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Modelling curved beams as architectural elements with a BIM Edificius

Modelling curved beams as architectural elements with a BIM software: Nahil Kan

Modeling curved beams as architectural elements with a BIM Software: Here is how the curved beam shapes in the model inspired the Nahil Kan project

The use of BIM software in architectural design always offers new features that can speed up and simplify the work of designers.

To better understand all the potential of a BIM software, let's play with some of the tools and BIM objects available in Edificius to reproduce the Nahil Kan project by architect Hugo Mur.

Nahil Kan: the project

Nahil Kan is a project by Argentine architect Hugo Mur; This is a residential and commercial complex structured on 4 floors. It is made up of 4 factory bodies, mirrored and interconnected with walkways. A steel staircase, protected by transparent glass, leads to the upper floors.
The entire structure rests on stilts.

The ground floor, intended for commercial use, has a rectangular body protruding from the building.

The first and second floors, of the same size and architectural organization, are intended for residential use.

Nahil Kan project: roof top

These unique steel architectural elements start out from the roof top and characterize the building's facade.

The elements at roof level follow the building's line down to ground floor, creating a wave shaped effect that connects with the building's facade.

CAD and Edificius integration

The integration of a CAD application into Edificius removes the typical limitations that architects have to deal with in terms of design choices allowing creativity efforts to be as simple as possible.

Let's see these features used in modelling the steel architectural elements.

We'll use the CAD application to create a grid and use it as a guide for creating the steel structures composed of curved beams.

After creating the grid, we create a DWG file that we will use as a 3D modeling guide.

Modeling architectural elements in Edificius thanks to the integration with CAD

From the CAD application available in Edificius, we'll start off by defining the layers and assigning them with different colors:

  • blue (representing the building) will serve as a reference for the creation of the magnetic grid
  • green, for the magnetic grid that will serve for modelling the steel structure
  • gray, for the metal profiles that will serve as a guide for modeling the curved beam structure

Once finished with the building's footprint (blue), we can create a temporary grid (in green) that defines the snap points along the curved beam and the entire metal profile.
Let's get our grey metallic profile.

Once this phase is completed, seeing as we don't need it anymore, we can remove the green construction grid. As a final result, we'll now be able to see the building's line and the metal profile "path" made of its relating beams.

Inserting the solid extrusion elements

Returning to Edificius, we'll then access the Magnetic Grid Editor and load the the newly created DWG file.
Once the grid is correctly positioned, we will need a second grid to repeat the metal profile along the roof too.
Finished this phase we can confirm and close the editor

Let's select the extrusion and trace over the DWG by adding nodes and by converting the beam segments from straight to curved.

Thanks to the 3DMG (3D MagneticGrid) function and the "Magic Wand" feature, we can rapidly generate the sections that will support the metal profile automatically.

Now we'll copy the newly created structure to the points defined by the second grid and therefore build the second extrusion elements following the same path and fill in the voids between the various profiles.

At this stage we can apply a perforated honeycomb texture that forms the grid's exterior face. This new material has been edited in the project catalog so as to include a diffuse texture map, specular map, normal map and finally an alpha mask map (Click here to find out more about Texture MAPS and how they are used).

Let's apply the edited material to the object.

Click here to download Edificius, the software for architectural BIM design, for a Free 30-day trial