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Chris D

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Everything posted by Chris D

  1. We upgraded three of our machines to fairly high spec Mac Pros yesterday....big spend. New spec in my signature. We're intending to run a BIM trial with these machines. What I think I've learned after a day with them is as follows: - Clock speed is all important. The 3.2GHz makes a difference, but nothing can make bloody VW use more than one core, even when it's thrashing around for three minutes trying to do a hidden line render. So even our conservative quad core purchase seems like overkill. Activity Monitor shows up to 80 threads, all trying to still use one core while leaving the other three idle. - RAM is similarly not being used beyond 4GB. We went for 24GB (Kingston, not Apple), but VW refuses to make use of it. - Virtual Memory seems to be a bottleneck. We decided to skip the SSD option but I think this was a mistake. With several applications open the VM size quickly exceeds 150GB. I think this is being written to the HDD (7200rpm) and might be slowing VW down. A 256GB SSD would maybe speed up system responsiveness somewhat which might help VW. Certainly we're disappointed that these very expensive machines have simply not wowed us in the way we hoped. For our standard 2D workflow they are lightning fast, but we bought them for BIM and they're not really cutting the mustard. EDIT: Forgot to mention the graphics card. The Radeon HD5870 is pretty darn fast for Open GL renders. EDIT 2: Also forgot to say we're testing a pre-built very large BIM file that somebody kindly gave us. With all the references it's a 2GB project file, and it's navigating these project files that is proving more sluggish than we hoped.
  2. This thread is depressing. It's OK for AutoDesk to go merrily down the proprietary route, because they are big enough to get away with it. Not so for NV Inc. What hope is there for VW users wishing to move to a BIM workflow? Nobody can import your files, nobody can read your IFC output..and worse still...try getting usable 2D DWG files out of your section viewports to collaborate the old way. Navisworks is NOT an alternative....the architect is contractually bound in most cases to give the engineer a base file for them to work with. It's not about clash detection, it's about working file collaboration. Nemetschek need to get big enough to compete, or at least to compel the industry to use open standards. The only way they can do this is to merge VW, AllPlan and ArchiCAD so that they have a large enough common user base to matter. Sorry to take the thread off topic, but the collaboration problem is symptomatic of the wider problem.
  3. OS X server strips the file association from VW files...we even get this message downloading our own template files from our OS X wiki server (10.6)!
  4. We just use a honeycomb hatch to represent cellular insulation. Like the ones I posted on the resource share forum: http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92727#Post92727
  5. Tracking bugs will be a piece of cake with a bug forum. Or will there be too many cooks??...
  6. Agree on the classes for PIO components generally, but long term we need less abstraction for the Architect version of VW - we need Building Materials which have real world properties such as appearance, performance, density etc that are consistent in 2D/3D
  7. Hopefully Apple will see sense and release new Mac Pros. http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/04/mac-os-x-10-7-3-beta-drivers-reveal-evidence-of-new-mac-pros/ Our experience with hardware is that you need desktop class machines for CAD. The compact machines which use mobile parts, iMac, Macbook, Mac Mini don't last. We hammer our machines including network rendering overnight and we have logic board failures on our iMacs which writes off the machine including the screen (repair cost is close to the replacement cost). If Apple stops producing desktop class computers then we'll be forced to use Hackintoshes or switch to Windows.
  8. Indeed. It doesn't look any good as an architectural tool. Apart from Gehry who has the luxury of a clean flat site where they can freeform model? First thing we do are the practical things like set up storey heights, building height limits etc. The OIP is great for having the info where it needs to be.
  9. Very nice stuff. We wouldn't make much use of the freeform modelling but why oh why can't architectural 3D modelling in VW be done in a shaded view, with gradients and shadows and transparent glass, and viewed with dynamic clipping sections...and why can't the tools do everything fast and lag free like that?
  10. We have 2006 vintage Mac Pros with 7300s in. We've been told that there are no supported Graphics upgrades available for these machines, other than on the 2nd hand market. Apparently the Radeon 5770 will run in them, but is unsupported and may blow a transistor. The power supply on the PCIe is insufficient for the 5770. You can minimise the risk by NOT having any other PCIe cards in the machine and NOT using dual displays. We might risk one or two of our machines as a trial..
