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Benson Shaw

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About Benson Shaw

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    Vectorworks Addict

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    Public Artist
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    United States

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  1. Benson Shaw

    Projection onto surface - fail

    Hi, @mattOC No real advantage, just preference. In my workflow, the completed letter is intersection of the shell and the extrusion. Letter is separate from the original sphere. Its "back" surface is coincident with the original sphere. The shelled sphere gives thickness to the letter. I thought I could just extrude into the original sphere, intersect to create a letter on the surface, then shell the letter to provide thickness. But it wouldn't shell. Hence resorting to intersecting with a shelled sphere. Maybe should look at that again. The project tool does offer working with standard 2d shapes (they don't have to be NURBS or 3d polys). And, today anyway, I am able to shell the trimmed letters formed this way. But for me, it is not as good for this because it only projects perpendicular to the screen. That means lining up each letter for perp to the sphere normal, setting the view along that normal, then project. The project tool>add mode is the way to go to prevent punching all the way through. Raised letters will need to capture that surface at the intersection and shell it outward. so, the Split or Trim mode may be more useful, then replace the base sphere with a new one. It is easier for me to manipulate the extruded letters than to manipulate a view and the planar letters. I admit readily that my workaround has drawbacks and others may prefer the project tool workflow. Neither of these workflows produces an accurate mapping of the letter onto the sphere. We need Rhino's Flow to Surface or similar mentioned in other threads by @Kevin McAllister, kind of a rubber sheet effect. There is not much distortion in these vwx workflows if the letters are small relative to the sphere diameter and projection direction stays close to sphere normal. But if the letter is almost same size as sphere or far off of normal, it distorts radically. Then the workflow gets really stoopid - Convert letter to NURBS Surface, bend/ move vertices to the sphere surface, each on the normal. Still kind of hit or miss! Non spherical surfaces are even worse because, where's the normal??? -B
  2. Benson Shaw

    Projection onto surface - fail

    @mattOC This is rather a workaround to the problem of flowing objects or outlines onto a sphere. Not a perfect projection, but close. Also cumbersome. The Basics: • Duplicate in Place the sphere. • Shell the dupe to outside. Shell depth is desired height of raised text. • Work with the letters one at a time. Best if extrude source poly has very few vertices (eg re trace the "N" & others). • Extrude a letter to small height (your 1/4" is good here) • In different views as needed, move and tilt the extrude until face of extrude is positioned correctly relative to the other letters AND tangent to the shell surface or parallel to the tangent plane. Another way to say this is that the letter plane is perpendicular to and centered on the sphere normal. • Increase extrude height so it everywhere penetrates all the way through the shell. • Select the shell and the extrude. • Intersect Solids Result is a letter with spherical surfaces located on the original sphere. Repeat for remaining letters with dupes of the shell Should be possible to cut all the letter extrusions into one shell in one go, but I couldn't make it work. In the sample file mods, The N is completed intersection. The O is tilted into position, extruded deep and ready to Solid Intersect with another a dupe of the shell. I also tried a intersecting and/or subtracting the letter extrusion and original sphere (instead of a shell), then apply Shell to the resulting letter surface. It refused to shell for reasons of its own. Another similar approach would be to Move/Tilt/Rotate each letter as a planar NURBS or 3d Poly until tangent to sphere, then use the Project Tool. But the subsequent shell might not work. I didn't try. Good Luck! -B TEXT_TEST_4_VW BMods.vwx
  3. Benson Shaw

    Revit Import

    Wow! @Art V and @zoomer - once again MANY THANKS for tips and in depth discussion of functionality and use case descriptions of other file formats we vwx users encounter. Very helpful for working with import/export and when talking to creators of those other files. @Jim Wilson can this kind of info be added to augment the vwx guide about switching from ACad or elsewhere in Help -B
  4. Benson Shaw

    extruding hole patterns

    Zoomer is right. Simpler is better. Clip surface is another operation that converts circles to 4 vertex polys. These can end up faceted. Cutting shops have such varied (and often very old) software that I don’t trust the clip surface when ported to dwg. I leave the circles as raw geometry “on” the rectangle. It’s a choice: Clip Surface has advantages - the clips usually cut as circles, and the clipped elements in the polygon maintain their relative positions when the poly is moved. But problems, too. Any rescale edits of the clipped circles involve entering the enclosing poly and drawing new circles to replace the converted ones. Gets tedious if lots of holes to edit. -B
  5. Benson Shaw

