Snaptrude was developed to streamline the conceptual design phase. It automates repetitive tasks and provides users with the data for quick design decisions. In this article, we explore some tools unique to Snaptrude, that will help you develop concept models with speed.
Create Buildings and Customization
Conceptual masses on Snaptrude can be converted into a BIM model using the Create Building tool. Before using the tool, it is important to set up project settings. In the Construction Tab under project settings, ensure that the desired wall types are selected, and the appropriate thickness for building elements are entered. The project settings contain a range of wall types to choose from, complete with finishes. Specific types can be selected for internal, external, or parapet walls.
Click Create Building button. Once the process is complete, you’ll notice that the masses are converted to building elements like walls, slabs, floor, etc.
You may choose to modify the thickness, structure, or material of the elements at any time, from the Object Properties menu available on the sidebar. The elements can also be shaped using the Move tool. The Move tool on Snaptrude not only moves the objects around the canvas but also extrudes surfaces and manipulates edges to create complex geometry. These functions can be enabled by double-clicking over an edge or surface when the Move tool is active.
Auto-BoQ (Bill of Quantities)
As you continue to model your project, Snaptrude automatically populates a quantity schedule in the background. This allows users to visualize the impact of their design on the project’s budget, in real-time. The schedule can be viewed by clicking the Bill of Quantities button on the top right corner of the screen. This also accounts for objects like furniture, doors, and windows. For further calculations, the schedule can be exported to an Excel file by clicking the Export/Share button.
Adding Detail to the Project
Snaptrude comes with an extensive library of objects including doors, windows, furniture, and staircases. They can help designers develop detailed models at speed. These objects can be accessed from the right sidebar and placed in the model. By default, furniture snaps to a Floor element. Users can toggle snap to a wall when placing wall-based objects like cabinets. Doors and windows can only be placed over walls.
Although the objects in Snaptrude have been created with various configurations, users can modify their dimensions when required. Select an object and change its properties from the Object Properties menu.
Snaptrude also allows users to import custom 3D objects in most popular formats such as .skp, .rvt, .obj, .ifc etc. Users can compress their existing object library into a .zip file and import it into Snaptrude. For example, to add new furniture, click on the import button from the furniture library, select the Object Type and select a .zip file containing the objects. This process also applies to doors and windows. Users can also create custom categories within the library, to keep their objects organized.
Staircases are completely parametric, with a variety of types to choose from. Like other objects, select the desired stair type from the Staircase Tab on the right sidebar, and drop it in the model. By default, the staircase is adjusted to fit between floors. However, parameters such as flight width, number of risers, riser height, tread depth, etc. can be modified under Object Properties. Snaptrude will always ensure that the staircase works.
Creating Multi-Story Buildings
In Snaptrude, floors or levels are referred to as Stories. Stories are a way of organizing floor information in the model. There are a few ways to add stories to a project.
To create a story, click the Create Story button (indicated by a ‘+’ sign) on the left sidebar. Stories can be created above or below your current story. By default, a new story is set to a height of 3 meters. This can be modified at any point. When modified, the objects hosted to the story, automatically reposition themselves to the new height.
When you click on a story from the left sidebar, the canvas is adjusted to that level. Snaptrude also allows you to link reference images or CAD drawings to a story. To do this, click on the Import tab and select Upload Sketch.
It is recommended to start with masses when working with multi-story buildings. Use the Create Storey option, to copy masses over many levels. Then click on Create Building to convert the massing into a BIM model. The building elements between floors are copies of each other. Hence, modifying an element on one floor would simultaneously modify the copies on all other floors.