Jared, I’ve been testing with Complex Profiles to create an interior wall which has a 6″ base attached to it, which is simple to make, but I can’t set the base not to elongate with the wall if the wall height changes. My method at the moment is either creating a very small and thin wall and tracing the interior of the rooms, or using the Morph tool (which is awesome) and using the “follow me” method like Sketchup. Thanks!
You’re almost there.
I think the only solution (because it’s so much better than any other option) is to do baseboard as a separate Complex Profile wall. Your solution would work by using the vertical stretch option on the complex profile. You could set the vertical stretch to above the baseboard and then if you change the height of the placed wall, the baseboard wouldn’t stretch. But this has some limitations. Managing a few composites and one Complex Profile is going to be much easier than keeping track of all the complex profiles you’ll need. Beyond the management complexities… what if the baseboard needs to change height? Or what if the wall and baseboard need to separate for any reason (say at stairs, low walls, cabinets, etc.)? Trouble ensues. Furthermore, you will have more options for graphic representation if you keep the two separate (ie, all floor plan display options). You wouldn’t want your baseboard showing up on all your plans. Sure, this could be handled by setting the baseboard portion to ‘finish’ and hiding finishes on the floor plan, but that just makes things more complex and raises other issues.
So now that we’ve got the why out of the way, let’s talk about the how.
What’s great about using Complex Profile walls for baseboard, crown, wainscoting, and other linear wall adornment is that it’s VERY easy to put in. If you’re working in ArchiCAD, you already have plenty of experience modeling walls. This is no different. You’re just using Complex Profiles. Also by separating them out, scheduling (say querying the total linear feet of baseboard) becomes much easier.
I recommend setting the fill of the base, crown, or trim to match the fill of the interior surface of your full-height wall. In my work, I use a fill called ‘FINISH MATERIAL’. By having identical fills, the base and wall will merge in section and you’ll get a clean airline. At 1/4″ this will look great. At 1/2″ for interior elevations you will rarely need any patching for the airline (this takes a few other setting tricks, which I can talk about another time).
Now just because you have a good solution that looks pretty, that doesn’t guarantee it’s an efficient or fast technique. So to increase your speed, I recommend laying out your baseboard in one room. Don’t worry too much about what elevation the baseboard goes in at. After you draw the first segment, jump to a section cutting through the wall you just drew. Move the baseboard up or down as required. Now eyedropper that placed baseboard in plan and finish drawing the rest of the room. Check in 3D or section to make sure the room looks good. Then race around the remaining rooms on that floor. Repeat the technique on your other floors and you’ll be done. Same goes for crown moulding. I do recommend putting base and crown each on their own layers. This will make isolating and working on them much, much easier. For further speed, instead of starting and stopping the baseboard at doors, use the chained geometry method, model the baseboard as normal, and when you get to a door, click on each side of the door (effectively making a wall segment the width of the door). After you’ve laid out all the baseboard in the room, delete the segments at the doors. This will actually be faster than starting and stopping your wall tool.
Endless Options, Quick Alternatives
Even if you have a simple baseboard (say a typical 5/4 x 4 section), you still want to use a Complex Profile. And you want to label it ‘Typical Baseboard’ or something to that effect. You DON’T want to label it ’5/4 x 4′. Why? Because the baseboard’s sectional qualities might change. So if it’s labeled ‘Typical Baseboard’ it can become whatever you need it to be. In a client meeting and want to show them a fancy base? Either change the fills in the Complex Profile or go to 3D, use Find and Select, select all your baseboard (selection criteria should be by Complex Profile), and then change it to a different complex profile. SUPER easy. Want it to be easier? Sure. Store the Criteria Set for future use. You could also group your baseboards by room (I have mixed feelings about this) or by floor (this is a false efficiency and you will regret doing this).
Bonus Tip: Wainscot
Have a room with Wainscot? Use the same layer as your baseboard and incorporate any baseboard that occurs with it into the Complex Profile for the wainscot. Also maintain the same insertion point/reference line as your baseboard. This will make switching between the two VERY easy. Like all those VERY easy’s? I do. Again this will make clients think you’re some sort of computer wizard. In real time during a meeting it’ll be super easy to show them different base and crown conditions, and what a room feels like with a wainscot vs. just a baseboard. And since it’s all modeled, you can show them in any view – 3D, interior elevations, schedules, whatever you want.
And of Course…
These techniques can and SHOULD be applied to things other just baseboard, crown, and wainscot. That’s one of the awesome things about working in ArchiCAD. One set of tricks, lots of different applications.