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AC24 Structural Analytical Model Exchange - Feedback?

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Dear All,

As you are most probably aware, with Archicad 24 we introduced the Structural Analytical Model Exchange workflow.

Now as some time has gone by and you had a chance to try it out, I would be really interested to hear your feedback. Please let me know:
- What do you think about this workflow?
- Do you see any issues with it?
- How would you improve it further?
- What else could a Structural Engineer do with Archicad?

If you would prefer to discuss your findings and ideas via a web meeting instead, feel free to drop me a PM and we will set it up.
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager
12 REPLIES 12

Aaron Bourgoin
Booster
Could something like this be organized as a webinar with some brief demonstration of of it being used in real life on a large-fish project, and a question period? I'd like to see this and invite my structural engineers to attend as well so that they might assess the benefits to their workflow.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

DGSketcher
Mentor
Feedback from my narrow perspective of architectural design and as a long time user of AC...
Personally I have seen no reason to use the SAM tools, it clogs up the interface and has stolen valuable development resources from addressing the repeated wishes for essential tools and fixing bugs that could have made AC a more desirable ARCHITECTURAL solution in a competitive market. There has been very little discussion on this forum regarding any of the SAM tools which suggests their use is probably limited to a small number of high profile multi-disciplinary practices. If there is an underlying huge untapped demand for these tools then great, if not, GS should take more notice of their dominant architectural user base and address the Wishlist. Sorry for the negative vibe but this needs to be aired.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

jl_lt
Contributor
I agree with you on principle (if the SAM works then they deviate resourses to develope it which keeps other more pressing issues from ever being solved. If its not widely implemented, which it seems is the case, then they threw one full version down the toilet).

But speaking personally, i would really like my structural engineer (who is very good but also super old school) to implement Archicad in his office. He has seen first hand what we can do with it, so im sure he has given it a thought. Im going to pitch him next week about it. Hey, now that i think about, im goint to pitch him that my office DOES the modeling for him, with over inflated fees for the client of course. Businessy!

So Mr. Kezer, yes, we would actually like a video where you show what can be done with this. For me, the main thing i would want my engineers to understand and visualize by using ARchicad is why they cannot come and overdimension everything so they can confortably sleep at night; they need to sit on their asses and understand the project from our perspective. Then we would need them to model all the main structural elements to match with ours, so that real-time discussion can arise.

So far, as i described in another post, our main workflow is like this (and i can dare to say, of a lot of offices in my country):
-We do the project and the 3d model (ideally at the same time). In an innocent attempt to minimize variation from the engineers´ final dimensions we use some predimensioning based on our own calculations, charts, and early input from the engineer.
-The model and architectural plans are delivered to the engineer who then proceeds to start analyzing the model. A lot of time is spent explaining the project to them.
-They come up with their solutions and a bunch of plans (they never just dimension the main elements as their first submittal, they come back with a semifull set of plans which takes longer for them to do and which will inevitably change).
-We modify our 3d model with the info provided by the engineer to find discordances, correct mistakes and ask for changes. We sent the results to the engineers so they can adjust.
-Fun is systematically eliminated from our lives
-Rinse and repeat.

What i want is to bring down the workflow they use on bigger projects down to smaller projects. I want for everyone to visualize faster the project, and instead of manually changing our model based on the 2d plans from the engineer i want to overlay our structural 3d model (that is Architectural) vs their model. Any element from their model that deviates from a preset dimension from out model (for example, any beam that deviates by 5cm in any direction, its out of axis, etc) gets automatically marked in red, the others can be accepted and even integrated into my model.

The redlined elements are inmediately sent to the engineer to fix or futher analysis until we can reach a solution. That´s what i would like. I definitely dont want to mingle with their analitical model (as in, they do their own model, they can use my model to do theirs, but its not extracted out of mine), i know this would be a doubling of work,but its worth it, so as to avoid mixings of responsibilities and second to let them find their solutions without us being in the way, as sometimes they come up with better solutions.

DGSketcher
Mentor
AC needs to hit that sweet spot between having the right tools for their users, a simple adaptable workflow and an uncluttered user interface. If you widen your discipline catchment then inevitably you will have too many irrelevant tools and a complex interface. If there is a need for AC Structure then it should stand as an independent product having the ability to read the 3D architectural files but capable of generating its own set of construction documents from structural analysis to steel connections.

There is a simple development test: Are the tools within the product relevant to the target user’s discipline training and competence? Anything irrelevant merely serves to waste development resources and diminish efficiency in workflows.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

runxel
Mentor
Frankly spoken: I couldn't care less.
There are so many (smaller and bigger) issues and suddenly Graphisoft decided to go Full-Revit-Impersonation Feature-Overload.

