VisualARQ Tables

I have a feeling that the VIsualARQ tables are hugely under-utilized currently. They are simply marvelous as an idea, but the rigid implementation does not hold a candle to its potential. I mean, the idea of an automatically updating table that can be used on drawings as an object, is excellent, but it is so rigidly tied to certain types of VARQ objects. I see it as a much more universal Rhino tool.

I do not have a wish per se, but just writing out ideas on how I would like to use it. Currently, I’m creating tables through Gh as text objects and curves. Neat and lightweight to bake and to have, but a nightmare to update (well basically delete and re-generate).

  • Tables should be in Gh as well
  • _VaTableExport is super - What about _VaTableImport?
  • Their editing and creation could be more generic, for instance, instead of categorizing Types, the input could be byName, byType (generic types; crvs, polys, etc.), byKey, byLayer, etc… To make it more of a Rhino tool, instead of “just” VARQ tool. Like a GeometryPipeline with a custom filter
  • Double click to bring up an editor
  • Automatic/Manual update

The whole table logic could also be implemented as a Gh-based object, as a Grasshopper style. There you could set up as an elaborate “Excel sheet” as you wish. The input and modification of “filters” should stay simple though.

The Rh7 Enhanced text fields have a little bit of the right directionality (Rhino - Enhanced Text Fields), but you can set it up only to count certain blocks. If you want to keep track of items and their quantities on a construction wall element, it doesn’t suffice.


This came to mind as a good example of a table tool. It only reads external sources, but I like the editor.

Edit: Added the link.

Hi Toni,
Thanks for sharing these interesting ideas about the VA Table object!
Some of the points you mention can be already done with the existing Table object. For example, you can include Rhino geometry, meshes, surfaces, points, curves, etc… in tables, and list the data stored in them:

In VisualARQ 3 we are working on new features regarding this object. The major change will be tables as docked panels (not necessarily as a 2D object inserted in the model). Then you will be able to export it, insert it as 2D in the model, or select items in the list, which will be highlighted in the model. We haven’t considered yet the option to import tables, since they are always generated from the geometry in the model (so it wouldn’t be possible to import them if they reference geometry in other files).
Of course, you can already export and import the table styles, so you can work with the same table styles in different documents.

I don’t know if there will the table object in GH for version 3, but it’s in our wishlist.

Regarding the “Double click” to bring up the editor, you can already do this if you Double click on a table while pressing Shift, Ctrl, or Alt key (it’s a shortcut for the vaStyleProperties command)

Hi Francesc,
I decided to test out, how far can I reach with the current version. I got fairly far.

I used the skeleton steel frame layer of this facade model. It is divided into elements based, which is stored as Key/Value info.

The goal would be to end up with this type of table I have in the assembly drawings per element. Here’s a small one that fits nicely on the screen. It’s a mixture of VARQ objects, blocks and breps. This is generated in Gh and it reads the object name, generates the description based on the type (profile on VARQ objects; block name; layer, respectively), length from VARQ property or key/value, and amount is calculated on-the-fly. As are the area and weight.

I was able to generate this one directly from the selection with a custom style. The table name I had to add manually.

I added some srf objects as well and added a new Parameter “Size” to the document. I added some sizes, but I were unable to get them shown and sorted.

Tried the same with Blocks. I was unable to get the Block-type’s name to get shown.

Based on this fast test, I would say, I could get it working quite far. Just that the information that is stored implicitly (block type name), or explicitly as key/value, I would need to store completely in document Parameters. I don’t know if they are not shown because of something I’m doing wrong or small bugs.

Maybe the biggest shortcoming is the fact that you cannot add or substract objects, once you’ve created the table. And that it’s not in Gh - as I need to create ~100 tables per facade. So it would be still quite a lot information to add manually (select objects, place table and add name).

Some cells could also contain information that could be added manually per table, such like the name - and not read directly from the geometry. Like the weight of the element.

That’s great news!!
Could you really pick up the pace with v3.0?
I have the feeling these are good times for VA, since Revit can be frustrating (and rather expensive). There’s so much potential here, but the development seems so slow sometimes… (Forgive me for saying.) How about hiring 10 more Devs? ; }

Auto-update would be great!
Have you tried the Elefront plugin for Grasshopper? We had kind of a breakthrough-experience recently because it can trigger an update of the GH graph simply when you e.g. put an object on a specific layer. Put the area (or any other data) on a text dot (or table using HumanUI), and you got realtime-feedback in the viewport.
I’m using this Grasshopper-Panel, too, into which you can put GH panels to display numbers. But it’s a bit awkward. VisualArq to the rescue…