• Tip of the week: How to create a stair slab and change its thickness

    The document files opened with a Rhino template have a stair "standard" style that doesn't have a slab by default.

    To add a slab to a specific stair style, open the stair styles dialog box. Right-click on the stair style name and the context menu will be diplayed: select New > Stair Slab.

    The slab thickness can be edited from the geometry tab, when selecting the slab component.

  • Having fun while investigating

    Animated Bézier Curves.

    Animated Bézier Curves

    Feeling overwhelmed by your architectural projects? Forget the drawings, Rhino, BIM and the calculations for a while, but don’t drop the mouse. You are going to need it.

    We invite you to take a few minutes to try the captivating work of Jason Davies, a specialist in data visualization. Don’t feel guilty of wasting your time, this is not a pastime, but a way of investigating the possibilities of geometry, which is so necessary in your work. Isn’t it?

    We specially like the animation showing how parametric Bézier curves are constructed. Just play around with your mouse. Geometric investigation has never been more fun!


    Do you want to see how a polygon turns into an ellipse? You can choose the number of vertices or randomize them.


    When you create a project, you let your imagination flow from an idea to another, generating a complex system. Here's an animation that will remind you of this process. Don’t you find it relaxing?


    And finally, a geometric challenge. It’s called “Planarity” and you must find a way to untangle the graph. Choose the number of vertices and each of your movements will be recorded. No architect or engineer should miss this challenge.


    After spending some time in improving your skills in parametric design and geometry, you will get back to work with another perspective on your project.

    Shall we try?

    (Article by M.A. Núñez)

  • VisualARQ examines modern (and not-so-modern) architecture

    Corbin building and Bricktopia

    Corbin building and Bricktopia. Autor Manuel de Lozar / Paula López

    Do you think that new technologies are only for modern architecture? Do you think that design software applies only to new projects of engineering or design?

    Look around and you will find out that what surrounds you was not built yesterday nor, perhaps, this century. We are more than just heirs of the past, we are its inhabitants.

    In VisualARQ we know well that if you are an architect, engineer or designer, you will have on the table projects to show your ability to innovate. Your creations may continue or break a tradition, but can not forget it. Technology does not forget the past. It revives it.

    For centuries, the mallet and chisel in the hands of a skilled craftsman were the instruments with which we left an artistic heritage. Industrialization facilitated these processes for its culmination by the human hand. Today, the software design is the starting point of the current work of a craftsman.

    Rhino is a 3D software that goes beyond the present, it looks to the past and returns us its best version.
    We are going to show two examples of facades and ornamental restoration.

    Let's travel to New York to learn about two very different restoration cases: architectural and artistic. The tour will end in Barcelona to see a contemporary use of traditional elements.

    Continue reading...

  • Tip of the week: Is it possible to create irregular walls or walls from Rhino geometry?

    Yes, it is.

    The VisualARQ walls created in the model with the _vaWall command , or from curves VA_WallsFromCurves, are always created vertically and have a regular height and width.

    However, there are different ways to create walls with irregular shapes:

    1.  Wall from Solid: Option to turn Rhino polysurfaces into VisualARQ walls.
    2. va_walladdsolids va_wallsubtractsolids Wall Add and Subtract Solids: Boolean operations between Rhino Solids and VisualARQ walls. (See this Tip for more information)
    3. va_wallextendtosrf Wall Extend to Surface: Option to extend walls vertically to any kind of open surface, polysurface or VisualARQ object (slab, roof, stair, etc...)

    Read more information here.

  • Rhino projects: The Chapel of Rest, Graz (Hofrichter-Ritter Architects)

    Interior detail. The Chapel of rest (Hofrichter-Ritter Architects). Picture by © Karl Heinz Putz

    When we at VisualARQ present projects done in Rhino, we search for 2D or 3D architectural models which embrace life: homes, offices and factories. Occasionally, hospitals, cultural centers, schools or sports centers. Architects are usually given assignments for designs which host fervent human activities and must take into account the activity and flow of people, the communication network, how they fit with the environment and how you access to them. Life in motion.

