Object styles are a powerful technique for controlling objects. On one end of the object style spectrum, you have plug-in objects, which are individual and flexible; on the other end, you have symbols, which are fixed—when you edit one, they all update. Object styles can be anything in between a plug-in object and a symbol. You can choose which parts of the object style are controlled like a symbol and which are flexible like a plug-in. This manual will be focusing on doors and windows, but the techniques covered can be used on all object styles.
First, we will be looking at the concept of object styles. Then, we will look in detail at how to control our object styles, before finishing off with how we can use object styles to create a window and door schedule.
It is common at this time of the year to look at the added features and benefits of the new Vectorworks release, so that’s what we’re doing in this manual. Following along from other years, there is a table that shows the new features and benefits of the new Vectorworks. As I have done in previous years, I will not be detailing every improvement, just the ones that are fundamental.
Vectorworks typically introduces a multitude of small updates that will really speed your workflow. These small updates may not be one of these major features listed below, but they can still dramatically improve your workflow.
Some people do not like the idea of online storage. They do not like to have their important data stored on someone else’s server. If you haven’t heard about the cloud storage system called Megaupload, then you should read about it – it’s a sobering story. The files and documents on the Megaupload servers were seized by the FBI as part of a piracy case against Megaupload; 100 million Megaupload users lost access to the data in 2012.
On the other hand, there are some services where the data is stored on your local hard drive and a copy is stored online. In this case, you should still have access to all of your files in the event of a server failure. These systems allow you to have an up-to-date copy of your document stored securely online. Many of these systems also enable connecting to your online files from other machines (laptops, desktops, tablets, mobile phones).
Walls, slabs, and roofs are designed to interact. This means that when you connect a slab to walls, it will update when you move the walls. Roofs can be connected to walls so that parts of the roof are inside the building and some parts of the roof extend out to the eaves.
In order to make these connections, we need to understand how walls, slabs, and roofs connect. We need to understand how the walls have been designed, how the slabs have been designed, and how the roofs have been designed. Continue reading →
Vectorworks has several options for importing information. these options allow you to import drawings from other computer systems, 3D models, images, PDFs, and other proprietary file types.
This means that you can use the Internet to locate useful parts or useful models for your projects and import them into Vectorworks. When you import these objects they will become native Vectorworks objects.
This manual will be looking at all of the options for importing. For some importing commands we will be looking at all of the options. For some of the importing commands (DXF/DWG) we will only look at these in general terms.
Vectorworks has had irrigation tools for some time. In the past, the problem was that the irrigation tools were not suitable for real-world irrigation design.
The new irrigation tools are designed to address these challenges. There are several parts to the suite of irrigation tools. You have to choose the appropriate tool for the job that you want complete.
You can create hydrozones, irrigation outlets, water main lines, drip zones, etc. Each of these has a different tool for controlling the specifics. You can create an irrigation network that knows the the total water flow of the network, the water flow down each branch of the network, and the required pressure for each outlet.
InteriorCAD XS is a plug-in for Vectorworks. In fact, it is a suite of plug-in tools. It does not come as a standard installation; it is something that you have to purchase in addition to Vectorworks.
Vectorworks 2017 has a new custom cabinet tool that is a derivative of InteriorCAD. InteriorCAD comes in two suites: InteriorCAD XS, which we will be looking at, and InteriorCAD, which is the fuller, more complex version for kitchen manufacturing. In this manual, we will only be looking at InteriorCAD XS.
Creating drawings for a building project is relatively straightforward when you have your design layers, classes, and building information model. But, that would make for a very short manual. What we also need to look at is how we get our design layers, classes, and building information model ready so that it is then easy to create the drawings.
Once we have these items, we will use viewports and sheet layers to create the drawings. This manual is structured to look at the basic concepts first, then the intermediate concepts, and finally the advanced concepts of creating drawings.
When you create objects in Vectorworks they can be 2D, 3D or a combination of both. Many objects also have information attached to them. If you think of a door for example, the door has a plan view, you can view it in 3D, and you can report the information from the door. If you think about the information attached to the door, that’s like the record format we are talking about. The idea of a record format is that it is a way to store information.
