ArchiFrame elements: an overview

Transcript for the video: “ArchiFrame elements: an overview”

(00:00) In this video, I’ll go through the process of making walls out of ArchiFrame elements. I’ll explain what elements are and why they’re used. The process for making floors out of elements is similar, but I’ll just use walls as my examples.

(00:14) The element tool can be found from the ArchiFrame main window by clicking here. Before creating your element, you must have an ArchiCAD wall on which the element will be placed. So I have a demo wall here.

(00:29) The next step is to choose the element type, so in other words you must define which building material layers should be inside the element. So you could have an element type with for example cladding, boarding and framing. Here I have a ready list of different element types, but in the next tutorial we will look at how to define a custom element type. For now, I’ll just choose one of these predefined types.

(00:55) Next, I’ll place the element in the floor plan view. Now let’s look at this wall in 3D.

(01:14) If we zoom in to the element, we see that all the layers inside the element look the same except for having different thicknesses, even though these layers represent different building materials.

(01:30) I’ll go back to the floor plan view, where I have another element on a different layer. I’ll create planks for this new element. So already in the floor plan view you can see that planks were created.

(01:54) Now let’s look at the result in 3D. I’ll just deselect the ArchiCAD walls so they won’t be shown.

(02:06) As you can see, this creates 3D objects representing the different layers in the wall, so this is the cladding, and this group here is the framing layer. I’ll turn the wireframe view off for the wall element so you can see it better. So essentially, the wall element is a simplification of the finished wall.

(02:40) Now I’ll show you why the simple wall element is so useful. I’ll show you the exterior wall of our demo house. As you can see, the structure requires that the wall framing supports the roof rafters. On the other hand, we don’t want the roof rafters to be exposed from the sides, so the wall cladding must extend all the way to the top of the rafters. So the different layers inside the wall must have different heights.

(03:14) Now I’ll show you the wall element layer to show you what the elements look like. So here you can clearly see how the different layers of the wall element have different heights.

(03:30) If we go back to this wall element, we can easily set different heights for the layers with the layer offset tool. I have here a preset layer offset here which sets the four exterior layers of the wall to be 200mm higher than the framing layer. This is much easier to do using the wall element than it would be to stretch each of the individual pieces of this planked wall by doing, say, something like this. I’ll just undo that.

(04:07) Finally, I’ll open a section view of the wall element, this section here. Here I can also edit the shape of this element manually, by dragging the corner points. For example like this.

(04:23) Now I’ll create planks for this element. So again, the element made it very easy to edit the shape of the wall, compared to stretching and rotating individual planks in the framing.

(04:39) This kind of customisation when you create complex-shaped walls like this one.

(04:46) So to sum up, in ArchiFrame the workflow is to first define an element type, then set settings for the element (such as height, layer offsets and so on), place the element, edit its shape further if required, and finally, to create planks. The idea is to minimise manual work on editing individual planks. So really, the elements exist to help you work more efficiently.