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ThreeDot

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About ThreeDot

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  • Occupation
    Architect
  • Location
    New York, NY
  1. Pitched Roof

    This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
  2. Pitched Roof

    Thanks, but that isn't working for me. When I select "Pitched Roof" I get a standard hip roof. I click "Use Custom Roof from Profile" to edit, but the roof goes flat and there are no options to edit the pitched roof. I've watched the Vectorworks tutorial on this subject and don't know what I'm doing wrong. Honestly, even if it were working correctly, it is way to many tedious steps to create dozens of simple massing models. It's easier to create generic solids in Vectorworks, but it's even easier to create generic solids in SketchUp then bring them back into Vectorworks. Vectorworks_Pitched_Roof.mov
  3. Pitched Roof

    I need to create a neighborhood of houses, but I can't find a quick way to create pitched roof massing models in Vectorworks. Is it possible to do something like this in Vectorworks? SketchUp_Pitched_Roof.mov
  4. Users can certainly choose to use underscores for naming files, classes, or whatever, but the built-in resource library should be organized, labeled, and tagged in a manner that conforms to (a) UX/UI best practice and (b) proper language standards. There is no technical limit on naming resources correctly. Capitalization, abbreviation, punctuation, and grammar matter in life and in software.
 Underscores have no place in the user interface. The current Vectorworks resource library is a mishmash of poorly named, poorly organized files. It looks like files were received from third-party vendors and dropped into the resource folder without much attention to organization or naming. Why does this matter? Inconsistent organization makes it difficult to browse for resources quickly. Incorrect spelling makes it difficult to search resources accurately. Incorrect grammar is sloppy and unprofessional, in any setting. As with anything in life, lack of care on small stuff signifies lack of care on big stuff. Vectorworks needs to improve the resource library. Not just the files that reside in the library, but the procedure for how files are added and maintained over time. Maintaining a good library has always been important, but even more so now that users increasingly rely on accurate 2D, 3D, and BIM components. New resources should be added on a regular basis, and outdated resources should be removed. Resources should be organized, named, and tagged properly. Resources should be audited regularly to ensure that they adhere to current Vectorworks standards and best practices, meaning that old resources may need to be updated as Vectorworks evolves. A clear and flexible organizational structure should be established up front, so that resources can be properly organized and maintained over time. “Misc” is not a category. You get the idea.
  5. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    Yeah, totally! Being able to pull up any drawing, specification, or correspondence on site has saved us sooooo much time. I wish that Vectorworks' connection to Dropbox was more convenient. Or maybe I just don't understand how Vectorworks Cloud Services is supposed to work. Perhaps you can help. We keep all project files, including Vectorworks files, in a Dropbox folder. Simple. I like that Vectorworks Cloud Services can generate models and render viewports on demand or on a pre-set schedule, but it seems that Vectorworks files have to live in the VCS folder. I don't want to duplicate Vectorworks files into a VCS folder, nor do I want to relocate active project files outside of the Dropbox project folder. I guess I don't understand how the Vectorworks-Dropbox integration is supposed to work. Our initial tests were frustrating and I didn't see a way to work without disrupting project folder integration. Do you use Vectorworks Cloud Services? How does that work (or not) with your new Dropbox workflow?
  6. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    That's great! I had to look up what you meant about online-only versus local folders. That is an early access feature that I didn't know about. It looks interesting. iCloud sync works like that. This will be great for my MacBook! We've had pretty much the same Dropbox procedure since the beginning. All files are synced to my work iMac, which is where I do most of my work and where I have redundant local and remote backups running constantly. I selectively sync files to my MacBook—for working at home or on the train—and we share folders as needed with staff and consultants. We've structured our file system to allow for sharing and syncing on a folder-by-folder basis. There is a standard set of folders that everyone gets access to automatically (e.g. reference library), but specific files are shared on an individual basis. Project proposals and agreement folders are shared with our attorney. Business and financial folders are shared with our bookkeeper and accountant. Branding and website folders are shared with our graphic designers and in-house design staff. Project files are shared with project architects. And so on. In that way, everyone has all relevant files synced locally to their own machine(s).
  7. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    Dropbox does make a call to the cloud before starting a LAN sync. We've had fast, reliable connections over the past ten years and rarely run into problems. With general, non-Vectorworks file sharing, temporary outages have not caused any problems. We've only recently started using Vectorworks Project Sharing. We've had the internet drop out once or twice while users had objects and layers checked out. We continued working as usual and committed changes when service was restored. It did not cause any problems for us. We've had a few problems with Vectorworks Project Sharing that are not related to Dropbox. Vectorworks support recommended, in general, that we check out layers and sheets rather than individual objects. It seems that reducing the check-out and check-in cross traffic is recommended whether using a local server or Dropbox. I would really, really love for Vectorworks to introduce more reliable, more granular commits. Does ArchiCAD do this, or do I have grass-is-greener syndrome?
