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^ I agree.

That universal BIM Model in IFC Format is just a bunch of grouped Faces in 3D

plus all its Information Tags.

So it is easy for VW to be called a BIM App.

This way even Modo, as a Polygon Modeler, could be a great BIM App, if they

would add Bim Tags.

But what architects understand as BIM Application is an Architectural App with

Tools to develop that Information Model.

And here is where I think VW Tools are not at the same Level as Revit, Archicad

or Allplan in Features, Usability and Stability. And it doesn't get better when you

leave the path of parametrical tools to model special custom parts. That is where

the standard 3D Model Tools with a strong 2D legacy and even the standard CAD

feature set for Selection, Translation and Numerical Input starts to limit.

To not been misunderstood,

Architecture is 95% a 2,5D approach because of force of gravity and because

horizontal and vertikal building elements give the best usage for build space.

So a reliable 2,5D workflow is really important :

Draw 2D Elements, give 3rd Dimension, assign to a Z Height - without accidentally

moving in 3rd Dimension level.

That works mostly well in VW in Top Plan View with Drag Tool and Extrudes and

Symbols. But it ends for Planar Elevation Views in general and things like Tape Tool,

Move by Points and nearly all 3D Tools that rely on that 2D+1D approach.

For true 3D, things like a lock to only one Axis for translation, real Scaling, real Boolean

Operations, on the fly workplane rotation, ... are missing.

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Yes. The floorplan is where most architectural designs are rooted. It's essential that users feel fully in control of how their floorplan looks and that information on the floorplan is "safe".

To make the move into 3D I don't want to have to start making workarounds to make sure that my floorplans still look right. I don't want to have to start using complicated classifications of objects so that some of them appear in 2D only, some of them in 3D only and some in both.

I want the software to give me lots of control over how the output looks, but once I've told it what I want, then it should worry about how the information is structured, leaving me to worry about the actual building designs instead.

This issue of how the output looks is very important to most architects. It's how we communicate (and indeed sell) our intentions to a variety of audiences. We produce different drawings for clients, for planning authorities, for builders. They use the same basic information but presented with different emphases. I feel in control of this working in 2D VW but not so much in 3D. As soon as I am in 3D I find myself thinking: this is the drawing which I want to produce - but I can't.

This is partly because I'm still making the transition. But I think it's true that there are drawings that I can produce using my established 2D methods (with help from, say, sketchup) which are simply not possible if I try and generate them from a 3D model in VW.

I wonder if VW needs to make more effort in understanding the needs of architects - working at all scales. Some of the features promoted in newer VW versions might be nice for people working on giant new-build projects but are completely irrelevant for me. Perhaps they need to take a close look at the way people working at the other end of the scale actually use VW, in order to understand properly what's actually important to them.

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Yes, the

BIM creates challenges. But I am sure the consensus is that it is worth it. In short, I think we need to educate our clients to the benefits of BIM, overcome legal requirements (which would mostly go away if we educated our clients better), and arrive at new tendering, contracting models (Once again, if we educated our clients better, I think this would be relatively easy).

Further to my outline above:

1. Let's not forget. BIM can exist in 2D information as well as 3D. Even if the end game points to 3D.

2. Architecture tends to require great variability.

For specialised services, high level of detail, due to limited suppliers, industry standards etc. make for a possibility when every component is detailed, right down to bolts and rivets. Maybe this is also the case for architects who repeat the same details over and over, from project to project. But for many, this will never be the case.

3. One reason for architects not having a high level of design (LOD) is that we need to rely on other suppliers and consultants, and them achieving relevant code/standard requirements. How you document often relates to liability. Much of the information in our designs is for our own information and design, not a performance spec. If you watch Francois Levy's latest webinar at Novedge, he is extremely clear in pointing out, the BIM data he harvests is for his own information, and not as a performance guarantee. If the client wants that, they need to engage the relevant consultant. (http://www.novedge.com/webinar/178).

4. I think where you have a partnership-like relationship with contractors this works wonderfully. But often, due to tendering processes, relationships can often be more adversarial than partnering, esp if project managers are attempting to drive a wedge between the architect and the client.

5. Regarding apps like Affinity, I think all of the incumbents (Vectorworks, Revit, ArchiCAD etc.) area are all looking over their shoulders not knowing where it could come from, and have the view that they need to paddle as fast as they can to prevent this happening. Even though Adobe just had their biggest profit year ever, one can't help but think that apps like Affinity are going to cause them grief in years to come.

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I apologise. I seem to have killed this thread! :) Getting back on track, I would like to know how you are drawing...

Mike (DigitalMechanics) – Are you modelling in pure 3D? (that is, no parametric objects). If so, I can understand why you want to dispose with sheets! ;) Your video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6yLrdsgquM) comparing pure modelling to parametrics has got me thinking. More on that later.

