Architect Special Interest Group February 2020

In this session, we covered issues related to using classes and objects such as Windows.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:19    We started the session by looking at whether the Vectorworks Window object, for example, comes with pretty good standard settings—or whether the settings come with the same line weight and, if you want good drawings, you have to invest the time to go through and set up all the line weights yourself. Often when we look at these settings, we wonder what many of the words mean. For comparison, we looked at a WinDoor Window object, which gives a diagram along with the terms in the dialog box—this makes it easier to see what part of the window the setting will affect. Line weights represent the hierarchy of the importance of the information. Using a 2D view of a window, we demonstrated how this concept can be applied.
  • 06:19    Vectorworks gave us a fright before we realized that it uses the Door-Component classes for Window objects, too. If you don’t want to pick a line weight for each part of the window, you can choose to set the attributes by object and just select the same line weight for all of the window parts. Setting the attributes by class, though, allows you to have different textures on the interior and exterior sashes.
  • 12:24    I create windows and reuse them. In my library, I have some basic windows that I import into a new project and use to get started. You can set a window up exactly how you want, and then save it as a symbol. This allows you to convert it to a Plug-in Object so that you can change the configuration if you need to. Later on in the project—when the configurations are more or less set—you can turn them into window styles. As part of my system, I have objects like the timber object, which you can download off of my website, that has the class already set, is stretchable, and has the line weights that I want.
  • 21:30    Some objects, like a window or stair, have lots of components. It can be tricky to figure out what class a component is assigned to. When faced with this problem, I group the object and then take it apart to see how it’s made inside.
  • 24:04    We went over class names—you want to use names that work for you. Some Vectorworks class names, like the Door-Components class, works pretty well, so I use them. Most of my classes are ones that I’ve developed over the years, which doesn’t help me work with other people, because I’m the only one with my class system. If you need to work with others, you might consider using a standardized class system. Remember the three rules for classes: Use a class when you want to control the graphic style, use a class when you want to control visibility, and use classes when you need to for reporting. If you don’t need to control graphic style or visibility or need a class for reporting, then why make another class? If you’re using a system that works … “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Architect February 2020

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