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Petri

Walls - why don't they know their 'method'

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If there is one thing that really annoys me in VW, it must be the stupidity of walls. Change the thickness, and they change in relation to their centreline, not the original reference line. ArchiCAD has had this under control since 1986...

I'm still on VW 9 and my next upgrade may well be switching back to ArchiCAD - just spent a whole day moving walls & joining them after finally receiving structural drawings.

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Why is resizing from the centre of a wall so bad; at least wall cavities keep their centreline / alignment. Presumably you?re not changing the cavity size? Also, Vectorworks 11 has the capped wall join mode which allows a thicker wall to abut upon a less thick wall - so I cannot understand your problem! Unless you are trying to keep the room internal room dimensions the same i.e. the same room area before and after. However, something has to give i.e. the room area decreases in size slightly or an external wall gets closer to the property boundary. I not an architect though; so maybe Petri can give all of us fascinating discourse on why this limitation is so bad and maybe NNA will change the wall behaviour if the need is so great.

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Mbuck; Much of my work is on small residential lots where the size of the house is governed by the lot size and setbacks. This means that the overall dimension of the house must be a constant. If I change from 2x6 framing to 2x4 or vice versa, I will have a problem when the walls resize based on centerline.

The desired behaviour is just as Petri describes. Allow us to choose which part of the wall to anchor, left, center or right.

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I agree. I avoid changing wall thickness at all cost, due to this situation. In fact I have retraced drawings instead of trying to change the wall thickness of the original drawing.

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the other part of the problem (just to make it as clear as mud)

Walls can't be constrained.

so there is no way to lock down walls that can still be edited, but "know" setback or other requirements.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

Why is resizing from the centre of a wall so bad; at least wall cavities keep their centreline / alignment. Presumably you?re not changing the cavity size?

Presumably I don't even work with cavities. I don't do small-scale residential projects and even if I did, I could not care less about showing cavities.

quote:

I not an architect though

Well, that explains a lot - the issue is definitely beyond a 'building services' engineer. During the design phaseof even a medium-sized commercial, institutional or apartment building project, various construction methods are explored and all these have ramifications to load-bearing and shear walls. While partitioning can usually grow from the centre, walls of a lift/service core cannot.

quote:

maybe Petri can give all of us fascinating discourse on why this limitation is so bad and maybe NNA will change the wall behaviour if the need is so great.

Well, let's take a recent example. A 6-storey apartment building was designed to be constructed by in-situ concrete, but an opportunity arose to use prefab elements, including prestressed hollow-core slabs. Practically all wall thicknesses changed: those on property boundaries were drawn from the outer face, many others from inner face. The change from wall/slab to column/beam/slab changed all walls between apartments from 150mm load-bearing to block masonry etc. etc.

In ArchiCAD, 90% of the changes would have been trivial and done as a matter of minutes, with VW I spent over 2 days making the changes one by one. Cheap software can get very expensive...

Luckily, I had not generated (and laboriously edited) the crap that is called 'sections' in VW.

[ 07-30-2004, 12:52 AM: Message edited by: Petri ]

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Well Petri it seems things are looking good for you since you relocated permanently to the cultural hub of Downunder i.e. Melbourne.

I suggest if you are now doing projects as complex as the ones that you describe then you must do yourself a favour and upgrade to VAA 11 (more recently version 11.0.1.) I thought you knew that the Australian version of vectorworks architect allows walls to be offset from their internal or external edge or dare I say ?from their centre. Alternatively you can dynamically stretch a wall to the position you desire and key the offset dimension in the data bar, all whilst maintaining a dynamic connection to other walls.

See sometimes even a humble ?BS? engineers can teach an architect a thing or two, but I must say, in my experience, must architects have some trouble in writing cheques especially for software upgrades.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

... you must do yourself a favour and upgrade to VAA 11 (more recently version 11.0.1.) I thought you knew that the Australian version of vectorworks architect allows walls to be offset from their internal or external edge or dare I say ?from their centre. ...

Are you sure that you are addressing the issue of changing wall thickness? I have VWA11.0.1, (American). I am not so sure that there is any difference between an Australian version and American.