    There are other types of buildings that, in many cases, we inherited from the past and that we usually just expand, restore or relocate: places of worship and cemeteries. Typically, both cities and villages have churches, chapels and cathedrals which were erected centuries ago. In addition to their religious function, they also attract travelers, since they act as cultural focuses and as museums, exhibiting the art of the past through the building itself and its decorations.

    As for cemeteries, some centuries ago they were placed outside the inhabited settlements and, since our relationship with death is radically different from the past, they are rather something that we prefer to forget and “not to see”. How do architects face a project that the community prefers “not to see” but, at the same time, is a departure station to which we turn to overwhelmed by emotions?

    Today we are visiting the “Chapel of Rest”, built by Hofrichter-Ritter Architects in Graz (Austria), a city that, at the beginning of 2014, had 272.000 inhabitants.

    Continue reading...

  • Tip of the week: How can I create and select openings?

    The operation and behaviour of an opening is identical to the one of a window or a door.

    Steps to create a new opening:

    1. Run the "_vaOpening" command (from the command line or VisualARQ drop-down menu).
    2. Specify the opening insertion options in the opening insert dialog box.
    3. Insert the opening inside a wall in the model.

    After the opening is inserted you may realize that it is difficult to select. There is an easy way to solve that: Adding a frame component to the opening:

    Read more information here.

  • BIM + IFC: Why we need them all

    Both from the professional point of view (architecture, engineering or design) and from the citizens' one , it seems clear that the implementation of BIM will result in a general improvement and, in order to get the short-term expected advantages, you need IFC.

    Why BIM can be of interest to the citizens? You might think they aren’t concerned by this issue because, after all, they may not even know what the Building Information Modeling (BIM) is. The 3D modeling system is not exactly an everyday subject because it is basically known in the building industry. And, obviously, the Industry Foundation Classes format (IFC) will be foreign to them as well.

    The answer is simple: for money -public and private money. Right at the start of 2014, the European Parliament voted a package of reforms affecting Public Procurement Directives and among them is the BIM adoption by member states. So, we speak of public money which is money of all of us.

    Continue reading...

  • Tip of the week: How can I create a custom profile?

    To create a custom profile you need to use the “Profile From Curve” option:

    1. Draw a closed and planar curve

    2. Click on the “Profile From Curve” icon VA_ProfileFromPolyline (inside the VisualARQ Tools toolbar)

    VisualARQ Tools toolbar

    3. Specify a name for the new profile

    The custom profiles you create will be added to the profile list. They can be used to create new door, window, railing, beam and column styles.

    Custom profile

  • Tip of the week: How can I assign different materials to the different components of a door or a window?

    Each component of a VisualARQ object, like doors or windows, can have a different materials for rendering purposes , as well as display and printing properties.

    All these properties can be assigned to each object and component from its attributes tab, in the object style dialog.

    • Select the door/window/object style desired > click on the black triangle to display its components > select the one you want to assign a specific material > click on the attributes tab and enable the override attributes option > specify a material from any of the options available: By layer, by parent or other

    The materials can also be assigned to objects "by layer", from the layer dialog box or individually "by object" from the properties dialog box after selecting the object.

  • Rhino Projects: MEC, Moscow (2013, 3XN Architects)

    3XN Mec moscow

    Exterior. MEC Moscú (2013, 3XN) Software: Rhinoceros

    It has been many years since the time when Soviet architecture clashed with the grand, magnificent avenues of the Russian capital. Actually, its reputation for being massive, grey, and drab could not be farther from the truth.

    On behalf of modernity, in recent years new buildings are being erected, and these are returning a new found splendor to the streets. This should come as no surprise, architecture is but another aspect of the economic rise of a nation that advances resolutely towards reclaiming its prominence.

    We at VisualARQ, developers of architectural 3D modeling tools for Rhinoceros, pay special attention to projects created with Rhino, and today we are showcasing a 2013 project by Danish architecture studio 3XN.

    Continue reading...