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mac@stairworks

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About mac@stairworks

  • Rank
    Journeyman

Personal Information

  • Occupation
    Stairbuilder
  • Homepage
    newenglandstairworks.com
  • Location
    United States

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  1. Screen Plane. I'm sure some people use both or all of them. Again, depends on how you use the software. I hope they are able to fix your issue. I agree it's frustrating. Many times I find "screen align" has changed to "layer plane" on its own. It's annoying when you continue to draw and find out you've been drawing on the wrong plane, and then have to go back and find all of the objects that were drawn on the layer plane.
  2. I agree with the inconsistency of the tool but I don't think screen aligned should be eliminated. I do all of my stair drawings in 2D due to the stair tool being so useless, so just because some people don't use certain features doesn't mean they should be eliminated. Not everyone uses the software the same. Hey, I don't use the custom cabinet tool, maybe they should get rid of it...
  3. Have you tried using the rounded rectangle tool?
  4. Thank you DBruhnke, I noticed the symbols I just created yesterday show up in the preview window, but one that I imported from my previous library did not. I tried to edit the one I imported and it has disappeared. I opened the symbol library file, saved it and closed it. Now those items show up in the preview window. So if you migrate your symbol libraries, you have to open them and then save them to see a preview? Has anyone else had to do this to get a preview after migrating your libraries? I did use "add file to favorite" to add each of my libraries, I just never had that happen before. Anyway, thank you for your help.
  5. Am I missing something? If I highlight a library symbol, is there a way I can see a bigger view of it? The way way these symbols appear in the library are harder to see than the old resource manager. Thanks
  6. 20 years this year and still waiting. I just hope that if there is ever a new stair tool, yes a new one, not a bunch of band-aids on the old one, it will be amazing.
  7. I don't feel raising the cost of VW is justifiable when we finally get a functioning stair, window and door tool that should be updated and improved on an annual basis. Anticipating these improvements every year is getting pretty disappointing.
  8. Taproot, you make some good points, but I think a tool as important to an architectural program as the stair tool shouldn't have to get enough votes to be upgraded. It should be upgraded on a regular basis as stair parts and design elements evolve. Today we have cable rail systems, metal balustrades are becoming more popular now that cheaper parts are available, glass panels, and all we have now is a rail with no profile to it and straight, plain balusters that can not be replaced with anything that has any detail to it unless you model your own and place it manually. This tool is in desperate need of an overhaul. There is so much to be fixed, I hope it gets some attention sooner than later.
  9. There should be more control over the railing offset as well. A railing isn't always the same distance from the edge of the stairs. If a rail terminates into the center of a 2x6 wall, the offset will be different than if the rail terminates into a 2x4 wall. Post placement and centering of rails terminating into end walls dictate the offset of the rail.
  10. Agreed, just added to the stair wishlist.
  11. I've been waiting since MiniCad for the stair tool to be usable. It's frustrating to watch a new version come out every year with new tools, new features and still the stair tool gets left behind. I know they added some new stair layouts, but part of the consistent problems are the details. 1. This one, to me, is the most important: Designing a set of winders or circular stair without being able to set the travel line. By code, the stairs need to be a minimum at the travel line. I'm sure it varies from place to place, but it needs to be determined in order for the treads to be laid out properly, unless you're on of those that just draws in any stairs to make it look good, but when it comes time for building them, they don't fit into the given opening. I've tried laying out a set of winders with the stair tool and it was not even close to code. Setting where the travel line goes will mean the winders will be drawn at a minimum (I'll use 10") rough run. Where I am, the travel line is measured 12" in from the narrow end of the stair. 2. In addition to the travel line, code requires a minimum depth at the narrow edge of the stair. In Massachusetts it's 3" minimum, in New Hampshire it's 6", so designing stairs for both states is difficult using the stair tool for these two reasons alone. There needs to be more input to have a more accurate output as well as flexibility. As part of the dialogue box, there should be an input for minimum tread depth at the travel line, and a minimum tread depth at the narrow end of the tread or winder. 