Using windows and window constructions from the catalog

Windows and window constructions have their own catalogs from which you can select the needed type during input or later.

The video shows how you can  choose a new type:

Scaling windows, change window size

There are two types of windows, those made of fixed 3D Objects like other elements from the 3D catalog and so called window constructions which are generated by the software based on the current properties.

Even when you change the size of a window both variants show a different behaviour. I you change the size of a “normal” 3D Object window all parts of it are scaled proportional, also the frames. In most cases this is not wanted and then windows constructions should be used instead.

The video shows the behaviour of both types:

Input examples for windows and doors

When inserting windows and doors you get support by standard functions like “Changing reference points with CTRL+W, constructional supports like “with distance from” or “center”.

The video shows examples of how windows and doors can be inserted effective and accurate.

Ceiling cut-outs on walls

Ceilings automatically cut walls. In doing so with activated “Automatic ceiling” in your floor properties a ceiling cut-out on the top of the walls becomes visible. You can see this in 3D because ceilings here are invisible by default.

The video shows this effect and how a ceiling cut-out is defined for multilayer walls.

Insert parallel walls

One of the input variants of walls is “Parallel Wall”. Here you select a reference line, of an existing wall for example, and choose the start position with a numeric value. After that the new wall direction is automatically parallel to the reference.

Room boundaries

Room boundaries are no walls but behave like walls, that means they intersect with other walls and create room contours. They can be used for split level constructions (to build rooms on different levels) or simply to create rooms or floors where a wall ist not really needed.

Numerical input of walls

There is one input variant with numerical finishing. This can be used for a single wall or a complete building contour. After you have inserted the walls as a “preview”, you have to go through the walls and edit the length and direction.  To start this process, insert your walls and press ESC on your keyboard. Now the numeric toolbox for a wall contour appears in which you can set the needed values depending on the wall side. As long as you edit the walls they are shown as a preview and not yet part of the project until you finish the toolbox input .  

Multilayer walls, 2D representation of walls

The property dialogs of walls, ceilings and floors have a separate “structural layer” page.

Here you can define new layers with properties like thickness, building material and resulting 2D representation. Complete multilayer walls can be save to the catalog and loaded in the future.

Layers, rooms with different level, split level

Floors can contains several layers,  used as a hierarchy element, e.g. put all guidelines on a new layer or all furniture objects. When you create a new floor at least one layer named “Floor plan” automatically exists.

Additionally layers have their own level, relative to the floor level. 

Example: You have an upper floor with a level of 2,8 m, because the ground floor below has a height of 2,8 m. This upper floor has a layer “floor plan” with level zero.  Zero in this case means, that the total height above ground is 2,8 m because the upper floor has this level. If you create a new layer in upper floor and set its level to 0,5 m, the total level is 3,3 m, 2,8m + 0,5 m. All elements you insert on this layer will automatically have a level of 3,3 m and not 2,8 m as on the floor plan.

With this mechanism you can create floor areas with different levels. If you want to  create a room on such a layer please note that walls on different layers have no intersection and will  therefore not create a closed room contour. In this case you have to close the contour manually with a wall type “room boundary”.

The video shows a simple split level example.

Rooms, display, properties, labeling

Rooms are automatically created when walls build a closed contour. Rooms control their own elements like floor and labeling. When you click into a room in 2D the 2D representation and in 3D the floor is selected and marked red. The property dialog contains options for detailed labeling, structural layer of the floor etc. .

The following video shows some basic option incl. transfer of properties from one room to others.

Edit buildings

All functions to mirror, copy,  rotate, move or change the length of  a building / floor are combined in the “Edit building” toolbar.

The video shows some standard operations and the handling.

Change floor height / level

Change the height of a floor in the floor properties dialog with a right click on the project viewer tree entry.

If a building has more than one floor, changing a height has of course an influence on other floors and requires a reaction. The video shows several options and the results when you change the height of an existing floor.

Copy floors with detailed content

Copy a floor with the project viewer buttons. To access these functions you have to select the building from the tree structure in which the floor you want to copy exists. By selecting the building you get buttons to copy a floor above (the current) or below on the top of the project viewer window. The current floor is marked red.

With the buttons a “New floor ….” dialog apears in which you can make settings for the height and the thickness of ceilings etc.. All these settings can be changed at a later point as well.

Finally you have to define which elements of the current (the source) floor you want to copy to new one. The element selection is the same as in all other categories dialogs, e.g. visibilities of views.

Door frames

With a few exceptions, for example entrance doors with side panels or sliding doors ,  doors consist of the filling 3D object only. These are standard 3D objects with some additional information. 

Frames are generated by the software if needed. The door dialog contains settings for block and enclosure frames.

Opening direction and hinges of windows and doors

Opening direction of windows and doors is defined during input, based on the position of the cursor relative to the wall axis.

With the context menu of the right mouse button when a window or door is selected opening and hinge direction of doors can be easily changed.

Hinges of windows can be edited in the corresponding property dialog.

The video shows examples of these settings.

Dimensions

There are several types of dimensions including height dimensions for cross sections and special dimensions in 3D.

For 2D representation there are additional display options available in the dimensions property dialog.

As default dimensions use their own units, it is therefore possible to work in meters in your planning and let the dimensions display the values in millimeter. 

Text, and the values as text, can be separated from a dimension and changed later on without changing the length of a dimenion chain.

Guidelines

Guidelines are often used as orientation during construction. There are several input variants like center, parallel with distance etc.. Guidelines have their own visibilities and can additionally be switched on and off with a button in our upper toolbar.

