PlotMaker is a layouting program that was part of the ARCHICAD package. This standalone application is optimised to prepare an architectural documentation set based on the views, drawings and images created with ARCHICAD. PlotMaker can also accommodate data from external sources such as other CAD and image files, word-processing documents and spreadsheets. The Layouts were saved into single .PMK files until the Layout Book has been introduced in PlotMaker 9, which had a separate file format ( .LBK ).
Since ARCHICAD 10 the PlotMaker has been integrated into ARCHICAD. Thus, no more separate Layout files are needed. In the later ARCHICAD versions the layouts can be accessed and managed through the Navigator or the Organizer. However, in case of large and complex projects the using of .PMK files can be advantageous. In this workflow the model is located in one or more project files, and the Layout Book in a separate project file. Drawings are saved individually as .PMK files and linked to the ARCHICAD documentation project file. (You can find more information here)
Layout Books and .PMK files from ARCHICAD 8.1 and 9 can be migrated in ARCHICAD 19. For more information please check the relevant article: Migrating PlotMaker Layout Books to ArchiCAD 19
Working with PlotMaker
There are many ways to integrate PlotMaker smoothly into your practice. The following outline includes the recommended steps.
- Set up the Master Layout
- Define the structure of the Layout Book , including Title Types
- Generate and organize Layouts
- Import and place Drawings
- Edit Drawings in the Layout Window, if needed, and set edibility of Drawing attributes
- Manage and update linked Drawings
PlotMaker vs. ARCHICAD
In many ways, ARCHICAD is equivalent to AutoCAD Model Space , and PlotMaker to AutoCAD Paper Space .
ARCHICAD is where you will do the vast majority of your work: modeling, detailing, noting, and dimensioning.
PlotMaker is primarily a sheet layout and numbering tool. Most of the tasks you will perform in PlotMaker involve laying out viewports on a page, and cropping them to size. PlotMaker will sequentially number your sheets and fill in most of your section & detail references.
Layout Book refers to the documentation of your Project in ARCHICAD. It consists of layouts of different size organised in subsets in your Navigator. Layout Book was introduced in PlotMaker 9, and had a separate file format (.LBK). Since ARCHICAD 10 the PlotMaker has been integrated into ARCHICAD.