I do not see the ability to anchor a wall to an edge or center during a change in wall thickness.Are you simply referring to the ability of VW11 to keep walls connected when moving a wall?

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Kevin,

there are a number of differences between the AU version and everyone elses.

Julian Carr (Aust distributor, and author of WinDoor and AnimationWorks) would probably come under the category of VW Guru, and he adds many goodies (including that ability) to the Aust version of Architect.

(this does not, however, extend quite to Petri's request for Walls to remember where there insertion offsets are; but it's close.)

cheers,

N.

[ 07-30-2004, 06:28 PM: Message edited by: propstuff ]

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Kevin;

What I am talking about is a tool called offset wall that when used brings up a dialog asking the user what is the required offset amount for the selected wall. Typically in Australia for older domestic construction (alts and add type work) walls are typically 270 mm and 110 mm masonry. Therefore the general formula for the offset would be:

wall(2) / 2 - wall (1) / 2 = +/- required offset dimension.

Granted this is 2 step process but it is still very quick.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

I thought you knew that the Australian version of vectorworks architect allows walls to be offset from their internal or external edge or dare I say ?from their centre.

Unfortunately, this is not true in the sense I meant.

quote:

See sometimes even a humble ?BS? engineers can teach an architect a thing or two,

I wonder...

[ 07-30-2004, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: Petri ]

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Thanks for the info. I had no idea that there were custom versions of VW out there. I gues you Aussies are pretty lucky.

Though it seems it would be a simple matter for the "Factory" version of VW to have an option to select what anchor point to use when resizing a wall. This feature is available for other objects, why not walls.

That way I could select all of my exterior walls set the anchor point to exterior and globally change all exterior wall thicknesses in a few seconds. I could then go to interior walls and select anchor to center and resize those walls. Very quick and easy.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

but I must say, in my experience, must architects have some trouble in writing cheques especially for software upgrades.

In MY experience, engineers are no better. Why do I have the feeling that your cheque for VWA was zero dollars? Sure, it was a lot of work to be a beta-tester (been thre, won't do it again), but this holier-than-thy comment reminds me how difficult it was to extract fees from you when I helped you some years ago.

Anyway: we have VW Architect + Landmark + Renderworks. Of Architect features, only Julian's WinDoor has been of any use, of LandMark features, we have tried to use terrain modeling, but that is a total disaster. RenderWorks - OK, I do test renderings with it, but any real work has to be done with ArtLantis.

Fortunately, I have some 500 VS-based add-ons of my own, so we get by, despite the shortcomings of VW. I'll never again waste money to buy the half-baked jokeware add-ons that NNA offers.

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Petri,

Now now - no need to personalise your frustrations, I will acknowledge when someone is correct but remember I have paid for and worked with Minicad / Vectorworks since purchasing my original copies way back at Minicad for mac version 2 (maybe even version 1 but I cannot find the old mac disks to verify that fact). Like you, I think I have something to contribute in making Vectorworks not just a good product but a great product. For example have you seen the latest capabilities of DWG/DXF translator in VW 11 - compare NNA?s effort with the translation capability to Revit and ArchiCad and you will be surprised. Furthermore; VW viewports, although late in coming, most would concede are a more powerful and more flexible implementation than those found in AutoCad?s (what other program has multiple model spaces that link to multiple viewports) these are features and flexibility didn?t just happen by accident.

I honestly believe that NNA listens and unlike you it seems, I accept the fact NNA has limited engineering recourses, much like every other software company in existence - maybe only Microsoft is the exception. NNA wish list must be huge and I would not like the task of prioritising it for them and since it is there company it?s their call. It must be acknowledged that most times I think they get it right - this is irrefragable since NNA are still in business and continue to expand their user base.

Sometimes, like you, I do get frustrated with NNA because they come so close to hitting CAD software?s sweat spot, yet at closer inspection a new tool has an serious Achilles heel - maybe the wall tool is a good case study of this tendency ? they should have spoken to more users before having to finally rewrite the entire code in order to implement cavity joins correctly, but then again everyone is wise in hindsight and NNA eventually seem to get it right. That said, like you I am still waiting for the time when NNA get the DTM code right ? which by the way also has come a way since version 9.

