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JMR

Interior elevations - how to do ceramic tiles

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Hi all,

 

I've set up a multitude of interior elevations in sheet layers. Everything works fine (though very slow...). However, I need to display ceramic tiles on some walls, and I since everything is created from the 3D geometry, I need to get the ceramic tile grid from the wall objects. I also need to adjust the run of the tiles by individual wall, since that is important for the builder (and the architect).

 

I've run into the following when trying to crack this:

  • Surface hatch cannot be adjusted individually? Controls are not available or they have no effect. Sometimes the change in eg. rotation of the hatch is passingly visible but immediately resets to the orthogonal setup, same with offsets
  • Hatch controls change all walls' hatches, which is not an option, I need to adjust wall by wall
  • Tiles or manual hatches are not an option, since I would have to cut holes for every shelf, mirror, tap, etc. in the elevations, by hand. If it were 2D drawings, the hatch could just go behind the objects in front
  • Tiles don't export to dwg anyway - I cannot produce "as built" dwg's for the client with tiles
  • Wall component hatch shows only in plan view, not in elevation (right?)
  • Attribute mapping doesn't work with walls(?)

 

Is there a solution for this? Any workflow advice would be much appreciated, also links to old threads. I did a search but didn't find anything directly about this.

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would normally add hatches/images etc in viewport annotations - make a polygon fill and change to your selected hatch/tile

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Posted (edited)

@JMR My opinion is that hatches are envisioned as more of a generalized appearance feature rather than as an accurate geometric representation, at least in the case of ceramic tile, brick, and other grids. But that is conjecture.

 

Workflow ideas that might work for you:

Model it in one way or another rather than depending on hatch. Goal is to present an easily created 3d representation of either the grout lines or the tiles themselves.  Duplicate Array command and Move by Points tool are both very helpful for this.

 

Create a 2d grid of lines or dbl lines representing the grout lines, or an array of rectangles or other closed shapes with proper dimension for the tiles and offset for the grout lines. Work either in the SLVP elevations of the various walls (safer, but has an extra step to transfer them to model later) or on the walls themselves in the model (careful not to move other elements). Create these in a group for safety of surrounding and so they can be edited/moved easily or removed later. The  choice depends on your desired outcome.  The grid of lines is low overhead, but will only represent the grout spaces. The closed shapes will represent the actual tiles including voids for grout space between, and can receive color fill and have thickness. Higher overhead, but can be reduced by creating a symbol and repeating instances of it.  

 

If working in the Annotation space, Cut/Paste this 2d info into the model as Screen Plane or 3D plane arranged on/over the corresponding wall.

Now convert to 3d. May need to move onto the wall in top/plan. Put it in its own layer?

 

If the grout line grid is used, edit the group, select all, Modify>Convert>Convert to 3d Polys.  If competing with wall surface for visibility,  move the group just slightly to front of wall surface. It shows on "blank" areas of wall, but will be obscured by sinks, faucets and other projections from the wall.  Class the group or the content to show/hide in the VP.

 

If the closed shapes are used they can either convert to 3d polys again (may need to move outward a bit), or extruded to zero or full depth all in one go.  If symbols, create a new 3d symbol (poly or extrusion), select all of the 2d instances and Replace in one go with the new 3d version. Extrusions to full depth would probably require thickness adjustment of wall component.

 

Probably not what you wanted to do, but it eliminates problems with inaccurate hatches.

 

-B

Edited by Benson Shaw
over thinking it
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Thank you very much Benson. The methods you describe would get us closer to real 3D to 2D generation, albeit as you say, not quite what I'm after, but a better solution than manually cutting hatches etc.

 

I wonder if I could make a vertical ceiling grid 1mm off the wall and display planar info in the viewport...have to give all these a go.

 

 

 

 

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It's super easy to make a 2d array of squares or any other shape via Edit> Duplicate Array.  The x and y duplication distances should include the grout space. Then convert the whole thing to 3d polys and place on top of wall.  Class the whole thing for viz control in the SLVP.  Or, if there is an intricate color scheme, use several classes, one for each tile color.  Apply classes to appropriate tiles with the eyedropper, or multiple selection.

 

If the goal is super accurate shop/layout drawings, eg to avoid cutting or to place tile relative to fixtures, remember that real tile has thickness which means diminished available wall area/width.  That is a good reason to use extrude symbols representing actual tile thickness. Create duplicate symbols as needed classed for different colors.  

 

Anyway, the ceiling grid is an interesting idea.  Let us know how it works out.

 

-B

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In the end we did just a simple array of rectangles. The ceiling grid won't draw in anything else than plan, so that was not an option after all.

 

It took a while to realize that the rectangles have to be a bit less than the array step; otherwise they won't be visible in the viewport. Or the lines won't. Eg. a 200mm tile needs a rectangle of 199, if the array step is 200.