  11. What we need is our longstanding wish for Door Types without having to symbol them.
  12. Probably, but we use external IT support now and we had to go with a solution they were prepared to manage. Our experience with iMacs is chequered....quite a few logic board failures...mobile parts getting desktop hammer. Are the graphics card options sufficient for large project files in VW2012?
  13. On the subject of Apple hardware we're dreading Apple dropping the Mac Pro line. With the exception of the odd iMac like mine, we have an office full of Cinema Displays on swivel arms, with headless Macs (Mac Pros). The Mac Mini uses mobile parts and doesn't have the grunt to run VW very well...so what are we to do...we'd be into Hackintosh territory to stay with OS X...
  14. We have the same opinion....but never say never. After 15 years of Apple servers we moved to a Windows server last year so that all of our user folders could be virtualised and we can can now log on to any Mac and see our home folder and settings. Works OK generally but Spotlight doesn't work which is a pain in the derriere.. Anyway I'm even more off topic than the rest of this thread..but suffice to say that if Revit came to the Mac we'd have the trial version installed on day one... The platform investment is keeping us faithful to VW at the moment..let's hope NV Inc make good use of the time before Revit does arrive on the Mac...
  15. Bang on the money. We hit 1,2,3 but not 4 of course... BUT we're going to give it a go on a trial project in VW2012. We want to see if the Single Building Model (by which I mean 2D from 3D) can be done on these jobs or not. If it doesn't work it might be the nail in the coffin for our 35 Vectorworks licences and we'll assess whether we need to move to Revit. We HAVE to be prepared for the industry move towards BIM here in the UK. (We plan to get some training from CU about how to go about doing the 2D from 3D. Our current arrangement, like yours is a separate 3D VW visual model prepared by different staff to those doing the 2D drawings.)
  16. It's a shame we don't have Thanksgiving here in the UK....could do with a holiday! After years of hearing this 'Thanksgiving' thing in the movies, I finally googled it...turns out it's Harvest Supper which happens here in late September...on a Sunday...no holiday.. Black Friday has arrived in the UK this year though...pity I've no money..
  17. yeah filters rather than folders. filters are dynamic and useful and 'automatic'. folders are restrictive and 'manual'.
  18. Alfie, please add a signature showing your VW version, platform, machine etc. You don't even say which version of VW you are talking about. Design Layer ViewPorts (xrefs) have this problem on VW2008 for sure, don't know about later versions. The DLVP appears fine, but when you put it on a sheet layer viewport the DLVP keeps disappearing. The trick we have to use is to go to the design layer that the DLVP is referenced into, go to View>Standard Views>Top/Plan (or use the keyboard shortcut), then go back to the sheet layer and it will magically show up.
  19. only that this BIM feature characterises the application as a whole as 'not quite good enough'....that's why we're discussing alternatives...
  20. The problem is that VW/MiniCAD was a budget programme, attractive to smaller practices, that have now grown up. We use VW for large projects, we work with very large contractors. We're stuck with what is now a large investment in VW in terms of Apple hardware, software, training, and most important...experience. Like every other medium sized practice we need to move to BIM, and we'd prefer VW to evolve into a BIM package rather than throw away our investment and start again. If VW ARCHITECT needs to cost what Revit does, so be it. Generally speaking, Nemetschek need to get their strategy right for Allplan, ArchiCAD and Vectorworks. In my view they should all be merged around a common core, which has architectural, engineering, thermal analysis modules etc, and let people pay for the modules they need. They can fork VW Fundamentals if they still need a budget CAD package in their stable for the BIM naysayers.
  21. Round tripping of IFC models between VW on a Mac and Revit on a PC is years away. I don't mean export and import, I mean round tripping. The UK government will mandate BIM by 2015, but they won't mandate a level playing field - they can't because there isn't one. Yes, Autodesk has other plans.
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