Slatted & Screened Walls

Todays post is inspired by some creative modeling by Maggie! Unfortunately her project was redesigned before I could get a screen shot of how she used a fence object to model slatted walls, but it got me thinking of other ways to model repetitious elements, other than dragging & managing multiple copies of columns, beams, etc.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 4.10.15 PMThe image above is of three slatted elements modeled with three separate tools. The left-most slats are morph elements boolean-ed into a single morph object. These have the advantage of easily extending both vertically and horizontally as a single element. The morph element can also be reoriented to a horizontal or even diagonal element with a single rotation. The profiles need to be simple and consistent or managing the element could be tedious and inaccurate.

The center slats are a complex profile with repeating shapes applied to a column. Advantages for this method are the ability to slope the column, change the shape, size & spacing of the boards with a quick redraft of the custom profile and easy extension of the height and width. The profiles can be more complex than the morph element.

The right-most slats are a fence object. This object has an advantage of being the easiest to change the element width, board spacing and size with no redrafting or manual object editing. Its disadvantages are that the boards must be oriented vertically or horizontally and can only be square or round profiles depending on the fence element used. The plan symbol for these objects can also be limited, which may be the most discouraging factor for this option.

All three options are a cleaner and more manageable solution to separate columns individually placed and coordinated.


3 thoughts on “Slatted & Screened Walls

  1. da3dalusdesigns

    A fourth way (I’m sure there are many more) is a method we’ve been using often for decorative screen walls (we need a lot of shade in Phoenix). Again, we create a Complex Profile, but it is a drawing of the ELEVATION of the screen, whether it be perforated metal, offset masonry, or a fence like you’ve shown. The use the Wall or Beam tool (Beam gives you a little more control of Surfaces) to draw the screen PERPENDICULAR to what you would think of as the face plane. In the case above, it may be a Beam that’s only 2″ long, but 30 feet wide. It simple to edit afterwards, and allows a wide variety of shapes and materials. Lastly, it may be important to manipulate the Intersection Priorities in Layers, so it doesn’t “clean up” with other elements in a bad way. This method also works for 3D wall decoration like tile, stone, signage, or bas-relief-type art.


    1. wwabim Post author

      This method (beam perpendicular to actual orientation) can lead to bad geometries if sharing IFC files. We use surfaces with transparency settings for metal screens, rather than modeling the perforations.


  2. Pingback: Thinking Outside the Box | WWA BIM

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