On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.
February 2004 Archive

I have updated all (I think) the objects for structural beams and such, so that the 3D model can be turned off.

This enables you to put all the beams on the layer S Beam, rather than putting the ones you want to be 2D only on +S Struct Note.

It's neater and more consistent this way.

The effected objects are:
Steel W Shape Beam JAM8
Steel Tube Shape JAM8
Steel Angle JAM8
Wood Beam JAM8
Wood Header JAM8
Hip Valley JAM8

If you run into others that need this treatment let me know.

Location: 05 Metals

A steel pipe column. Pretty simple.

Why use it instead of an actual column? Because columns are evil. Not really. Columns are evil, because they interfere with walls and allow walls to interfere with them. But the reason to use the object is so you can still show the column solid when you set the construction fills' display option to 'Empty'.

Trust me. I'm going to get all this structure plan stuff pulled together real soon.

This is obsolete big time. More here.

The roof plan has to be drawn. Sigh.

Update: I changed the recommended line weights, making them lighter. I think this will make the structure plan read better.


Nothing new really, but here's some links to the stuff we looked at.

Solid Element Operations
Existing to Addition Transition
Cache Library

Location: 06 Wood & Plastic / Trim & Moulding

The shed crown now works better when used as a rake, at the top of a roof. You can turn on the 'Top Skin' to cover the lines at the back of the rake. In doing so it covers the roof itself. Select the skin material accordingly.

The purpose is to improve the appearance in elevation. When creating the roof plan, you should still image the roof itself.

Remember to trim (base) the object to the parent roof, or the top line of the shed will not show.

Shed Crown Settings

UPDATE: This is generally correct, but it has been superseded by this.

So when we open them in the future, they cause as little trouble as possible.


This is the old way. I decided to keep it for historical interest.

Building on the ability in OS X to save PDFs from the print dialog, we can easily create PDFs of drawing sheets. In PlotMaker 3, you can print multiple sheets at once to a single document, making one PDF of an entire set.


For two reasons:

• Printing large documents that aren't PLT files, such as big PDFs sent by consultants.

• Creating PDFs of drawing sheets.


Adobe's PDF technology is built in to OS X at a low level. One of the primary benefits of this is the ability to save PDF files from any print dialog box, without using Acrobat or another third party solution. Anything that can be printed can be saved as a PDF, using any print driver on the machine, even for a printer that doesn't physically exist.

Rather than rewrite the basic overview of this feature, I will direct you to the Help menu in the Finder, where if you search for 'print PDF', you find several relevant articles. The PDF format is one of the fundamentals of modern data exchange, and if you don't know what it is, you should ask Adobe, rather than your colleagues.

Intersection group number is an AC8 feature that controls which layers clean up to each other. If the numbers match, they do, if not, they don't.


Draw an enlarged plan of any room that is too small to clearly display all the required dimensions, markers, and notes. Enlarging the plan also helps in calling out the interior elevations of that room.


The necessary layer and view modifications for 1/2" scale plans in current projects. These changes have already been made in the templates.