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How to Create Conceptual Massing | Snaptrude
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How to Create Conceptual Massing | Snaptrude

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  • Use

    3D modeling
  • Applications

    Concept presentations
  • Characteristics

    Parametric editing, space labeling, copy/array commands, story replication, fast workflow
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Modeling in Snaptrude starts with Spaces. A Space is a three-dimensional volume, room, or functional space that can be used as the base of a conceptual massing. Rather than drawing lines, walls, or slabs, you can design by pushing and pulling volumes.

Spaces are parametrically linked to neighboring ones, such that editing one will parallelly update all adjacent rooms. They are also editable entities, these include function, appearance, height, carpet area, functional layout, etc.

Drawing Spaces

Use the Draw Tool to draw the extents of a room. This solid will represent wall centrelines. Snaps, extension lines, and guides help you draw accurately. Dimension and angle snaps ensure drawing precision by snapping edges to every 100mm and 15 degrees respectively. You can toggle or change the snap values in Project Settings. To draw the next space, you can use the existing space edges as a reference and draw just the remaining edges needed to bound it.

Drawing Spaces

Parametric Edits

Rooms are parametrically linked to their neighboring room. Moving a room’s edge will resize the width of its neighbor. Use the Edit Tool to move an edge and specify the distance to move. Snaptrude splits shared edges at junctions and these split portions can be moved individually. New, perpendicular edges are created when a split edge is moved. You can also edit using the Move Tool. Double-clicking an edge or vertex with the Move tool allows you to move them. Spaces can be edited in plan and 3D.

Parametric Editing

Labeling Spaces

You can label spaces with intuitive spatial labels. Labels are used to represent:

  • Space types, like terraces, courtyards, atria, roads, and site extents. Using one of these labels updates the space’s parameters, BIM properties, and visual textures
  • Rooms, like living rooms, bedrooms, offices, etc. Room labels are used as the basis for the Auto-interiors tool to arrange furniture within the room
  • Building typology, like Residential, commercial, etc.


Use the Select Tool to Double click on the room or space and type in the label. Room labels are auto-suggested. Users can select from default labels or create a new one. The room is updated with the parameters of that label. This can be done in plan views or 3D.

Labeling Spaces

Edit Room Lengths

The Edit Length Tool is used to set room dimensions. Hover on an edge and use the Tab key to toggle between rooms you want to edit. Then input the new room dimension. The room’s dimensions are adjusted accordingly. Some edges are not editable, i.e. editing the edge may cause neighboring rooms to disappear or morph out of shape.

Copy/Array Spaces or Groups of Spaces

The Copy/Array Tool gives you the option to set the number of copies and distance between them, while also enabling you to snap rooms end to end. The distance between copies or the number of copies can be changed by adjusting the input. Choose whether you want the objects to remain as instances or if you want them to be unique.

Copy/Array Spaces

Editing Copied Spaces

Copied rooms automatically behave like instances on Snaptrude. Editing one room using the Move or Edit Length tool edits all its copies. The elements being edited are highlighted in green.

Editing Copied Spaces

Using Parametric Edits on Copied Rooms

Copied rooms are also parametrically linked to their neighboring rooms or spaces. So editing one room can enable parametric changes across the model.

In some design scenarios, the junctions between rooms in part of the array are different from the rest. To accommodate i.e. shafts, stairs, or other design features. To change that part of the array, select the rooms to be modified, and in Object Properties click Make Unique. Now, these specific rooms can be edited independently from the rest of the array.

As an example, a design element like terraces can be modeled in one action. Copy the terrace across all the required locations. While 3D modeling, use the Move tool and double-click a face to pull or push it. Double click an edge to move it and change the terrace’s geometry. Adjacent floor plates are modified accordingly.

Parametric Editing

Using Story Replication for Faster Floor Creation

Story Replication is a quick way to create copies of floors. Select the rooms you want to replicate with the select tool or if you want to select all rooms on a floor, use the Story Tool. Hover on a story number and click the arrow to access the options. Here, click Select All. All the rooms on that story are selected.

Click on the Add button and type in the number of stories to be created. Press the Copy Selection button and new stories are automatically created. All copies are instances by default unless the Object Properties are set to Unique.

Story Replication

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Snaptrude

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Snaptrude

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