Lastly, and on a personal note if you have 500 good quality vectorscript tools why don?t you put them on Vector Depot and sell them ? I will buy them if they are as good as what you say they are. You never know NNA may get so embarrassed about Vectorwork?s current limitations that they are left with only 2 possibilities: First, NNA shameful of how they have behaved in the past immediately knuckle down and make all of vectorwork?s current limitations simply disappear or alternatively they send their private jet to Melbourne pick you up so that you can start working for them on Monday.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

Petri,

Now now - no need to personalise your frustrations,

Well, who in this discussion started to personalise the matter and insult an entire profession if not the BS engineer Mark Buckton?

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Hi Petri,

Maybe your right, I shouldn?t generalise it?s probably only those Architects in Sydney that don?t use Vectorworks ? most probably a small band of misguided individuals. Petri, a good joust as always; if you?re in Sydney sometime I wouldn?t mind catching up with you.

Kind regards,

Mark Buckton

Since you have made it personal

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I agree with Petri - walls really need this functionality. I've used ArchiCAD and am also using VW Architect Australian version but the offset wall tool is not a suitable work around.

Walls need to remember the way they were drawn and have a graphic to that effect in the OIP, that allows a change of thickness to take place from that reference or an altered reference. This could be combined with or adjacent to the existing graphic for wall length.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mbuck:

Maybe your right, I shouldn?t generalise it?s probably only those Architects in Sydney that don?t use Vectorworks ? most probably a small band of misguided individuals.

You sure are a prime example of a BS () engineer.

[ 08-02-2004, 03:25 AM: Message edited by: Petri ]

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The importance of this issue appears to have been lost in the jousting of the replies.

Petri's original request is about a real issue which does need addressing. In the design development process walls do have a habit of changing characteristics and therefore width. being able to change the width relevent to a particular reference point like the outside is a necessity.

Fortunately for us Australian users Julian Carr has managed to overcome this issue successfully in the Australian version of Architect - so surely it is not an insurmountable problem. Similarly he has given us the capabilitry to do corner and bay windows which the basic architect version cannot handle.

The bigger picture however is the need for some of these type of needs to be addressed in the core program so that all users have this flexibility.

The program needs to become more intelligent and respect the fact that change is the norm these days and not the exception.

Improving the capability and flexibility of some of the core capabilities like walls, floors, stairs, dimensioning and the like should be an imperative for 11.5.

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Does the "change wall thickness tool" under the "AEC" menu not do what you want?

You can specify which part of the wall is fixed.

BG

VWA11.0.1

WinXP

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Thanks BG - I will be using this tool from now on - I had no idea it existed.

However, it assumes walls were drawn in a clockwise direction so given that you have to select a wall to see its direction I would still argue that the OIP is the proper place for controlling attributes.

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Great topic!

I'm posting late in the thread because ironically I haven't had time to browse due to shearwall insanity messing with my corridor widths, bathtub ROs, stair shaft widths, and minimum room dimensions. [Mad]

I often draw a polygon of my essential dimensions and group it to the pertinent walls to controll the rethicknessing process a bit.

This line of thinking led me to investigate whether the create walls from polygon tool constantly references the polygon, -like if I resized the polygon would the walls change with it? They didn't.

Add another checkbox next to 'Delete Source Poly'

'Constrain Walls to Poly'

This is just a start, but it's compatable with the VW tool philosophy.

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Without knowing how the new command works, it sounds like a cheap and nasty fix to a fundamental design flaw.

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It does not appear in the standard VW Architect version (after looking through various workspaces)

I have the Australian version of architect (sold here in NZ also) and its in the AEC menu.

So maybe NNA needs to be lobbied to include the extra features added for sale in this part of the world by Julian Carr in a standard version of architect.

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How can I get the command tool?

Why only Australian VW Architects have it?

How much they pay for it???????????

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