Getting Started Special Interest Group November 2017


In this session, we looked at how to add the file with your 2017 resource library to the Resource Manager in Vectorworks 2018 and how to use the various stair tools that come in Vectorworks, including the “hidden” tools.

Topics covered:

  • 00:10    We started the session by looking at the Favorites folder in the Resource Manager. This past year, we started putting all of the Vectorworks resources that we wanted to save into one library file, and the question was whether the 2017 version of that file could be added to the Favorites folder in Vectorworks 2018. We conducted a little experiment and discovered that, indeed, it can—but Vectorworks asks you to let it update the file to 2018 before adding it to the Resource Manager. Having specific folders—a text style folder, a hatches folder—in your library file makes it easier to find specific resources. We walked through how to set those up, as it can be a bit tricky.
  • 06:19    Next, we looked at the various stair tools in Vectorworks. Besides the standard Stair tool, there are the Custom Stair, Simple Stair, and Circular Stair tools. However, you need to go into the Workspace Editor and add these last three tools to your workspace. After doing this, we made various stairs to compare the capabilities and strengths of each tool. We started by looking at the Simple Stair tool, which I think is excellent for conceptual modeling. It can’t be a site modifier, but using the Extract Tool allows you to extract the bottom of the stair, which you can then assign to the correct class for it to become a site modifier. You can even use the split tool on a stair made with the Simple Stair tool. It’s really good for landscape stairs—it’s quick and dirty 3D modeling! And don’t forget the benefits of turning the stair into an Auto Hybrid!
  • 14:41    We continued looking at stair tools with the Circular Stair tool. It makes circular stairs very quickly! Similar to the simple stair, it mostly uses floor-to-floor height, maximum riser, and tread width to give you a 3D stair. The Simple Stair tool allows you to do a stair with a landing, but if you want a stair with more than one landing, you need to use the Custom Stair tool. The custom stair is a kit of parts. There are straight, curved, L-shaped, and U-shaped flights and platforms as well as various winder configurations that you can add in any progression that you need. We used this tool to make a stair with a landing at the bottom and a landing halfway up. Next, we took our flight and turned it into a curved stair—which gave it a very unusual but cool look! The Custom Stair tool is very powerful—it looks complicated at first, but if you just view it as a sort of Lego set, it becomes pretty straightforward.
  • 35:02    None of the stair tools allows you to make a stair that gradually gets wider as you come down. We walked through one way of making a tapered stair. We drew the curved sides and then used the Create Dividing Lines command in Drafting Aids to create where the steps would fall. The paint pot of the Polygon tool helped us make the shapes for the steps, which we then just turned into floor pieces—or you could just as easily turn them into hardscapes—before adjusting their heights. The 3D mode of the Railing/Fence Tool can be a good way to add a railing to your modeled stair.

Getting Started November 2017 am

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2 thoughts on “Getting Started Special Interest Group November 2017

  1. Hi,
    I just watched the getting started 11.17 session about stairs. If you are working, for example, on a (US) Colonial style house that has a few treads near the bottom that begin to curve, can you do that with the stair tools or do you need to add a few custom floor platforms at the end of a more typical stair?….Also, is it possible to construct a stair with the treads curved so that, in plan, each tread is a curve, but the line of travel is a straight line? PS I use the custom stair tool on a current project after your session and it was great.

    • If you want to have a straight stair that has a few curving treads at the bottom, you will have to build part of the stay with the stair tool and build the curving trades at the bottom with the floor object, as we did in this movie. If you want to have every tread with a slight curve, you will have to build each tread as a polygon and then convert them to floors.

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