What are Groups and why are they important?

MAGNET Modeler rule ultimately transforms MAGNET Office entities into a virtual model. There can be multiple rules in an active MAGNET Modeler session. Once generated, Modeler will execute every rule and write them into a *.VM (Virtual Model) file altogether. In other words, one *.VM file can contain multiple model components.

MAGNET Explorer is the software used to display virtual models. However, MAGNET Explorer is not just a nice viewer software for a single *.VM file as it was developed to create multi-disciplinary BIM (Building Information Modeling) models. This means it can import, display, analyze and simulate multiple models at the same time. These models may originate from one or more *.VM files, but could also come from formats like *.LandXML, *.IFC, *.DWG, *.TP3, *.MJF, *.OBJ, ... .

To control and highlight different objects, differentiate between model elements, turn them on or off or further use them downstream for simulation and analysis purposes, a specific and clearly arranged structure is required.

Speaking in MAGNET Explorer and MAGNET Modeler terms, we must create Groups. It is recommended to differentiate models between Existing and Proposed / Design in the first place and then create appropriate sub groups in the next step.

Creating groups

There are two ways to create a group structure in MAGNET Modeler. Group definitions from MAGNET Modeler will be automatically imported into MAGNET Explorer after opening a *.VM file.

  • Predefine Groups
  • Create Groups on the Fly

Predefining groups

Click on Define Groups to bring up the Define Groups window.

Define groups window

You can predefine your group structure (main groups, sub groups) before you even start creating rules. 

Once defined, a certain group can be simply chosen and assigned to a rule during the rule creation process.


1. Click on Add group or do a right-mouse-click onto a blank spot in the Define Groups window and select Add group to create a new main group.

2. Once you have one or more main groups created, you can do a right-mouse-click on the main group and access more options.

3. Select Add Sub-Group to Group "xxx" to add a new sub group. A window will pop up and ask you for the sub group name.

4. Click on Remove or select Remove Group from the context menu to remove an existing group. Removing a main group with sub groups attached to it will remove the sub groups as well.

5. Click on Rename Group or select Rename Group from the context menu to rename an existing group or sub group.

Group Definitions are also part of a configuration file. When you save a configuration file (*.INI), these settings will be saved as well.

Creating groups along the process

Rule Window

Instead of predefining a group structure and assigning groups to the rule as you create it, you can simply manually type a group structure into the group text box. 

Groups created on the fly will be populated into the Group Definitions / Define Group window automatically.

You can use the "/" character to create additional sub groups.

Here is an example: Existing/Utilities/Streetlights.

In this example, someone created two rules in MAGNET Modeler. However, the syntax (existing vs. Existing) of his group allocations differed. As you can see, MAGNET Modeler will create different groups as a result.

This is how it should look like. Both models were imported into the same group since case sensitivity was respected.