 

I wish there was an auto-updating way to do this though - perhaps  please consider that the wall surface hatches could be developed a bit further, NNA? This "run of the tiles" and any repeating module stuff is very important for architects.

 

image.thumb.png.6a4fc08db9ce50bb702944fe0870fcfc.png

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For now my approach (even though I'm increasingly putting more detail into 3d) to this kind of stuff is to do it in 2d in annotation layer.

 

Maybe draw the 'tiled area' as a 3d extrusion with thickness (or even a wall component) but not the individual tiles.

 

I'm not sure that drawing it in 3d saves any time. Especially if the tiles are drawn with a thickness. Maybe it's worth it if you want the lines in a 3d perspective view though?

 

There's also perhaps a danger of over-accuracy. In practice, when you draw a tile layout, much of what you are saying is 'set out starting from this corner' or 'set out centred on this line' because a wall is hardly ever going to be built to be exactly X tiles long or high. Any tiling tool, be it a surface hatch or something else, should understand this, and allow you to define the setting-out on the surface to be defined in that way.

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11 hours ago, line-weight said:

I'm not sure that drawing it in 3d saves any time. Especially if the tiles are drawn with a thickness. Maybe it's worth it if you want the lines in a 3d perspective view though?

Yes, we need both elevations and 3D views, so annotation is not an option. Annotation layer would also require "cutting" out stuff in front of the tiles, I think.

 

 

11 hours ago, line-weight said:

There's also perhaps a danger of over-accuracy. In practice, when you draw a tile layout, much of what you are saying is 'set out starting from this corner' or 'set out centred on this line' because a wall is hardly ever going to be built to be exactly X tiles long or high. Any tiling tool, be it a surface hatch or something else, should understand this, and allow you to define the setting-out on the surface to be defined in that way.

True. There are some circumstances though where the run of the tiles is important, eg. placement of taps, mirrors etc. It goes both ways actually, since the tiles are usually set so that the extra is divided into two at the opposite ends of the wall, this determines the run of the tiles and therefore the placement of taps and other equipment.

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I'm actually going to draw up a tiled bathroom quite soon. I might do some experimentation with drawing the tiles in 3d and report back!

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You might want to have a look at the Surface Array Tool it's under the model menu.  In the attached image I made one surface array then copied it and adjusted width to what I wanted.   Was very fast to do.   There are lots of options in the tool so you would need to experiment with it.

SA1.JPG

SA2.JPG

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So - I'm in the process of drawing up a tiled bathroom. The tiles here include some special curved corner tiles to it's important the setting-out all works properly.

 

In the end I did it by modelling each individual tile. Although this sounds like madness...in practice I think maybe it's not. Because actually, doing a duplicate array on a bunch of tile objects isn't really much more drawing work than doing an array on a bunch of 2d lines representing grout lines, which is how I tend to end up doing it when drawing in 2d. As @JMR points out, modelling it properly means there's no cutting-out of tiling lines around fittings like there can be in 2d.

 

Each tile is a symbol; a symbol for each tile type. This means that I can do stuff like adjust the grout width relatively easily.

 

I started out thinking I'd just make each tile the size of the module - ie, ignoring grout widths. However, OpenGL is a bit inconsistent in whether it decides to draw a line when two objects touch each other, so I had some problems with no dividing lines appearing. Important for it to look right in OpenGL as well as hidden line because that's what I use for 3d views. So, each tile is the 'real' size, that is module size minus grout width. Each symbol has some 3d loci placed on the centre of the module grid (ie in the middle of the grout lines) to ensure correct placement, so I can grab them by the loci instead of tile edges.

 

Fairy happy with the results. One thing that's not ideal is that in hidden line, two lines are drawn for each grout line...which is correct and looks fine at a large scale, but for smaller scale drawings it has the effect of producing thicker lines for the grout lines than for objects in elevation in front of the tiles (see the bottom image below). That's a general problem with hidden line though...you just don't have control of lineweights for objects beyond the cutting plane. If drawing tile lines in 2d, say at 1:50 or 1:20 scale, I would normally show them in a very light or even dotted line.

 

I dunno how this would all work with top-plan views, which I don't generally use anymore - I make my plans from horizontal sections.

 

 

128667314_ScreenShot2019-05-02at11_47_31.thumb.jpg.80d568bff7d1e7149b57d8dae3b1ca73.jpg

409459445_ScreenShot2019-05-02at11_49_06.thumb.jpg.09114032bd213a6bf81a5b1be12dde92.jpg

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148499771_ScreenShot2019-05-02at11_48_06.thumb.jpg.b626c9767fc8ed8d4f7ad2ecd6c66375.jpg

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That is very high end! Looks great.

 

This "run of the tiles" -thing really is something that an architect has to take into account if high-quality end result is desired. If not documented beforehand, the tiles are just slapped onto the walls, the runs are erratic and taps, mirrors etc. are put wherever. The result is an awful visual mess, causing tics in neurotic architects' eylids, like me 🙂

 

 

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