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Strategies for drawing a school building in Solidworks (imported from Rhino)

Question asked by Ralph Burns on Apr 16, 2010
Latest reply on Apr 16, 2010 by Josh Mings



I use SW2009 for developing medical devices and aircraft hardware in my day job.  I wondering effective means for me to help with some building drawings.  I've never done much in the way of building drawings, but  how hard could it be?  This one is a transitional school to replace schools destroyed in the Haiti earthquake.  The group that I'm volunteering with has built similar schools in Indonesia, and has existing drawings in Rhino that need modification.  See the attached PDF.



- What are good approaches to doing this type of drawing in SW?  I imagine that goals are to be able to readily modify the design, and tally the amount of construction materials consumed.


- Any advice on importing from Rhino?  I am supposing that it will import as a dump STEP file or similar, and I'll have to recreate the design.


Thanks, Ralph





p.s  here's the full poop on the school from


Following the earthquake 12th January 2010 an estimated 80% of schools in the Leogane area were badly damaged or completely destroyed. The government of Haiti declared the 5th April 2010 a target date for the resumption of classes in Leogane. Due to lack of funding and limited demolition and rubble removal this date was unattainable and with a lack of proposed tents to act as classroom space the demand for durable structures to withstand hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding is of high priority


HODR's timber framed transitional school offers a safe and comfortable place for children to continue with their education for the immediate future in the hopes that the Haitian government along with the many NGO's now working here find better building solutions and begin rebuilding a safer Haiti in the future. Transitional shelters are designed to last for a minimum of 3 years with the expectation that a longer term solution will be reached with in that time but the truth of the matter is which such large scale damage throughout could take years before these schools are rebuilt.


HODR's timber framed schools are constructed from 1st grade treated timber imported from the USA. Hurricane strapping is used throughout to stand up to hurricane season in September & October. 2ft openings at the top of the walls and louvered windows throughout allow for ample ventilation. The School is finished with a wire mesh and cement finish which is ideal for earthquake prone areas. The school will be furnished with some simple benches and tables and finished with bright and cheerful paint.



The following lists of prices are for classrooms 16’x16’ and office 10’x16’. Both structure types are 8’ high to bottom of truss. Overall school size will be determined by available building space and number of students registered at school.


School Type                                    Overall Dim.               Cost

2 classrooms & 1 office                      16’x42’                        10,000

3 classrooms & 1 office                      16’x58’                        13,500