Articles / New Assemblies Functionality, Optimized Project Explorer, Enhanced Collaboration and Many More in the Latest Renga Release

In this article, we will reveal all new improvements and enhancements in the latest Renga release and tell you why these new features will be so highly appreciated by Stuctural engineers and architects.

So, the most efficient new functionality of the latest release can rightfully be considered the ability to use nested and composite assemblies. This feature was highly requested by structural engineers, so now they can perform complex reinforcement of reinforced concrete elements, increasing the level of detail of the designed objects.

With this new functionality, for example, users can now select several reinforcement units and place them in the foundation (composite assembly).


Assembling several composite assemblies into a nested assembly.

This new feature can come in handy when creating different types of objects for which the same elements are used. Such as, for example, foundation bolts and anchor connectors, where several bolts are tied with plates into an assembly.

Assemblies of anchor bolts and reinforcement elements merged into a single foundation assembly.

Modeling process for architects is too becoming much more convenient – new functionality provides the ability to design complex elements of railings, curtain wall panels, hinged facades and fittings, and then merge all these assemblies into one. This scenario provides flexibility when editing assemblies – changing one assembly changes all instances in the overall design. Thus, you can combine your assemblies in different ways to obtain a variety of conctructions from the same assemblies.

If you need to edit the object, use the Disassemble action that helps to disassemble the assembly at its layout level. At the moment, the number of levels is unlimited.

You can easily schedule the assemblies in Renga. From the working with data perspective there will be nothing new for such assemblies – they can be scheduled as a regular model element, but they always "know" their parent element.

Users can export assemblies to the IFC4 and any other 3D format.

In order to make Renga users' modeling experience even more efficient, we've started optimizing the Project Explorer. The elements of the Project Explorer are now called the Components, and we've significantly improved their managing experience.

When hovering a cursor, each component in the Project Explorer is highlighted with a gray frame, which allows users to better navigate the program.

We also implemented the multiselect option allowing our users to select one or more components using a computer mouse or keyboard. Use the context menu or shortcut keys for the following commands: Rename – F2; Copy/Paste – Ctrl-C/Ctrl-V; Open – Spacebar or Enter.

Thus, you can open several drawings at once, copy them, delete or assign Property values, for example, to specify the names of stakeholders and project managers.

Selecting and managing components in the Project Explorer.

At the same time, the new functionality allowed us to abandon the Delete, Copy and Rename buttons located on the components themselves in the old version of the Project Explorer.

Following up on the Project Explorer optimization, we've added the ability to set topics for drawings in Renga. Ability to set topics can come in handy when creating project documentation, such as drawings of structural steel, reinforced concrete, architectural and structural drawings and many others. Users can also add different section numbers if the building consists of sections of the same type.

It is important to note that you can assign your own properties to topics, as well as use formulas for properties in case you are going to automatically fill the title blocks in drawings.

Automatically filling the title blocks

At the moment, you can set the value of the Topic parameter to the Drawing, Level, Assembly, Section, Elevation, Schedule and Table.
The latest Renga release comes with the updated Object tool in Drawings. Using the Object tool, designers can now choose not only Wireframe and Monochrome, but also Color and Textured visual styles; and apply filters for assemblies in drawings.

Using this new functionality, architects can make wall sweeps with textures and add textures. And designers will be able to show object drawings, removing unnecessary elements (and making them more informative).

Let us consider the situation using a complex column as an example, when it is necessary to show several sections of the column in the drawing. To display steel structures in the required angles, you only need to multiply the view and apply the necessary filter to the each view. In this example, we exclude the column top plate.

Applying the filter to assembly in order to create sections of a two-member metal column

The latest Renga release brings a serious piece of new functionality regarding the drawings production.
You can now set section plane and the view depth for each inserted view. This is necessary so that designers can produce their drawings from one view, for example, Level or Section.

Previously, in order to make the 1st floor plan and the 1st floor reflected ceilings plan, designers had to add a new level in the 3D View and adjust the section plane for it. Users can now set the section plane right in the drawing. And it will not replace settings that were made in 3D View.

Section plane offset view and depth plane offset in the View.

We've also added the ability to control the openings to the display styles. You can customize the visibility of openings and the types of lines to display. This makes it easier to plan the holes and mark the empty opening in the drawing.

Our development team also added a new roof quantity – Gross area, i.e. area excluding openings and cuttings. Architects will need functionality when ordering materials for the roof covering, taking into account the margin for cuttings.

We note how the number of users collaborating in Renga is growing every day. We never stop improving our collaboration functionality. That's why this release brings you new interesting capabilities that will improve your collaboration experience and enhance your modeling productivity. We implemented the ability for several users to collaborate with the material parameters and properties, as well as with the layered material properties at the same time. When synchronizing, material data is now transferred by individual parameters and property values.

As a result:
- This new functionality significantly decreases the number of possible conflicts;
- Users can collaborate on editing materials, combining the efforts of different specialists, as it has already been done with the tables. For example, one designer can assign a texture to a column, another at the same time can specify its thickness, and a third can change the hatching. All data from specialists will be added to the general model during synchronization.

Designing large objects and working with complex drawings increase the load on the equipment. For such cases, we implemented "Display views as raster" option in Settings. Please note that the setting is disabled by default.

"Display views as raster" option in Settings.

The principle of this setting is that Renga processes views in drawings and converts them in raster format, not vector graphics.

When the setting is enabled, the image brightness will be visually reduced and when the drawing is zoomed in, you will notice a loss of clarity, but users will definitely like the faster response speed of the drawings.

Vector graphics (the setting is off)

Raster graphics (the setting is on)

Despite changing the display format from vector to raster, users can still snap to the handles in views.

Snapping to the handles

Now let's have a look at the new schedules functionality. Renga users can export schedules and create tables from them. This provides our users with the ability to track changes in the material and equipment quantity in a project, and then generate the required project documents.

Let us recall that earlier it was possible to copy cells in schedules and insert them into a prepared table, or as a table in the Project Explorer.

Users now cannot copy schedules' cells into the Project Explorer, but can export schedules in RTB format and then paste as a table into the same or another project.

When importing, the table is generated automatically, preserving the formatting of all cells and data, and its name will correspond to the name of the file.

By the way, all the ideas for new features and improved functionality we take from your user requests in ServiceDesk. We hope that our tools will help automate your project tasks even more.

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Authors: Irina Bryleva and Evgeniy Kiryan, Renga Software product managers.