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Parametric Object Creation for Archicad with Grasshopper

Vimal Kumar
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

GDL scripting has its beauties, but it’s definitely not for everyone and in general it would be nice to be able to create parametric objects in Archicad more easily. Grasshopper and the Live Connection can help with this up to a certain point by creating actual Archicad objects, like the lamp below for example – not just transferring the geometries as Archicad tools.

 

ghobject-lamp.png

 

 

The feature is part of the Grasshopper-Archicad Live Connection and may be a bit hidden and needs a few additional small adjustments to make it work.

Here is an overview of the Grasshopper script: the base legs and the jittering connecting pieces are in two groups and there are some input fields available for editing both. Additionally there is a BREP group (more details on this below) and the conversion to Archicad Objects in the end.

 

ghobject04.png

 

1., Once the geometry (base and connectors) is created place the Archicad/Settings/Object Settings and Archicad/Design/Object components in Grasshopper.

2., Right-click on the Object Settings and set Create new Library Part and connect the relevant nodes.

ghobject02.png

 

3., Add a Panel component and specify the name of the final Library Part (Object Name node).

4., Add a Point for the anchor to the Object component.

Now the geometry script is almost ready to be connected to the Object Settings through the Geometry node. If you link them at this stage, all geometry pieces will end up as individual objects. To prevent this, create a BREP from all the pieces (in this example the base legs and the connectors) and connect that unified BREP into the Object Settings.

ghobject01-1.png

 

A fairly quick solution, definitely not 100% perfect, but might help with certain situations and suitable for those who are efficient with Grasshopper as there is an almost unbeatable toolset available.

 

ghobject03-1.png

 

You can unlock the object from the GH Interoperability palette in Archicad and set its Surface for example. Any updates from GH will lock the Object again.

 

Limitations

  • the parametricity remains in GH and the results cannot be edited in Archicad, though some workflow enhancements can help: have the objects in a separate Archicad file where they can be edited with GH and export them from that file to the actual project. It’s not a good idea to have elements in the Embedded Library anyways, so this way you can collect and link these kinds of objects to the actual project instead.
  • surfaces can only be added to separate pieces (multiple objects) after unlocking them in Archicad, so you need to combine more objects into one
  • no direct editing of 2D representation available (projection only), but any 2D symbol can be added or drawn in the GDL editor by opening the Object itself after the 3D is finalized
  • the necessity of using an external solution

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