Autodesk labs have just released Project Structure Generator which will take a conceptual mass and then apply a structural system based on a divided surface. Only last week was I pondering over the creation of complex geometry from conceptual models created in the massing families of Revit and showed how this can be achieved using AutoCAD NURBS and mesh modelling. I have only had a quick half hour ‘play’ with the Structure generator and already am impressed with the workflow and ease of use.
I started with a simple mass in Revit and then created divided surfaces on each face.
You then load your mass into your active project and then select the mass and on the extensions ribbon under the modelling pull down you will see Structure Generator.
Here you can configure various structural options for the creation of beams and columns as well as floor slabs and outputs to other software tools such as Robot and CBS. Here is the model in Robot.
Not too bad for half an hours work. If nothing else it is certainly an interesting tool for studying early concepts. I urge you to download this and ‘have a play’
Here is the link to Autodesk Labs:
Link to YouTube Video Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=649LuQEjjdg
Many architects are unleashing evermore complex geometry and pushing the boundaries of physics, materials and the natural laws that govern all of us. With today’s 3D digital creation tools the creative minds are virtually unlimited and often the engineer has to tame and rationalise the geometry to create an affordable, buildable structure from the Architects design intent without compromising the original forms. This is often where the Revit Structure Suite comes into its own allowing the Engineer to use a surprisingly diverse set of tools to help solve the above problems.
For the above example we will take a look at a conceptual roof modelled in AutoCAD 2012 using the NURBS surfacing tools that are available. The Architect can very quickly create a lofted surface and then use the CV tools and surface associativity to create some interesting forms.
This geometry will result in Splines which are not really suitable for the fabrication of structural frames due to the complex curves and expense and complexity involved in rolling and forming the structural sections. Quite often these forms will need to be rationalised into faceted panels made from straight sections that will give the impression of a curved roof.
This can be achieved in a number of ways either using split solid geometry or mesh modelling which will automatically facet the surfaces. You can control the number of facets using two system variables SURFTAB1 and SURFTAB2. In the below example the mesh has been exploded into flat regions. This can then be imported into Revit Structure and used to create a structural framing system.
If anyone is interested in seeing more in depth tutorials and YouTube videos then let me know and I will take the time to create a full tutorial on the various techniques that can be used with AutoCAD 2012, ASD and Revit Structure?