Documentation in ArchLINE.XP 2020

The 2020 release of ArchLINE.XP (the XP has nothing to do with the old version of Windows) enhances the way it documents BIM models — “documents” being the industry-wide term for generating and working with 2D drawings. These drawings can form the basis of a new 3D model, or else be extracted from a completed model.

ArchLINE.XP 2020 adds a number of nice little functions that users of other CAD softer might be interested in. 

Interactive Drawing Rotate. The new rotate drawing tool rotates the entire drawing to match two pick points. This is useful when the drawing has non-orthogonal walls, and you want to work along them. (See figure 1.) 

Figure 1: Rotating a drawing to match a non-orthogonal element

The Swap option switches between the default orthogonal and last non-orthogonal view, and you can assign a keyboard shortcut to make switching even faster. (In DWG editors, the same can be accomplished with UCS.)

Half-tone Floors. To see one floor on top of another, you can fade it to show it in translucent gray. A related option switches to half-tones, so that the original colors show through, but also at 50% translucency. (See figure 2.)

Figure 2: Half-toning content on non-current floors

Click the blue up and down arrows on the status bar to move the focus between active floors, or else hold down the Ctrl key to instead move between inactive floors.

Hiding Cladding. The new Wall Framing Only option (under Build 3D Model) hides the cladding to show the wall structures, such as the 2x4s used to frame the building. Walls without framing are shown as solid, indicating where framing might be missing. (See the red panels in figure 3.)

Figure 3: Hiding cladding to show framing
(red areas showing uncladded sections)

Associative Tags. Tags (found under Documentation) provide information about specific elements in the drawing. (See figure 4.) A dialog box helps you build tags. Leaders can be edited with bends and curves. Another dialog box sets the default format of tabs for differing kinds of building elements, such as wall layers (materials). 

Figure 4: Adding tags to drawings

Tags are bi-directionally associative with elements, and so editing a tag, such as changing the color of the exterior paint changes the color of the associated wall in the model.

Version Control. Under Open and Save, you can specify that the backup copies be saved to Google Drive. When you click Save, the model is saved locally and on Drive — under the account in which you are logged. Drive saves all versions of each file by the save date and time, giving you a history; the History column provides a type of version control. (See figure 5.) Keep in mind that free Dive accounts are limited to 15GB.

Figure 5: Accessing earlier versions of a file

PDF Units. When importing PDF files, a scale ruler in the Import dialog box gives you an idea of the size of the drawing being imported, allowing you to adjust its units before import. (See figure 6.) Once imported, you can use DWG editing tools to convert the dumb geometry to ArchLINE walls and other smart elements.

Figure 6: Changing the units of a PDF file

Associative Grid. When entities like columns and beam are attached to architectural grids, they are associative. Move a grid line, and the attached elements move along. (See figure 7.)

Figure 7: Architectural grid controlling building elements

Rendering Enhancements

I liked the custom touches the folks at CADline added to the rendering component of ArchLINE.XP 2020.

Seamless Patterns. The new Make Seamless Pattern function interactively crops a repeating image to make it look seamless, such as for wallpaper. The new Adding Color option retones the original texture with a color you select — an easy way to make variations of a pattern, like flooring.

Random Tiles. In ArchLINE, every tile is a solid object. A new function randomly rotates tiles, so that tiles look less artificial than when they all have the same orientation. (See figure 8.) The same can be applied to bump maps for materials, like leather for furniture.

Figure 8: Randomizing tile orientations

You see more about the new release through video such as this one:

The idea behind ArchiLINE is that you should be able to do everything inside ARCHLine, except for a few special functions, such as high-end rendering.

recreated with permission from upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.

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