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2 Way Live external object parameter file.

gavinNZz
Enthusiast
I am not going to pretend for one second I'm a programmer so this is a question about possibilities rather than technicalities.

Given the GH-AC link is a working example of this I am assuming that the 2 way external control of object/element parameters is possible but at this stage is locked into that particular add-on.

If there was an add-on that produced the same external 2 way link through the creation of an external txt file that was a constant live feed of the selected elements parameters then that file could be read and written by an external piece of software just as GH does when using that add-on.

While the GH-AC link is amazing at achieving what they set out to achieve, the possibilities of externally controlling parameters of elements & objects is much broader than that system allows.

One of the biggest issues with the Archicad system is the small UI window within the selection settings palette. It is old, outdated and difficult to navigate all the parameters of the more complex objects. If the parameters of selected elements/objects were exposed & adjustable externally then better UI's could be created using any software building system chosen.

So the end result of this 2 way external link would be fully custom UI's for objects that appear when that object is selected. UI's that are bigger, more intuitive, employ more visuals, include sliders/rotators. These UI's would be specifically built and called based on the object being selected. This could also allow parameters currently calculated inside the GDL script to be calculated externally and dealt with as just another live parameter.

If the external 2 way file was a standard file format .txt/.xml etc then any number of software options could be used to create these external UI's opening up access to the multitude of developers who work with these systems.

It would be great to get some feedback on the possibilities around creating such an add-on and how one would go about connecting with the right people to make this a reality. I believe this would be a real improvement on what we currently have available to us when dealing with the parameters of objects.

Thanks for taking the time to review this post.

Gavin
7 REPLIES 7

Anonymous
Not applicable
http://www.glasshousebim.com/index-EN.html Is a online description/clause and parameter editor that syncs with ArchiCAD, might be something.

Ralph Wessel
Mentor
Yes, it's possible to drive ARCHICAD from an external application. We've done this for several customers in the past, but it's not straightforward to implement.

It's also possible to make your own UI for managing project data/elements/parameters within ARCHICAD using the API in order to escape from the tiny GDL UI portal. This is far easier than communicating with an external application.
Ralph Wessel BArch

Anonymous
Not applicable
Glasshouse looks like a very interesting solution. However, It seems partly in Danish

Anonymous
Not applicable
Yes true, plus they “only” write to IFC parameters right now because it was speced and coded when that was the right way to handle properties, but think they are quite open to feedback if there’s some business in it

But addon works quite well already, also in Teamwork and with modules.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Ok. This is getting even more interesting.
We used to do most of the stuff on IFCProps anyway since till AC21 it was the best option for automatic update of values.

Hm... doing it for modules as well it's kind of magic I will give it a try. Does it also work if you have a module in the module?

gavinNZz
Enthusiast
Ralph wrote:
Yes, it's possible to drive ARCHICAD from an external application. We've done this for several customers in the past, but it's not straightforward to implement.

It's also possible to make your own UI for managing project data/elements/parameters within ARCHICAD using the API in order to escape from the tiny GDL UI portal. This is far easier than communicating with an external application.
Sounds interesting... I would love to discuss this further. I know what you mean by an additional UI within archicad as they have been utilized on a couple of cadimage tools but I still feel they are old fashioned.

The grasshopper link is initiated by having a single line of code in the gdl that makes that object visible to grasshopper whenever an object is selected. Can an add-on be built that does this but just promotes the variables (maybe just the visible ones) to an external file (txt/xml) which can be manipulated with external software?

The add-on just manages the 'live link' of the variables between the placed object and the external file. How that external file is read/written is then not reliant on Archicad at all. It could be possible to build one UI system externally that could handle different UI's for a number of different objects.

I suppose the premise behind the discussion is to pull archicads UI out of the 90's/window xp era and start enabling the latest external tools to improve the user experience and efficiency.

As an example, I am currently working on a wall framing object and by coding as many hotspots into 3D model as possible I am planning to avoid having to open the UI at all when working with the object.

If there was a seperate UI window that was always visible on the desktop which just showed the key parameters for the selected object, in any prefered format , that would also avoid having to open the UI every time you wanted to change something.

Thanks for your time

gavinNZz
Enthusiast
Ralph wrote:
Yes, it's possible to drive ARCHICAD from an external application. We've done this for several customers in the past, but it's not straightforward to implement.

It's also possible to make your own UI for managing project data/elements/parameters within ARCHICAD using the API in order to escape from the tiny GDL UI portal. This is far easier than communicating with an external application.
Hi Ralph, Happy New year.

I am just following up on this line of thought....

An add-on could create a file (text, xml or whatever..) when an item was selected that included all the available parameters and the element type(s) selected.

This file would be live and constantly read by the add-on and the AC element selected would be updated if parameters of this file were changed.

The way in which the parameters of the live file are updated is not important as its not the external software that will be the stumbling block here.

From what I can tell the GH-AC connection cannot adjust the parameters of an existing AC element, only the parameters of elements created in GH. Correct.

As hard as this might be to implement it would open up opportunity for user to create their own UI's.

Based on how archicad is being used in a practice a UI for a wall could be vastly different between users.

There could also be the possibility of creating a number of different UI's for a wall element using a specific parameter to define which one to use.

The end goal here is to allow parameters to be accessed by UI's built into web browsers essentially moving the task of adjusting element parameters to outside of archicad.

I realize this is a bit way out there, but there has to be pressure on AC to start modernizing its interface rather than just changing its color and if the AC community are looking for more efficient ways to control elements outside of the archicad software then it might make them wonder why!

Thanks

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