3D Modeling Special Interest Group – June 2018


In this session, we explored various tools in the 3D tool set, including the Sphere, 3D Polygon, and Loft Surface tools.

Topics covered:

  • 00:11    To discuss Auto Hybrids, we opened a blank file and began to model some simple 3D objects found in an outdoor garden area. We’ve seen that a simple 2D rectangle provides a solid color in the Top/Plan view but doesn’t have any thickness in a 3D view, whereas an extruded object has a thickness in a 3D view but is see-through in the Top/Plan view. One technique for getting around this is to use a Floor object instead. A Slab object is different from a Floor object in that the Slab can have a style with various components, whereas a Floor is just a simple object. We used several Floor objects to create a stair down to our site. If you use a Slab, you need to pay attention to its Datum. Using a Floor object, you can apply a solid color to it or a hatch that looks like decking in the 2D view—for it to look like decking in 3D, you need to apply a texture to the object.
  • 11:03    We used the Extrude Along Path command to create a handrail. We went through an example to show how to modify the profile and path afterward. Vectorworks assumes that the object you draw first is the path and the object you draw second is the profile—if that’s not the case, you need to change the path object selection. If you don’t select the Lock Profile Plane option, Vectorworks will fix the object’s profile at 90 degrees, or perpendicular, to the path. Vectorworks aligns the centerline of your profile with the center of your path. The tricky part with editing the profile is that you often need to move the profile in the opposite direction of what you think—you might need to attempt to move the profile in one direction, check the effect, and then move it in the opposite direction. We found that our handrail wasn’t showing up very well, so we turned it into an Auto Hybrid—it looked great! We discussed how this had happened. Also, we ended up losing the 2D part of our Auto Hybrid—this had to do with our Cut Plane Elevation setting. Vectorworks was cutting below our handrail so that it wasn’t showing up in 2D.
  • 26:37    Next, we added spindles to our handrail. Working inside the Auto Hybrid, we created a path and then arrayed extruded circles along the path by using the Duplicate Along Path command. When we finished, Vectorworks had to recalculate the Auto Hybrid. An Auto Hybrid is very good for choosing which part of the object you want to show in a plan view. In the 2D Appearance dialogue box, there are Cut Plane, Below Cut Plane, and Above Cut Plane settings. We discussed the effects of the various settings. We created classes to help control the graphic style of the cut objects, as well as the objects above and below the cut plane. Objects above the cut plane were dashed; cut objects were solid; and objects below were solid with a thin black line. Using these options has worked very well for me!
  • 45:57    We finished by making duplicates of our handrail—a client often wants to make changes!—doing them in such a way so that they would match the original Auto Hybrid handrail. We went through several examples. We also covered how to cut through the railing in 3D to make gap in the railing for steps and how to quickly add horizontal spindles by adding circles to the profile of the Extrude Along Path object.

3D Modeling June 2018

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