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Hybrid between module and object

Paul King
Advocate
I am looking for a way to make something otherwise just like a normal module, behave in a parametric way.

This module-thing needs to consist of ArchiCAD elements that are easily and graphically editable and thus updatable as the design evolves, and that respond to layer combinations and model view options etc, while also allowing some parts to be switched on or off on a per placed instance basis.

So I might have twenty copies of this 'module' placed in a project, some with certain parts of a balustrade switched off, others with different parts switched off, some with an extra piece of flooring, some without etc.

Right now the only way that occurs to me is to make twenty modules, each one reflecting a different combination, or to manually assemble each permutation out of a multitude of smaller parts (mini-modules) - but either of these approaches defeats the ease of placement and above all ease of updating requirement as the project works through the many iterations ahead.

Has any clever clogs managed to come up with an approach/process for managing this, perhaps using new feature in ArchiCAD 24?
PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop
6 REPLIES 6

Erwin Edel
Mentor
This sounds like something we fix by having a module setup consist of several (sometimes nested) sub modules.

I'm going to assume you are working on something like a block of appartments or similar. Some things we found convenient: split the floor plan and the outer facade into different modules. The same floor plan could be on ground floor or an upper floor with only slight variations in the facade. Typical layouts for bathrooms etc can be nested modules that repeat along many different floor plans. We do always have one module per appartment that at the very least contains that appartments 'master' zone to be able to identify all appartments and their size. These can also be handy for small variations. For example a penthouse appartment with a roof terrace that is otherwise mostly similar to the appartments below.

Hope this all makes a bit of sense!

I do recommend that you start splitting things up in to more complex modules relatively late in the span of a project. If you are likely to still make big changes to the design of the building, you may end up with a mess of modules that no longer make much sense.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

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

Erwin Edel
Mentor
I should add that we have a dedicated module work space in our projects that we use to modify the modules by making changes and saving them again.

We use a renovation filter called 'module workspace' for hiding them from output and excluding these from schedules, ifc etc. What you do is select the items and use the button 'show on current filter only' in the renovation palette.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

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

Paul King
Advocate
Thanks Erwin
I was afraid of that.

Have done it in the past and found my self doubting it was really more efficient than manual alternatives with all the overhead iterations and resaving of modules when any sub module has changed etc.
PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

Erwin Edel
Mentor
Nested modules don't require re-saving, as long as you saved them as nested modules.

So let's say you have a module of a bathroom that is part of your total floorplan module for an appartment. If you change the bathroom module and save the bathroom module and then update the bathroom module, it will update in all the different floorplan modules you've used it in.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

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

Paul King
Advocate
Thanks Erwin.
I always struggled to get changes to nested submodules to propagate consistently - though maybe this has improved since I last used that approach, which was a few ArchiCad versions ago.
I recall also fidelity issues when module placed on other stories than the one defined on with columns in particular acting up sporadically., though that is another story.
PAUL KING
https://www.prime.net.nz
ArchiCAD 8-25
Octane Render Plugin for ArchiCAD
Twinmotion 2021
Windoze 10
Intel Core i9 10900K
Nvidia Gforce RTX 3080
32 Gb DDR3
2x4K monitor extended desktop

Erwin Edel
Mentor
I can't judge the scope of your project, but we hardly ever have structural elements in modules. These are so simple and rarely move much. To have our zones update properly we use polylines with a zone boundary on a hidden layer as a substitute for load bearing walls and columns.

I haven't had very deeply nested modules in a while, but certainly one level deep (so to speak) works fine. So a module that is part of another module. Can't say I've ever had to go much 'deeper' than that.

I'm sure there could be better methods developed. Just describing what we have and how it works.

We have some people working in Sketchup and the way they can edit components there seems way more elegant than modules.

We tried to break them in place and resave, but it inevitably always lead to a layer being turned off and everything breaking up.

Having a dedicated workplace in the project as a saved view with a dedicated layer combination etc etc seems to be the most fool proof method so far. I think it could be a lot easier. I have to say that the speed saving and updating modules really improved with AC22 or AC23. I still haven't tried AC24, so can't comment if it has the same performance.

No teamwork projects either, so can't comment on performance there.

Keeping the amount of modules to a workable level does require good planning and it's almost a field of work on its own.
Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten
www.leloup.nl

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

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