3D Modeling Special Interest Group – April 2018


In this session, we created a complex water slide shape, comparing the advantages of turning it into a hybrid symbol instead of an Auto Hybrid, explored using the hybrid symbol for cabinetry and added a chimney to a curved roof.

Topics covered:

  • 00:36    We started off the session by using the Extrude Along Path command to make a shape that curved in one plane before curving along another plane—a water slide shape. After making a curved path and the profile of our slide, we used the Extrude Along Path command in Top/Plan view. Next, we edited the object’s path, exaggerating the height of one end of the slide to make it steeper. However, the path had a twist that we didn’t want. We tried the process again in a 3D view—but that didn’t work any better. Next, we tried it again using a working plane. We put a working plane and the slide profile on the end of the path and used the working plane to rotate the profile in relation to the path—no success. Finally, we simply made a straight slide and used the Deform tool to get the shape that we wanted.
  • 21:45    Next, we created an Auto Hybrid out of our slide shape. I always set up three classes to control my Auto Hybrid objects: AutoHybrid-Above, AutoHybrid-Below, and AutoHybrid-Cut Plane. We went through the Auto Hybrid options. However, a quicker way to combine 2D and 3D in an object is to make a hybrid symbol, which is what we used before Vectorworks introduced the Auto Hybrid. We looked at our 3D water slide in Top/Plan view and created a 2D shape for it—the Convert Copy to Lines or Convert Copy to Polygons commands are helpful for this. Then, we selected the 2D and 3D parts and turned them into a symbol, making sure to choose the Change 2D Objects from Layer Plane to Screen Plane option. The 3D part of the object can only be viewed in a 3D view, while the 2D part can only be seen in a 2D view. The advantage of using the symbol over the Auto Hybrid is that if you make subtle changes to the object, you don’t have to wait for Vectorworks to regenerate the object. However, if you make major changes to the 3D part, you need redo the 2D component.
  • 31:50   We made a cabinet into a hybrid symbol, combining the 2D and 3D parts. We noticed how fairly simple 2D shapes—a rectangle shape for the cabinet’s perimeter, a solid line for the backsplash, and a dotted line for the overhang—could be used to represent a variety of different cabinet styles. We demonstrated how the Shell Solid tool, Automatic Working Plane, and Move 3D Selection command can help speed up cabinet construction. We could make very different cabinet configurations without having to change the symbol’s 2D view. Next, we experimented with scaling the length and width of a cabinet symbol. With scaling, the 2D part changes with the 3D part. Scaling, however, also affects the thicknesses of drawer fronts and handle positions, but it is a great way to quickly assemble a furniture in the design stage of a project.
  • 43:48    We ended the session by creating a curved roof. The challenge was to place the cylinder of a chimney on the curved surface of the roof. The Project tool in Add Mode perfectly joined chimney and roof objects. We demonstrated this tool again by constructing a bathtub from a Subdivision surface. We connected a rectangular base to the bath’s curved surface with the Project tool and gave the bath a thickness by converting it into a Generic Solid. The Fillet tool helped to make any hard edges into soft curves.

3D Modeling April 2018 am

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