Using materials with a BIM software. Creating a decorative pattern on a pavement. The “Casa del Viento” presentation video created entirely with Edificius

Edificius provides a wide range of textures, including 3D materials in HD, ready to be assigned to the various elements of the project. Let’s see how to create, adapt and modify these surface finishes within an architectural project by learning how to handle materials with a BIM software. This case study brings us within the ‘Casa del Viento’ project, a beautiful contemporary residence located in Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico and designed by the A-001 Taller de Arquitectura design firm.

Using materials with a BIM software

Using materials with BIM software is one of the key aspects in addressing the design process with a more realistic approach. This, of course, also applies to the horizontal envelope: the pavement.

More specifically, we’ll activate the Materials feature, then proceed to the Project/General/User BIM Objects Library, then to Floorings and Claddings (here we can find a wide range, from the simplest and more classical patterns with predefined material and geometry, to the more detailed and particular designs such as the two-colored marble materials). Any pavement can be neatly customised by applying a surface coating with the desired shapes and materials.

From 3D view, we’ll select the Horizontal Slab object and assign a material to it (clicking Materials on the top multi-function toolbar. From the General BIM Objects Library, it’s then just a matter of selecting the appropriate material category. In this case, Flooring and CladdingMarble Floors and CladdingsArabesque 60×60 Aligned.
We now have the base of the flooring on which to apply a decorative pattern through the Surface Lining function (at this stage, if necessary, we can already modify the material parameters using the appropriate editor).

Let’s go back to the 3D view, select Surface Lining and click on the desired area for application. The Dedicated editor is now active for modelling the surface lining object over the reference surface. In red we have the current covering area that we can change according to our needs.

As a first step, we’ll identify a point inside the room. This is where you can start to model the Surface lining object. The Parallel guide-line, available in the 2D Graphics menu, also comes in very useful for all kinds of modelling needs.

Creating and inserting references for decorative purposes

Using the other tools in this menu (parallel guide line, reference point, guide line) we can create the desired pattern on which we can trim the surface liner. For schematic decorative patterns that requiring numerous connecting points, the program also provides another useful object called the 2DMagnetic Grid (rectangular or radial) tool.
With the rectangular Magnetic Grid2D things get quite interesting because we can set up our own grid with the rows and columns function (for this project, we used: 20 columns at 0.10 and 34 lines at 0.10 spacing) and position it according to the previously set reference point.

placing the surface lining references

Modelling the decorative pattern using the reference grid

Shaping the decorative pattern

From this point on, we can easily shape our pattern. By adding or removing nodes (mouse right-click pop-up options or INS to add and DELETE to remove a node) to continue with the drawing. When a section of the lining is hard to select (because it is positioned below the grid), just select the Magnetic Grid2D and click Ctrl+SPACE to switch the selection focus from one object to another.

If necessary, we can transform a lining object’s segment to a curve and add additional nodes to it for even more precise modelling needs (right mouse click – convert to Arc). Under Edit, we also have the useful Offset function to apply an offset to the selected entity.

Special attention must be paid because if you leave the editor without finishing the entire modelling process, the magnetic grids or extra guide lines used for defining patterns or shapes, are also lost. It is also essential that each surface lining object be applied correctly on the surfaces to cover, otherwise the editor will appear to have no avaialable surfaces to cover.

As always, automatisms can also come in useful in fact the adapt to surface feature can be used to adapt the lining surface directly over the previously selected entity.
Once the pattern definition is completed, we can close the editor and return to the 3D view where we can apply the desired material and evaluate its visual impact in the real time rendering view. To make any sort of change to the lining object, simply select the object and click Edit Surface Lining

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