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Andy Duncan

export or convert vectorworks 11.5 3d file to .pla (ArchiCad

Question

I'm trying to export a 3d VW 11.5 file (unrendered) to a .pla file(ArchiCad). After i export it to a .dwg and import the .dwg file into ArchCad 7 it flattens everything out (ie loses 3d qualities).

Do you have solutions or suggestions?

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Afraid not - you might try an Archicad forum, as it appears that the problem is on that end.

However, if you are exporting hybrid objects, make sure you are exporting from a 3D viewport or 3D layer views instead of Top/Plan.

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quote:

Originally posted by jodawi:

...

However, if you are exporting hybrid objects, make sure you are exporting from a 3D viewport or 3D layer views instead of Top/Plan.

I don't have ArchiCad but would like to export my VW drawings for use by ArchiCad people. I wonder if anybody has successfully done this on a full project basis. For example, they may get extrusions but not dimensions if exported from a layer in 3D view as noted above (I'm not sure actually), but, more generally, what's the most comprehensive solution at this point? Is a layer-linked model composed of walls, roofs, DTM and miscellaneous extrudes (each from a different layer) the best in content to send to those poor ArchiCad users if they want hybrid or 3D?

Or is even that not possible?

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Arch.Ken, I have had experience coming the other way and based on this I don't think it will work well.

The ArchiCAD drawings I have received (from several sources) via DWG are a disaster. Most of the elements were blocks (eg every separate piece of wall) and all of the information was only 2D. It took ages to clean the drawings up into something that could be worked with. I am not sure how engineers cope with the DWG drawings out of ArchiCAD, but based on what I have seen it has to be a problem.

The only way you are going to know for sure is to try it and see. Good luck.

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quote:

Originally posted by Arch.Ken:

I've been exporting to Autocad people for ages now, and "flattening" as mentioned by Duncan perfectly describes the process that I go through to ensure that every version of Autocad can read it (I do a bit more than just hit "export").

Ken,

I am considering purchasing Vectorworks Architect 12. (Also keenly interested in Archicad v9) I am concerned about exporting from Vectorworks so that Autocad and ATD folks can read and print the files effortlesly. Does your "flattening" remove all the layers so Autocad and ADT users get only single layered docs or do all the layers translate cleanly? What about line weights?

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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I've been exporting to Autocad people for ages now, and "flattening" as mentioned by Duncan perfectly describes the process that I go through to ensure that every version of Autocad can read it (I do a bit more than just hit "export"). Lately I've added AcadLT (in WinXP-VPC) for those of my people who couldn't care less about the trouble that I go through. That's just business at my end, and just for my Autocad channel.

However, I'm not familiar with any 3D capabilities of DWG, especially when exported for use in non-Autodesk software. Any core information from NNA on this would be appreciated.

End-user testing I have done: The ArchiCad distributor replied to my export attempts of a linked 3D model -- "none of the file types can be used... can you send DWG or 3DS version file, which will show the 3D info but still won't be editable."

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quote:

Originally posted by iDigDan:

... I am concerned about exporting from Vectorworks so that Autocad and ATD folks can read and print the files effortlesly. Does your "flattening" remove all the layers so Autocad and ADT users get only single layered docs or do all the layers translate cleanly? What about line weights? ...

Are you talking plans only or elevations too?

I believe *VW-to-ACAD* is one of the best supported translation "avenues." Solutions to specific problems are everywhere. I'll be glad to kick in my two cents if you have a specific question.

Your concern now seems very general (and basic). Where do I begin...

1. I use separate layers in VW for dual benefit -- for VW features and ACAD export alike. Once you see how LL and viewports work and don't work in VW and decide firmly to give your ACADers an efficient layer-separated drawing, you'll be able to organize accordingly from the start, which may include a nice LL model that gets copy-converted to lines. Yes layers export to layers if you want.

2. Line weights can (or should) be assigned colors upon export. Just be consistent and send a screen shot of what you picked after hitting that button "MapLineWeights to Colors" in the export window.

Be assured it can become effortless for those poor ACAD junkies. In fact, if done right, ACADers may not even know you're using VW!

Hope that helps.

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Floor Plans, Elevations, and Sections (SVP I think is the correct acronym). My concern is general. Just want to be sure structural engineers, Architects and builders using ATD, Revit or programs like Chief Architect can read and work with any files I send them or they send me. Because other programs all must handle layers, lines and fonts differently I suspect there are going to be a number of issues that come up and I am tying to assure myself that VW is robust enough to handle them.

What is "LL" by the way?

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Thanks. I have been using VW Architect for about 2 weeks now. Pretty impressive so far. Have yet to try exporting to DWG.

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