have known people to use the same approach for walls but have found this to be very problematic. There is still the problem of stairs, getting doors and windows to appear as desired, etc.

It is of course good to have the various ways to work around the problems but it is unfortunate that we have to do this to produce such commonly required drawings. Every commonly required workaround adds further support, training, and standards requirements (especially in larger firms) and more things to remember each time the design changes.

It occurs to me that it would be nice to document all the workarounds people are using to produce ceiling plans. I think I'll go put a poll in the "Working in ArchiCAD" forum.
jamesm wrote:On workarounds...

... Drawing over modeled elements is a time sink and an error trap, regardless of technique. Not that we have a choice, so keep those workarounds coming.

Brilliantly put, James. I would just say "error factory" rather than "error trap" which sounds like a good thing.
The goal, of course is draw once, display as needed. This has been the thrust of countless wishlist posts by myself and others.

Roofs and slabs with associated fills is one such long standing wish.

At least as frequently requested are walls that show across stories. If this wish were granted I wonder how it would affect the current RCP discussion.
User avatar
By Laci Neda
Added to wishlist:
Ceiling Plan
Walls should (optionally) display on any story they penetrate
Last edited by Laci Neda on Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.