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Kevin C

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    Chartered Architectural Technologist
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    United Kingdom

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  1. Tom. Yes, that is correct - the roof face is the only item that is created by VW. One of the biggest disappointments in Vectorworks is it's inability to efficiently produce construction level detailing at a scale any higher than 1:50. I had a long discussion with VW support regarding this a couple of years ago, where it was said quite clearly that the software was not designed for that. Yes, in theory I could model an entire project, but the file would be so bloated that I don't think I would be able to run it. Silly things like membranes, insulation and other sundry items all have to be added in as annotations in the sheet layer, so any changes to the model whatsoever means that they all have to be re-drawn. Also, construction level detailing is on a scale of 1:5 or 1:10 (generally) and this is outwith the scope of VW, so why should we change from detailing in 2D (which VW is very quick and efficient at) to a LOD that it 100% reliant on the stability on a piece of software that is known throughout the industry as one of the most unstable architectural design tools in existence. Don't get me wrong, when VW works properly, it is great, but the amount of times on a daily basis I hear through from the drawing office the expletives of "that f*****g Vectorworks has crashed again" - and there are only three in the DO. Vectorworks does not understand anything of the following critical building components for me to trust it to construction level detailing: Windows: There are 2 cills in every window (independent of each other) and everyone knows that, but VW doesn't. There are lintels in every window (sometimes they are combined into a composite steel lintel), but sometimes they are not - again VW has no concept of that There is no way for VW to carry out daylight and opening calculations (it's either one or the other) Could go on - the list is endless Doors: There are industry standard door sizes (especially for external doors) The 'bodging' required to make doors fit into horizontal and vertical coursing means that schedules are generally useless without massive over-rides Roofs: Don't get me started on roofs I could go on, but my response to the original point was regarding the capability of VW to add flashings, valleys, roof detailing etc. to basically 'consent' level drawings - I.e no greater detail than 1:50). VW is currently not capable of creating a model that can be produced efficiently and to a LOD that is suitable for construction without massive 'annotation' overrides etc. I should add that the primary construction method used in our country for nearly all of residential and domestic projects is timber frame. We do have a six storey block of flats and that is an RC frame with SFS infills - again 1:50 level model only with 2D detailing. If I tried to do it any other way, my practice would just not survive as I would not be able to justify (in terms of fees) the time and manpower it would take to model the to LOD required. What I find frustrating in that regard is Please correct me if I am wrong.
  2. I would agree. There needs to be a fully comprehensive review of the roof tool. We have just taken on a commission to produce full working and construction drawings for an architect firm and every time I take on a project, it is a school day. I decided this time that before the 're-worked' plans were issued to the drawing office, that to improve productivity that I would at least try and model as much as I could before the working and construction detail was added. This is the front elevation of one of the housetypes (NOT MY DESIGN) Everything has been modelled with the exception of the annotations and dimensions. One thing I have now found with the roof is to basically throw away anything with the actual roof tool and multiple components, as VW just cannot deal with anything slightly complicated. Simple features like gable ends cause VW to keel over and die - This is basic stuff. This also allows me to create trusses etc. and they will be accurate. On the whole, I am really just using roof faces now, with a single component (usually the concrete roof tile and 20mm thick). This allows me to to be accurate in terms of setting out vertically (something again which VW has never been able to do successfully - A roof is set out from the wall head). I can chose the soffit level, facia level etc. based on extrudes, just wish there was more control over how extrudes and solids are displayed in plan views etc. I can and do have valleys and hips as part of the roof, the ridge-piece above and the gable verge pieces are just a "receptive units" of 3D symbols. Because all of the doors / windows / features etc. are all objects and symbols, they really just have to be placed in the correct position and VW will do the rest. PS only half of the semi was drawn. What would make the process much smoother is the be able to store viewport class and layer settings as styles so that they can be used across projects (also being able to edit the style in a worksheet would be a real bonus, can only dream). On another point. It is disappointing to hear the age old statement 'non-architects'. There are many competent and fully qualified architectural designers / consultants that are more than capable of managing and running projects from conception to completion. As a Chartered Architectural Technologist, one of my practices USP's is that we provide an architectural service from a technical design perspective applied across the whole of the project.
