3D Modeling Special Interest Group – February 2017

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In this session the attendees wanted to look at how to create a helical ramp for a car park building. This might sound complex, but using reasonably simple Vectorworks 3D modelling techniques it was quick to create. The users then wanted to make it more complex by adding handrails and uprights. Then we looked at using the helical ramp as a site modifier.

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SST_1702 – Creating Drawings For A Landscape Project

Cover ImageWhen you create drawings, you need to use the concepts that are built into Vectorworks in order to make your drawings efficient. In this manual we will be looking at several concepts that we can use to speed up the creation of drawings, concepts such as Design Layers, Classes, Sheet Layers, Viewports Site modeling, and BIM.

It is important to use these concepts because it allows you to create information and use it on several drawings. For example, if you are creating paving (using a hardscape object) you could use the same hardscape on the location plan, the site plan, a detailed hardscape in plan, and sections. If you needed to make a change to the paving, when you updated it on the design layer, it would update in all viewports. This makes it really efficient to create your drawings, but more importantly, it removes the ability to make mistakes.

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Architect Special Interest Group February 2017 (pm)

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In this session we looked at site modifies on a particular we looked at site modify conflicts. There are different reasons why site modifies might conflict with each other and we created examples where we could look at these problems and what the result was on the site model. In general terms if you have a site modify conflict you will not get an accurate site model. While this might not look too bad, it may cause errors in your cut and fill calculations.

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epodcast201 – Viewport Editing Tips 1

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you should be using viewports to create your drawings. But when you do you might find that it is slow to go in and out of the viewports to edit the annotations. If you change the edit dialogue box for viewports, you can make it very quick to enter a viewport to edit the annotations. If you right click on a viewport you can choose whether you want to edit the annotations, edit the design layer, edit the crop, or edit the camera. This is also a technique to speed up making changes.

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SST_1701 – Resource Manager & Libraries

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The Resource Manager is an extremely important part of your Vectorworks interface. It allows you to look for resources (hatches, line styles, wall styles, plants,  et cetera). So it’s important that we understand how to use it because it is will make you more efficient and improve your productivity.

The Resource Manager that you see on your screen is just one part of the total concept. Vectorworks uses the Resource Manager for many objects and tools to allow you to find the resources that you need when you use that tool.

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Getting Started Special Interest Group February 2017

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In this session we looked at creating text, dimensions, and annotations. Should you put all of your text and annotations on the design layer or should they will go in the annotation part of the viewport. It’s a good idea to be consistent and it also depends on how you like to work. But for a basic rule of thumb it is often easier to create most of your dimensions, text, and annotations on the design layers for all of your plan drawings. Section and elevation drawings that use the 3D model on the other hand have to have their text and annotations in the annotation part of the viewport.

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Architect Special Interest Group February 2017 (am)

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In this session we wanted to look at scheduling and  worksheets and how they could be connected to spaces to create a report. The report might want to list the areas and room names, but it could also be more sophisticated and report other requirements such as occupancy loading, number of power socket, etc.

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epodcast200 – Create Dimension Standards

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When you create a Dimension Standard you will find that it is only in the file you created it. Unlike other resources, Dimension Standards cannot be exported to your library. They also do not appear in the Resource Manager. However, you can import Dimension Standards from  another file.  When you create a dimension standard there is an Import button on the dialog box. If you click on this button, you can navigate to the file that has the correct Dimension Standard. When you choose your Dimension Standards, they will be imported into your current file. Continue reading

epodcast199 – Create Similar Object

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When you are creating your projects, you often want to create more objects like to ones you already have. You could copy an paste an object, but then you have to move it and edit it. The Create Similar Object command sets the same tool, class, and tool settings as the original. This allows you to move a new location and start using the correct tool instantly.

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epodcast198 – Slab Drainage

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Vectorworks 2017 introduced Slab Drainage. There is a specific tool to use to create the drainage. This tool has several modes that allow you to add a drain, edit the location and direction, connect drains together, and edit the valleys. The slab drainage can change the entire slab, or it can taper a component of the slab, but it only works with slabs.

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Introduction To BIM Course


It has been a while, but I have decided to start face-to-face courses. I used to have these courses on a regular basis in Auckland NZ. I am starting with the first course this week. It’s already sold out, so don’t worry about the short notice, but I am planning another course 23/24th May 2017. Use the contact page if you would like to book for this course.

BIM Introduction Course

Many people talk about BIM these days, it is an important way to create drawings. This course is an introduction to using BIM with Vectorworks Architect and it has been designed to teach you the concepts of BIM and how to use the Vectorworks Architect in the most productive way. It has all been brought together in a in a concise face to face course.

In this 2-day course you will draw a simple two story project that will teach you the basics of BIM. We will start with first principle and work through creating a Building Model that will allow us to create plans, sections, and elevations. We will progress through site modeling, solar studies, rendering 3D views, internal room elevations, and details.

By the end of the course attendees should be able to create a Building Information Model and create drawings from it.

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epodcast196 – Door With Custom Height Sidelight

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If you are using Windoor, you can use the vertical divisions to create a full height door with ½ height sidelight next it. With the standard Vectorworks doors and windows you can’t create this object using the same technique, but there is a way to do it. create the door and sidelight that you require and make sure that the jam of the door in the sidelight overlap.  Select the door and window. Make a symbol from them.

When you create a door, choose the option to use Symbol Geometry and use your door symbol. This allows you to use the door object and add it to your schedule.

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Interactive Workshops February 2017 – Creating Drawings for a Landscape Project

Cover ImageIn these sessions we looked at creating drawings for landscaping projects. These projects require that you use Design Layers, Classes, Sheet layers, and Viewports. This is similar to setting up drawings for any project. In these sessions we looked at when to use design layers and classes, how to create viewports and how to link viewports together.

These sessions are not about how to draw the landscape, they are about how to make the drawings from the information that you have.

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