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Kevin C

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About Kevin C

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    Chartered Architectural Technologist
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    United Kingdom

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  1. Kevin C

    Hidden-Line-Render SLOW with surface hatch ON

    Julian, The problem which I have is that I invested heavily in both Vectorworks and Apple over 10 years ago (I now realise that it may not have been the best business decision), so unless I make the decision to change to PC over the next 4 years - that's when I will be due to upgrade my youngest mac, I will have to stick with apple products so I do not have the luxury of switching to Revit due to the poor physical performance of Vectorworks although I could change all my machines over to running 100% boot camp (seems a waste though). Vectorworks Architect has over the years progressed greatly in 'pure BIM workflow' and to its credit, it is probably one of the best on the market. However, BIM workflow does not generate income into a business, production information generates income and this is where Vectorworks falls down every time. The ability to create and visualise a building model that can have proper production information referenced both to and from it is a critical point in all projects nowadays. Clients know that we can produce high quality models and renderings and expect us to be able to collaborate with others on a level playing field - Ie be able to export ifc models that contain all the project information for costing, scheduling etc. The fact that the defect standard format in the world is Revit, with nearly all third party information being created in revit format and bloated to such an extent that renders the BIM objects pretty well useless only compounds the issue for Vectorworks users. I am seriously considering changing from VW to another design software solution, as Vectorworks year after year just ignore the basic production faults with the program and ignore the paying users who rely on the software to pay the bills, like the ability to generate a door schedule that can have internal and external doors on the same schedule and not have to worry that the guess what we construct to default and standards that are different in different countries - like the vast majority to external doors are a standard size (I.e. we have to use what is available to for a contractor to buy from a merchant) and get them to fit - usually with a barrier free threshold into a standard brick opening width and height. Guess what vectorworks cannot do this. This is just one example, also working with wall constructions made up of more than a single component - you cannot generate a section which is of any use at a detail level of greater than 1:100 - ability to attach objects to components of a wall and not left / centre / right. People will say that there is a custom setting, but if the wall thickness changes - the custom setting is useless. Another problem is hatches, Vectorworks Architect at least is (or should be) primarily a building design program, not an graphic design program. It should have the ability to produce high quality graphic representations but not at the expense of detailed building design - This is where it fails.
  2. Agreed, But if you remember one of the 'improvements' this year was a more compressed pdf file. This just hasn't happened, just some tools to compress the raster images within the pdf. Not much use when your pdf's don't have any raster images in them. I don't have full blown Acrobat (4 licences is a lot of money just to reduce a file size!
  3. Ok, I seem to be in the minority, but my team has not noticed any improvement - only slowdown. Wed must just be doings things completely wrong. One thing however that continues to amaze me is that it is assumed that we start a project with a brand new clean set of files every time - this is not the case. We use styles and objects from libraries that have been built up over years of use. If VW is trying to say that the software will only work to its fullest capability when the project is started and only using objects etc. that have been created in that specific version of VW, please tell us and we will try and change to suit. On another item which was championed as being a new 2020 feature - reduced and optimised pdf file sizes. Yes, VW gives options for compressing image etc. but the basic pdf file for say a site layout drawing is now far larger than 2019 and hardly compresses at all when using third party compression tools anymore. Simple line drawings have never been an issue, but if you have any fill or hatch on a drawing and want to add some detail, it's a joke. I now have files which I cannot sent to local authorities because the file size is greater than 5MB - This means I cannot submit for planning consent or building warrant without having too strip all the detail out of a drawing.
