Home > Features > Product Review: Graphisoft ArchiCAD 11

By using the new Worksheet as a reference from the building section we are able to align the engineered wall up with the older modeled wall in the ArchiCAD 11 model. As you can see from the QuickTime animation, this process of grabbing the referenced worksheet drawing elements and aligning with the 3D model is quite easy. To better evaluate the accuracy of alignment the Trace & Reference palette enables you choose the active view or the reference view or both and alter their degree transparency. You can also adjust color (more on this palette in a bit). (see QuickTime QT-4).

QuickTime : QT-3 - Creating a new Worksheet and bringing in external data into the ArchiCAD 11 file for further coordination.
QuickTime : QT-4 - Aligning the external "reference" viewpoint data with the model and using the Visual Compare splitter bar tools.

The most obvious candidate for the coolest new feature in ArchiCAD 11 is easily the Visual Compare tools. Once you believe you have your reference properly aligned with your "active" viewpoint you can utilize new Splitter bars. Dragging these bars across the screen (up/down or east to west on the screen) creates an X-ray or CAT-scan effect -- as if you are seeing through the body of your architecture. This is a very cool tool and would be most useful for comparing complex geometry profiles such as the one created in our test file. (see QuickTime QT-4).

In our file we must edit the 3D model to match the engineered curved wall. Part of this process is shown in this animation here.(see QuickTime QT-5).

QuickTime : QT-5 - Editing the model data using the Visual Compare reference drawing from the Worksheet with external data.

The Trace & Reference palette includes at the top a button that toggles trace on and off and a Reference drop-down menu. Below that is a row of five buttons: the first allow toggling back and forth between reference and active view. The next three are position of the reference (drag is most important). The fifth button is a "rebuild" reference. In the middle are the sliders (zero to 100% opacity) and color activations. At the bottom are four buttons useful to Visual Compare. The most important Splitter button is second one from the right. (see image 03). The color palettes allow you to change the color of the reference or the active view. And just to the right of the Reference opacity slider is a black triangle that flips out a Visible Elements pop-out sub-palette. From here you have fine-grain control over what elements in the "reference" are visible and which ones are not. You can also apply these controls individually or to all references. (see image 03).

O3 - The new Trace & Reference Palette. It includes a pop-out Visible Elements sub-palette which enables finer grain control.

Modeling Improvements

The big new modeling feature in ArchiCAD 11 is a direct response to criticism applied to ArchiCAD 10, when Graphisoft touted its complex profile capabilities. Now is it possible to utilize complex profiles with curved walls, not just linear walls. In Graphisoft's BEK (BIM Experience Kit) interactive training materials there is a quick example of taking a slanted wall, modifying its profile, and then curving the entire wall -- all in 3D view. We had a slightly harder time in our test file. We first created a curved wall on purpose. This is obviously more logical in terms of architectural design anyway. From our curved wall (see image 01) we performed the Capture Profile Section function. From here we modified it to the shape we wanted. Earlier in the review we mentioned that we then exported that wall profile out for engineering work.

One question you might have about curved walls with complex profiles is what happens to openings placed into them? Can you even place windows or doors in them in the first place? How does the jamb resolve itself, et cetera? We tested this out a bit. In our complex wall we dropped in three round openings and a large window. Now openings are simply that, no casing, no door, no glass or frame. Did the geometry of the shape resolve itself correctly with a round opening? The answer is yes. (see images 04-05).

O4 - Note the angle of the cut at the head of the round opening, it is parallel to the dominant angle of the complex profiled wall. The default orientation is "Associate with Wall."
O5 - With a window the default placed the window parallel with the slope, and it successfully resolved complex geometries, the straight sections spanning from jamb side to jamb side.

With our particular curved slanted wall we noticed that the default vertical orientation is "associate with wall" versus "vertical." However you can change this via the Window or Door settings palette. (see QuickTime QT-6). From that palette you can decide which orientation you want your openings to relate to. While it provides good flexibility and the results are sophisticated in their modeling resolution, we think an axis diagram of the unit with the ability for the user to tilt-adjust it would be even better.


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Home > Features > Product Review: Graphisoft ArchiCAD 11




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