3D Modeling Special Interest Group – June 2017

3D_Model_June_2017In this session, we looked at how to control objects with different working planes by using the Align Plane Tool, different methods for constructing countertops, and how to align callouts by using the Align/Distribute Leader Lines command.

Topics Covered:

  • 00:45    In Vectorworks, objects are stuck to a plane or Working Plane. If the planes of two objects don’t match, then you can’t use the Add Surface or Clip Surface commands. If you have two objects that aren’t on the same plane but you try to add or clip their surfaces, you’ll get an error message: “The objects being operated on must be in the same plane.” This particularly happens to me when I’m trying to put textures on the outside of a house. We started by looking at a technique for aligning two surfaces. When you run into this problem, click on the object that isn’t aligned properly, activate your Align Plane Tool (which sits underneath the Set Working Plane Tool), and then draw an axis (click three points) on the surface of your other object, showing Vectorworks what plane the first object should be aligned to. Vectorworks will align the two surfaces, and you can now add them together. If you’re 3D modelling using Automatic Working Planes but the planes of your two objects are off by even a fraction of a millimeter, then you will get an error message. Another technique for dealing with this problem is to set and save the Working Plane of the one object (in the example, we assign it the name “Left”), click on the surface of the object that you want to align, activate the Left working plane, and, lastly, go to the Object Info palette and, in the pop-up menu for the Plane setting, change the object’s plane to “Left,” your newly created and activated working plane.
  • 03:53    Next, we discussed how to avoid having lines in your kitchen countertops in plan view. Typically, each Base Cabinet comes with its own countertop piece; however, how can you have a countertop that is one continuous piece in plan view? One technique to uncheck Show Detail on Object Info palettes of the cabinets. However, this setting leaves you with only two lines delineating the front and back of your countertop and results in losing the fill and all other details. The Countertop tool allows you to create your countertop as one piece. It even allows you to set a hole for the sink, whereas the Base Cabinet countertop does not have this feature. InteriorCAD also has a Worktop tool. It allows you to change the profile of the countertop edges by modifying the profile symbol. Draw the top surfaces in top/plan view, extrude the thickness that you want, fillet or chamfer the edges, add a rounded rectangle for the sink hole, and attach a “Countertop” record to it. Turn it into an Auto-Hybrid and you can control its look in plan view. Double-click on the object, and you can use the Move command to change the location of the sink hole or change settings in the rectangle’s Object Info palette to adjust its size. Unless you use the Sink Front style option for a Base Cabinet, your sink might look like it’s filled with dirty water when you place the sink hole! InteriorCAD has the additional option of adding a stretcher in front of the sink.
  • 20:59    If you don’t want to go through the effort of getting InteriorCAD, you can still create the countertop that you need by using extrusions. Although using the Extrude Along Path command might make for difficult editing, you can easily use it to construct a countertop with the details that you want. Use the Polyline Tool to draw the path of your countertop, add two surfaces in profile (ex., two rectangles to form an “L”) to create your backsplash and countertop profile, and then use Extrude Along Path to extrude the profile along your countertop path. You can redraw the countertop path by right-clicking on the object and selecting Edit Path from the menu, pasting in your new path, deleting the old path, and clicking on Exit Path. You now have a new countertop design! You can now easily create a sink hole by using your Automatic Working Plane and drawing a rounded rectangle; use the automatic extraction feature to make the hole. Double-click on the countertop to open up the Solid Subtraction edit window, where you can click on the shape of the sink hole to relocate it. Continue by modifying the square edges of your countertop; add a bull nose to the front of the countertop and round off the edges of the backsplash. This evolutionary process is helpful because you can start off with a countertop that has square edges and later add the bull nose and the rounded edges as your project progresses.
  • 35:00     To finish off our session, we looked at aligning callouts. Sometimes, when you change the arrow to perfectly vertical, the text can move around. For this reason, my preference is to use the 3-point arrow instead of the 2-point arrow. If you are having difficulty lining up the arrow, it can be helpful to hold the Shift key down to constrain it while you’re moving the arrow up or down. In addition, you can move the notes, arrow and callout box, to where you want and let Vectorworks align them for you. Go to Modify > Align > Align/Distribute Leader Lines and turn off everything except “Align label points” in the dialog box. Then, click two points on the screen to show the line that you want the labels to align to (perhaps a vertical line or a diagonal one). This technique can really speed up your label work!
  • In conclusion, we decided that, when a tool or process is more difficult to use (e.g., requires more steps) from one Vectorworks version to a subsequent one, it benefits all of us is we contact our distributor about it. Feedback can lead to enhanced software for all of us.

3D Modeling June 2017 am

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