I'm currently using the 30 day trial version to evaluate if this software is worth purchasing (over $6,000AUD) - already I've found major bugs in the software, today I modelled a number of window components in a roof, and then after this process I deleted one window in an adjacent wall, immediately the whole roof window geometry collapsed in a catastrophic way, and very chaotic manner. With such profound problems why would I consider buying such a software?
See the attached screen shots showing the problem. In the first image you can see the nice star shaped roof skylights. In the second image, I deleted one of the wall panel windows below in the same zone and you can see the horrible impact on the roof geometry, it is also not undo-able.
send me your model, if you can (email@example.com). Usually you don't see "geometry collapsed in a catastrophic way, and very chaotic manner" without some user error, and often due to inexperience.
Please find enclosed model, just prior to the error. If you simply delete a window in one of the walls in the A-Comm Hall zone you'll see the collapse occur (assuming the error repeats in the same way on your PC) let me know and I can send the collapsed version also.
Switch off all the Zones except for the Thermal zone called A-Comm Hall. The error happens in the skylights in the domed roof.
I've tried the geometry several different ways to make sure it's co-planer and linked correctly as a child to the parent objects etc, still causes the error.
Not that I'm being overly critical here but Ecotect has other bugs which have existed since I started using it in 2002/2003 i.e. the perspective views distort when navigating around a compled model for no apparant reason, and some objects will suddenly distort in perspective when they have previously been OK. I'm not a programmer but I would have thought these kind of things would have been fixed by now esp. considering the asking price is now 12 times what it used to be.
Another point of interest is this particular model (attached) was personally reviewed and OKed by Dr. Andrew Marsh himself back in 2003 sometime.
I have kept on trying with the geometry error, despite not receive any support from your company. I may have found the solution, or more specifically I found the specific origin of the bug that needs fixing.
I am creating a domed roof geometry with 18 sides that is symetrical
The first stage invovles making one piece of the 18 sided shape as three segments of roof, I then add the skylights as child objects
This stage is fine, no problems
I then select these original objects and perform a Polar Array Transformation, with 17 multipliers. It is precisely this function that creates the error.
I worked around the problem by just multiplying one copy, then deleting a piece of geometry somewhere in the model (randomly) this created the error by making two additional child objects seemingly randomly and chaotically in space, however this time the orginal duplicate also remained. I then undid the delete object and deleted the two additional un-useful skylights, I then repeated the process 16 times and the result is currently a stable geometry.
Looks like the Polar Array tool needs some work!
Glad you discovered the source of the problem. The lesson here is to link the objects after the polar array. All of the arrayed windows were linked to the same object. You are right that upon arraying objects, it would be nice if Ecotect could link each new wall to each new window. Further documentation of your problem (see Unlinked Images PDF)
1) Windows appear linked when you view by material.
2) When you view by zone color you see that these windows are not linked.
3) When you look at these windows you see that they all have the same parent, 4)
5) To fix this, go into plan and select all diamond windows. "Unlink."
6) Manually select each window with its host wall. "Link."
7) Windows are now as they should be.
Now export to Radiance to see the glare problems once these windows are linked.
Regarding your other comments, (see View Problems PDF).
Whenever you zoom in or move the camera far from the view center, the view will distort. This happens often when you start with a large model and try to isolate one building (8). There are a series of buttons (9) that: resets the grid to the visible objects, fits the view to visible objects, fits the view to the grid. Use these to keep your views from distorting. Additionally, you can use the perspective distort button in the "visualize" tab to fix some bad views.
Finally, if you want more promt support I'd recommend that you go through your reseller network, after you buy the software of course. What I wouldn't do is tell someone that you're on a trial license, that their software is overpriced and lousy, and then expect any useful or immediate responses.
Thanks for your helpful advice, much appreciated.
Do you know if the Transformation Origin can be rotated. Similar to changing the Axes in SketchUp if you are familiar with that feature. It would certainly make modeling a lot quicker.