The Drawing Tool is a complete 3D modeling application that provides a user-friendly platform for architects and engineers to draw their early-stage models in cove.tool. It also allows users to bring in their geometries directly from a suite of traditional 3D modeling platforms and make changes to them inside cove.tool based on the rapid performance data and export out an optimized model.


cove.tool drawing feature has a complete toolset that combines the linework and extrusion command with object-based commands to allow for different modeling methods based on the user experience and capability. The drawing tool screen includes the following:

  1. Application Menu (top left, vertical toolbar)

  2. Design Toolbar (Top center, horizontal toolbar)

  3. Properties panel (Top right panel)

  4. Navigation bar (Top right, vertical toolbar)

  5. 2D/3D Viewport (central drawing grid)

  6. Snap Controls (bottom left toolbar)

Application Menu:

Vertical Toolbar is located on the left-hand side of the drawing tool and contains a set of buttons including:

  • 3D/2D: To switch back and forth between 2D and 3D mode

  • Camera: To save a PNG file of the scene

  • Catalog: To select specific object types to use. The catalog contains all the 3D objects such as doors, windows, furniture, etc. that users can use to model.

  • Export: To export the model to the 3D Analysis page

  • Download a 3D model: To download an "OBJ" file format of your model. OBJ is a common 3D format and can be opened in most of 3D modeling platforms such as Rhino, Revit, etc.

  • Save Project: To save the changes in your design

    Drawing tool will save your changes every 5 minutes by default. However, there is a small save icon on the bottom of the page, by clicking on which you can save your changes. Also, a small colored dot along with a text description show the status of your save. A red circle means "unsaved changes detected", a yellow circle shows the " saving" process and a blue circle means that the "changes saved". Note that there should be at least 10 seconds interval between each save unless you get the message "Please wait until saving again".

Design Toolbar:

The Design Toolbar is located on top of the grid area and is divided into four categories including:

  • Curves: This command allows users to draw lines and polylines.

  • Extrusions: This command allows users to push and pull planes created by curves in order to draw different volumes and 3D forms. The forms and geometries created by extrusion can later be converted to an actual building with different components. The convert button is located in the Building Objects section.

  • Building objects: This command helps with drawing different building components such as walls, doors, openings, windows, roofs, and skylights. Users who are more comfortable working with object-based modeling practice can use this part of the Design Toolbar to model their building. The last button in the Building Objects category is the convert button. By clicking on this button, geometries created by linework and extrusion would turn into an actual building with different objects.

  • Camera: By clicking on the camera icon you can save your preferred 3D views and select it from the camera list when you want to open it.

Properties Panel:

The properties panel is located on the right-hand side of the page and contains several sections including:

  1. Floors: This menu allows the users to select a specific floor, add/remove floors, change the height of each floor, and change the opacity of each floor in 2D mode.

2. Element Selection: This section allows users to toggle off/on each of the elements in the 2D or 3D scene. Exterior walls, interior walls, roofs, windows, skylights, floors, shading devices, and the grid are among the elements that can be turned off and on.

3. Zones: This menu allows users to assign thermal zones and use types to different rooms and spaces within the building geometry. This feature provides a straightforward way to define thermal zones and prepares a detailed energy model for compliance level energy simulation in OpenStudio.

4. Room Properties: Drawing enclosed walls automatically creates individual rooms with default properties. The default values are based on the use type assigned to each room and are pulled out from location-specific energy codes. In this section, users are able to see and change information associated with each selected room on the 3D geometry. These room properties include room name, number, zone, use type, color, and texture.

5. Elements on each Floor: Selecting each of the elements on the 3D scene would pull up the properties associated with that particular element in the properties box. The following images illustrate the properties for each of the elements:

Navigation Bar:

Navigation Bar can be found on the top right-hand side of the 3D scene. The following commands are available within the Navigation Bar:

  • Zoom in

  • Zoom out

  • Compass

  • Move

  • Rotate

  • Scale

Note that you can reset the orientation toward the North by clicking on the compass button.

Snap Controls:

Snap controls are located on the bottom of the 2D mode and include the following options:

  • Snap to Point (Snap PT)

  • Snap to Line (Snap LN)

  • Snap to Segment (Snap SEG)

  • Snap to Grid (Snap GRD)

2D/3D Viewport

The viewport is where users create their models. The space of the drawing area is identified visually by a grid plane.

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