Number of attributes

by GRAPHISOFT and lnagy · updated: 06.25.2004
  • {i} ForWikiEditors : ToDoTechTip/ – update article

Speed becomes an increasing concern as the size of the Project grows. Following the below guidelines you can make sure you do not unnecessarily slow yourself down or if you do, you know where to look for the remedy.

See also article:Troubleshooting

The more Attribute s collected in a Project, the more complicated it becomes. Lots of Layer s, unused Fill s, Line type s can slow your work down as you might spend too much time selecting attributes from their lists. Some users may start a new Project by opening an old one and clicking New from the File menu. This will inherit all attributes of the Project just used – even the unnecessary ones. It is a good idea to have predefined Project Templates for different types of Projects. Another good idea is to start the Project with few attributes and load additional ones with the Attribute Manager later on as need for them arises. In the Attribute Manager you can purge all unused attributes to achieve this ‘lean’ state of the Project. In case of Vectorial Fill s, when you have many Symbol fill s/line types or complicated fills/line types, it can increase redraw and rebuild time working on the Floor Plan and in Section/Elevation Windows. Again, make these as simple as possible and load only as many as needed.

Bitmap fills

It is usual to have maps scanned and placed on the Floor Plan in ArchiCAD Projects. Bitmaps can also be placed into any Window with the Figure Tool. Watch the size of these bitmaps, as too large ones can slow down redraw in these Windows.

Using groups

Sometimes the program is slow because the Project contains lots of Group s (hundreds or even thousands of them). This can be caused by inadvertently grouping elements and multiplying them. For example, you may group 4 lines together to represent a tile on a roof on which to walk. Then this group is multiplied all around the flat roof – immediately, hundreds of groups are created without realizing it, and that ArchiCAD will have to keep track of the state of each group in its database. Groups could also be tricky because they can be nested. You may create 100 groups the above way and then create one large group out of these. When you select this, you see one group by its color, but there is actually a hundred. So you may not be aware just how many groups you have in your Project. The slowdown caused by groups is most visible in the speed of selection/deselection of the Floor Plan.

Lines/Arcs coming from DXF/DWG files

Since most people using AutoCAD are working in it in 2D, a large number of lines can be accumulated in a single DXF /DWG file. Sometimes when data is read, more complex elements (BLOCKs – Library Object -like elements in AutoCAD) may be broken down into Line s/ Arc s. Sometimes fill patterns are broken down into their primitives. This could cause data coming from these formats to contains up to tens of thousands of lines/arcs, which can considerably slow down you work speed in ArchiCAD. You can check this with Find & Select . One useful thing is to establish with consultants the format of files required by your office (e.g.: no fills, please). Also, it can be helpful to convert BLOCKs to ArchiCAD Library Objects, as it will prove to be a lot faster in case lots of BLOCK were placed in the DXF/DWG drawing.

Solid Operations

This is a great New Feature from ArchiCAD 8 on, but does not mean it should be used with abandon. The program must keep track of all Target and Operator elements for each Solid Element Operation performed. Also, if you used many complex GDL elements to do Solid Operations with, the 3D-generation time can increase. For example, using the ‘3D Text’ Library Object to create texts carved into Wall s in the 3D Model can be an example, as this object contains lots of vertices and polygons in 3D.

GDL Objects

The more complicated Library Objects are used, the more time it can take for the program to handle them. When creating/programming GDL Object you can control how complex an Object will be. Curved surfaces (with high resolution of Objects using the RESOL command), extensive use of GDL Global Variables, large arrays, very complexly structured scripts, many file input/output operations are some point that can make GDL Objects slower. Lots of Zones placed on the Floor Plan can also be a slowing factor (Zones being generally complex and having lots of built-in Global Variables).

API Add-Ons

Extremely sophisticated Objects and operations can be created and performed with ArchiCADs API . However, these Add-On s could also become a speed factor, as they practically have direct access to the ArchiCAD Project Database. So they can actually use up a lot of processor time to do their own tasks. It is a good idea to load only Add-Ons you need, when you start having lots of them. For example, if you have an Add-On that creates skylights in Roofs, you can unload it, in case you have a building with a flat Roof. Just as in case of attributes: you can always load it when you need it.

By following some of the above guidelines, you can make your ArchiCAD leaner, faster and work with it more quickly with less potential sources of trouble.

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