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Driveway creation in Archicad

Josh Verran

I've been playing around with Rhino - Grasshopper Live Connection and been able to generate morphs which follow the topography of the site.

A colleague looked over my shoulder and made two comments which resonated quite well.

Said wow that functions really well and we'll use it often.

Then said how come it's that complicated to create a sloped driveway in Archicad.

Kind of a valid point, as cool as it is to play around with grasshopper, why does it take that level of knowledge to have a paved surface (or any other surface for that matter) follow the mesh.

Now there's options like copy the original mesh, raise it up, cut it etc. But any one that's worked with even small scale roadways etc knows how messy (and sluggish) this gets.

Anyway, not really a question, more an observation and be interested to hear other users views on the subject.


Screenshot 2022-08-25 155716.pngScreenshot 2022-08-25 155820.png


ARCHICAD 18-27 | BIMcloud Basic | CI Tools | Grasshopper - Rhino | CloudCompare | Bluebeam

LinkedIn | | Tauranga, New Zealand

Windows 10 Pro | Intel Core i9-9900K @3.60GHZ | 32Gb RAM | 2xSamsung S27F350 1920x1080 60Hz | Nvidia Quadro P2200 (5Gb)


This link might be helpful for paving over terrain:


AC26 5004 | MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023) | Sonoma 14.0 | Apple M2 Max | 32 GB RAM


I think following a mesh is an overly simplistic solution. These hard surfaces should be formed with a tool that allows for surface build up, variable widths, shapes, cambers, horizontal and vertical transitioning, and the formation of kerbs and drop kerbs. The tool should be able to set gradient limits and manage transitions to acceptable values. Road design is a specialist discipline, but it would be helpful in AC if there was a way to at least create a basic representation of a hard surface with realistic shaping.

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)


Some AC localisations (UKI, GER, ITA,...) users on SSA have an Terrain tool addon available, which offers some more terrain manipulation options. I don't know how such tools work as my SSA localisation doesn't offer additional goodies, but here is an example of the Swiss version (in German): Archicad Tutorial: Einen Aushub erstellen (SwissTools) - YouTube

Some simple terrain manipulation can be done without such addons (in German):

Archicad25 Baugrubenaushub wie - YouTube

For more sophisticated tools there are commercial addons available, such as LAND4.

| Archicad 4.55 - 26
| HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Quadro M5000 | Windows 10 Pro x64
| HP Z4 G4 | W-2245 | 64 GB RAM | RTX A4000 | Windows 11

It's a useful video from @James B but it does miss the fundamental issue that paving is no different to adding a building. The paving is a structure and the terrain is typically cut and filled to meet that structure. I have had a look at a few videos but they all miss the fundamental point that a path is formed on the XY plane, but the Z values must form a smooth curve, without it the modelled levels can be far from what will be constructed on site, if that doesn't happen the client will be very unhappy with the localised flooding and the repairs to his Ferrari when it grounds on an apex of two slopes meeting.  


The other aspect is the path should have a consistent thickness, but the profile will constantly vary, kerbs either side of the path will need to rise and fall according requirements to manage rain water and forming appropriate cambers for corners. The path also needs the ability to merge with other paths at junctions which can form complex surfaces.


Basically paths / roads / hard surfaces are freeform beams and this is why there should be a dedicated paving tool.

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

Erwin Edel

If curved beams could slope, we'd be half way there.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5


GS has been told they should just buy the LAND4 add-on which has amazing functionality around mesh creation and editing. It would be a very quick way to add the functionality a lot of users have been asking for and all they have to do is write a check. Going by Nemetschek's Linkedin posts they are seemingly not short of money! I have personally supplied them heaps over the years😋

Planworks Ltd
Residential Designer based in Tauranga, NZ
Archicad v9+
VR enthusiast.
Always wants more!

@Erwin Edel wrote:

If curved beams could slope, we'd be half way there.

Just like the railing tool does.

And it is associative to the mesh if you want it you be.



One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 27
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Lenovo Thinkpad - i7-1270P 2.20 GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia T550, Windows 11


You know this?

or that:

AC5.5-AC27EduAut, PC-Win10, MacbookAirM1, MacbookM1Max, Win-I7+Nvidia

Dear Heimo, some of your contributions to the world of Archicad keep amazing me! Respect.

| Archicad 4.55 - 26
| HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Quadro M5000 | Windows 10 Pro x64
| HP Z4 G4 | W-2245 | 64 GB RAM | RTX A4000 | Windows 11

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