    Homemade CNC

    Just wanted to congratulate @Jim Wilson for a cool diy especially because it seems to include a padded seat and steering wheel! Next addition should be a 40hp vac hold down system. THEN the laser head. -B
  6. Benson Shaw

    extruding hole patterns

    @zoomer doesn’t this make holes in the model at full depth. @shutternaut If 3d partial depth model is required, this is what I do: Rectangle extrude for the boards Pattern of 2d circles for the pin locations. Select all circles and extrude up or down to depth. Result is a single extrude. Can copy/paste to other boards as needed. Then subtract solids. Might help to convert to generic solid prior to export to STL dwg or other format required by fusion 360 I send lots of drawings for CNC router, laser and water jet, plus a few for 3d printing. Always exported to dwg for 2d sheet layouts and usually to stl for 2.5d (z control but no tilt - domes and other shapes are stepped) and 3d printing and milling. For the routers cutting sheet goods, at least, CAM software I encounter usually has z control for the hole or slot depths even though the drawing is 2d. Anyway hope it all mills perfectly! -B
  7. Benson Shaw

    Dimensioning Problem. Vectorworks 2017

    @graciapaige Welcome to the forum! Explain a bit more if you didn't get things working. What objects are you creating? Basic palette? eg rectangle, circle, etc? 3d Palette (cones, spheres, etc). Parametric objects (Walls, windows, plants, lighting devices, etc). Open a new, blank drawing for testing and paste in a problem object from the original drawing. If you cannot make the object behave properly in the test file, post the test file here. You probably already have all this down, but here are some basics to outline the process for most objects. Sorry - takes lotsa words to outline these quick steps.: 1. During object creation using the floating data bar (appears at the cursor when you press the Tab key). The usual sequence is: •Click the 1st point of the object on the drawing area • If floating data bar is not active, press Tab key to activate it. • Press Tab again to highlight the 1st data field. (or press Tab repeatedly until desired data field is highlighted) • Key in the 1st dimension. • Press Tab again to accept the data and exit 1st data field. This locks this axis of the object to 1st data value and also highlights next data field • Now choices: A. Drag to adjust the other axes. Other visible data fields update during the drag. When satisfied click to create the object. B. Key in data to the highlighted data field. Press Tab to accept and highlight next data field. C. To create the object: Click on the drawing area or press Return twice (Mac) or Enter twice (Windows) 2. Edit object after creation using OIP (eg a rectangle): • Create the object via click, drag, click in the drawing area. It will appear highlighted (selected) in the drawing area) . . . OR • Activate the Selection tool and single click the object on the drawing area. • OIP displays width, height, x/y position, rotation values of the selected rectangle (different values for other objects). • Click in a data field. An entry bar appears (some call this a cursor), or dbl click to highlight the current value in the data field. • Adjust or replace the existing value in this data field. Note that vwx data fields can do arithmetic + _ * / • Press Tab to accept and move to next data field, or click in other data field to adjust. OR • To accept the values and leave the edit process: Press Return, or click in the drawing area. HTH -B
  8. Benson Shaw

    Best way to create roof by NURBS curves or Curved Lines

    All - Hard to let this go. Here is improved method. Refinement is to assure constant width to face of beams. Solution is to map the centerlines of the beam faces onto the funnel, then use each ctr line as path for Extrude Along Path of a circle. The EAP will intersect the funnel at constant width. vwx 2019 file with this v2 info now in Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0wi7ot7oe2pfltn/StarLattice2.vwx?dl=0 Did anyone figure out the Marionette network for this? Or did anyone try surface array or other way to at least map the pattern onto a surface? -B
  9. Benson Shaw

    Fence tool _ Sports Field

    This might be useful: Make a short module of fence, and from that a symbol, for each type of panel or section - eg a stack of 3 with a pole at one edge, a stack with gates at bottom level, maybe a special corner unit, etc. Class the vines inside each symbol so they can be hidden when not needed. Then place instances of those symbols, duplicated around the perimeter. These units can be made via the fencing tool, or via modeling tools and techniques. The symbol instances can be rescaled. Some strategies will be needed if the terrain is not flat. But a large number of instances, even with vines, will not likely slow the redraws and renders as much as an equivalent length of continuous "vined" fencing. Maybe a hybrid would work? Symbol instances in distant areas, continuous fencing at closeup areas of renderings? Symbols can be saved as resources for future projects, and duplicate symbols can be customized for new projects or new contexts without need to start from scratch. -B
  10. Benson Shaw

    PDF to VW

    The ability to acquire geometry from a vector based pdf is part of vwx for many versions (since v2014?). And it’s really great. But some trIcks and pitfalls go with it: Select the pdf object>Ungroup> result usually contains a rectangle (no fill) surrounding a white rectangle, in front of a group containing the geometry. If an image is included in the pdf, it will be shown as a Bitmap, probably on that white rectangle. Unless needed for something else, delete the rectangles. The geometry in the group will include loads of vertices, because text and curved lines will all be reduced to faceted segments. Often it is advantageous to Select All then Compose to join the adjacent segments into longer poly lines. Note that this pdf geometry may not be dimensionally correct. Eg walls may have “unusual” and inconsistent thickness. It’s close, but not same as importing CAD geometry. -B
  11. Benson Shaw

