Brand new tools available in a new version are:
Thick Face ToolIt allows to model free formed slab-like objects, which may lie in any plane (in contrast to a slab object, which is present in LSS Arch since ver. 1.0). Level of usefulness of this new functionality may appear questionable at first sight: one may say it is possible to draw a face, then use native SketchUp's "Push-pull" tool to make it thick and finally select faces and group the end result. Here are some reasons to use Thick Face tool however:
- the main reason is that thick face is not a simple group it is a parametric object, so there is an ability to re-adjust its properties any time later (thickness, surface materials etc) and what is more important it is possible to re-adjust properties of any number of selected thick face objects at once in a batch manner using "Properties" dialog
- in contrast to a simple group it is possible to interact with thick face object using direct manipulation implemented in LSS Arch and create spiral arrays of copies
- another great reason is that it is possible to cut parametric openings through thick face objects
- finally it is possible to analyse quantitative data shown within "Reporting" group of object's attributes, attach labels and create lists of thick face objects (as any other object types)
The most obvious use of grid tool is creation of smooth terrain approximations. Important to take in account that Mesh tool is good at processing of relatively small scattered data sets though. And it applies general smoothing throughout the whole data set (there are no any sophisticated algorithms like adaptive smoothing etc). This tool is similar to "Make 3D Mesh" tool of LSS Toolbar 2.0. The main innovation of "Mesh" tool is an ability to cut out parts of a mesh by using clipping contour. What is more important is that it is possible to use multiple clipping contours at once. This feature allows to model quickly site plan elements (lawns, sidewalks etc).
It is possible to find any other creative applications for Mesh tool. For example it is possible to model a sunshade or curved roof.
The most interesting innovation introduced in current version is an idea of 'meta-objects'. The main idea of 'meta-object' concept is to provide reliable way of describing different levels of a structure separately. Meta-object describes somehow abstract level (geometric framework) of a structure. Attaching of BIM sub-objects to a meta-object allows to fill substantial level of a structure. As a result complex parametric object emerges. It means that it is possible to re-adjust both abstract and substantial levels of such object any time later or even use objects created earlier as templates for creation of new ones.
Here are some samples of Grid tool applications:
- building framework
- spiral structures (stairs, ramps)
- forested regions
- curved domes