When 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.
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.
As we have done for most of the other years, we will be reviewing all the manuals for 2016. We have covered a lot of ground and the manuals seems to be covering workflows now, rather than just covering tips or techniques. I’m really happy with this change because it takes you from a start to a finish point, teaching you the steps along the way.
In this manual we looked at interior design, and while we are the kitchen as the basis of our design, this manual is about more than just kitchen design.
It is tempting to think that if we covered the design of the kitchen, that would be enough. But also like to show you how you can use Vectorworks for creating more of an interior design that showed details of the kitchen, how the kitchen connects to other rooms, demolition, and furniture. We would also like to use the three-dimensional models of our furniture to create the drawings.
For Vectorworks 2017 we have five major new technologies:
Structural Member Objects
We will be covering these technologies in detail, probably later in the year or early next year, but in this manual there will be a brief overview of them.
Last year there were several new technologies introduced and these have had a major upgrade this year:
Vectorworks Graphics Module
As well as these major changes to Vectorworks there are also some changes to the interface. Often, these changes do not seem very dramatic, but history shows us that these changes tend to make it easier to use Vectorworks, making us more productive.
Vectorworks has the tools and commands to quickly create a concept model. But we want mode than just a few elevations, we need to know if the main site can be subdivided, how large the project can be, and how much it might cost to construct.
In this manual we will be looking at ways to create and visualise the concept. We will start by creating the site, then the site model, create the adjoining buildings, create the design, and set up solar studies.
Vectorworks has the ability to create roofs from polygons and walls, and it has the ability to automatically generate some roofs accessories, but not all the accessories that you might require. For example, Vectorworks will create roofs, facias, and soffits, but it will not create ridge flashings, barge flashings, barge boards, gutters, and downspouts (downpipes). As we have seen from other manuals, it’s important to model as much as necessary to complete the elevations. So if Vectorworks does not create these parts that you need, how are we going to create them?
That’s what this manual is all about. First will look at creating a standard roof and the standard accessories that Vectorworks will create, because some of them can be very useful. Then we will look at how to create the other accessories that we require, but Vectorworks won’t create automatically.
Just lately, I have been teaching several users who want to move from using a workflow to using Building Information Modelling (3D workflow). In the past, I had several users who would say “I want to get to the under my belt first then look at 3D.” This suggests that 2D is a productive method and that 3D is a luxury. This completely misunderstands the way Vectorworks creates drawings. 3D is not a luxury, it is an intrinsic part of the modelling/drawing process.
When you use Vectorworks effectively the 3D components are easy to create, they will create your drawings, and when you update the model it will update your plans, sections, and elevations. Not only is this fast and easy, it also saves lots of errors.
Energos is a system in Vectorworks that allows you to look at the overall energy consumption of your project. It includes the summer and winter climate and it uses the building elements in the file to do the calculations.
This means that you have to use a full BIM model to create your project you have to have a Heliodon for the climate data, spaces for the volume, heating systems, cooling systems, and shading on the windows.
When you have all the data, its is quick to create the Energos report. This manual will be looking at how to create the building elements, how to add the energos data to these, how to choose which building elements should be included in the energos calculations, how to add the heliodon, and how to control the Energos Project Data.
The manual for Project sharing is now available in first draft.
Some projects need more than one person to work on them. Maybe the project is large, maybe the deadline is short, but either way, you need more than one person on the project. Normally, you can only have one person working on the file at a time. So, you could divide the file into parts, you could divide the file into parts that you can reference, or you could set up a system that shared all of the information. Either way, it is all about sharing information on the project – Project Sharing.
Subdivision modelling is a new area for Vectorworks. It was introduced it Vectorworks 2016 and it will allow Vectorworks to create extremely complex smooth curving shapes.
Subdivision services have been around for some time as a computer technology, but not implemented in computer programs very often. The subdivision surfacing techniques employed by Vectorworks have been developed by Pixar Inc. and Vectorworks are using their system.