  4. Can anyone provide a list of product enhancements for the Vectorworks Architect / Fundamentals modules that actually took place this year. We have now upgraded all machines in the office to VW2020 (SP1 came out yesterday - still to see if that stops the crashing) and apart from the changes to introduce 'barn doors' and tinkering with the doors and windows model - but not fixing the underlying issues with the whole module, cannot really seen anything. I am definitely not interested in a fancy new graphics interface with lovely icons - That does not improve productivity or efficiency. The new and improved Graphics module is to put not too fine a point on it, its not worth the paper its written on, as if anything, Vectorworks is much slower and much less responsive than before, it is also much more liable to crashing - we have even had 'panic reports' from one of the iMac's recently with the only change to the system being the upgrade to VW2020 - This has never happened before. We have had to change all the graphics settings to "best compatibility" to be able to carry out any work. My understanding of the 'improvements are as follows: Live data Visualisation - This is after the fact and assumes that all items are correctly attributed. Note that the allocations of spaces and zones is integral to this tool. This is a problem unless the usability of the space tool has been overhauled to a point where it works - the space tool is far to complicated and on a working model, spaces have to be deleted to made the drawing manageable (the program slows to a crawl and to carry out any amendment takes forever). GIS Improvements - It is extremely unlikely that we would use such a tool and there are very few benefits if any from the examples shown that would persuade me to invest in ArcGIS History-Based modelling - Apart from spending an inordinate amount of time to prepare a level of detail that is not required for that vast majority of building projects, I can see no benefit in this tool Graphics module Improvements - As mentioned previously, we have four iMacs in the office, all 27" i7 5K Retina with at least 24GB Ram and 4GB graphics cards (mine has an 8GB) and this 'fantastic new feature' has done nothing but slow the whole system down to a crawl. If this is an improvement, I can only presume that the extra coding in the program slowed it up so much that VW needed to change the graphics system to try and maintain the status quo - It didn't work. IFC referencing - Have not tried, but way down the line List Browser Direct editing - It is not user friendly, far too responsive. Is there any way of switching it off??? Section views - Only useful if walls and floors / doors windows slabs and roofs all interconnect properly and don't all disconnect at the first change to the model - Wait to be convinced if there is any improvements Walkthrough animation - hopefully this will be good, will wait and see. But again, not a productivity improvement Widget groups - This is akin to the "improvement" to the OIP last year where you mandated that class selection be carried out using a 'hierarchical display' - not funny and not useful. Can anyone please tell me what functional improvements have been made. All I really want to for VW to improve what for all intents is / could be, a fantastic program without destroying the systems that actually work and fixing what is blatantly obvious to all working users that which is broken - doors / windows / stairs / roofs / walls etc. I.e. allow us to design a building the way we want to design it and be able to produce proper production and detail information - not just pretty pictures.
  5. Help please. We are trying (and failing miserably) to create a window schedule of a 1.5 storey house that has rooflights and dormers. We can create window and door schedules easily enough, but when we try and include dormer windows or rooflights - they are just ignored by VW - Help.
  6. I think that the biggest problem with the dwg import is the settings that VW applies each time. First, when importing a dwg file, the dwg file seems to take precedence over the existing VWX file and over-writes all of the class settings in the VWX file (it should be the other way around). When I am working with other consultants, you learn how they assemble their files and work with them, but a lot of people forget that AutoCAD works on the basis of using line colours to define pen thicknesses - VWX does not. Also when importing a dwg file, why is the fill set on solid for every AutoCAD layer that is imported? It would be great if there could be an option to have a tab setting so that the imported class can have fill on or off and also to be able to change dwg layer colours during the import process at the same time as setting the line weights.
  7. Kevin C

