3D Modeling Special Interest Group – July 2018


In this session, we discussed using the Loft Surface tool, the Project tool, Subdivision primitives, and the Create Drape Surface command.

Topics covered:

  • 01:18    We opened a new blank file to demonstrate using the Loft Surface tool. We wanted to create recession planes, or a 3D zoning envelope volume, to use as a reference in working on a new building project. Having easy access to the data bar—go to Data Bar Options and check the Allow numeric keypad entry for instant data bar activation option—can be very helpful when modeling in 3D. Using the 3D Polygon tool, I constructed several “goal posts” and converted them into NURBS, which we could use in making the loft surface. You can use the Vectorworks Plug-in Manager to download plug-ins off of my website. You can customize your workspace, adding an archoncad tools palette that contains all of the plug-ins. My Height Boundary tool gives you a symbol that works with the Send to Surface command. Next, we experimented with using the Loft Surface tool in Birail Sweep Mode to draw a surface between two curvy shapes. All the components need to be NURBS, but it is often easier to draw your original shapes by using the 3D Polygon tool and converting them into NURBS.
  • 25:18    We looked at modeling with Subdivision primitives. The first step is getting the base shape that is closest to the shape that you want to create. We chose a Ring. We pulled on various parts of the surface to get the desired shape. Don’t forget that you can click on just one node and pull it up or down. Using the Extract tool, we chose part of the surface and converted it into a Generic Solid. We also experimented with using the Project tool in Trim Mode. Vectorworks groups the results and you often have to go in and help it get rid of the parts that you didn’t want. We added the three NURBS surfaces together, making a Solid Addition, before using the Shell Solid tool to give the surface a thickness. Moving the object vertically by several meters, we used the Project tool in Add Mode to project columns up to our object. A wide flange object has to be converted to a polyline first—the dimensions could be given to a contractor.
  • 35:12    Next, we opened a project file so that we could use our archoncad Height Boundary tool with a building model. The tool has a T-end, allowing it to be placed perpendicular to the property line. We put 10 of them on a side and sent them all to the surface before making our loft surface. Ending up with a strange corner, we went back and did one boundary at a time. We discovered that the building did, indeed, breach the recession plane!
  • 44:02    To end the session, we covered how to create a Drape Surface—it’s like throwing a giant blanket over everything! We ended up creating a copy of the site model surface within the property boundaries and raising the surface 8m to see if the top of the building breached it. That completed our 3D zoning envelope volume. One easy way to help the client easily distinguish the project site from the rest of the site model is to use the Property Line object’s Texture Bed option and to use the assigned class to give it, for example, a grass texture. You can also use Texture Beds to make a quick road or to show development phases for a large project. If you want the Site Modifier to cut the site, you have to use a different modifier, such as a Roadway or a Pad.

3D Modeling July 2018

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