3. Make the dialogue boxes in an order of importance for the design. The first things you need to know are floor to floor height, maximum riser height, number of risers, minimum tread depth AT THE TRAVEL LINE, minimum tread depth at the narrow end of the tread or winder, tread thickness, nosing depth (see #4), stair width (or radius, inside or outside). 4. The tread depth should not be the finished tread depth but the rough run (or as some refer to as the "going"). Determine the rough run (according to code) and then the tread overhang (or nosing depth) should be the additional part of the tread that extends past the riser. It's no wonder people are confused when they use the stair tool. For me, it's not confusion, it's frustration not being able to add information necessary to create the stairs accurately. 5. I would like to see a stair tool that has the ability to place newel posts and balusters based on custom symbols created by the user, like the extensive library I have been working on for years. Similar to the "Fence" tool that Vectorworks added last year or the year before, have a library of parts you can plug in and exchange. 6. Custom rail profiles. If you have a custom profile you should be able to add it to a library of other profiles, and as Vectorworks creates a rail, there should be the capability of using any 2D profile. 6. Rail height: How about setting two rail heights. Rake rails separate from balcony rails. Again, rake rail code (IRC) is 34-38" residential, balcony rails are a minimum 36". Allow the user to set these separately as it will help in the design elements and accuracy of the post heights. 7. Create stair from 2D plan: What if you have a stair design with a lot of different shaped winders? Laying out all of the tread shapes (in the rough) and then selecting them to create a 3D model. 8. The ability to draw open stair treads with returns There are many more, but another time. I'm not saying stairs are easy to program because there is a ton of math and details that go into it in order to get it right, but there needs to be some additional places for input if we're going to draw them accurately. I am constantly getting stair drawings from architects that will not work due to code issues. At that point they are not "working" drawings... just drawings. IMO, I don't think we should have to wait until 2020. For me, that's a 20 year wait and I've seen a ton of new tools in that time introduced when the stair tool gets ignored year after year. Isn't it more important to have a great stair tool, especially in an architectural program, rather than a subdivision tool that makes fancy blobs and gets major improvements the second year. I think there has been plenty of time to improve this tool, even if just one of anyone's wish list items were granted each year, it would be a much better tool by now. Get rid of the confusion of "Which stair tool should I be using" and make one consistent, useful tool. Maybe two if the curved stair tool needs to be separate.
  12. Actually, no. I model them from scratch. I also use 2D and 3D stair parts symbol sets to create realistic looking stairs. I also sell them on my website. I couldn't imagine presenting a stair design to a client with no turned posts or balusters.To me it's the heart of the design in the client's eyes. Not only that, but you can't design a staircase accurately without knowing what your parts are going to be. Parts placement is critical when it comes to the baluster spacing, rail centerline and where the posts are installed.The layout of the framing could be very different if 7-1/4" box newels are used as apposed to a 3" turned newel. The stair tool has been an issue for me for fifteen years. I'm still waiting for the ability to insert custom symbols like posts, turned balusters and rail profiles. Also, some of the dialog box terminology is not accurate, nor is the travel line tread depth when creating winders. You can't create winders that would allow them to meet code regulations. I agree they should work on it. Especially on the Architect version. I would think most architects would rather have a robust stair tool that create really great looking presentations rather than a subdivision tool and some others get a lot more attention to improvements that seems to me, less useful on a daily basis.
  13. You're better off using the stair tool. There's more flexibility, especially on rake rails.
  14. I have set up file that I use for collecting symbols, textures and other resources and add it to my favorites list (I refer to it as my symbol dump). I use it to collect resources I create in other files throughout the year so I don't have to go looking through which file the resource is in that I'm looking for. When a new version of Vectorworks comes out, I just update that one file to the new version. I would still like to see the resource manager separate the resources in the list by category (IE: symbols, textures, line types etc.)

 

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