Jump to content

Wall Components in Section

Recommended Posts

  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There is no way to make the wall components appear in the section viewport. At present, wall components are a plan view only item.

I'm curious, would components be all that useful in section to you? You would get at best vertical strips of the component materials. Most of the time when I see hand-made wall sections, I see beams, joists, insulation, siding, etc. Vertical strips would be accurate for SIPs, but not stick-built construction.

Link to comment

Having the wall components show in section is essential. For most materials the representation is the same for both a horizontal section (Plan) and a vertical section (Section). One of the few instances where it is different is timber framed walls and perhaps these may have to be annotated over to get a correct representation - only true if you insist on showing every piece of timber rather than use a graphical representation.

A lot of it comes back to what you show at what scale. Small scale sections should use graphic representations for materials. For larger sections the detail would have to be added as annotation. (Those of us old enough to have drafted manually will understand this distinction - the younger 'electronic guns' may not.) Additional information can always be added as annotation to details.

The problem would be lessened if insulation was drawn as a hatch rather than with a polyline (I find that drawings with lots of polyline hatches in them are very slow to redraw on the screen, and the file size gets quite large - this may overcome this problem.)

If the correct component view is required in sections perhaps this could be done with hatches that have one view in plan and a different view in 3D. Complicated but not impossible at some stage in the future.

Edited by mike m oz
Link to comment

I concur with Mike. Clearly there's a lack of understanding at NNA about the importance of this, which appears to be attributable to an historic focus on the main form of construction in the U.S. I'll bring it up at the October 3rd meeting in London.

Here're the relevant wishlist items:

Components to live sections


Wall components in section viewports


Ability to define the class of wall components


Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

My query was for my purposes only, not an indication of the state of all of NNA. Showing components in sections has certainly been asked of NNA before now, and not just on the tech board. (As per normal NNA policy, I won't say whether it will be added or for what release if it is.) Components in sections can be simulated by drawing rectangles in the viewport annotation, so at least simple fills can already be done reasonably easily, if not automatically, in VectorWorks.

Link to comment

Andrew - the problem with that protocol is that when changes occur (and these are the norm these days) the Viewport annotations then have to be manually changed. Both tedious and risky if you don't make them all.

The whole point of BiM is having drawings which automatically update when changes are made. Having to go back in and correct things is 'electronic drafting' - it is not BIM.

Link to comment

OK...let us go much deeper into the crevass of graphics.

Here is the ultimate scenario...

I would like to see a BIM that was truly dynamic in sections and viewports. Wall sections aside...give me the ability to alter individual walls and wall parameter components...ie. siding, studs, sheathing, 3D visualization and so on and you will empower me to go beyond the standard and excel to the next level of dimension. If I had the ability to defing individual wall components in 2D and 3D defining sheathing, siding, framing, drywall, veneer....but wait don't stop there *****It would be revolutionary to have a multiple dimensional control over individual wall components in the same space...lets say a 1/2 brick wall under siding condition....all the while I could still frame conventionally!!!.

Ouch! I just pinched myself...#@%*11N#)%. Dang...I was dreaming.

Ring....ring....hello?...you want a visualization concept sketch....oh...ok...I'll have something for you in 7 to 10...thanks.. click.

Back to work....VW IS STILL better than ADT////...Oh my..!

Lions and Tigers and Bears...

Link to comment

Time for me to chime in. Mike Oz has hit the nail, Peter, Christiaan, et. al. are all on target.

For many of my designs, stud walls are the basic component the wall symbol in plan. Then these can have various combinations of siding, brick veneer, cement plaster, etc.

When I look in Section I would like to see the wall modeled so that the stud part automatically has sole and double top plates and insulation! With a sill under the window and a 4x12 header above the windows and doors! In the present now I have to use the cute cut wood tool to place these items and the insulation tool to show the insulation. In cases where the brick/stone veneer comes up to the window sill, I have to use electronic "white out" to show the differential. Else create half walls and stack them up. The latter leads to all kinds of situations where a window is to interrupt the brick veneered lower part of the wall and also be part of the upper part of the wall. Which wall gets the window? How do we get the elevations correct? Annotations are the only tool available to note the sheathing, siding, etc.

