Architect Special Interest Group December 2016 (am)

In this session we looked at referencing a DXF/DWG file into a project. Referencing means that if the file is updated, it will automatically be imported when you open the file again. Then we looked at the callout tool and in particular, how to use it with the notes database, creating door and window elevations, and a discussion about using symbols with story levels to control elevation.

Topics Covered:

  • 01:01    The situation is where you have to import a DXF/DWG file, but during the course of the project you might have to import the project several times. When you import the DXF/DWG file, you normally import it into a blank file. If you have to do this too often, it becomes a challenge. The solution is to choose the Reference option when you import the DXF/DWG file. When you choose this option, every time you open the file Vectorworks will check the original DXF/DWG file and if it has changed, Vectorworks will import the new one. This does mean that the DXF/DWG file has to have the same location and the same file name in order for Vectorworks to check.
  • 07:04    when you import a PDF file you have the same option to reference it. If you are expecting the PDF file to be updated on a regular basis, then referencing the file will save you a lot of time and effort.
  • 09:05    using the callout tool with the database. The callout tool can be used with a database to ensure that your notes are consistent when you use them. If you work on a variety of projects, and the notes need to be substantially different between one project another, then it’s a good idea to create a callout note database for that project. This can then be stored in the project folder alongside your Vectorworks drawing. You can create one callout database from an existing one, then edit it to suit your new project. One of the important parts about creating your note database is giving the note database structure. The note database has sections and notes. Notes are stored in sections. It’s a good idea to ensure that you create a series of sections that make sense and store relevant notes in those sections. When you create your notes you can create the note with a short description. The short description can either be a generic term related to the note, or a specific note that relates to a specification clause.
  • 20:26    if you have a lot of typing to do, and you’re not fast at typing, then using something like dictation software can dramatically speed up your ability to type long documents. I use a program called Dragon dictate and I have been using it for some time. It now recognises my speech reasonably well and it really speeds up my ability to create notes in Vectorworks and to create blogs, documents, and manuals. In this part of the movie you can see me dictate a short note.
  • 24:20    for some notes you might create a symbol so that the note remains consistent. This may work for small projects or for a small number of symbols, but it can be challenging if you try to replicate all the notes that the callout note database can hold. In this part of the movie we create some text, make that into a symbol and then use it in several places. I recently use this on a project for building heights where it worked very well. Because the objects were symbols, it was easy to replace the symbols without having to zoom into the drawing to check what the text actually said.
  • 27:07    a user wanted to know how they could deal with door numbers on a large project when there were multiple stories or multiple apartments and we also want to look at creating a window and door elevation schedule. In some areas a door or a window schedule is a written report with sizes and specifications about the windows and doors. In some places a window schedule is a elevation of all the various window types along with specifications for each window. It’s quite common in some places to have to create these window elevations, and we have looked at this challenge before. You can create symbols, you can create viewports of each window, or with Vectorworks 2017 you can use the Object Styles technique to control the configuration of the window or door, but allowing some flexibility for window and door numbers for example. In this part of the movie we looked at using Object Styles the doors and windows and how we could then use those to control the windows in plan and create window elevations.
  • 42:35    a user wanted to know how they can deal of the project where the client wanted to have more than one option for the design. It turns out it’s not just the entire design, because that would just be a separate file but it’s really just an option for a bathroom layout. I think that for a bathroom layout the easiest way to have several options is to create a group of the bathroom fixtures, and then put that group on a class. That would allow you to have several options on different classes and then you could use classes in your viewports to turn the various options on or off. If there were walls that were part of the option and were different for different options, then include those walls in the group as well so that when you turn off that option the walls turn off at the same time.

Architect December 2016 am
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