    Best way to create roof by NURBS curves or Curved Lines

    @chrispolo Yes, please do show us your design as it evolves! Many here will want a glimpse into your thinking. -B
  12. Benson Shaw

    Best way to create roof by NURBS curves or Curved Lines

    Really interesting design and daunting constructibility. Super interesting vwx modeling challenge. Attached find my basic setup. It's not perfect, but really close. A look at the fabrication & construction photos of the golf clubhouse, shows use of short sections (and some really long sections) and assembled into modules for shipping & install. This allows trim and shape at each crossing to accommodate the twists and joins where flat faced lumber crosses curved. Looks like they are kind of set up for it now and using same tech on several buildings. I wonder how many trees hit the dirt for that tee time enjoyment! I tried to array stars or portions of stars on a funnel shape. Maybe others can make that work. A parametric network would really help with the basic grid layout, beam spacing, beam section dims, etc, but I think adjusting for twist anomalies where it flows around complex surface would be hard to program. File's 49mb, so too big to post. But I put v2019 version in Dbox at least for a while: Edit: File removed/replaced with updated file 02/28/19. See also new post below dated 02/28 New link w/ improved process: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0wi7ot7oe2pfltn/StarLattice2.vwx?dl=0 -B
  13. Benson Shaw

    Best way to create roof by NURBS curves or Curved Lines

    @chrispolo I think we need to know a bit more about the intended shape of the roof. A few points or sections in the interior would help. Here are a few examples using NURBS modeling with some of the pitfalls and some corrections. It's not a full blow by blow tutorial, but can get started. As@bcd suggests, a Loft One Rail will develop a shape (1B). Or just select the 4 curves and invoke the 3d Power Pack command for Create Surface from Curves (1A). Shape is about same either way, but it dips into the ground plane. Lofting in No Rail mode with additional curves to control the surface might be a better approach. (2A&B). Or start with a flat NURBS surface and adjust the vertices either by drag, or by OIP numeric control. (3) Takes some experimenting to learn the ropes for U & V manipulation. But makes sense after a few tries. Any of the NURBS can be shelled for thickness. But shell happens normal to the surface, so may not offer the desired edge faces. Sub Division is another possibility, not shown here. Post back as needed. -B NURBS Roof v2019.vwx
  14. Benson Shaw

    Items staying behind when moving grouped Sheet Layer Viewports

    Hi, Kevin, et al Easily replicated for me, too. Main factor is Nav Graphics Display pref setting. Set up: one Design Layer with a few 2d objects. One Sheet Layer. 2 SLVPs on the sheet. A few annotations in the SLVPS Note that my system is older laptop, High Sierra. Testing on SLVP: 1. Drag the ungrouped VPs off the page boundary. One at a time. 2. Drag selection of both VPs off page. 3. Select both VPs>Group, then and drag the group off page. 4. Repeat with VP set to Iso views and OGL renders. 5. Ungroup, then group each VP separately (group of one) and drag off page. Best Compatibility mode - 1,2,3,4, 5 all work as expected. Nothing left behind. VPs display properly in new location. Good Performance & Compatibility mode - 1,2,3,4 all work as expected. Best Performance mode: 1. Works as expected. eg nothing left behind. 2. Works as expected 3. Fail: Text annotations are left behind. Geometry annotations are left behind, incl Slot object PIO, lines, arcs Auto created Drawing labels stay with the VPs User created Drawing labels stay with the VPs Annotations retain color and relative position. If Group is UnGrouped, Annotations relocate to proper orientation (might need screen redraw) 4. Same Fail as 3 - some stuff is left behind. 5. Same Fail as 3 - some stuff is left behind.
  15. Benson Shaw

    Text is in outline

    Hi, @Mason2152 When I open the file it is shown as an older version, and watermarked (no prob), but I don't know which version. So, for me to translate back please indicate in a post or, better, create a signature in your forum account settings. When this file first opened, I got a dialog to map the text (your font not available on my system). So it converted your text to Arial. It started as Swis721 BlkOul BT. This is an outline text. In my v2019, the text block OIP shows the options enabled for Shadow and Outline, hence the dbl outline in attached image. If I uncheck the options, the text displays as normal filled text. The v2019 file has only None and Dimension classes (same in your original?). The text is assigned to None class and None class text is assigned to Unstyled. So, at least in v2019, the mapped text is behaving as it should. Might be file problem. Something to try: Quit vwx. Then restart vwx. Open a new file (not from a template, just a blank file set for unstyled text). Create a text block in Arial or other common font with solid fill. If works, then make a new text block in Arial and convert to your Swis721 outline font. Then convert back. If things are working as expected, then the original file or that text block must be corrupt. Meanwhile, I hope others will open and test the file in your native version with your font. -B


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