3D Modeling Special Interest Group – September 2018

3D Modeling Sept18

In this session, we covered the three Vectorworks stair tools, discussed how to handle multi-layer objects, and showed how to isolate part of a complex model so that you can work on it more easily.

Topics covered:

  • 00:08    We started with a discussion on the three stair tools in Vectorworks. The advantage of the Simple Stair is that you can “slice and dice” it—it’s very useful in landscaping work. The Custom Stair is great for building a stair composed of multiple parts—as long as it doesn’t need a handrail. The regular Stair tool is great for standard architectural stairs and provides a good handrail. We demonstrated how to add the Simple and Custom Stairs to your workspace. We added a stair to our building model, going over in detail the various setup options in the Stair Settings. The trick is to go through and change the settings to how you like them and then save the stair style so that making future stairs will be much faster. To add the stair to our building while maintaining enough interior space, we decided to push part of the stair through the outside wall, so we demolished and rebuilt the first and second floor walls. The challenge was that the new wall enclosing the stair was one piece that straddled both floors—so, typically, the wall would show up on one floor but not on the other. We could cut the wall horizontally so that the bottom piece would be on the first floor and the top piece on the second floor, or we could maybe duplicate the wall in place and have one copy on each floor layer. Another method would be to create a design layer just for the stair wall so that we could turn the layer on for each floor plan. The advantage of using one piece is that you can install a window or a door between floors, without running into problems.
  • 28:18    Next, we went through the steps for getting our stair wall to show up on the floor plans of both the first and second floors simply by turning on the stair wall design layer for each. We experimented with using the new Create Horizontal Section Viewport command—we’ll have to play with it more in the future to get some helpful results! Another challenge with objects that span more than one layer is having the wall joints look right. Sometimes the only way to get them to look right is to draw over them in 2D, as walls in Vectorworks can only be joined with walls on one layer.
  • 41:54    There was a question regarding how to isolate part of a complicated model, such as a stairway, so that you can work on it. I like to use the Clip Cube. If you select the piece that you’re working on and turn on the Clip Cube, it will only show the selected part plus a little of the surrounding construction. This method really clears away a lot of the parts that you don’t want to work around. Another method is to group the parts that you want to work on, double click to open up the group window, and work on the parts away from the rest of your model. However, a wall that’s grouped might not behave quite how you expect—that’s something to watch out for. Eventually, you will need to ungroup that wall and rejoin it to your other walls. These workarounds aren’t perfect, but they are really helpful and can help you bypass a lot of frustration!

3D Modeling September 2018

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