Manual Mode vs. 3D Mode

FAQ: What are the differences between Manual Mode and 3D Mode?

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Manual Mode
Geometry has two paths for building your project in cove.tool. The Manual mode is used when the user does not have a BIM Model and can manually estimate the building dimensions of each building component category. This path will not generate a daylight model but can be used to get sufficient information to generate early-stage energy data. Entering geometry through the manual mode should be followed up by the Facade Guidance tool. This rapid prototyping tool helps users who have estimated their building geometry to also explore shading configurations or adding context.

3D Mode
The second path is the 3D Mode, in which a user can upload their BIM geometry via a 3rd party plugin for Autodesk Revit, Rhinoceros/Grasshopper, or SketchUp. The plugins extract the full area and coordinate information collected from your BIM file to recreate your building design in the 3D Visualization page as a daylight model. The daylight page/3D Mode will not be available until after the required geometry fields are uploaded - Floors, Roofs, Windows, Walls, and Building Height. With the upload of building geometry through the plugins, the Facade Guidance tool will be skipped over to reach the Baseline page. The daylight quality will affect the energy model if you turn on daylight sensors in the energy page. Although the 3D Path redirects around the Facade Guidance tool, users are still able to navigate to the Facade page via the navigation bar. Shading configurations made in the Facade Page will not be saved and applied to the whole building until the geometry page has been toggled to the manual mode. To change your 3D Model in the Daylight page, users will have to re-upload building geometry through the plugins. All new uploads automatically overwrite the previous export.

Other Differences

Cove.tool has rotation options for geometry paths, and each of the rotations inputs will only impact the data relevant to their geometry path. If the user is following the manual mode path of inputting building geometry manually, they can rotate their building by using the Rotate Building drop-down. This command allows users to rotate their project by 45 degrees increments. The 45-degree increments are used because of the insignificant difference a change below 45 degrees rotation would have on the final EUI for a manual input model. This is expanded upon in our White Paper, found here, titled "How do minor orientation changes impact the building EUI?"
If the user uploaded geometry with a 3rd party plugin and was able to generate a daylight model, they can rotate their building geometry in the Rotation Angle input found at the bottom of the right-hand daylight page' control panel. This allows for more nuanced energy output for various orientations. If the user has exported geometry via a plugin, then users are recommended to export their building geometry as is, and then rotate their geometry inside cove.tool's daylight rotation angle. Rotating your model in the BIM Platform and then exporting may cause confusion of the orientation angle depending on the platform and process users model their geometry. It is usually best practice to upload it in the correct orientation to avoid having to rotate each time the design changes.

Manual Mode (above), 3D Mode (below)

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