Col37400 – What parametric objects are you using at the moment? What are you struggling to get your head around that is preventing you transitioning to 3D?

Micha (Zoomer), Christiaan – What types of projects are you working on? What parametric objects do you use?

Christiaan – in the threads, I see amazing examples of your work from time to time? What parametric objects do you use? What freeform 3D modelling do you use to supplement parametric objects?

I look forward to reading your replies. Thank you.

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I did plain 3D modeling all the time.

(ok some little Allplan and Speedicon on Microstation)

Around 2010 Is started to look a) for Architectural Apps and b) for

a direct connection from a CAD to a 3D Modeler/Visualization Tool.

Tested intensively Archicad and Allplan, and a bit Vectorworks.

I started with VW 2014 and tried all Arch Objects.

Currently I use Walls, Slabs and a bit of Windows, Doors and Stairs.

Edited by zoomer

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Col37400 – What parametric objects are you using at the moment? What are you struggling to get your head around that is preventing you transitioning to 3D?

In my "test" project where I'm trying out working properly in 3D so far I've used walls, doors, windows and stairs (and slabs).

If you have a look at this thread:

https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=220561

it explains where I am finding issues with 3D. I have now managed to create a floorplan that I'm happy with - but to achieve that I've had to draw certain elements twice - in 3D (for the model only) and in 2D (for the floorplan only). And then switch on/off classes etc in different views.

So there's a way to make it work but it partly defeats the purpose of working from a 3D model - not having to draw everything twice.

It's questionable how much time this saves me from my previous workflow where I'd draw the plans (accurately) in VW and then have a rough-and-ready 3D drawn separately in Sketchup (it doesn't have to be as accurate because it was just for my own use in exploring options, and/or for presentation images).

In Sketchup, I can navigate and edit the 3D model much more fluently than in VW. This will change as I get more practiced in the VW 3D environment of course, but there are certain things that I can do in Sketchup that I just can't in VW. Admittedly I am using VW2011 and it seems that there are a few significant improvements I'd benefit from in moving to the most recent version. But when I look at the cost of upgrading (not just the software - I'd have to get a new computer too) I wonder if it's really worth it.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, things like the cost of licences and hardware are perhaps not such a big deal to large commercial practices. But for small operators for me these costs are significant.

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Diamond, i model all in 3d no parametric but i am not doing houses.

when i do houses i use the wall, window, door, roof & floor tools

floor & roof tool i use only to model a single layer of material

such as sub floor and finish floor ceilings etc

this extra works makes my sections correct

wall tool i use very carefully

stairs are always custom modeled THEN i do a section cut plan view and make a small vp overlay to overly my plan vp.

i would just do a plan section cut to get my floor plan (so floor plan looks like my sections) but then my doors swings are gone. so i keep my floor plans in top plan but my stair plan section cut is hidden line. then i draw in dashes

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Generating floorplans is such a fundamental part of architectural work that it seems rather unsatisfactory that we have to be using the kind of fiddly workarounds that digitalmechanics describes above.

Layered construction buildups (as in floors, walls and roofs) are also fairly fundamental to the way buildings are put together. The wall tool works ok (until you want to do something a bit unusual). But the workarounds for floors and roofs that digitalmechanics describes (using the tool for single layers rather than to generate whole buildup) should tell anyone designing these tools that they don't really work.

VW2016 promo videos tell me about Marionette and the ability to generate fancy facades through visual scripting.

But VW hasn't got good enough basic tools just for generating floorplans and sections from a 3D model! This is what they need to focus on first!

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But VW hasn't got good enough basic tools just for generating floorplans and sections from a 3D model! This is what they need to focus on first!

This is so true!

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3. One reason for architects not having a high level of design (LOD) is that we need to rely on other suppliers and consultants, and them achieving relevant code/standard requirements. How you document often relates to liability. Much of the information in our designs is for our own information and design, not a performance spec. If you watch Francois Levy's latest webinar at Novedge, he is extremely clear in pointing out, the BIM data he harvests is for his own information, and not as a performance guarantee. If the client wants that, they need to engage the relevant consultant. (http://www.novedge.com/webinar/178).

I've just had a watch of this webinar.

Near the beginning he mentions the various "myths" about BIM...quite a few of these matching some of my moans about the difficulties of using it in the real world.

For example the worry that we become constrained by standard components or what can or cannot be easily modelled in the software.

