Continued from page 2
Real-Time 3D Cutting Planes
The final element in this grand solution that Graphisoft has focused on (in release 17) is Real-time 3D Cutting Planes. In ArchiCAD 17 purple-colored cut planes are readily available for dragging through the model revealing real-time sectional rendering regeneration. All in OpenGL of course.
These cut planes can be set to accurate points in the model as well as stored as part of the image sets for the project. It is possible to drag the cut planes from every side of the building (eg: top, bottom, sides) reducing the area of the model that is visible to a fraction of the whole building.
One of the questions we had right away was can you create a 3D cut plane from a top plan view? The answer is yes. Eniko Pauko of Graphisoft also explained that you can also use the 3D cut plane to establish in 3D where the best sectional cut should be made and then use it as the basis for a standard building section by using its snap points for the sectional view location. Lastly, it is possible to rotate the cut planes in 3D space to provide unique visual 3D sections useful to presentations. (see images 08 -09)
BIM Lives in the Details – What Else?
During our presentation most of the time was spent on describing the four aspects above. But interestingly, we were surprised when Graphisoft told us that as a result of the new Priority-Based Connections and Intelligent Materials there was a net positive result in the material take-off capabilities of ArchiCAD 17.
Prior to version 17 ArchiCAD was quite capable of material take-offs and they were considered accurate and workable for real-practice. But of all those cases where materials were not truly interfacing like they do in real-life, some amount of inaccuracy was getting generated. Now, with the far more accurate way in which materials are resolving their collisions ArchiCAD 17 is generating improvements in material take-offs which shouldn’t be dismissed as trivial. (see image 10)
Expanded 3D Capabilities in Version 17
ArchiCAD 17 has fundamental new 3D capabilities which enable many of the items we have already spoken about. Chief among those is the Real-Time 3D Cut Plane. Another feature ArchiCAD 17 gains as part of this additional technology is the Floorplan Based 3D Documents feature.
This feature makes it easy to create a floor plan that has 3D aspects to it because it is in essence a 3D model view looking straight down with a horizontal cut plane established. What results are things like half walls and slices through fenestration. Shadows are cast on the floor from the vertical elements like the walls and a visually appealing view of a floorplan is created. (see image 11)
Additional 3D features include a more powerful MORPH tool. This tool brought to ArchiCAD, in version 16, very powerful direct-modeling capabilities for advanced form-making. In version 17 new features include the ability to list volume and surface areas of single Morph forms and separately by story as well. This is valuable for early stage conceptual design where free-form modeling is done using tools like Push-Pull with the MORPH tool. (see image 12)
ArchiCAD 17 now makes curved beams easy to produce along a horizontal plane. Additionally, it is also possible to create a grid system with curved beams.
Despite the heavy introductions of simple to advance direct-modeling (aka: explicit modeling) tools in the past two releases (16-17) this version also adds strong support for Trimble’s SketchUp modeling program. You can now save an ArchiCAD model to native SketchUp model format directly, without installing any add-ons. And you can choose which layers and element types to export. The native ArchiCAD file’s textures and colors are kept as they move from the BIM program to SketchUp.
There are many reasons why a user may want to move a model from ArchiCAD to SketchUp. A chief reason is the wide variety of rendering solutions and third-party plugins that do specific functions. Another reason may be to merge a BIM model with an existing SketchUp model, perhaps one of a large urban context.
More importantly, the new direct-connection between ArchiCAD and SketchUp allows the user to bring in SketchUp models directly into ArchiCAD 17. After setting some options the imported SketchUp model is free for continued use after converting the objects to Morph objects. Finally, you can also export ArchiCAD models directly to Google Earth now, as well as import a Google Earth model into ArchiCAD.
next page: Open BIM and Other Improvements