Nowadays, more and more design offices, architects and contractors use 3D documentation to communicate better their design intent or the construction techniques. Fly-through animations and construction sequence animations  are also common practice all around the world. Just as visualisation material or as technical information to share and discuss.
In a few years time, 2D drawings won’t be the standard of our industry to communicate among the different stakeholders of a project anymore. New technologies like BIMx, virtual reality (VR) and other interactive platforms are pushing the boundaries of how design is developed, communicated, discussed and built. Clients are entering into this workflow as well, demanding slowly more and more control, interaction and accuracy on the projects.
Having said that, and even though we still use traditional documentation like plans and sections to transmit our designs, we are experiencing that more 3D documents, diagrams, and renderings are required for the understanding of the documentation.
In line with a previous post about how to create beautiful and accurate documentation coming from your ARCHICAD 3D model, we would like to show how to complement the 2D traditional documentation with useful and expressive 3D diagrams (perspectives or axonometric) that can help to understand the typology of space, the materiality, or as a reinforcement of the documentation.
As always, there are a few ways to get these images in ARCHICAD. We’re going to explore some of them in this post.
To create this section type diagrams, the first step is to isolate a section of the model in the 3D view:
•Using the cutting plane
•Using the Marquee
That will display in the 3D window the section of the 3D that we want. We can combine the use of both of them and also of the filters in the 3D window, model view options, layer combinations…
Save the layers you want to show and create a view on the View Map. Inside the “cutting display window options” you can also turn on and off the type of elements you want, regardless of its layer. That might be useful to get a simplified model (with no windows, or furniture…)
The saved view will remember the cutting plane or the marquee as well as any other usual setting of the views (such layer combination, pen sets, model view options, override materials etc…)
Saving the view gives you the control not only of the camera position, but all the rest of the settings that you can modify anytime and adjust.
After that you want to save the view as a 3D document. Right click on the 3D viewport and save a “new 3D document from 3D”
That will save the 3D document in the project map and if you have a cloned folder as well in the View Map. Otherwise you can also save a view, which will keep the already mentioned properties.
Once you have your 3D document saved with the desired layer combination and cuts you can start playing around with the display settings.
Very similar to the way you can control sections and elevations, you can control the look of the 3D documents. Combining section lines and sectioned surfaces, uncut lines and surfaces, display shadows or show hidden lines… you can create a diagram with powerful graphics and personal touch!
See some of the different looks we’ve test in 5/10 minutes!
You can duplicate the 3D document in the Project Map and update it with any change on the camera position or the section planes or marquees used. Just right click on the 3D viewport and press “redefine 3D document”. It will popup a window with all your 3D documents in your file.
If you have previously duplicated the one you had prepared, the updated geometry will keep the graphic settings of the one you’re redefining. That will save you some time of tuning your views if you are already happy with one style!
In the layout you can combine together as many 3D documents as you want. That gives you the chance to create exploded axonometric views, or any sort of diagram you can think off. The combination of layers, cutting planes, marquees and different graphic styles is so powerful and almost unlimited in the graphic capabilities.
3D documents also allow using labels, and dimensions, adding information and accuracy to these powerful graphics.
You can also combine those vectorial images in an external editor like Photoshop with another layer of the rendered camera.
Hope you enjoyed this post and please do not hesitate to ask any further question if you want. And share your awesome 3D diagrams with the community to give ideas of what can be achieved!
Thanks and see you in the next post!