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Steel Frame Building Shell

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Can anyone tell me the best way to model a steel frame building like this one? I know the structural framing member tool allows you to select different framing members, but I don't see any that match the tapered columns and main frame rafters like the one in this example. I assume they have to be modeled?


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On paper the Structural Member Tool should be perfect for this because it creates networks of associated members which like the Wall Tool will retain their associations when moved. Plus compared to he Framing Member Tool it has loads of extra functionality where cut plane appearance/visibility + data are concerned. However the little I've used it the connection details are not great: I couldn't bear it so ended up modelling them myself which in some cases resulted in the structural members becoming solid subtractions which I then had to convert into auto hybrids to get them looking like structural members again so not a ringing endorsement in that respect...


If the level of detail isn't critical + you want some flexibility over size/scale then structural members are probably the way to go, with the tapered members created as symbols. If the proportions of the structure are fixed + you do want connection details to be accurate then I would probably make the whole thing from symbols. Which is pretty much what @bcd said

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@ccw I don't know if it is helpful, but you can do solid subtractions from structural objects to depict tapered features.  Sometimes this is fast for getting a piece of steel of a specific industry size as a basis for developing something artistic (my use case) instead of looking it up and extruding it for slicing and dicing.  Downside, they no longer behave like structural objects.


I think if I wanted the geometry to be accurate AND I wanted the structural member to report itself to a schedule, I would investigate either attaching data to the custom modeled feature OR placing the custom modeled feature into a symbol paired with a structural member that is essentially a placeholder for data and appearing in the plan.  I have not tried that, but it should work theoretically.


The attached files has structural members that have been edited with Solid Subtract (left side of image) with a mirrored copy of the unadulterated members on the right.

I'm interested to see how others deal with this situation out of curiosity.



structure example.vwx

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