ArchiCAD User : Using Shapr3D to model timber frame structures

Hello :
1 I write and save parametric sub-routines written in GDL for structural components (posts and beams) and doors using ArchiCAD. The GDL dialog allows for the modification of structural details and dimensions.

2 When a design is finished, a detailed bill of materials can be exported in Excel format which contains all the relevant information needed to manufacture each component.

3 Recently I’ve been exploring the idea of exporting data for CNC machine production.

Can items 1 and 2 be done in Shapr3D (on an iPad Pro)?

What about item 3?


1-2 is not possible, but 3 is. You can export in STL (and STEP, IGES, XT, OBJ)

Dear Mr Rosner :
Thank you for your eMail.

1-2 is not possible, but 3 is. You can export in STL (and STEP, IGES, XT, OBJ)

I don’t entirely understand your remarks.

Question 1 : I requested clarification of, "The free version of Shapr3D allows three designs”.
Does this mean the free version will only support three data files at any one time? i.e. To create a fourth design one must dispose of an earlier one? In other words, what does the work ‘design’ mean in the context of Shapr3D?

Question 2 : In one of the Shapr3D videos, a predefined object, a door, is opened and copied into the current drawing. Does your answer imply that object is a static object, i.e. not parametric?

Question 3 : Export of a bill of materials. Normally this would be a tab-delimited file which can be opened in Excel, for example.
Here is a typical line item :
LayerName Type Height Width Length Material… and so on.
This data is used to order materials. There can be so many components in a building, the extraction of a BOM needes to be automated.

Are you saying extracting information about the components in a drawing is not possible?
Surely that would render the application useless for any serious work, other than creating a picture.

I am interested in Shapr3D. Unfortunately, I cannot explore the software without buying an iPad Pro, which would be useless without Shapr3D, hence the need for greater clarity of the software’s capabilities.

A fourth question might be this : Is the software capable of being used to design post and beam buildings but needs to be used in a different way to the one I describer. In other words it works but not in the legacy fashion I describe? Do I need to learn a new way to design?

Yours Sincerely : Hubert D Wagner
1 les Brousses, DARNAC
87320 Val-d’Oire-et-Gartempe
Tel : +44 73 65 52 53 49

1-2 is not possible or not possible yet?

Given a building with, say 100 components of various sorts, posts, beams as well as small components each with various mortice and tenon joints and other types of cut connections.

Ignoring for the moment items which will not be manufactured by CNC, if all these items can be saved as an STL file then the STL file is de facto a bill of materials.

However, I understand from one CNC supplier, each individual item must be saved as a separate STL file. The need to select and save each one of hundreds of components is significant work and increases the chance of errors.

How would this STL export to CNC be managed in Shapr3D?

When exporting to STL, you have an option to export each group as a separate file. It would be down to you to name/manage all the groups within the design beforehand.

Hope this helps.


Thank you for that clarification.
Given the building I referred to, what if some items, such as roof rafters, floor joints, etc do not require CNC but need merely to be supplied? Could that information be extracted from the model by quering the database or must it be done manually?

Is Shapr3D scriptable for example?

Unfortunately I don’t think Shapr is at that level yet. The export option is just the groups compressed into a .zip file, no database. Unless you somehow got creative with the group naming, not sure this will be for you.

Surely there must be a database otherwise how does the application manage the data which represents the objects created by the user? Even if the ‘database’ is merely a text tile, surely there must be some way to access and manipulate the data?

I was being intentionally provocative when I made my remark about Shapr3D making ‘pictures’ if the data in the design cannot be accessed or manipulated. I’d hoped to elicit a stronger response. Now I wonder if my observation was a bit too close to the truth.

I note Shapr3D is intended to be a cross-disciplinary application. I presume this includes timber design. Are there any plans to make the application scriptable with Appletalk or Ruby so it can be customized for a particular purpose, such as timber design?