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ArchiCAD Total Custom Window Tutorial

By David Pacifico, RA, October 30, 2003

Want to create your own total custom windows? From round tops to sloped head or sill, creating your own custom windows in ArchiCAD 8 is easier than ever before. Here's how.

1. Draw or build the custom window with slabs, walls and other tools so that the window is face down on the ground. Be sure to use a single slab for the glass that will also act as the WallHole (so have it go through the Mullions to the jamb.) Build the window so the center of it is the project zero.

2. Select your creation and activate the 3D window.

3. Chose File/GDL Objects/Save 3D Model. Name it and place it in a project specific library. The file type is .gsm (no more .win or .dor).

4. A dialog box will come up with 3 buttons at the top. Select the middle button for a window, check “remove redundant lines” and choose format as “editable gdl script.”

5. Draw a wall and place your new window in it.

6. Now, if your window has a non-square WallHole, you will need to select the window and choose File/GDL Objects/Open Object. (Don’t be afraid! We just need to copy and paste some GDL here.)

7. Click on the 3D Script button.

8. Scroll down until you see the script that is the single slab that you used to make the glass. Select and Copy the script that starts with cPRISM_ "Glass", "Glass", "Glass" and ends with BODY -1. (Note, the data between is the coordinates we will be using for the WallHole).

9. Scroll down to the end of the script and paste. Delete the first pasted line that likely looks like:
cPRISM_ "Glass", "Glass", "Glass"

10. In front of the next line type WALLHOLE. (This cuts the wall for the window.) Click the button Check Script.

11. Save the object and Rebuild.

Extra CreditIf you want to make it a corner window, change the object Subtype by opening the object and clicking on the "select subtype" button in the main window and choosing the corner window subtype.

About the Author

David Pacifico, R.A., is president of Pacifico Associates Inc., a leading provider of architectural IT solutions and building simulation services. A registered architect since 1986, David worked primarily as a lead designer and project architect for several leading area firms, including Prevost Treacy & Partners Inc., Greiner Inc. and Ralph Calder & Associates, Inc, prior to starting Pacifico Associates Inc.

In founding Pacifico Associates in 1996, David serves the building industry as it transitions to the information age. Pacifico Associates Inc. gives seminars, provides training and solutions for architects, interior designers, and builders who want to move to 3D computer model-based design. For more information visit http://www.parch.com.

About Graphisoft

Graphisoft is a leading provider of design and management software solutions for the architectural profession and the building industry. Founded in 1982, Graphisoft is ranked today among the largest AEC CAD software developers in the world, with ten offices worldwide in addition to its Budapest headquarters. ArchiCAD and other Graphisoft products are used by more than 100,000 architects, facility managers and building professionals all over the world. Shares of Graphisoft are traded on the Budapest (GRAPHI) Stock Exchange. More information about Graphisoft is available at http://www.graphisoft.com.

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