Hello everyone! Today I want to introduce a new BIM topic into our blog: the Complex Profiles. Last week we introduce Scheduling in ARCHICAD as well. The purpose of these new topics is to share what I consider smart guidelines for your BIM workflow in ARCHICAD. The introduction of course is directed to those who still do not use BIM or are not very experienced yet. Next articles regarding this topics will have more advanced content..

Complex profiles are a very powerful modeling tool that provide a great amount of data linked to them into your model. Another important aspect is how we control the way we display 2D Documentation. The 2D display options they use can give us very good control of our drawings.
So let’s get to it!
I want to use a simple exercise to start using our Complex Profiles (CP from now on). In this case we are going to use a standard european profile UPN class to design our CP.
1. First of all let’s go to the complex profile menu and create a new profile. In AC20 we go to Options>Complex Profiles>Profile manager. In previous version AC19 it was located in Design>Complex Profiles>Profile Manager
2. The way we design complex profiles is by drawing their section (profile) that afterwards will be extruded. For this purpose we use 2D Fills. As you ca see Fills are going to act as the Building Material of the element. This means that the Fill we use will define both 3D and 2D representation. This is how our CP looks like. It is a combination of two standard UPN 140 profiles connected by two metal plates.
3. Now we need to add some Hotspots that later will be our control points in both 2D and 3D.
4. These buttons we see in the image below are those that control weather the CP we are creating will be available for walls, beams or columns. In this case we select them all because we want to be able to to use the profile in every tool we mentioned. We click Apply to save changes.
5. Let’s use the profile for inserting a column. We will select the CP from this tab in the Column’s Settings Dialog. We would do the same in the case of Walls and Beams.
6. This is how the column looks in 2D (exactly as we draw it on the CP window) and in 3D.
7. Now we are going to modify the design of the profile’s section by adding more fills with different Building material. In this case we are adding a protection envelope for our metal profile. We add some external gypsum panels plus some insulation in between.
8. Let’s use one interesting feature of the CP. The idea of the CP is that the section drawing we design will be extruded in one direction. But we can set up some stretching rules so the section can be modified.
Once we click on this button two red lines will appear in the section drawing indicating which part of the profile will be stretched and which one will maintain the shape. Elements in between both red lines will stretch and elements outside that area will maintain their shape. You can see how the UPN 140 profiles didn’t change when we stretch them because they were not in between the red lines.
All these tips should allow you to start using CP and start implementing in your workflow. Note that at first the advantages are related to our 3D model and 2D representation we extract from them. Designing different profiles and being able to modify all of them at the same time by changing the CP type will make your life just easier.
Something you need to bear in mind is that since the CP use Building Materials this will allow you to categorize every element that has a CP by using the Building Material Properties. For using the information and manage it this aspect will be quite interesting. We will see this in the next article about complex profiles.
Another feature of BM is related with the 2D drawings. BM have different priorities that will allow us to reproduce the 2D drawings with some automatic parameters. Also food for the next article… As an introduction for some new BIM  user in ARCHICAD I guess was enough way to start.
We will see some more of these features in coming articles related with Complex Profiles..
Hope you find the article useful! Thanks for reading us!