Getting Started Special Interest Group August 2017


In this session, we looked at how the layer plane, screen plane, and working plane work with 3D information and looked at sheet layers, particularly how to control or edit the sheet border symbol.

Topics covered:

  • 01:12    After describing the difference between the screen plane and working plane settings, we started by drawing two rectangles, one on the screen plane and one on the layer plane—experimenting with the two objects to see how they behaved differently. The difference between these planes is particularly important when we create 3D objects. When shapes are extruded, they extrude perpendicular to the plane that they are on. We made some extrusions and saw how creating them on the different planes affected them. The one drawn on the screen plane did not behave how we had expected! Although it’s generally most useful to draw on the layer plane, drawing on the screen plane can help when creating sweep-type objects—if you aren’t familiar with them, check out the Sweep tool! Next, we examined how to use the working plane, in particular the Automatic Working Plane. Using the Automatic Working Plane and the Add Solids and Subtract Solids commands is a powerful way to easily work in 3D space. One challenge is adding 2D graphics to symbols—what plane should they be drawn on so that they show up? We worked through examples that demonstrated how the 2D parts of symbols are shown when viewed in Top/Plan view and the 3D parts are shown when the symbol is seen in any other view.
  • 27:08    Next, we created sheet layers of different page sizes so that we could work on title blocks. Each sheet layer in Vectorworks can have its own page size. If you don’t like the border that Vectorworks places around drawing sheets, it is easy to remedy this. One challenge is how to add things such as a copyright to your Sheet Border. We went over how to modify and edit the title block, adding a logo and a copyright. We experimented with changing the size of the Sheet Border on different page sizes by using the feature called Title Blk Scale Factor. Checking “Use automatic drawing coordination” in the settings for your sheet layer is a quick and powerful way to coordinate your sheet titles and numbering.
  • 41:09    We continued the session by answering the question “How can you easily draw a sweeping, curving line?” There are many options! Using the Freehand tool can leave you with a mess if you don’t use a high level of smoothing. We experimented with using the Polyline and Reshape tools, the Polyline tool with a click-and-drag method, or the Fillet tool, all of which gave different but satisfying results. We finished the session by coming up with remedies for when a series of lines or arcs that we’ve drawn does not form a closed object but we want to use our paint pot to give the shape a fill. In Vectorworks, there is always a workaround!

Getting Started August 2017 

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