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Saving elements to GDL

Saving an element as a GDL object (.gsm file) is as simple as selecting the elements to be saved then selecting File > Libraries and Objects > Save Selection As > Object

These elements can be 2d or 3d, or a combination of both. Scripts and parameters will automatically be generated from the save process.

Step 1: Model the object to be saved using walls, slabs, roofs, beams, columns, morphs. Use care in selecting specific attributes; Pens, Line Types, Fills, Surfaces (see Step 5). I typically convert all elements to morphs and boolean into a single element. Take a screenshot or rendering of the final elements (see Step 6).

FIG. 1.1 Six Morphs Modeled as a Chair

Step 2: Check the polygons before saving out to avoid saving an object that will bog down the file. As a general rule, I try to keep a complete building file under 3 million polygons for a full project. If a single element is 100,000 polygons and will be placed 10 times, it is eating up a lot of the projects “allowable” polygons, and you may need to rethink how it is being modeled.

FIG. 1.2 Polycount for Chair Morphs

Step 3: From the floor plan view save the elements (File > Libraries and Objects > Save Selection As > Object)

FIG. 1.3 Saving the Object

Step 4: Name the element and select the destination (Embedded Library is the default)

FIG. 1.4 Select Destination for Object (Embedded Library or External Folder)

Step 5: Edit the default parameters. Notice that some parameters appear which may have not been part of the original elements attributes. These are translated from building material settings which would have been overwritten in the element settings. I typically rename these to “NA” then remove them later. The more care you take in selecting parameters of original model elements the easier identifying the final GDL parameters will be.

FIG. 1.5 Adjust Objects Settings and Attribute Names/Defaults

Step 6: Change Details. Set a preview picture (taken from a rendering or screenshot before starting the save process). Define the author, licensing, description (what the object is and any additional information necessary) and keywords (for object search).

FIG. 1.6 Fill in Objects Details & Preview Image

Step 7: Click OK to save the object and start placing it.