  3. Again having real trouble getting a vgx file to be of any use. See attached link: https://cloud.vectorworks.net/links/11ebc9c8c0ef895a85ba12bd733fbe07/ This is a 55 unit housing development from which I can generate all the static views I need, but with nomad / vgx I am unable to share with my client, as it basically doesn't work. I remember discussions with the VW staff at the Open Day in April and was told that changes are coming - afraid to say, not soon enough. Models simply do not load.
  4. One Drive is pretty good, it's just that you have to do quite a few workarounds to make it work properly with VW. We don't use Project Sharing - Tried to implement a few times over the past two or three years, but found it extremely unreliable and when pairing it with the continual instability of VW, it is just not worth the trouble. Within our NAS server I have synced OneDrive for Business to the Projects folder which means that everyone accesses the projects through project shares on One Drive and it writes back to the server. This seems to work quite well, but it is dependent on everyone's internet connection (still all working from home). The frequency of syncing can be changed to suit; by default on a Synology NAS it is 600 seconds - I have changed it to 60 seconds, which means that file locks etc. are usually pretty well up to date and we haven't had more than a handful of conflicts in total.
  5. I don't believe that the problem is with anything other than VW. It is the only program on my Mac which gobbles up this amount of memory. I am using the current service pack of VW 2021 and the current version of MacOS (Big Sur 11.2.2) - and the problem still exists. It has been going on for years and all VW has ever had to say is that it is the user fault and that we should try and upgrade to the most recent versions. Well we have - and the issue is still there. This is from this morning.
  6. Totally agree. We need to be able to purge items that are not being used, the tool is way beyond time for an refresh. The purge 'Objects outside of page boundaries' is a typical example of how out-of-date it is: We have been working in sheets for years now We need to be able to purge unused or unreferenced objects and styles from the resource manager (like windows, doors and wall styles). Currently if you delete a style out the resource manager, it doesn't warn or tell you that that style is in use, just deletes it and converts any instances to an 'unstyled' object' - not very user friendly
  7. I think what has happened during the pandemic is that businesses (mine anyway) have started to look realistically at multiple backup and redundancy solutions. The simple fact of a computer breaking down and being able to re-configure remotely or dealing with a server / internet disconnect is getting more and more complicated and unfortunately happening more often. A great number of businesses are using Microsoft exchange and Office 365 for their email and 'Teams' communication and it's just that you get a very competent online storage and file sharing facility as part of the basic package. My practice operates 100% Mac and we use OneDrive - seamlessly, It was just a thought.
  8. I think it's a real shame that we as users continually feel that we are 'fighting against the machine' so to speak. As a small practice (me + 3 in the drawing office - although they are all wfh just now), the issues surrounding office standards and practices are more acute now than ever more. @_c_ Could not be more to the point. Any practice should want to have systems in place, where one staff member can jump into another's project with little or no 'orientation' for whatever reason: holidays / leaving / off-sick / paternity / maternity - The reasons for this are endless and VW just doesn't help. We as a practice have given up on project sharing as it just doesn't suit - too many 'management' protocols and procedures that can and have gone wrong every time we tried it. The rest of the list is a major concern that just doesn't seem to be getting addressed. So what do practices do? - We just carry on doing our own thing as we have all pretty well resigned to the fact that there is in actual fact very little 'productive' support for the architectural field. I keep hoping that the wishlists that have been going on for years - doors / windows / stairs / walls / roofs etc. will actually be answered and that the tools will 'Work as Required', not just 'Work as Designed', so we don't have to continually have to do 'workarounds' to basically do our jobs. If I were to go off-piste and mention a tool that VW seems to have devoted a lot of time to, but with totally unusable output in real world situations, is the Title Block Manager and the facility to generate drawing registers, issue sheets etc. I do not know a single business anywhere that does not have even the most simple word processing and spreadsheet software and the larger the practice, the more likely there will be a formal drawing management system in place. The unfortunate reality is (and I'm including those practices who I speak to who use REVIT and AutoCAD ), no-one uses the 'in-built' drawing management systems. Wouldn't it be really nice if when drawings