V1.0 Key Feature: Hosting & Instance Properties
Modumate describes buildings the right way. Using the Hosting workflow, your super smart 3D Massing Graph becomes a real construction project super fast.

V1.0 Key Feature: Hosting & Instance Properties

Modumate describes buildings the right way. Using the Hosting workflow, your super smart 3D Massing Graph becomes a real construction project super fast.
February 15, 2021
3 min read

You might be thinking: what exactly is hosting, and why is it so important?

One of our ultimate goals here at Modumate is to allow users to work with the full construction intelligence of their design, in 3D, from schematic layout to construction details. To make that possible, we use hosting.

It all starts with the 4 Layer Hierarchy. Modumate’s “secret recipe” is that, unlike other 3D tools, buildings aren't sculpted through a bunch of dumb vertices. Buildings are a hierarchy of layers where hosting is the crucial junction between our first two layers.

The first layer is the Massing Graph. It’s the skeleton of the building or the bare-bones version of your project.

Next are the Separators. Separators are the essential elements of a building that separate (and connect) space: the walls, floors, and so forth.

That is where hosting comes in. Massing Planes host walls, floors, roofs, doors, windows, railings, and even stairs, while Massing Edges host beams, columns, and mullions.

Why develop such an new and unique approach to BIM modelling? Well, because it saves you time and gives you more control!

The Massing Graph allows you to easily lay out your building with 5-10x fewer clicks! Since Massing Graphs link to separators, you can also control your project at all times with ease. 

Under most conditions, the Massing Graph should be complete before hosting Separators to it. However, you can choose to automatically host an assembly to a Massing Graph by using the Hybrid Drawing Mode. (Learn more about Hybrid Drawing Mode here.)

With all that said, there is more to hosting Separators than just clicking them onto your Massing Graph. The way you host Separators will eventually determine your Construction Details!

Modumate works flexibly with Separators so that users can orient assemblies correctly and create the exact construction details they need!

Instance Properties

Every Separator has its own Properties Menu, which opens once you select the Separator. Here, you will find Flip buttons (for the x, y, and z directions) along with a dropdown menu for Offsets. You can pick from our default Offset options (centered, positive, negative). Or you can create custom offsets by telling Modumate exactly how much to nudge your Separator from the centerline of the Massing Plane or Edge!

But wait, there’s more. More often than not, you will want to change your Separator positioning — and going into the Properties menu every time might be somewhat tedious. Hence, hotkeys!

Save time using Hotkeys (W/A/S/D and F/R/V)

If you’re an avid gamer, these hotkeys may seem familiar. W/A/S/D are often used as your movement keys (up/left/down/right). Like the arrow configuration suggests, you can use W/A/S/D to nudge your Separator upwards, towards the left, downwards, and towards the right of your Massing Plane or Edge.

Immediately to the right of the previous four keys are F/R/V. These three are in charge of the direction your Separator is facing (Flip Across, Rotate, Flip Vertical). 

  • F for Flip Across rotates the selected assembly 180 degrees on the horizontal plane.
  • R for Rotate rotates the selected assembly in 90-degree increments.
  • V for Flip Vertical rotates the selected assembly 180 degrees on the vertical plane.

With that in mind, the Flip properties can be a bit unpredictable at times. The reason behind this is that Modumate may comprehend the default orientation of an assembly differently. Not to worry though, there are only so many directions something can be flipping — either in the x, y, or z-axis. So if a Separator doesn't flip the way you want, try flipping in all three directions to fix this! 

Another important note is that you can also use these hotkeys to Offset and Flip both while actively placing Separators. As you place your Separators, hover over the Massing Planes and Edges you want to host them on to use the hotkeys to place them in the correct orientation. To adjust existing Separators, simply select them and use the hotkeys!

And there you have it! Of course, offsetting with hotkeys won’t be able to cover all bases — you’ll likely want to edit Edge Details to get your Construction Details exactly the way you want. But in a way, we can interpret Hosting as the foundation of creating your Construction Details. Exterior walls aligning with foundation walls, or two different walls with different thicknesses desiring to align one of their faces are all doable with hosting, plus the instance properties of Flip and Offset.

Have questions, comments, or concerns? Send us an email at info@modumate.com and we will make sure to respond.

Happy Hosting,

-The Modumate Team


Modumate is a 3D building design platform for professional architects and contractors who draft drawing sets in 2D CAD, quantity estimates, and renderings.

Using Unreal Engine 4’s gorgeous graphics and our unprecedented approach to BIM, we supercharge your 3D design abilities and export instant 2D DWG backgrounds, quantity estimates, and renderings.


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