ARCHICAD and Pyramids

by GRAPHISOFT and Judit Boros · updated: 07.06.2011

The original article is written by Javier Farratell and can be found at ARCHICADero:

I always say at my students: the ARCHICAD’s tools have a name because they must have a name… but a wall with 0 centimeters thick it’s a vertical plane that we can extrude, bend, tilt, make holes in… if we create a structure with few millimeters thick and glass material, we have a top of a table. ARCHICAD give us tools, you must give the imagination.

Some time ago, a valued user asked me: Can we make a spatial structure pyramid covered with glass? My answer was: yes, we can and we made it… and this is our tutorial.


How to create a spatial structure pyramid

  • The special structure is composed with 1 meter bars between axes, so first we make the pyramid’s axes: we use the pyramid object from the ARCHICAD’s library, create a new layer for this object and set 1 meter side, now we have a regular pyramid with triangular base.
    Elevation and section can help us with the geometrical calculation to find the height of our little pyramid. The pyramid of the project is 8 meter side, so we multiply our little pyramid 7 times.

  • Next, we create 7 floors with the height of the little pyramid away between floors, 0,816 meters.

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  • In the first floor, we use trace reference tool and we put a second line of little pyramids on the upper vertex of the little pyramids. This new line has 7 pyramids.

  • Repeat the operation until have one little pyramid on top of our project.


  • If the little pyramids’s layer has wire feature activated in 3D view, we can see the model like this.

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  • We have many ways to do the bars for the spatial structure. In this exercise, we use pipes from MEP because the bars’ section isn’t uniform and MEP joints do the change between diameters, and MEP does bend bars too.

    Note: MEP objects can be downloaded from the official Graphisoft site.


    See that bars don’t touch any vertex, because we’ll put spheres emulating bars’ joints.
    When we create the bar, we multiply it 5 times to complete all the little pyramid’s sides.


  • Then group the bars and multiply it in each little pyramid and put the spheres. You have finished the spatial structure. We may put foundations like this.

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  • Now, we use Curtain Wall tool to cover our pyramid. We make a Curtain Wall like an equilateral triangle with 8 meters side. The wall’s divisions are 0.5 meters side and 1 meter height.


  • Create a Frame with triangular shape and 8 meters side. Select the frame and select redefine grid from frame, so we have a Curtain Wall with triangular shape


  • Edit the Curtain Wall, erase bars and add new bars to obtain the triangulation.


  • Bend the Curtain Wall from section with Curtain Wall Free Rotation and multiply it on the other pyramid’s faces.

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