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Standing Seam Roof - Curved on plan

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Hello all,


I've been delving through with the search bar, but not managed to find the answer to this one as yet.


I'm looking to create a curved on plan (concave), standing seam metal roof (similar to the images attached), circa 3-5˚ pitch.


I've tried a few techniques, but not managed to find the winner just yet - so it would be good to see how others might approach this?


Thank you in advance!




COP 2.jpeg


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If the span is the same depth along the curve….

Draw the cross section of the roof and an arc for the inside edge of the roof.  Then use Extrude Along path to form it.  You can do all the roof parts simultaneously using this technique.



If the depth and pitch vary, draw Nurbs curves to define the edges and loft.


If the roof is one tilted plane, then extrude the plan view, switch to side view, draw the roof plane, extrude it, and do a Solid intersect to produce the roof.


In each case, use a texture for the standing seam OR extrude ribs if you need more detail.  A displacement map for the ribs can be very convincing if you only need to depict them in renderings.

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I did not try.


But I remember a VW webinar video or so ...


It was about a freeform Surface and arraying a pretty rectilinear beam like structure.

While I think VW Surface Array does some distorting and scaling,

the trick was to create those simple beams as "EAP" with 5 segments or so.

This made them bending along and following the surface.

(I would not have come to that idea ... )


That is what I thought about the conical sheet metal.

maybe some segmenting, along the short side, will make them "rounding" the eave (?)

while the standing seams may just work with basic extrudes ?

Maybe it is important about how to create the "surface" at the start.

So that VW gets the direction for arraying right ?


Not much experience with Surface Array as I usually do not really have such geometry.

But when I played with it, I always thought this is one of the greatest VW features.

Edited by zoomer
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1 hour ago, Tom W. said:


If the seams are tapered is this achievable with a texture? I know if you port back to VW2021 you can 'bend' a texture by mapping it to a sweep...

yes, you can make all kinds of crazy shapes with a good displacement map.


here are some examples from my greatest hits album 😉

I’ll post a really extreme example later this week when I’m in front of my workstation.






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5 minutes ago, Benson Shaw said:


Just curious - What is construction method for such curved roofs?


It’s composed of straight segments.  The standing seam pieces are only as wide as a single section, U shaped essentially, so they don’t splay out along a curve.  If a truly radial layout is desired, each piece would need to be custom with the angled edge formed with a break onsite (most likely).

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I thought from the screenshots that the seams were arranged radially, hence my question about being able to represent this in a texture (I should have said radial rather than tapered). You could build the roof radially if using lead or zinc. Or EPDM probably. But whichever way it's built the roof structure itself is likely to be segmented rather than a flowing curve. It's clearly segmented in the screenshots. So I'd probably construct it using Roof Faces + either use a standing seam texture if I wasn't overly worried about the joints between the segments:






Or have a flat texture + add the seams afterwards as 3D solids for a more accurate representation.

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HI Guys

I tend to stay away from Roof and Wall stuff, because it is Architecture and I don't know much about the language,   But, it appears that if I parse through all the terminology that someone is looking to make a circular steel roof.  If that is wrong then I apologize.  But is this what we are talking about.  A 3D geometric roof.  This one has individual panels.

The method used can control the drop, length, numbers etc.




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Adding to the mix, here.


Several of the methods above are great for either radial or segmented.  I think @CipesDesign frequent suggestion applies: model as it will be built.  So ridge condition,  roof slab, soffits, etc.


And, since I don't know the construction detail, just shootin' from the hip with weather surface only, similar to @Tom W.. The transition between segments is full length to prevent cutting through any seams.  Panels here have simplified seams (but they do interlock), made from NURBS loft, made to symbol, applied to 1st segment. 1st segment grouped and duplicate/rotate to other segments  Transition material between segments is not addressed.





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for what it is worth .... I was the construction manager on a Library that used this exact roof type and shape about 15 years ago.  Each metal panel was the same width throughout it's length.  The roof is segmented like Tom W showed.  It was a memorable pain in the butt for everyone, and I ask all readers to avoid this design (or use a EPDM or TPO roof). 

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I am exceptionally embarrassed to say my last post was mis-information. (I didn't lie, because I believed what I said was true.).  The project was the Major Hillard Library in Chesapeake VA, and if you look at a Google earth satellite photo, you'll see we actually built it using a built-up roof (asphalt and aggregate).  My old (and defective) memory is now refreshed and I remember the Architect initially designed it with a metal roof, and there were too many detail problems, so we switched to an asphalt/aggregate roof.  Even without the metal roof, there were other problems ... like the insulation and sheathing panels are not 3D curved, and building felt was oddly applied.   At the same time, we were building another metal roof project that had problems (but the building wasn't curved).     I am so sorry my old memory is bad.     


Even though the building and the roof turned out good (no roof leak history) this project did turn me against curved buildings.  When all your building pieces are straight and planar, it doesn't make a lot of sense to force them into 3D curves.


Curiously .... it was the only project I had where about 15 long span (35 ft) steel web truss joists were stolen.  Someone with a crane and truck showed up on a Saturday and just outright stole them.  Never did find them.  


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