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Curved Ramp 2.0.0

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About This File

This Marionette object is a path-based ramp. The path is a bezier curve and can be reshaped by double-clicking on the object. The 3D ramp is built by lofting NURBS curves and the 2D text can be turned on or off in the Object Info palette.


This ramp uses the new Valve node in Vectorworks 2018 which means it can't be exported back to 2017.

What's New in Version 2.0.0   See changelog


I have updated the curved ramp to rise based on tangency as opposed to distance. Please let me know if this solves or exacerbates the cross slope problem. I also set the vertices of the path to be arc vertices - these can be changed using the reshape tool.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello @ericjhbergI thought I responded to your comments earlier but I can't seem to find what I posted.

1. Is there any way to make the horizontal curvature more regular? I know this is using nurbs, so the answer may very well be no, but we often are trying to design ramps on a radius which is difficult to do accurately with nurbs or bezier curves.


- In order to make this path based (allow it to have control geometry that was editable with the reshape tool), I found the easiest way to accomplish it was using a Bezier curve. To write it using a poly with arc vertices would be a very different script. How would you draw the 2D profile of a ramp?


2. The cross slope profile created by the loft surface can create some pretty extreme cross slopes. Is there a way to better control this?


- I built the ramp by dividing each edge length equally and stepping it that way, I didn't know how to best calculate slopes for ramps. for stairs it is a matter of finding a tangent to the curve but with a ramp I imagine you want you slope to be shallower going around curves and steeper on straightaways. Any pointers on how you would model this would be greatly appreciated. Maybe even starting with how NOT to do it is helpful. ;)

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Hi @sbarrett. Thanks for the response. I have attached a couple of files to illustrate what I was trying to explain. Hopefully this does a better job. One is a screen recording (Curved Ramp Example.mp4) of my best attempts to model a more standard curved ramp. Sorry, no audio. The other is the resulting file. Curved Ramp Example.vwx


To clarify above.

  1. I think I understand the reasoning behind the nurbs. They are an easier geometry to control. The issue is that in my experience, they don't translate very well to actual finished construction.
    • If the intent is visualization, then that is one thing, but if it is documentation and modeling, then we would need a more precise way to control horizontal geometry.
  2. When I mention cross slope, I am differentiating from longitudinal slope (along the path). You are correct, that is exactly how I would measure longitudinal slope and I love the way your script annotates as well...perfect.
    • Cross slope is across the path of travel. Unless we are designing a bike pump track or race track, we are typically held to a less than 2% (1:48) cross slope for accessibility. In your model, the slopes across can get excessive, particularly the sharper the horizontal curvature.

I hope that this is a constructive criticism and it is by no means intended to downplay this tool. I know I will find a use for it as is, so thank you!

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