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Variable Manager

Link
Expert
I would like to see a truly parametric modeling environment, and I think some kind of Variable Manager would greatly help this cause.

Instead of typing exact values into our story settings, wall heights, etc, how about assigning them a variable? This way we can alter the variable at a later time and have the stories, walls and everything else automatically adjust. The attached image, is what I propose the Variable Manager look like. Everything is customizable! Then we can have direct access to the Variable Manager from within each tool, as well as a drop down menu.

This would be perfect for measurements, but could also be applied to attributes, such as materials, composites, fills, linetypes, etc.

It's just a conceptual idea for now, but I think it could be a very powerful tool, without being too confusing!

Cheers,
Link.
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15 REPLIES 15

Link
Expert
Here's the image
Get your ARCHICAD 25 Template HERE!

Anonymous
Not applicable
Link wrote:
I would like to see a truly parametric modeling environment, and I think some kind of Variable Manager would greatly help this cause.

It's just a conceptual idea for now, but I think it could be a very powerful tool, without being too confusing!

Cheers,
Link.
Next thing is to connect those variables by means of mathematical functions. Interesting, I would suggest those improvements as a part of an existing Attribute Manager.

Cheers

stefan
Booster
I had this same idea for our internal development.

From what I had in mind, I can add a few suggestions:

both custom defined variables and program-default variables should be available. Combine this with a scripting interpreter and you can make "relations" in the model.

e.g. The height of this wall is "3m" in "absolute value", while the height of another wall is "-0.3m" "relative to" "next floor".

e.g. The height of this wall is "0m" "relative to" the object "roof 27" -> this lays a relation between a wall and a roof and could be automatic.

The idea of custom floor reference levels was something similar, although they don't are connected in the current implementation: changing a reference level doesn't modify any elements.

---

The moment you introduce such automatic behaviour, it might be good to have a kind of "debug" or "schematic" mode, where you can visually (using lines & colors) show existing relations and you can modify or delete them.

Could be a very powerful system, yet it can turn into something very complex, so this is not a feature to be implemented over a weekend...

---

Our idea behind this is that you can lay "design information" into the model: a wall is not always meant to be something exact: maybe a certain relation is intended and then the system provides means of storing a design intention into the model.
--- stefan boeykens --- architect-engineer-musician ---
ARCHICAD25/Revit2022/Rhino7/Unity2021/Solibri
MBP2019:i9Octo2.4GHz32GBVega20/BigSur+Win11
ARCHICAD-user since 1998

Anonymous
Not applicable
stefan wrote:
e.g. The height of this wall is "3m" in "absolute value", while the height of another wall is "-0.3m" "relative to" "next floor".
This is the way Allplan is meant to be used : very powerful : changing one parameter such as storey height changed the project correctly. The same behavior was possible for doors and windows defined in absoluter height or relatively to wall top/bottom values...

Anonymous
Not applicable
Geoffroy wrote:
This is the way Allplan is meant to be used : very powerful :
This should be additional/advanced feature rather than standard feature for beginners. ArchiCAD simplicity would be lost like it is case with Allplan.

Anonymous
Not applicable
I think this could be a part of a bigger thing.
When we build a column or an external wall most of the times the wall goes up to many storeys.

In current situation when moving a wall we should go and move all of its parts on all storeys. If we could bind them together so moving the wall would move all others at the same time OR ask if we want to break the binding condition.

I think this feature is in revit but i am not sure.
This kind of internal binding is very usefull.

Anonymous
Not applicable
oreopoulos wrote:
I think this could be a part of a bigger thing.
When we build a column or an external wall most of the times the wall goes up to many storeys.

In current situation when moving a wall we should go and move all of its parts on all storeys. If we could bind them together so moving the wall would move all others at the same time OR ask if we want to break the binding condition.

I think this feature is in revit but i am not sure.
This kind of internal binding is very usefull.
I think the marquee tool is better for this purpose. It can be fine tuned to move/stretch exactly what is wanted. And the 3D marquee can be limited vertically (in plan of course it is just the current story or all of them).

