Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Object Dilemmas

Modelers are faced with dilemmas like these (and others) many times in the course of developing a building model. While not the most frustrating or perplexing group of issues in modeling, they may be the ones that lead most often to the use of workarounds. I am asking questions here, not providing answers. The first question is
1. Why do software producers short-change their built-in object libraries and the documentation thereof?
2. You want to model a door without a frame (eg and overhead door), but there are no frameless door objects available in the libraries your software offers or those you normally use (It takes a while just to be sure it isn't there). You want it to be recognizable as a door to scheduling scripts in your application, to IFC translators, to the contractor's Quantity Survey application, to the owner's Facility Management application, to the jurisdiction's plan reviewer application, and to all kinds of analysis software tools. What do you do?
3. There is a product you want to incorporate in your model. The manufacturer has provided a pdf, a dwg and an rfa. You do not use Revit. What do you do?
4. Neither the built-in library of objects that came with your software, nor the four online sources of objects you use has the object you need. What do you do?
5. You find a file which claims to represent the door, window, or HVAC equipment you need in your model. It is in a format compatible with your software. It looks fine in 2D. It looks fine in 3D. You can change its color. It is even parametric, changing size and shape in response to selections made in its parameter settings. The following week, you set up a schedule to describe it and other similar elements and it does not show up, or it shows up, but some cells in your schedule for that unit are blank. Those parameters are not provided with fields for those data in the object settings options. What do you do?

Clearly, these problems can be solved by creating your own objects, writing your own scripts, or modifying ... if you know how; have spent the hours needed to make enough mistakes, and/or to get the training necessary, and have the time in your production schedule to take a detour through the object editing exercise, and a way to bill for the time you spend. These conditions are not usually met for most of the staff in most (smaller) architectural design offices. So, what do you do?

You fall back on 2d drafting, am I right?