- Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:29 pm
I learned to program in Autolisp years ago, and in SketchUp I became really competent in building dynamic components.
Now I use Archicad, I have GDL. However - this is just not an acceptable solution for ordinary users. Honestly, there are so few objects available by comparison with Revit or Sketchup.
Here is an example - Data cabinets. I downloaded one from BIMObject and found basically an imported Solidworks object with a ridiculous polygon count, and a load of standard parameters to edit. Try downloading things like hand driers, taps and furniture - it's ridiculous. The BIMobject guys seem to have no understanding whatsoever what BIM is for.
Commercial gates are another example of stuff we ought to have.
The reason we don't have enough good parametric objects is because GDL is much too inaccessible.
I think an approach is required which allows interested users to learn a little and be able to build properly parametric objects.
Something like the SketchUp Dynamic Component approach would be perfect. I tried Library Part Maker, but it's far too much effort for static components. Let's be honest, most of us probably want to build dynamic parametric components. Creating objects is easy enough if you don't want to mess around with levels of detail.
SketchUp DCs use the principle of manipulating instances or predefined geometry. You can stretch, rotate and array them and very quickly and effectively build properly parametric objects without having to define the geometry point by point. I have built dynamic windows and wall panelling with different patterns and options for skirtings and mouldings. Everything is based on arrays of instances of predefined geomteric components, most of which are arrays of simple cubes with the dimensions modified.
It ought to be possible to create a web-based application simply for building Archicad components. After all - you only need a small subset of Archicad's tools. There is a web-based version of SketchUp, so it shouldn't be *that* difficult. It could even export IFC components for other applications.
A web application avoids all the tedious updates and installation that we normally have, and avoids the cross-platform complexity.
You could also have a efficient workflow which takes you through building your 3D object, your 2D representation, modifying levels of detail, and adding parameters. This could also be a separate application done by a standalone team, that simply adds a front end to building traditional GDL objects.
GDL in itself is fine. Nothing at all wrong with it - it's just not a tool for over 90% of users. We need a front end that is sensible, intuitive, and accessible.
Grasshopper is another complicated solution to the problem. We should not have to download another expensive standalone 3d modeller to build Archicad objects.
Come on guys, there is a really easy solution to this. Look at Sketchup DCs and improve on that approach.
The attached screenshot shows what the UI looks like.
You create/select named components, and define the origin point.
Then in the sections under the main definition, you control the copies, dimensions, position and rotation.
Arraying is done by setting the position variable. Supposing you want the user to input the number of copies (or derive them from the dimensions inputted) you use this to set the number of copies, and position is something like in (say) the X position box, as
If you want an offset, you could use:
It's actually pretty straightforward.
If you look at the screenshot, next to some of the variables, you have a little dialog icon. Click on this and you have an option to configure user input like this:
Of course the UI is a lot simpler than Archicad, but the approach I think is valid.
The point is that with a really simple UI and input dialogs, you can build some really useful complex parametric objects, and it's so much easier than GDL