Sunday, July 11, 2010

Curtain Panels for Analysis Part 1

I'm an architect by training and education, but i work at an engineering firm....a BIG engineering firm....the engineering firm you call when your design is so wacky, you don't know who else to i get exposed to alot of problems that need solving.

One of the problems we grapple with constantly is figuring out how to get architectural models into our analysis software.  We have a couple of different programs that we use for analysis and they all want line segments.  Not faces....not arcs....and most assuredly, NOT SPLINES!!!!

On the infrequent occasion that we get an architect who will actually share a model with us, its some big mess of nurbs and splines and faces that get me nowhere.

If Revit is supposed to be all about collaboration, how can the tool be exploited in order that the architects model can be sent downstream without adulteration?  How can we streamline the process from conceptualization to analysis?

First off, here's a curvy-sexy form, straight out of the conceptual mass editor...nothing too fancy:

And this is what it looks like in Autocad...When I export as AICS Element, it calls the element a 'BODY', exporting as Polyface Mesh gives me a mesh with millions of faces.  Neither of these elements help me at all for analysis:

Next, I'll apply a curtain panel using the rectangular pattern to the form: 

This is now what i get in first look, it isn't very helpful.  Whats up with all those diagonal lines?!?!?
ACAD Brought in all the 3d faces, but if i select all the faces and delete them, voila!  I get this, the division lines as perfect segments:
Now I can bring the form directly into analysis based completely upon the design intent, which should make everybody happy.

The point isn't that everybody whould model "this way", but rather I want to know what's the downstream potential to export from revit directly into analysis or manufacture....Stay tuned, this idea has some legs....


  1. Have you tried taking this sort of face through to Robot Analysis and analysing it there? I know that the link itself is inside of Revit Structure and you will most likely need the Revit Extensions but I would would be very interested to see if Robot will be able to facilitate the analysing function that you would have used in other programs and achieve similar results.

  2. I haven't taken this particular form through ROBOT. We have a few guys who are testing out Robot for some our structural projects that have been done internally Revit.

    The point of the exercise though isn't wether or not ROBOT can analyze a form. I started walking down this road because i have 100 engineers in my office who like the software they use already. Its my job to send data to them and i need to find a good way to do that.

    Its an exercise in dealing with organizational inertia, rather than purely measuring the capabilities of a particular software platform.

  3. Nice post. This is true, we have a big inercia from engineer, and we have to be able to "talk" with them, making our complex forms comprehensive.

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