3D Modeling Special Interest Group – January 2017


This session is not a beginner session on 3D modelling, it is an intermediate/advanced session. We covered the concept of meshes, modelling history, generic solids, and a small amount of basic 3D modelling. The users wanted to look at how we could use the history of the 3D modelling to change objects.

Topics covered

  • 00:20    when you create a 3D model using techniques such as add solid and subtract solid, Vectorworks remembers the objects used. This is the 3D history. If it is a complex object where there have been several steps of adding or subtracting solids, Vectorworks will remember all those. You have the ability to go back through each of those steps to adjust the model. In this session we use the example of a sphere. We split the sphere twice so that it would have some history. We use this as an example to show he can go back and edit the creation of the object by editing the model at each step.
  • 6:13 the object you end up with will be a solid section, a solid addition, or a solid subtraction depending on the operations you used. We went through an example to see this. While I was demonstrating this, I used the Automatic Working plane which needed explanation. So as part of this exercise I demonstrated how to use and create automatic working planes.
  • 10:31 at this part of the movie we had a look at a meshes. We have an object which we converted to a mesh and then looked at how we can edit that mesh. We found that the objects created in Vectorworks were easy to change by stepping back through the history. Mesh objects are difficult to change because they are a series of three-dimensional polygons. Because of this, you can’t use traditional tools like split, push/pull, et cetera to change the object.
  • 14:59 if you convert the mesh object or generic solid then you can use the traditional 3D modelling tools on it. The user also asked what was the point of creating a mesh. The example the user was talking about was an object imported from another source. Often, when objects are imported they become a mesh object rather than a solid addition or a solid subtraction in Vectorworks. We also looked at our object with the history and converted that to a generic solid. When you convert an object to a generic solid in Vectorworks you lose the 3d history of the object. This means that you cannot step back through the history and adjust the object, but it does make the file more memory efficient.
  • 21:14 we looked at a 3D technique I often use to create seamless cladding on a complex building. This technique uses the Extract Surface tool to create planar objects. These can then be added together and extruded. These objects can then have a seamless texture applied.
  • 22:09 when we use the Push/Pull tool on a generic solid object at The object is a generic solid. I was sure that in the past that using this tool created a solid addition. We did several tests to prove that when you use the Push/Pull tool it converts your object to a generic solid.
  • 24:50 there are some techniques in Vectorworks that will remove the history from your object. As we saw before Push/Pull will convert your object to a generic solid. Shell Solid, Fillet Edge, Chamfer, are some of the tools that will convert your object and wipe out the 3D history. The way to bring your history back is to ungroup the object.
  • 32:03 we looked at basic 3D modelling techniques so that we could create a plate with holes and chamfer the edges. We looked at drawing an isometric and using instant push/pull to create the 3D extrusion. We use smart edges to create the holes accurately and we looked at how to control the Smart Edge snap.
  • 41:09 we completed the session by looking at a series of 3D tools so that we could extract the face of our orange slice and manipulate it. We gave this face a thickness using the shell solid tool. We also looked at manipulating the face using the reshape tool.

3D Modeling January 2017 am

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