Wednesday, 30 March 2011

HOW TO create any kind of complicated/fine work 3D in ArchiCAD

I know, I know, not many firms out there use ArchiCAD anymore, but thank god there is still some and for those who do, like us, this is for you :)

Fretwork for federation house

Usually, if you are not after much detailed 3D work, using the slab and wall tools are sufficient enough to get the job done. you would get the basic shape of this fretwork. However, if you are after delivering an exact representation of the existing house, like above, this tutorial is for you.

We are going to work on a plane and save the work as an OBJECT  to then be used in your 3D. 


On the ArchiCAD file you are working on, start by importing an image of your fretwork in AC (short for Archicad, I will be using this word a LOT, I just realized) on a blank story level. 

Click on the 'figure tool'. It looks like a little house icon. You can pretty much import almost any kind of file into AC with this tool, PDFs, JPEGs, TIFs.. like so.. 

After you are done, start drawing out the outline of the fretwork using the 'line tool' combined with the 'spline tool', depending on whether you are doing straight lines or curved ones. 
Having the dimensions of that front veranda helps. Then I know approximately how high the fretwork is going to be. 

The outlined drawings is the only things I wouldn't be able to do if I was only using 'wall tool' or slabs.


Now, make sure that all of your lines and splines are connected to each other. If there is even 1 millimeter of open space between your lines, this wont work. 
To do this, select all of your line work, go to your 'Tools' tab and click on unify.

After you are done, choose the the 'slab tool', click on settings and change the thickness to 20, and materials to whatever you want.

Click OK. Hold space bar down and hover your arrow to the outer edge line of the fretwork. Your arrow will become a little magic wand. Click once and you will have a slab in the shape of the fretwork with the holes cut out where needed. If there are no hole, just cut them out.


That's the basic for pretty much any shape that you are after. 
Now, to save it as a GSM object, select the fretwork slab, go to -- image tab -- 3D projection settings.

It should be on parallel projections settings. choose side view.
The camera should be looking at it from whichever side that will be the top of your desired shape. If you have drawn the shape right side up, the camera should be at 90 degrees on 'Azimuth' as shown below. Click OK.

The 3D view will be as such

STEP 4 - last one

Now whilst still being in your 3D view, all that is left to do is to go to -- file tab -- GDL objects -- click on Save 3D model as... 

Name your AC object as fretwork1 (whichever is easiest for you to know what it is). Save it in a folder named 'library objects folder' where it will be easy for you to find again. Click save.

It will ask you --- save as library part -- an object. that's what you want. 

Click save again and you are done!

Now, go to your 'object tool' your fretwork should be in the OTHER OBJECTS folder on the left hand side. select it and click ok. click it on your screen and you will see that its the top view of your object. 

Now you have your fretwork in a vertical position and not flat anymore.
3D view it and it looks like this!

This tutorial is for users with basic control of ArchiCAD functions. I hope it is pretty easy to understand and you found it useful. Ask questions if you need to! 

End result! TADA! 



Friday, 25 March 2011

give your steep site a lift!!

Got a steep site...? Difficult access....?

Consider a lift.

It's not a cheap solution but it adds incredible value and function to a site that has steep access.

Here's one we completed in Coogee. Combined with additions that located living areas to the new top floor it allows direct access from street level. It totally transformed the functionality of the house ... and  ... the value of the property.

Lot's of jack hammers in a solid stone hole and a big rock muncher from Coober Pedy working horizontally. Some issues with super hard rock and rock fractures, so geotech info is important. Quite stressful to build but great once completed.



Friday, 18 March 2011

great architecture site

Here's a fantastic site for those who like immersing themselves in 360o views of buildings from ancient to modern.

Thanks to Vicki (our favorite client, teacher, artist and now movie star) for sending this link.


Friday, 11 March 2011

our TOP 5 TIPS to getting a job in the Architectural world


Get a job in the industry while you are still attending university. Be it internship or administration work, as long as you put a foot in, you're in for the ride.

!Warning! This might involve you going out of your way to talk to the architect who comes in to lunch everyday at the pub you are working at, but who knows, he, or his all time best friend/fellow architect and colleague, might be needing a CAD genius like you and the timing might be just right.


Short and to the point RESUME

If you can, put in a nice picture of a smiling you in the CV. It should be 2 page maximum and should be a mixture of graphics and writing.

It will be architects and interior designers looking at your resume. They will be mildly interested to know you have some experience in retail but your retail history should be compressed into one or two paragraphs (max) and put way to the back of your resume along with your school info.

By all means, list out all the CAD programs that you consider yourself an expert in. Other programs such as photoshop and illustrator or the random graphics program a plus.

Word docs don't work in an email. Believe it or not some firms haven't upgraded to new software and won't bother opening a .docx file. PDFs work best but your presentation is all important.

Some people put too many samples of their work in a CV. The best solution to show more of your work is to create a flicker page or web site and have it all there and a link on your CV page to it. If someone is interested they will follow it.


Make a portfolio.

You know, that folder that holds your most precious and beautiful work. JUST DO IT..
Don't wait for the print shop to offer print specials, don't wait for next year when you might get a High Distinction in your awesome consumer environments subject. JUST DO IT.

Start your layout, throw in some images. Once you get started, things will get easier, Choose your best work, it might be only 1 or 2 projects at first, with a few images each, floor plans, elevations and sections and notes. then it can expand to include more work.


It's not an easy time and it's a crazy (but fun and strangely rewarding) business to be in.
Expand your network and get to know people working in the field.

Do not be LAZY.
Do not look at your fellow university classmate who is still working at the BIG DEPARTMENT STORE until they graduate and think to yourself that you still have time. Who knows when the next recession is going to crash upon us.

As you know, there are new and fresh graduates every year, so get out there and get in the race.


This is when I am starting to run out of tips just cause its friday afternoon and we are very busy with work.

Wear Black to the interview. :)

PS: Ability to mix cocktails and a knowledge of the pubs in ULTIMO an advantage.

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Please post ask if you have any questions and post comments <3



Timeless faces from Chartres

Chartres cathedral in France was constructed between 1193 and 1250 and retains most of it's original architecture and details, including it's medieval stained glass windows. One of the striking features for me was the many statues carved into the decoration. These were characters from biblical tales but were also often local characters, workers and notables of the time. A lot of them look very serene!

 A stone "facebook" for the times!

They didn't forget the little people. You will see smaller characters above and around the main ones, supporting them or doing the work.

Australian Gothic revival buildings such as St Mary's cathedral in Sydney and buildings within Sydney University carried on the tradition to a lesser extent. You can often see stones that are blank pieces where faces or characters were intended to go. Going to Chartres you get to meet the ancient population as well as the new.