Architect Special Interest Group April 2018 (am)


In this session, we covered how slabs and walls can come together—how adding components to slab styles and wall styles can really enhance the level of detail possible in your drawings—and how to create a more flexible detail viewport.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:18    We began the session with a sketch of a slab on grade with a sand fill underneath. When building a slab, you have to think about what happens along the edges. Where I live, we often use blockwork on the edge, breaking out a bit of the blockwork to form permanent formwork for the edge of the slab. Sitting on top of the slab, we have the wall, which needs some cladding to cover the edge of the slab. We can get Vectorworks to recognize these slabs and walls, but we need some idea before we start about what our construction will be. We might just start out with general zones for the wall, slab, and foundation, coming back later to add the details that we want. A multi-story building would have an intermediary slab, but how do the components of the walls, slab, and ceiling come together? Using wall styles and slab styles, you can tell Vectorworks what the details are for each component—once you have set them up properly, these styles and details can be used in project after project.
  • 10:28    Next, we created a wall style for a block wall from scratch. We reviewed how stories work because we decided our project would use them. Part of working with stories is using story level names that make sense to you—feel free to change the standard Vectorworks labels. We set up our default stories before working on the rest of the project. Moving back to our wall style, we changed the settings that pertain to stories, such as the insertion options. Using our new wall styles, we constructed foundation walls and footings and then added a slab. This is where you can start to specify how various components will come together. In Slab Preferences, we changed the Auto-Bound setting in the Edge Offset box to Inner Face of Wall—if our foundation wall style had inner and outer components, we would have more options here. We were trying to make sure that when we created our slab and walls, their components would automatically come together how we wanted. We discussed how to change the Advanced Properties of a Section Viewport so that we could either have a general cut view or could show the details of the materials. Finally, we added more components to the style for the foundation wall—plaster, outer shell, cells, and inside shell—giving different materials a unique hatch. Now that we had components, we could use different Edge Offset settings to have the components come together differently. We selected Outer Face of Wall Component for the Auto-Bound setting. In our detailed section, we could see how the components interacted. Adding information to our wall and slab styles, we could switch from concept drawings to construction drawings without much effort!
  • 36:21    One challenge is making a change to a wall and having the slab switch from being bounded by the outer component to being bounded by the inner component, causing you to have to redraw the slab for minor changes. The Edge Offsets can be helpful in dealing with some of these problems. Moreover, having more than one component in your slab can allow you to, for example, clip out a reset for your doors from only the top slab component—or to create a set-down area for a shower.
  • 41:35    In a slab style that I created, I connected each component to its own class: Slab-Component-Structure, Slab-Component-Ceiling Support, and Slab-Component-Ceiling. This allows me to have the most control over the components. Thinking through your details of your flooring and wall systems and embedding them into your styles allows you to have them whenever you need them. For example, if your floor structure is on its own class and you create floor joists on a different class, you can choose turn off the structure class and only show the joists. Using the Create Similar Object shortcut really speeds up having to switch back and forth between working with Framing Members, dimensions, and building objects. Using the Custom Tool/Attribute command, you can create a reset macro that will change your class back to None and set your Attributes back to your defaults whenever you want!
  • 54:36    To finish the session, we covered how to quickly create a detail viewport—making a copy of the main drawing, putting the detail viewport on another sheet, and creating a link between them. We used the Clip tool in the Inclusion Mode to change the crop size of the detail viewport. Next, we used the Detail-Callout Marker tool to add a detail marker to the annotation window of the main viewport. After we had our marker reference, we could link the main drawing and the detail—this trick will auto-coordinate the two! This technique is more flexible than just using the Create Detail Viewport command.

Architect April 2018 am
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