Custom Empty Openings in ArchiCAD

During the downtime between Christmas and New Years, I got a question about making oddly shaped windows and niches in walls. There are plenty of ways to do this, but here’s a quick video on how to use slabs to make new custom empty openings in ArchiCAD.

The trick is to remember to give your slabs the ID wallhole or wallniche. For non-hole or niche elements put in IDs that make sense (as that will make finding the information in the GDL script much easier—if or when you need to sift through the GDL).

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with making these empty openings, it’s very easy to take the next step and start making more complex windows, niches, and other things to put in walls. As James Murray points out in my Stained Glass Window Tutorial (see link below), it’d be easy to turn that complex profile amalgam into a real window by taking the extra steps to save everything as a window. It’s also worth nothing that you can use things other than slabs to make these windows (Morphs for example).

I imagine you could use a similar process to make things like inset fire extinguisher cabinets, electrical equipment, and all sorts of other Objects that’d be nice to have hosted within a wall. Sure you’d have to place them as Window Objects, but so what. Does the name of the Tool really matter? It rarely does. I know many users who model all floors, ceilings, and roofs using only the Roof Tool (that way everything can be scheduled together, regardless of whether it has a slope of 0° or 89°). And speaking of the Roof Tool, once you make an Object you can change the Subtype to Skylight or Dormer and start dropping it into a Roof. The exact details of all that are a bit beyond the scope of this post (and I’ve found a few glitches along the way), but this all gives you something to explore. Also I should mention that making the 2D symbol look better is pretty easy. Here’s how.

2/26/14 update: I should ALSO mention that to get the 2D symbol to display accurately, go to the Window Selection Settings / Floor Plan Display, and then change the Floor Plan Display from Symbolic to Projected or Projected with Overhead. This will make your window display accurately based on the Floor Plan Cut Plane (which means if the opening is too high or low you still might need to change the symbol via the video I link to above).

For more information, here are a few links that will be helpful:

Now I’m no ArchiCAD Object making wizard, and the above video doesn’t cover everything, but I hope you learned something. If you want more on basic object making in ArchiCAD, I’d be happy to record some more videos. And I’ll at some point discuss all the other ways to create holes in walls in ArchiCAD, because each solution has a lot of value.

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  1. Tom Waltz February 25, 2014
  2. robertfanderson February 26, 2014
    • Jared Banks February 26, 2014
  3. MarkV March 28, 2015
    • Jared Banks March 28, 2015
  4. Kemoy Brown September 1, 2016
    • Jared Banks September 2, 2016

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