    Railing/Fence Tool

    If this year's features are not yet locked in - could you consider asking the engineers to look at the following (for stairs anyway) Ability to have stairs that can have multiple levels / storeys (I.e. a single stair object for a three storey house or multi-storey building), or at least the ability to continue a numbering sequence Being able to draw an single continuous polyline that will snap to a stair and landing edge in 2D and 3D so that a continuous handrail can be created Being able to control the length and location of handrails and have them linked to the stair object and snap to it in 2D and 3D Ability to attach custom balustrades (of any profile) on the stair object and have user control over the height / cap style / extension of the post (I.e. does the post have align with the FFL or can it be set an an arbitrary level of our choosing and potentially protrude into the floorspace below with a decorative cap detail) Incorporation of the design flexibility of the old custom stair stool into the main stair tool (without the graphical faux-pas of the old tool - I.e stringers going haywire)
  8. This is what doors and windows have needed - Please can you at least try and incorporate these features into the door and window tools..
  9. This may be possible to do - but I have never managed to find it: What I would like to be able to do is the ability to drag individual components from say one wall style to another. The reason being, in order to create a style you either have to start with one of the predetermined styles (which, no offence intended - are pretty useless) and add / delete new components at the same time as remembering what class, fill, hatch, rendering style etc. you want for each component you wish to change. What would be the ideal is to move from a generic wall / floor or roof style to a custom style without having to go round the entire building and start from scratch. There are far too many different custom styles in the libraries - it is the components which matter. I don't know how the engineers intended styles to work, but would it not be possible to 'drag' a component from the resource manager into the style (and bringing with it all of its attributes that have been set previously). Remember level of detail is critical in the overall process and I only want to move on to a higher level of detail when the project is ready to do so, the problem is that each style (whether wall, floor or roof) has to be created in advance and once it is created - it is very inflexible. Adding components to a style is not straightforward, you have to know all the attributes (I.e they need to be written down on a piece of paper or something) and added manually for each component - could they not just be dragged from one style (or a component library) to another with the attributes already attached. Items like plasterboard - should be on the same class for the entire building (unless you are specifically wanting different types - fire rated / acoustic etc.), so we should be able to drag a component from either a library or from one style to another (wall, floor, roof etc.). If I'm working in Uniclass (or any other standard which I want to use) - I want to be able to bring components in with the right classes and attributes, not spent hours ensuring that each component is correctly matched (I have a view that this is one of the reasons why so few people use standard classes). Also, when creating anything in Vectorworks, it would be really useful to be able to select using a 'pull down' instead of having to create using a blank text box each time.
  10. Kevin C

    Roofs now not visible

    Jim, I think you are being extremely generous calling it bugs. The roof tool has now gone from extremely inaccurate, unpredictable, non-user friendly and a tool that was very difficult to use for anything other than a very simple design sketch to something which is totally unstable, it continually causes VW to crash, it cannot be rendered, dormer windows don't work - I could go on. I am getting sick and tired of it being users problems for not being able to use what should be a straightforward tool (and not just the roof tool), a member of my staff was having problems with a file last week and I told him to contact VSS - he was told to send the file, and someone would look at over the next couple of days - I have a business to run, I cannot afford to wait a couple of days as I already know the . That is not acceptable - give us a tool that works and does not need 'workarounds' to make it work. I have spent nearly the whole weekend looking at this file and apart for the continual crashing - on all machines, it doesn't render, it loses it roof style, the dormer function is an absolute joke.
  11. Kevin C

    Minimum number of stair risers

    I've kept trying the custom stair tool - and now I remember why it doesn't work. There are a number of basic flaws in the tool that have never been rectified - especially as all work on it stopped when the new stair tool that was meant to solve all problems (which it didn't) appeared. The custom stair tool is of no use when constructing a timber stair (with a winder) as it cannot seem to draw external stringers properly The stringers also bear no resemblance to anything that would be built and usually continue beyond the stair It cannot draw handrails that can be represented in 3D that are of any use - albeit the new stair tool is only marginally better, but at least it can draw newel posts.
  12. Kevin C

    Minimum number of stair risers

    Found the custom stair tool - doesn't work for that type of stair
  13. Kevin C

    Minimum number of stair risers

    Jonathan, The custom stair no longer exists in VW 2018 (or has it been hidden away).
  14. Looking for some help. There are a number of situations where I am creating a stair and the number of risers on the first flight will be less than 3 (sometimes 0) Example: In a domestic situation where the stair starts on a winder - this is currently impossible to achieve as the winder requires (in vectorworks) to be preceded by at least three risers. I have tried to many times and never managed to get round this problem. First picture shows what it should look like (manually drawn - and constructed / passed regulations etc.) and the others shows the best I can achieve from vectorworks. Any suggestions??
  15. Has anyone else noticed that when doing a batch revision with the Title border on a sheet, only the sheet that is active at the time is updated and you manually have to pick each sheet and select the title border , select the revisions and 'click' on the OK before the 'current revision number' on the sheet is updated? Also, when doing a batch pdf export and selecting the current revision number to be appended - the pdf file is invariably named with 'none' as the suffix and not the revision letter. I am using 2018 SP3 (Build 418943)


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