The release of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2 (GDEM V2) was announced on October 17, 2011. This data can be downloaded and imported to Infraworks.
I’ve always felt that the Floor tool in Scan to BIM is a bit lacking – rather than analysing and deforming an existing Floor element, I want it to work like the Topo tool (just select a bunch of points and decimate).
Well, now it can (sort of). Like this:
Use the Scan to BIM topo tool to make temporary topo “Floors”
Have you ever wanted to rationalise your Topography as a Massing form, perhaps so you could use Divided Surface and panelization tools on the topo?
Here is one method:
Make a Site family with a vertical model line and height parameter (see sample file at end of post)
New Project – Make a Toposurface (or existing project with Topo)
New in-place Mass
Place the Site family on the Topo in one corner – it will detect the Topo and host itself to it, even though you are in the Massing environment
Copy a certain number of times in X direction. Basically, you are forming one part of a grid sampler…
Make a new Adaptive with the same number of points as step above. I made a 20 point adaptive.
Select all the points, make sure they are Adaptive, Spline through Points
You now have a 20pt Model Line spline… Load into Project
In Massing environment, place the 20pt component by clicking on the very top of the vertical Model Lines from the Site family (as you place it, the points will change to a smaller point size to show it is “living” on the top of that line)
Now, select the whole row of Site families and the 20pt component and copy it along the other planar axis (this is the other part of the sample grid mentioned in step 5)
As the elements are copied, the Site families will host themselves to the Topography, and the Spline will adjust accordingly
Now, select all of the spline families and Create Form!
You can adjust how close to the original site the Massing form is by using the height parameter of the Site model line family
Yeah, Revit topo tools aren’t that great. Why don’t we try exporting to a sculpting tool like meshmixer, and see if we can make it work?
Let’s start with a simple Revit toposurface.
Export to Max by using Suite Workflows – 3ds Max Design Exterior Rendering
Once in Max, export selected (the toposurface) to OBJ using the Mudbox preset.
Open meshmixer (now at version 08). File – Import the OBJ. Start playing around with it, using the brush tools to smooth or warp the site. You may need to ‘scale’ up your active tool by using the middle mouse button to see real results.
I added some body parts to the site:
Export to OBJ from meshmixer.
Back in Max, select the previous surface object. Then Import, select the new OBJ you just made.
Now, export selected the new OBJ (with morphs) to a DWG file.
Import the DWG in Revit. If you haven’t gone too wild, you should be able to use Auto – Center to Center option effectively.
Finally, Revit won’t like this import very much – it probably won’t find points to make a surface. You will need to round-trip this DWG import by exporting out to DWG from Revit and then importing it back in again.
The ’round tripped’ import symbol can be used to generate the Toposurface, now morphed:
Basically, if you have one site toposurface, and you cut it with pads in different phases, then an ‘outline’ around every single pad appears in the creation phase of the toposurface (they affect the topo backwards in time). It looks ugly … Additionally, there will be ‘holes’ cut in the toposurface for the pads.
I recently handled this by making a Design Option Set for Topography, then for each Stage / Building Option combination, I added the entire site Toposurface. From here, I could use model groups to transfer pads between the different options / phases, while still retaining their size and position and editability. It was a pain to set up, but once configured properly (with views etc), it seems to work ok.
The most ‘logical’ way to configure it would be:
Make a Design Option Set
Make an Option called ‘Existing’. Add your original / untouched site topography here.
Duplicate the Option, call it Stage 1.
Make all the Stage 1 pads, then group them.
Duplicate Stage 1 topography option, call it stage 2 (the grouped pads will come through). Add additional pads in Stage 2 option, then group Stage 2 pads and the Stage 1 pad group (forming a nested group.)