In my eyes no. 24 was one of the most disappointing releases. I don't know a single office that uses that workflow, nor any structural engineers.
H*ck! I wish the engineers I know would stop use 2D CAD....

The lack of communication on SAM on this forum speaks volumes.

tl;dr: Not needed, not wanted.
AC 24 [ger] | Win 10 | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»

Erwin Edel
Mentor
I have yet to install AC24. The new features seemed underwhelming coupled with the (ussual) bugs on initial release (we are always a bit late to the party with the Dutch release trailing a few months behind international, US etc). Still using AC23.

We actually do make structural drawings derived from our model. It might just be the way they're supposed to look in the Netherlands, but the approach of structural drawings is inherently different to architectural drawings. Elements you want to show up on a typical archictecturel floor plan are needed to be shown on a story above or below in structural drawings. For this we use a lot of stacked views with heavy graphic overrides to get what we need. I would not know any other way to do this from an architectural model.

Revit architecture and Revit structure are two separate programs for a reason and from what I understand are not really interchangable either.

I recognise not every new tool will be useful for everyone, but AC24 really has been underwhelming.

There is also a pretty substantial list of wishes and bugs as pointed out by others already.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

jl_lt
Contributor
runxel wrote:


H*ck! I wish the engineers I know would stop use 2D CAD....

The lack of communication on SAM on this forum speaks volumes.

tl;dr: Not needed, not wanted.
exactly, thats my point. the two engineers i colaborate the most with are still 2d affairs. it would be great if, as part of their services, they modelled their proposal in 3d with Archicad. not rebar, not fancy connections, just the main structural elements either concrete, wood or steel, so we can have a dialogue based on the model using what Archicad offers today. If they are ever going to switch to 3d, id better have them on Archicad than see them suffer in Revit (and us by extension). if said model can help them later with their analitycal model better than better, but that would be for them as i want no part in their calculations.

Its about damn time that we turn the table and instead of saying "i use revit because my consultants use revit" we say "my consultants use Archicad because I, the architect, use Archicad"

ispyridis
Newcomer
I believe exporting the SAM model is the biggest and smoothest large trasition ever made in Archicad.
The SAM file export in xlsx format gives the ability to anyone to read this data and even if the software is not directly compatible with SAM. This xlsx file has a full structural problem definition in it. Only the solvers are missing. I believe that all engineering disciplines should colaborate in the BimCloud.
Archicad 12-21 win10 64 Intel 3.00 ghz 16gb

Laszlo Nagy
Community Admin
Community Admin
Erwin wrote:
Revit architecture and Revit structure are two separate programs for a reason and from what I understand are not really interchangeable either.

Just a note here: as far as I know, for several years now, there is only a single Revit application, which includes all disciplines. There used to be separate apps for different disciplines, but not anymore.
....................................................................................................
Laszlo Nagy, Lead Moderator, Community Admin
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Loving Archicad since 1995

Erwin Edel
Mentor
LaszloNagy wrote:
Erwin wrote:
Revit architecture and Revit structure are two separate programs for a reason and from what I understand are not really interchangeable either.

Just a note here: as far as I know, for several years now, there is only a single Revit application, which includes all disciplines. There used to be separate apps for different disciplines, but not anymore.
That's interesting since for a structural floor plan you show a slab and the structure that supports it (which is below the slab), where as an architectural floor plan shows the slab and the structure on top of it.

The only way to really achieve this in archicad is stacking views with different layer combinations, since the program is pretty much set up to display things above your floor plan, not below. You can of course show things below with the floor plan range, but you can't easily exclude the things on the actual floor plan.

I would imagine Revit runs in to much the same problems.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

ArchiCAD 9-24 NED FULL
Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Graham Whipple
Participant
We work with structural engineers that are live in the archicad model. There are several such firms out there and we have found this to be an excellent workflow for many years now. I have personally pulled some of these engineers into the archicad world years ago because of the potential for integration.
As for the SAM I don't think they are using those tools in their workflow as their AC workflow predates AC24 and runs a parallel path to the SAM approach while achieving excellent results for our collaborative workflow.
Resin Architecture
Idaho USA

shrutiniwas
Participant
I am not sure if SAM (structural analytical model) can be exported into most of the prevalent structural design and analysis software, other than RISA or SCIA. However, It would make the existence of SAM more useful if it can straight away be (whether in current excel format or any other) exported to/supported by other structural design tools such as: [list=]
  • STAAD Pro,
    ETABS,
    SAFE,
    Tekla Structural Design,
    Autodesk Robot Structural Analysis,
    SAP2000, etc.
  • Without having the workflow with the above-mentioned tools, the structural capability projection will remain untapped for the most part

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