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Composite adjustable thickness

Vasileios S_

Hello everybody,


Can we have adjustable thickness to a composite?


For example, I want to have a composite of "concrete-insulation-stone", instead of:




150concrete-50insulation-100stone etc...


I believe this is crucial.





How would you deal with the polygonal nature of the slab tool? It seems to me your case / example is limited in use to being a single rectangular shape, while the slab can have very complex shapes, where offsets won't make sense. What happens when you manipulate the borders of the slab?


If it is just a 'box' shape, why not use the beam tool with a complex profile with the modifiers?


The name of a tool is just a starting point. A roof can be a floor, a beam can be floor (great for making pre-cast concrete slabs), a slab can be a flat roof or a table top, a column can be a bit of wall, etc etc

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

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

This has nothing to do with polygonal shapes Erwin. I attach an image of multiple copies of the same polygonal slab. Each slab uses a different composite structure.


I attach an image (photoshopped) of how I would like to see it. Look at the red circle. It would be the same as the modifiers in custom profiles.



I would suggest updating the OP with this image and perhaps a better description of the wanted functionality. As it stands now it's hard to understand the wish which makes it less likely to be acknowledged by GS.


Some thoughts:


So the wish is not to make any fundamental changes to how composites work but enhance how composites are managed and defined.


What happens when you change the thickness of a composites skin in model space?

Should it add the new configuration as a new composite?

Should it create subtypes of the composite with different thicknesses?

Should it become undefined in terms of composites?


I think the subtype approach has some appeal especially as it gives a better organisation of composites. Perhaps with the functionality to define different thicknesses in the Composite Structures Dialog Box that then works as snap points in model space.


The question is then what happens with composites with the same skin configuration in terms of thicknesses but differing in skin type and graphics?

It is easy my friend. It will work the same way as the profiles. I'll answer each one of your questions:


What happens when you change the thickness of a composites skin in model space? - The same as profile modifiers (i.e. columns in model space). It would update all relevant drawings. You should be able to change the thickness of a composite when it is cut (i.e. walls in plans and sections, slab only in section etc.)

Should it add the new configuration as a new composite? - No. Just like profiles. When you add a column and change its modifiers, AC does not create a new profile.

Should it create subtypes of the composite with different thicknesses? - No. No subtypes. Just the composite itself.

Should it become undefined in terms of composites? - No. It will use the same name.


I attach a picture of some columns that use the same profile. Everything stays under the main profile.



The problem with the profile modifier approach is indexing of elements. Today element listing parameters regarding structure are limited to name of material, composite, and profile. So if you make a list for the two elements in you example there's no way to tell if they have the same cross-section or not.


We can't have that for composites so modifying the skin of a composite would either have to make it undefined in terms of structure or it would have to create a new (sub-type) composite. Thinking of it - complex profiles should be amended with regards to this.

There are two sides to this, Art & Science if you will. Stretchy skins for modelling would be great. Tracking & documenting those stretches could be problematic. I don't think that is a reason not to have it, the responsibility just needs to fall firmly on the shoulders of the end user and the stretching needs to be a conscious effort that can't accidentally happen. This isn't really any different to introducing morphs into the model, they are equally difficult to quantify, but it is possible for the end user to document them and nobody is saying we shouldn't have morphs are they?

Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

I'm not opposed to the wish (as i understand it). I agree that things can be done about how composites are defined and I do se some value in being able to define it graphically.


And my questions about how it should be implemented was not posed as obstacles to the wish but to clarify it with the goal to increase the likelihood of it being acknowledged by GS.


I don't really see any problem reconciling the two sides you mention. For example, when stretching the user can be prompted to choose to define a new sub-composite or to change the elements structure to "free-stretch composite".


But I can't really see how it could be implemented as described (like profile modifiers). I would even say that it would compromise the functionality of composites due to the indexing issue.

I agree to both of you @thesleepofreason and @DGSketcher. This may have pros and cons. I do not use listing-indexing elements in my workflow, unfortunately, since architects in my county are faaaar away from using BIM. I solely design and produce drawings. This is a model issue from me. I believe there should be an indexing solution to this as well, as @thesleepofreason said.

Yes, but how do you propose to have offset options in such a shape, is my question.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

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

@Erwin Edel I think "offset" is probably a misinterpreted terminology. What I believe @Vasileios S_ is looking for is the application of "Offset modifiers", like we have in Complex profiles, to allow you to adjust a skin thickness in a placed element which is using Composite profiles. 

Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

So you would still have seperate slabs, but with a complex profile instead of a composite.


I see. You would be limited to only 'box' shapes in the profile, I guess, since it can only extrude up and down.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

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

This is how.


Mahmoud Qenawi

I guess you can achieve what you mean by Complex Profile Beam and divide it into segments, watch this:


This is not the case Mr. Qenawi. Read the reply I gave to Mr. Jepson.

I got your idea it’s a mix of complex and composite slab profile so you make only one slab profile and adjust its components heights separately in the model view, Right? If yes you can push it to the wishes forum so we may find it in Archicad someday.

That's true. A slab will have adjustable component heights and a wall will have adjustable component widths.


How can I push it to the wishes? I though I was already there.

Wall skins can have modifiers for height and/or width -  But having seen more of the slabs you want to model now, why would you not want to model all of the components (concrete and insulation) as individual elements of some kind for the sake of convenient and simple  Interactive Schedules and easy adjustments, and Labeling in the Details ?   A lot of slabs have uniform thickness insulation, but the concrete is sloped.  I model sloped concrete as roofs, insulation as slabs, and I usually model the gravel and sand below them as well for the sake of scheduled volumes.  I usually model the excavated earth as well as the backfill areas too since I need to know the volumes when I am making Excavation Plans.  I do a lot of modeling of things that have multiple layers that vary in many ways, and because of this, I model each element with what ever works best for the sort of data I need to extract from it, and for the sake of the Drawings that are generated from the model.  What I like about Archicad is that there is always some way to get what I want 🙂  

ArchiCAD 25 3011 USA - Windows 10 Pro 64x - Dell 7720 64 GB 2400MHz ECC - Xeon E3 1535M v6 4.20GHz - (2) 1TB M.2 PCIe Class 50 SSD's - 17.3" UHD IPS (3840x2160) - Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB GDDR5 - Maxwell Studio/Render Multilight


I think there is some merit to the wish but I'm not really sure exactly what the wish is and I think it has to be clarified if it is to be considered by GS.


There is quite a difference between 

  • Being able to have a composite type (eg. concrete | insulation) and then easily (perhaps graphically) defined and change between sub types with different thicknesses. 


  • Being able to for an individual element with composite structure set different thicknesses in 2D or even 3D.

Hello thesleepofreason,


I'm talking about the first bullet of yours. That's the wish.

I did not catch what you're saying in the second bullet though.

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