This concern is dismissed as a "myth" but the project examples don't convince me at all. The three projects shown simply reinforce my prejudices about what "BIM architecture" ends up looking like. I think other architects will know what I mean. Those projects don't have a high level of non-standard components. They don't involve irregular, historic existing structures. They don't have complex sections or spatial volumes or floorplans with multiple changes in level. You can see that it's pretty easy to break down the designs into floors, walls and roofs - in a convenient way for BIM classification. There aren't places where, for example, there's ambiguity about whether a certain element or portion of an element is a wall or a roof, or where a window isn't fully contained within a wall, say.

These are designs in which what are arguably really engineering considerations have had a heavy influence. There's nothing wrong with that in principle - I certainly welcome careful consideration being given to thermal performance, passive ventilation and so on. And if there are tools built into VW that make it easier to make intelligent design decisions about these concerns then that is great. But there's a whole lot of other stuff that is important in creating good architectural design that doesn't have much to do with tabulated databases. Software aimed at architects should be aimed at giving the architect more time and freedom to worry about good architectural design - not making it easier for the architect to do other people's jobs (I am thinking of the mention in the webinar about the ease of making a material takeoff for a contractor to submit his tender bid - that's his job not mine!).

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the new browser based software could be called mst

matter, space, time

when you stop and think about it everything boils down to a defining of those 3 items.

for example:

matter is HDPE pipe

space is HDPE pipe - xyz

time is HDPE pipe - past, present & future

Edited by digitalmechanics

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A side note—Nemetschek has just purchased Solibri. From Architosh.

With Nemetschek mostly leaving companies autonomous, I think this is more good than bad. But my gut instinct tells me, as this thread has been discussing, it would be better to see companies like Bluebeam and Solibri merged into a next generation data display solution to get the best from both, and transcend current limitations. Once again, I keep coming back to a BIMx type solution.

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Hi Gents,

Thank you for your replies. I sympathise with the challenges you each face.

In response;

The Super Format: Currently IFC.

Contains only Data and Information, no software instructions.

Is supported, organized and developed by ALL parties

-Zoomer, I really liked your suggestions regarding a 'Super File Format' that is, IFC (or a form of) that Vectorworks can read natively, import and translate into Vectorworks objects, then save out again to be able to share with other parties. This would save a huge amount of time, as well as reduce file size.

The three projects shown simply reinforce my prejudices about what "BIM architecture" ends up looking like.

-Col37400, I know what you mean—Francois's designs are by no means cutting edge in terms of form when compared to Calatrava, or Foster. But many people do not want that kind of design. For folks living in Texas, a house that exploits the local environment will most definitely change their life, even if it never never appears on the cover of architectural review. Maybe after Francois had collected his data, he could have used that to take his design to another level.

And as digitalmechanics signature suggests "you cannot manage what you have not measured", more information is better when making decisions. Many architects design with their gut, but from my experience, esp working with some of the best environmental engineers on the planet, these gut instincts are often very wrong.

That said, the BIM based designs that make the headlines in Australia, are well designed projects where the leading design and cost savings that come from BIM are key factors in their development, construction, and maintenance.

"Tyranny of Sheets" is clearly seen here.
-digitalmechanics, is there someway you can export out 3D loci for the surveyor for project setout? I often receive survey info with 3D loci. Can it go the other way?

Also I understand you wanting to get rid of sheets. But what happens if the surveyor reads your info the wrong way because his software imports it the wrong way? I am on your side, but these are the kinds of questions we need to solve going forward, and are common to most projects I work on.

Some other notes:

-In order to have 3D objects display better in plan, I have been having success with the Auto Hybrid object.

-It seems like we need to have the ability for pure 3D plans, to be able to have SLVP settings that are similar to Auto Hybrid objects.

In fact add to that one added feature, (for elevations and section VP's as well) to be able to set line thickness as for objects beyond the cutting plane. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary outlines for groups of objects that are close (e.g.<1m), medium (e.g. <2-5m), and far away (e.g. >5m)—the distances could be overridden. The linework within those groups could be set to a fine line detail setting.

-Instead of Floor objects, perhaps you should try the Slab Tool. These days you can mix it up with components. Roof Objects candy this as well now.

-Also I use the Framing Member Tool for all manner of structure. I have even used it for concrete slab beam thickenings. Also when I need just 3D steel members that I will use within an Auto Hybrid object, I will use the 3D steel profiles in the Detailing Toolset.

-With the stair tool, due to the infinite permutations this is where parametric objects break down, but maybe in time Marionette can bridge the gap. I can see an active marketplace for these kind of Marionette objects, like Sketchup has the 3D Warehouse.

Thanks for the great back and forth. Extremely thought provoking.

TD

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Ditto others that this is an interesting threads. I'd like to add my two cents.