  8. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    I suppose the cost of a Mac Mini versus Dropbox licenses is roughly equal, but we’ve found: A. IT costs over time are much lower. Zero time is spent on hardware or software upgrades related to a server. We have to maintain local machines an our network, but that is very light. In fact we rarely need any IT for our office. B. Staff efficiency is much better. All “server” files are local. There is zero delay tabbing through folders and files can be previewed at the flick of a finger. Files and folders can be shared, individually or en masse, very easily. It’s nice to be able to drop a shared link into an email and not worry about file size. Or, to provide a contractor with persistent shared access to a folder with drawings, SKs, or cutsheets. Or, for staff to access any file, at any computer, phone, or tablet, at any project site, or long train commute, at any time without having to “remote in”. Ack! The value of all of that is priceless. I recently jumped in with a partner firm to help out with a deadline. They are running a Mac Mini server with SSD drives on a gigabit network. I was shocked at how slow everything moved. Every click, delay. Every photo preview, delay. Every folder move and rename, delay. Maybe they are set up wrong, but I would not last a day in that environment.
  9. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    Yeah, agreed. Dropbox is so flexible, secure, and reliable that there are very few arguments for running a local server. We work in a shared office with several similar-sized architectural and design firms. The firms running local servers often run into problems and limitation that require IT intervention and awkward workarounds. Our team must stay organize and communicate about who is working on what, but that is how a well-oiled team is supposed to run. In a funny way, we've found that Dropbox's limitations actually reinforce better structure and communication within our office.
  10. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    We may be on a grandfathered plan, or I may have misremembered. I believe that our plan is roughly equivalent to Dropbox Business Advanced. See here: https://www.dropbox.com/business/plans-comparison
  11. Oh, yes! This is a ball of yarn with Vectorworks. Can we clean up Design Layers and Sheet Layers? Classes, layers, stories, sheets, viewports, and references are perfectly clear. Can we consolidate three locations on the drawing screen for classes, layers, and sheets? Can we eliminate A/B naming? Top/Plan should be Plan. Dims/Notes should be Annotation. Can we eliminate random abbreviations? Furn should be Furniture. Building Equip_Appliances is awkwardly long, while Ent Stage, which is in the same list, is awkwardly short. Can we eliminate the underscore? This isn't a DOS. Can we consolidate imperial and metric tools?
  12. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    We do pretty much the same thing. We rely on Dropbox for file recovery, but we have redundant local Time Machine backups running hourly and remote Crashplan backups running every fifteen minutes. We have not yet had to recover files from Time Machine or Crashplan because Dropbox has been so reliable. Deleted files are hidden by default in Dropbox, but you can show them, browse, and recover files as needed. You can also recover or revert to incremental versions of any file, which is really amazing.
  13. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    When a local file is created, edited, or deleted, those changes are synced to the cloud then synced to client machines at the earliest opportunity. In most cases, that sync is nearly instantaneous. In other cases, the sync is queued until a computer has an internet connection. Computers on the same LAN are synced directly without an initial call to the cloud. We run a Dropbox business account that has unlimited backups. If a file is accidentally deleted by another user, it can be recovered easily via the web app. In day-to-day use, this is rarely a problem. It's essential to have a clear folder structure and file naming scheme, to communicate regularly about who is working on what, to make everyone responsible for keeping files tidy, and to close and sync files before walking away. We've implemented those basic rules and have run on Dropbox without any problems since 2010.
  14. Project Sharing and Dropbox

    We use project sharing with Dropbox. Typically, only two people are shared on a project file. We are careful to commit changes: not too often and not simultaneously. We've had trouble when a user opens a file or commits changes before Dropbox has synced all files. For example, an employee opened a working file at home and committed changes before his internet connection could sync files. We did not get a "conflicted copy" error in Dropbox, but the link between the working file and project file was broken and we had to go through a tedious process of creating a new working file and manually copy and paste everything from the corrupted working file to the new working file. We continue to use project sharing with Dropbox, but we really have to tip-toe around this limitation. We are a small office and, like a lot of small offices, we abandoned our local server long ago and use Dropbox instead. Vectorworks (including Cloud Services) needs to play better with Dropbox.

 

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