ABD Ceiling Tools Update?

Looking back at the BE 2009 presentation, there were some plans to update 'practitioner features' such as:-

  1. Ceiling tools
  2. Spaces
  3. Roofs
  4. Handrails
  5. Curtain Walls

Since then, we have seen some enhancements to the architectural tools:-

  • Ceiling tools: ....?
  • Spaces: Create Walls from Space Editing Multiple Spaces, Editing Multiple Spaces (, Space Part Upgrade Utility (, Ceiling edit handles, 3d volumetric Spaves for AES integration (SS6) SpacePlanning tools merged with Arch SP tools (SS6U1)
  • Roofs: (
  • Handrails: Side offset (, New Place, Railing Options, Modify/Manipulate Railing Elements (CEU2), Place Railing - With Start/End Post,  Segmented ArcsRailing Construction Settings Dialog, User Defined Parametric Balusters and Panels (CEU3)
  • Curtain Walls:  via GC / PCS and upcoming FunctionalComponents integration/enhancements?

Other enhancements:-

  • Stairs: (SS1), Stair Placement ribbon enhancement (SS6U1), Stairs Now Using Standard Place/Modify User Interface, Stair Settings Dialog,Ability to Rotate Stair Run (CEU3)
  • Profiles: (SS6)
  • Walls: Side Offset (, Compound DataGroup Walls, Create Walls From Space, Place and Modify DataGroup Walls (SS1), Flip / Side Offset for Wall Placement (, Wall Area Center (Gross) & Wall Area Center (Net) have been added for quantification (SS3U1), Compound Wall Cleanup, Compound Wall Variable Height (SS4), Place By (Wall) options, such as From Space, From Element, and Grid (SS6U1), Place Wall/Beam/Column By Grid Enhancements (CEU1).
  • Slabs: DataGroup Placement and Modify (, Curved Slabs (, Steel Decks (SS5)
  • Grids:  Column Grids (SS4), Grid Systems (SS5), GC Integration (SS6), Floor Manager updated to match Grids (SS6U1)
  • Penetrations: ( ?)
  • User Defined Catalog Types / Objects: Side Offset (, Walls, Slabs and Profiles allowed to have UDCT's (SS6)

Looking at the pretty delapidated state of the Ceiling tools, it would be a good time to rejuvenate this negelected tool?

1. The way the tool is conceived, the Ceiling plane is offset/hosted from a Shape (Space). Since SS6 introduces volumetric Spaces, it would be good to collaborate and leverage Prostructures's new Associative Planes / Intersection tools. The Ceilings tool should be able to recognise and use a Solid's face in lieu of a 2d Shape.

The method of linking/generating of a Plane from another Plane is also common to the Roof Builder tool. I think that both tools could 'learn' a lot each other.

Ceilings could beneft alot from the way the Roof tool can deal with folds (ridges and valleys). Ceilings are not always level and are often sloped to follow the roof or other geometric requirements.

Roofs could benefit tremendously from the Ceilings ability to host Hatches (grid) and Cells that perforate the Hatch (fixtures)... especially when the Hatches be Patterns that are based on 3d Cells or extruded using the Linear Element to Form tool, which can recognise the linear elements in a Hatch. Roof tiles and standing seam roofs would be the obvious use case.

Both Ceilings and Roofs can definitely benefit from the way PS' Associative Planes maintain an associative link to the base element, even when it is in a Ref file.

2. The need to grid and tile or panelise a plane (read Shape) is pretty common exercise. Think of walls that are clad or tiled, and floors that are paved. Most building elements like walls, floors and ceilings/roofs are built up from multiple layers, defined by offsets. This is what the Ceiling tool is designed to do. It would be good to make the offseting algorithmms robust enough to accommodate sloped and even 'vertical' ceiling planes etc. A base Shape (like that provided by the Space tool) should also be able to host multiple 'Ceiling' planes with different offsets like the way the new Parametric Solids have been modified to host or provid inputs to multiple 'children' features.

Having the option to offset/generate a Form (instead of another 2d Shape) like the way the Roof tool works paves the way for automatic mitres, and an oppurtunity to improve the Build Assembly /- On Column tools. Jacketing or cladding structural members is a pretty common use case as mentioned above. The ability to add a grid or tiling/cladding pattern efficiently using Hatches/Patterns will be a powerful tool. It also be good to leverage the rendering tool for attaching materials / geometry maps using a projection widget, scaling etc.

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