1. I'm a long time user, 25 years, since MC3.

2. I've seen conversations like this before. I remember clearly the aspirations for 3d CAD, which was realized by the ability to extrude a rectangle in MC3, and do so with a little more utility, but still essentially useless utility, in MC4. The question: "Is this where we want to be?" is always a good one.

3. The question as to whether VW/MC is an evolutionary dead end is more or less eternal. It's still here.

4. I've not generally been a fan of he direction of VW over the last 15 years because it departed, in my view, from its early "here's a better way" engineering [Does anyone remember how amazing a real smart cursor was?] idea, to more of a "we can do it as well as you" philosophy that has transformed the program into a second tier auto cad. Still, if you know how to use it, it is a really good program. It's my main squeeze.

5. I lament a little the trend to components and categorization. We used to joke about how auto cad used to need different layers/classes for every different line weight/color/style. In the beginning, for VW/MC, drawing information trumped drawing organization. Now, at best it is a toss up.

6. It strikes me that Nature likes failures and successes and doesn't much like a lack of choices. I, therefore, take standardization as less than a religion.

7. I really like the post by 37400 in this thread, his first one. He said: " I'd rather they focussed first on making the 3D modelling capabilities themselves adequate. My feeling is that we are only part way to the point where it's actually feasible to build one 3D model and then generate all the necessary info from that." Me too. I say don't try to take over the world with big ideas if the little key details are not there yet.

8. I'm sort of a down to earth architect. I don't just work to imagine beautiful things, I worry about how to get them built. I try to understand what the ideas look like at the end of a hammer and to the gal that swings it. The work that people are doing with VW transitions to that practical end in very rough and very smooth ways. The smooth way, has lots of translators between the pencil and the hammer. The rough way has the pencil talking directly to the hammer. Sometimes the hammer speaks, mainly, Espanol. The idea that everyone in the chain can measure a board and manipulate a 3D model seems not of the present world to me. The world is rough to me.

9. I grant that in the quite large projects, nobody knows too much. Everybody knows some little important part. In the medium sized to small projects, order (effective progress) requires a few people with transcendent responsibilities. This puts the keeper of the design in a complicated role as chief adult, master facilitator, and number one end to end voice. This is at times at odds with the democratic ideal of a project model everyone can edit.

10. So to return to one of the key themes of this thread, the future of VW, I'd give it 50%. Its future may be better than mine, but it think it is aligned with going with the flow. I recommend a cell division. Identify a few differentiated directions for the product, (not industry related but workflow related), find the most creative leaders for each direction, give them access to the patents and technology, retain a piece for profits, pray for all of them to prosper, and see what happens.

All the best,

Donald

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the need for a browser based approach is clearly seen again in the following video

https://youtu.be/BdzbTETZfkw

(this is an active working video so please no youtube post or likes/dislikes)

no one has access to the data unless i export in some fashion. exporting is the next "Tyranny of Numbers" after sheets.

browser need to be realtime collaborative and data harvesting. i may own the subscription but i can invite others into the 3d environment to gather what they want.

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First of all, DM awesome videos and seems like you got your workflow down smoothly, thanks a lot for sharing.

My two cents for this thread would be;

1) The industry is heading towards BIM inexorably. It's a painful process but it's easier to adopt early on rather than later. BIM is going to be the medium we will be communicating in future. And yes, a SuperFormat that is independent of market software companies should be the bonding exchange, somehow...

2) I would be on board with most of you that VW should put more effort to further develop its' 3D tools and model making flows. (think sculpting rather than drawing)

3) I think what we all need is a uniform classing system as well. CSI provides the OmniClass for this purpose which I have seen comes closest to answering this need. They should be working to create an enough sophisticated and all encapsulating language which the software company will translate in to their language.

That's it from me now, thanks for the time

Edited by sle7en7

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We need a uniform classing system and ideally one that is set up in the software such that things are automatically classified as much as possible.

And this is another reason that using classes as a "workaround" solution within VW is not a sustainable solution in the long term.

For example - having class(es) into which you can put 3d objects that you don't want to see in plan view, because they don't render properly in 2D. That's not going to work once you're trying to share drawings using a uniform classing system that will allow models to display correctly regardless of the sotware package used to view/modify them.

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For example - having class(es) into which you can put 3d objects that you don't want to see in plan view, because they don't render properly in 2D. That's not going to work once you're trying to share drawings using a uniform classing system that will allow models to display correctly regardless of the sotware package used to view/modify them.

That is something to think about for sure. What I'm not sure about is the separation VW provides for Top/Plan View (2D) and Top view (3D), meaning, should it be rid of in near future and shift to all 3D mode is the question. For now it is nice to have a different representation of objects in 2D plan and 3D view but it is against the idea of drawing/modeling things once. So yea, I think I can pick a side as a conclusion and be penchant for 3D modeling all the way.

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