are changed and issued, that vectorworks could 'talk' to a spreadsheet (let us worry about how it looks and is formatted) - just give us the codes and datasets to do it (we can all create macros, its not difficult - Microsoft even shows you how to do it on their help screens). Also, please get rid of the Notes Manager - It needs to be re-written from first principles allowing users to import their own documents and notes Moving on from that can you please, please look again at how Vectorworks is installed in computers: points of concern (really disgust): Move forward with the times - There are now multiple ways in which businesses manage and access files. NAS storage and cloud storage are now mature and probably the norm in todays IT world. Not everyone wants to work either of their local computer only or off a fully fledged server. Only core project files should be stored in the local computer folders When installing Vectorworks, we should be able to where to store libraries where we want to: Why would you want to store libraries locally when your projects are all being stored on a server, NAS or in the cloud? Everyone in a practice should be accessing and using the same components documents libraries etc. having multiple local copies of libraries is just asking for trouble (and a waste of space). Allow user profiles to be 'portable'
  9. Is there any reason why Vectorworks Cloud Services only allows integration with Google Drive and Dropbox? More and more users are utilising many other online sharing platforms (specifically in the current working from home situation) such as Microsoft OneDrive and Box as well as a myriad of others. Does VW have an arrangement with Google and Dropbox, or is it just another one of those things that no-one has thought might be useful to the users?
  10. I have been trying to create a model using cloud services so that my client can see proposals for a site. I have stripped back the vwx file as much as I can and when I upload the file to cloud services to create a vgx file, it just gives a blank screen (54.3 MB of blank screen). Can anyone help - Vectorworks UK support is closed for the holidays and I need to get this sorted by the time my client comes back from the Christmas break. I've attached the file and a link to the vgx file (cannot upload in here) https://cloud.vectorworks.net/links/11eb490c469a136a8fce0e8109945acd/ Albion - December 2020.vwx
  11. Luis, I was asking if you could create a working package right now. Ie you will be creating the renders once all the internals are in place - walls / floors / doors / furniture / specifications etc. If I have an empty model (nothing on the in side) - yes, I can create these effects, but not once the model is a working model - it gets too bloated.
  12. Luis. These are presentation files (very nice I might add), but I am looking to generate working files. This is one of the biggest issues I have with VW - We are not there to create 'beautiful and pretty and awe-inspiring' images 24/7, yes sometimes - but very rarely. I need to produce working elevations from a working model that is being worked on and people will be building from. Can I ask a question re the picture you posted. Can you create a set of working, fully dimensioned and specified plans, sections and elevations from the same model?
  13. I am using the most basic Open GL. The 'textures' are solid colour clocks with no 'special effects' and the coursing being carried out by a simple brick hatch. It needs to be this way as renderworks textures have now proven to be far too overly complicated. The other real problem is that to create a viewport that can be printed, the resolution has to be at a level where there is no pixelating of the image - i regularly have to go up to 305 dpi to get over the problem (which again just adds time), but in this case I was rendering at 72 dpi. The real issue is insisting that the drawing needs to be rasterised. Why??
  14. On this thread - I wonder how much of an increase VW will be imposing this year? All the meaningful improvements last year were not in the building sector - same again for this year (please note I said meaningful - which I mean fixing the long standing problems which VW has). Spreading the costs doesn't really help anyone in the long term - the bills still have to be paid, and if client's aren't paying bills: where does the money come from?? Things like wages and rent come first. Every September (for the last 3 years at least) I wait with bated breath to see if the broken parts of the software have been fixed and this year unfortunately there is no change. The VSS subscription cost is extremely high (I have 4 licences for my practice) - I understand that you need product development to improve and bring new features but please please fix what's broken and then we won't begrudge every renewal (not loudly anyway). I am actually of the mind that many people are maintaining their subscription in the hope that they will get a piece of design software that does what is says on the tin. There are other very competitive alternatives out there and there will come a time when we will have just had enough and go elsewhere.
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