3D Modeling Special Interest Group – May 2017


In this session, we looked at creating a tapered extrude for a table leg, creating quicker viewports from objects, creating a custom sketch style for a drawing, using the Fillet tool, and creating a Queen Anne style table leg.

  • 00:18    We started by creating a tapered table leg. The leg is created in two parts: the top part is a straight extrusion, and the bottom part is a tapered extrusion. When you create a tapered extrusion, the order in which you create the objects is important. Objects created first will be at the bottom of the tapered extrude, and objects that are created last will be at the top. We also looked at the Automatic Working Plane because it is useful in 3D modelling. The tapered extrusion works best when you use rectangular shapes. If you try to create a tapered extrusion between a rectangle and a curved shape, the resulting object will look like it’s twisted.
  • 06:38    A very quick way to create viewports from your object is to use the View > Create Multiple Viewports… command. This command allows you to choose which viewports you would like to create and the scale and then puts these viewports on a sheet layer for you.
  • 07:13    When we looked at the viewports that had been created, one of the users required that the viewport not show the lines between the flat surface of the leg and the tapered surface of the leg. I thought this line should be there; but, if it is not required, then there is a viewport setting for controlling the Smoothing Angle. The Smoothing Angle controls whether lines are shown between two adjacent surfaces. If you set a small angle, then small changes in the adjacent surfaces will show lines. If you set a large angle, then small changes in the adjacent surfaces will not show lines.
  • 11:16    After creating some line elevations, we looked at controlling the sketch style. Vectorworks comes with several pre-made sketch styles, which can be edited to suit your design style. Once the sketch style has been created, it becomes a resource that is stored in the Resource Manager. As a resource, it can then be copied from one file to another or saved in your library.
  • 22:22    We looked at the ability to fillet the edge of a table leg. There are several techniques that use the Fillet tool. Generally, when you use a fillet edge, you lose the history of the object, which means you are no longer able to go back and make changes to the basic extrusions. However, there is a technique that uses the Ungroup command that can remove the fillet edge and restore your object’s history. The Fillet tool also has the ability to create a varying fillet rather than a constant radius.
  • 33:49    We wanted to look at creating a Queen Anne leg for some furniture. One suggestion was to look in the SketchUp warehouse to see if there were any existing legs that we could then convert. We did a search on the website and found one that looked promising. You have to be careful when you import these objects; I recommend importing them into a blank file. Because the imported object was a mesh (a group of 3D polygons), it didn’t have a solid fill. We did try to create contours from the imported 3D leg and to use them with the Loft Surface tool to create a solid 3D Vectorworks object. This was partly successful, and some parts of the leg rendered very well.

3D Modeling May2017 am

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