On the larger issue: For AC to move toward the Revit system of relationships is a VERY big issue which would need to be looked at in a long range and comprehensive fashion. Perhaps this is already happening back in Budapest. The SEOs are clearly a step in this direction.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Link wrote:
This would be perfect for measurements, but could also be applied to attributes, such as materials, composites, fills, linetypes, etc.
I wish one could add global variable in your environnement and modify them in this environnement : this way, we could fine tune the object behavior based on specific global var.

Anonymous
Not applicable
There are so many softwares on the market that can perform wonders but not in the easy way.

We already have to set so many parameters before we actually see 3D object, lets not make our lives any more complicated.

How many times did you had a chance to implement those advanced features? 90% of work won't require any variable cross linking.

I'm not against it, just want to set their importance.

Cheers

Anonymous
Not applicable
TRIBU wrote:
We already have to set so many parameters before we actually see 3D object, lets not make our lives any more complicated.
Do you really think building the Virtual Building in a semantic way would complexify your job ?

I know Allplan was a nightmare to use, but you're not obliged to link everything in your project. Giving the users the ability to do it would be, from my point of view, a great step forward...
TRIBU wrote:
How many times did you had a chance to implement those advanced features? 90% of work won't require any variable cross linking.
Maybe it depends of your clients : we have sometimes so many alternatives to show them that some of the features Link propose would be extremely useful.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Geoffroy wrote:
I know Allplan was a nightmare to use, but you're not obliged to link everything in your project. Giving the users the ability to do it would be, from my point of view, a great step forward...
It's exactly my point. I never said it is a bad idea. I just want it to be implemented seamlessly into existing working environment.

Geoffroy wrote:
Maybe it depends of your clients : we have sometimes so many alternatives to show them that some of the features Link propose would be extremely useful.
I'll agree on that, even though alternatives may differ so much and setting connection between them is impossible.

And it always depends on clients.
Huh, it's better that they never know how we do this.

James Murray
Advisor
I'm bumping this up so people can think about it again, and it can get more of the Essential votes it deserves.

I remembered this wish today. My coworker and I were discussing how cumbersome it is to keep straight the various elevations of soffits, window heads, etc. You have to keep in your head that the head height of the second floor windows is 7'-4". There is no way is embed this datum meaningfully in the model. You have to remember it, write it down, something.

Yet this datum is an integral part of the project, just like the story settings. I need to know it, the framer needs to know it, it's real. There are dozens of these magic numbers (and other attributes!) in a project.

AC needs parametrics at the project level. I should be able to move the Second_Floor_Window_Head_Elevation, not the windows themselves. Then we'll have an intelligent model, not just a model built out of intelligent parts.
James Murray
Rill Architects • macOS • OnLand.info

Anonymous
Not applicable
James wrote:
... My coworker and I were discussing how cumbersome it is to keep straight the various elevations of soffits, window heads, etc. You have to keep in your head that the head height of the second floor windows is 7'-4". There is no way is embed this datum meaningfully in the model. You have to remember it, write it down, something. Yet this datum is an integral part of the project, just like the story settings. I need to know it, the framer needs to know it,.....
A method I've used for a long long time is a 'reference section' through the model (yes - on a separate non-printing layer) which cuts through all elements providing a useful 'level reference sheet'. Often totally unreadable (as a section) but with the addition of 'scribbled' notes I find it indispensable.

At least, it is easier to update than a photocopy of a primitive section with a host of handwritten / sketched details & notes.

IMHO .... Stuart

James B
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Good work link.

I'll add this one to my web site as I think it's a really good idea.

And how about you can do all the UI stuff on Windows and I'll do the OSX ones?
Technical Product Manager, Graphisoft

__archiben
Newcomer
TOP OF STEEL

ESSENTIAL ! ! !

(except the steel objects would probably STILL be scripted to underside datums!!!)
b e n f r o s t
b f [a t ] p l a n b a r c h i t e c t u r e [d o t] n z
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