New Freecad / experienced Revit user questions and workflows on starting out

A forum dedicated to the Draft, Arch and BIM workbenches development.
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dimitar
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New Freecad / experienced Revit user questions and workflows on starting out

Postby dimitar » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:55 am

Hi, first, I would like to introduce myself since I have a feeling that I will be needing your help quite a bit to get up to speed on freecad. I am an architect based in London, who uses Grasshopper/Rhino/Blender/Revit on a daily basis. Because of blender, I've become quite an open source enthusiast (I have a youtube https://www.youtube.com/uhstudio channel on Blender for architectural design).

I have tried to play with freecad a number of times over the last 6+ years, but I never got further than drawing a line and a wall. Then, a few months ago, I went to a 3 day Catia for AEC workshop, where we covered the basics of Catia. The parts/assembly methodology and the way to link assemblies together immediately felt as a much fresher and more dynamic take than the rigidity that Revit offers. After that workshop, I downloaded Freecad again, and it immediately made sense, so I have decided to give it a proper try. I have watched/read quite a few of yorik's blog posts and videos in the process.

Now, I have a conceptual theatre project that I would like to work out in freecad as my test case, so here are are my first series of questions, mostly related to setting out a project in regards to levels:

What's the best way to manage levels? And is there a way to edit the level properties in a worksheet, like height and level name and working plane name?

I have created a new project with the desired number levels I wish to have in the bim workbench via manage/manage project. Now i need to edit the names and the levels, but when i click on manage/manage levels nothing seems to happen. I am using freecad 0.18.

Is there any advantage to use levels based on an axis? I tried this setting, as it is the closest to Revit, and I imagine that parametric relationships could be set between the different axes, but the levels do not seem to be attached to the axes. Here is what happens when iadjust of the axes:

What is the use of the levels/working plane window on the bottom left-hand side?
Last edited by dimitar on Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:20 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Newbie Freecad User / Experienced Architect & Revit user questions

Postby FATHI RAMMAH » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:20 pm

i think you have to use the view property tab to adjust level label position
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Re: Newbie Freecad User / Experienced Architect & Revit user questions

Postby yorik » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:04 pm

To be honest this "axis as levels" idea is a rather old concept invented before we had proper BuildingPart/Levels objects... Now indeed there is really no more sense in that. Apart than being able to combine with 2 other axes systems, and build a 3-dimensional grid, where you can hook objects (columns for ex.) But I actually can't imagine a project where all the columns of all floors would be defined in one go, based on a global 3-dimensional grid... Certainly it is much more interesting to do columns layout per-level.

The levels/working plane window is for when you have a large project tree, and you need to change often from one level (or working plane) to another. You can loose precious time rolling the tree up and down to get to your objects, so I thought this window would be convenient. We could actually call it "Working Plane presets"... (I also think it should become movable/detachable) might be more intuitive...

Anyway, glad to see one more architect around! Indeed freecad and catia share much of the same concepts. And the way assemblies work there is exactly where we're going too. Hope you stick around!
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Re: Newbie Freecad User / Experienced Architect & Revit user questions

Postby dimitar » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:05 am

Thanks Fatthi- yes seems that most all setting should be adjusted through the property window.

Thanks Yorik for helping me understand the logic- so basically axes in levels shouldn't be used. What about working planes? Or do the levels act as working planes on which I can place walls, etc, without defining working planes explicitly as an additional object?

Now, when I press manage/manage levels nothing happens. Should there be a popup of some sort?

Further on with levels - I imported a CSV file, I linked Z placement and floor heights of each of my levels to cells in the spreadsheet, but the WPProxy working planes are not dynamically linked to the position of the floors? So now I need to go and link the working planes to the spreadsheet cells as well?

Is there a way to create a 2 way relationship between a spreadsheet and data in objects? For example, if I want to change the height of a level outside of the spreadsheet at the moment, I will just loose the formula that says use spreadsheet cell b3. But I am wondering if there is a setup that the two can be mutually updated?

Also, is there a way to define the level name to be based on a cell in a spreadsheet?
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Re: Newbie Freecad User / Experienced Architect & Revit user questions

Postby dimitar » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:37 am

Anyone could help out with the questions above?

Further on - I am drawing walls now. The bottom seems to snap to a working plane only if i draw a line first and then use the lines for a wall.

Is there a way for walls being drawing to snap to the currently working plane in such a manner that if change the working plane height, the walls will automatically adjust? - I've answered my own questions from watching one of Yorik's videos where there is a setting for walls to move with host. Wishing there was a complete manual of every setting somewhere.

It's slowly starting to make sense, but it's quite a bit of effort to set this up. Still wondering if there is a way to set up a two way relationship between a schedule and properties, in such that if either gets updated, the other one reflects the changes. The spreadsheet I've set up at the moment, has one way relationship, where the levels are all controlled from the spreadsheet.
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Last edited by dimitar on Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Parametric levels and setting up a BIM project

Postby dimitar » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:44 am

Now I see why the Level manager doesn't work - get the following error using Freecad 0.18.2 on Win10x64:

Code: Select all

Running the Python command 'BIM_Levels' failed:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\Users\Dimitar\AppData\Roaming\FreeCAD\Mod\BIM\BimLevels.py", line 42, in Activated
    FreeCADGui.Control.showDialog(BIM_Levels_TaskPanel())
  File "C:\Users\Dimitar\AppData\Roaming\FreeCAD\Mod\BIM\BimLevels.py", line 65, in __init__
    self.update()
  File "C:\Users\Dimitar\AppData\Roaming\FreeCAD\Mod\BIM\BimLevels.py", line 83, in update
    if hasattr(o,"IfcType"):

name 'o' is not defined
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Re: Newbie Freecad / experienced Revit user questions about starting out

Postby dimitar » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:23 pm

So, i've created a sketch, which I wish to make into walls. However, after I hit the wall tool, not all sketch lines become a wall. Am I doing something wrong?
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Re: Newbie Freecad / experienced Revit user questions about starting out

Postby bitacovir » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:13 pm

dimitar wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:23 pm
So, i've created a sketch, which I wish to make into walls. However, after I hit the wall tool, not all sketch lines become a wall. Am I doing something wrong?

qiWYTiclrR.gif
To work with complex sketches and ArchWB can be problematic. Think that SketchWB originally was not planned for Architectural Design.
Try to use several wires instead.
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Re: Newbie Freecad / experienced Revit user questions about starting out

Postby dimitar » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:00 pm

Thanks bitacovir. Yes, that's what it feels like indeed. However, Sketches seem to be the only place where parametric relationships could be defined in regards to geometry?

I am slowly breaking away from my Revit-based limiting paradigm of rigid shapes and starting to finally have fun after quite a bit of frustration. I can sense the power in this, slowly, especially when I know what Catia is capable of, and Freecad feeks like the base of a very similar super dragon.
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Re: Newbie Freecad / experienced Revit user questions about starting out

Postby dimitar » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:51 pm

OK, I am having issues with doing anything with the shape from the previous post. I have tried making it a wall and then putting a door or window, and i get the following error

Code: Select all

Unhandled Base::Exception caught in GUIApplication::notify.
The error message is: Access violation
I have tried duplicating the object, simplifying it, and breaking parametric links, but still, I cannot place doors and windows
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