Text, Item text, Autotext

The software uses several different text types, standard text, item text and autotext.

Item text is linked to a specific construction or drawing element and shows this element with a line between text and object. While you position item text, an  automatic description is added depending on the element.

Autotext is used in 2D symbols, title blocks and wherever project and view properties or other project specific settings on which autotext reacts should be automatically updated. E.g. if you change the project name, autotext in a title block would always show the current value whereas standard text would have to be changed manually.

Print

Printing in 2D Views is always true to scale. Therefore you get a preview cursor with the size of your selected paper format, when the view content is too big and can not be printed on one page.

If you don’t want this behaviour, there are two alternatives:

  • change view scale in view properties dialog
  • Press ESC while you see the preview cursor. With ESC the whole view content is automatically scaled in order to fit the drawing to the page format. That also means you have lost the predefined scale during printing.

Set and change units

All units used by the software can be individually defined in menu SETTINGS, GENERAL .

Here you can select for all available value types, e.g. area, length or volume, corresponding units like meter, centimeter, feet, inch … . Settings can be saved as default for further usage with the “save as default” button on the right side of the dialog.

In all dialogs numeric input fields change their units, e.g. when you change the unit for a length from meter to centimeter, every dialog expects now values in cm.

The User Interface

The software contains several toolbars to insert and edit elements, PlugIns with specialised functions, views in 2D and 3D, a project viewer, catalogs with 3D objects, textures, materials and 2D symbols and a separate catalog with constructional elements like doors and windows, solar elements,  skylights, window constructions and, depending on your version, 3D constructions and profiles.

The video shows where you can find the different functions and elements.

Getting started, overview

This video gives you in 7 minutes an overview about the handling of the program and necessary steps to create a building.

Steps are:

  • insert walls
  • insert doors and windows
  • copy and create a new floor
  • add a roof

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Input aids, functions for an efficient workflow

The software contains several functions to support your daily work. Some important examples are shown in the videos below, which are:

  • numeric input with constructional support from the context menu
  • multiple copies of existing elements
  • transfer properties from one element to another of the same type
  • changing reference points with CTRL+W before elements are inserted

View properties

Every view has its own properties and visibilities. For all views different visibilities based on layers or element categories are available.

Views also have type specific settings like hidden line calculation in sectional views or sun settings and background pictures in 3D. With these properties you can for example create one view showing the ground floor and one the upper floor or separate 3D views demonstrating sun and shadows in the morning or late in the afternoon.

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Zoom, Move, Rotate, Navigate in Views

Navigation in all views happens with keyboard, mouse or a combination of both. Available options differ in very few points between 2D and 3D views.

In 3D views:

  • mouse wheel: up / down
  • SHIFT + mouse wheel: left / right
  • CTRL + mouse wheel: zoom
  • right mouse button pressed: zoom
  • left mouse button pressed: rotate
  • HOME : Show all
  • CTRL + SHIFT + mouse wheel: Zoom to Cursor (to the position where your mouse cursor is)

In 2D Views:

  • mouse wheel: up / down
  • SHIFT + mouse wheel: left / right
  • CTRL + mouse wheel: zoom
  • HOME : Show all
  • CTRL + SHIFT + mouse wheel: Zoom to Cursor (to the position where your mouse cursor is)
  • pressed mouse wheel: PAN (move the view content)

Quantities, area calculation

The quantities plugin controls and calculates living areas. In all views the resulting calculation is added in as colored surfaces. Printing or exporting the results as PDF, RTF or Excel files is available in menu Export-Reports-Quantities – .

3D converter, use 3D objects in other formats

The 3D converter loads and converts 3D objects in our own 3D format and saves the result to your standard catalog. From here you can the use the converted objects in your planning as usual. While converting the files you have several edit options like recalculation of texture coordinates, edit materials, add light sources etc. .

The converter handles the following formats: 3DS, 3D-DXF, VRML 1.0, OBJ, COB, LWO,LWM, …

2D DXF / DWG Import

Importing a 2D DXF / DWG file in menu File – Import… requires an exisiting project with a 2D view. You can’t open a 2D DXF instead of a project file in menu File-Open… .

After you have selected a dxf file for import you get the preview dialog first. Here you can choose the imported content and the dimensions of the drawing. Depending on the original drawing software dxf files can be oversized up to 50 km. This might cause some questions in the next step. When you quit the dialog with OK, the dxf file picks with a preview at your mouse cursor and has to be placed in your plan with a left mouse click. If you need one copy only cancel input after that with ESC. With oversized files it happens that you see neither a preview nor an imported symbol because you are in the center of the 50 km drawing. In this case press HOME on your keyboard or choose “Show all” from the upper toolbar.

Plan layout, Overview

The plan layout plugin allows you to place differerent views on one plan / paper and to finalize your drawing with 2D elements, title blocks, images and all other functions of the basic software.

Place new or existing top views or sectional views together on your special plan view. All existing views are automatically updated in order to keep the plan and working views consistent.

How to use the support pages

The support pages give you additional information about our products.

Depending on the topic you are supported by videos, descriptions and pictures  (Screenshots) , to describe the specific subject as detailed as necessary.

The General – category contains topics which are, with a few exceptions, identical in all products and versions. The Extensions category shows those plugins , which are not necessarily part of your version.

If you are unable to identify a specific subject through the category and article navigation, we recommend the search function in the upper right corner. There you can insert a search term as  single word like “walls” or as a combination like “edit walls” . As a result you get all articles listed, containing the search term or a part of it. In our articles we try to use effective catchwords in order to make the search function work properly.