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Creating a Grid With Beams, Columns, Markers and Dimensions

By J.T. Burk, November 6, 2003

ArchiCAD’s Tools/Structural Grid command allows you to create a custom local grid. Alternatively, you can populate the grid with beams and columns at grid intersection points. Note the command is only available in the Floor Plan Window.

Placing the Grid

1. Choose the Structural Grid command, which will open a dialog box. Select the settings you need and click the OK button.

2. A ghost form of the grid should then appear. With the help of the zooming and panning controls, find the planned location of your grid on the Floor Plan, and then click to place the grid.

3. Next, bring up the Structural Grid Dialogue box from the “Tools/Structural Grid” pull down menu command. Let’s set up a 20 x 15 grid for our building.

Click on image to enlarge

Helpful Hint: In this example, we will just place the grid on one story. However, there is a switch box that you can check to place the Grid & Elements on all stories if you choose.

4. Once you have set the spacing and the number of bays, select the “Attributes and Elements” tab to further set up the grid. We can now set up the grid attributes along with what elements we want to generate.

Helpful Hint: Keep in mind that the elements generated by this tool will use the individual tools default. Therefore, if you want round columns, you should adjust the defaults for the column tool to reflect the desired settings.

In this example, we will choose to generate beams, columns, and dimensions so the default settings should be reviewed prior to setting up the structural grid.

Click on image to enlarge

5. Select the “Options” button to establish the axis labeling options. Select the “down” and “right” options and then click “OK.”

6. Push in all three radio buttons to Generate Elements of columns, beams, and dimensions and then select “OK.” In this example we have chosen to create markers on the top and left sides.

7. After pressing “OK,” a ghost image of the grid appears on the screen, and you can anchor the grid in the desired location. Perform the mouse click to anchor and the grid objects are placed.

8. Using the Marquee tool, we can place a fence or marquee around the new grid and look at the elements in 3D to see what we have just built.

About the Author

J.T. Burk is the principal of CADeshack, a value-added reseller for architects and builders. He has used the 3D building process for over 13 years, since forming The OwneRep Group, a project management and architectural company in Houston and Chicago. Mr. Burk is licensed s an architect in fifteen states (NCARB), including Texas. He has over 25 years experience in several different building types as well as an extensive corporate architectural background. Mr. Burk is also the principal of The Fountainhead Group, a fountain and waterscape consulting company. You can reach him at jtburk@jtburk.com or by visiting his website at http://www.jtburk.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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