I also run into situations where I have partial basement walls of concrete or CMU and have a stud wall above it with a range of choices for exterior finish. currently I have a project where we are modeling the concrete wall to 4' height and then placing a stud wall above it. The stud wall gets the windows inserted in it.

In my commercial projects one of my more common exterior walls is a concrete tilt up wall. typically these get sculpted in some way. The simplest should end up modeled in section with chamfers at the openings and at the top and where each panel butts the next. We can chamfer the window with the window parameters. Sculpting the panels is harder and generally requires we do solid modeling of some kind. However the windows and doors do not "stick" in the openings unless we group them. making edits harder. And good luck creating a spreadsheet to figure concrete volume, surface area (paint) or do energy takeoffs on the wall areas!

Live sections when they are enlarged and cropped make detailing somewhat easier. But as Mr. Oz points out we have to add in all the detail like the hand drafting days.

Some uses of walls in landscapes would benefit if we could show them realistically. e.g. a brick retaining wall with soldier rows at the top. Or a brick wall with an angled top rowlock, or say a brick wall with an overhanging effect automatically in section instead of always doctoring them up.

Sections and detailing would benefit from the program automatically showing the slanted top watershed course of the brick veneer at material changes part way up the wall and automatically under the window sills.

Having done some computer programming I can imagine some of the nightmare this could be.

As Mike Oz points out - the more we have to annotate and innovate with work arounds out here, the more tedious and potentially disastrous changes become.

Link to comment

Wall components are not just a wish but are essential if VW is to become a true 3D CAD package that architects can use from concept to completion. The wish has been around for some time and it was brought up at the last NNA meeting in London, has been on the Wish List and so they have ignored the requirement or it is not possible. This is why I am not going to next meeting in London as whats the point if NNA are not listerning. Even if the two leaves of a cavity wall could be added that would be great. Insulation and render, etc can be added later.

Link to comment

Most of the features that are being wished for here exist in other more expensive programs. I am currently devoting a lot of my spare time to learning Vectorworks as the full featured programs that do all these things are too expensive for our office. I own one of these programs and have used it in the office on few projects and everyone agrees that it is fantastic. But.. it is expensive. It is hard to prove that everyone will be faster with a more expensive program. The ROI is all very nice in theory, but the temptation of the cheaper software is hard to resist.

Link to comment

MJW - Your post is a little bothersome. By your position, when you, or anyone else, submits a wish list item, it is expected to be in the next version.

We are aware of the request.

It's not that your (and others) went ignored or that it is impossible. It's that the feature is quite complex and not as easy as typing a few lines of code.

If you look at the 12.5 feature list, you'll notice that the majority of the features have been requested right here on the message board. Alot of times it takes months, sometimes years, to get a technology out the door.

Please have patience. Please be mindful that creating new technologies are not as easy to create as they are to think of.

Link to comment

I have to agree here. In v12 we were given viewport sections and a much easier way to create cavity walls (components), 12.5 brings many requested improvements across the board. What we have in 12 is essentially a 2D representation of components. What visibility in sections means is opening a 3D view (consider that the section is like an elevation in this respect) to internal wall structures. There are many many issues over and above simply turning components on or off - are they full height, how do you show graphic attributes in a 3D view, how do you control visibility of components etc etc.

These things take time to develop. In the same respect. I think up a design today, why can't I have it built tomorrow?

A software developer at another company (who shall remain nameless) once said to me, software development is sometimes like trying to rebuild a skyscraper - you can sometimes add new floors, somtimes you have replace floors and remove what is above and sometimes you have to replace the foundations while ensuring the people can continue to work in the floors above....

Link to comment


Sorry that my post is 'bothersome' but remember it has not only just been my wish but many others and only now we hear the reason that it has not been achieved. We appreciate it may be complex and knowing the technical reasons for not being able to complete something are fair better than ignoring your customers. But remember customers are always right and we may be a bother but at the end of the day you rely on our custom and we do not rely on your software - as JoeF rightly pointed out other CAD programmes have the feature and they may be more expensive but VW 12.5 Architect Renderworks is not exactly cheap and claims to be capable of 'creating your most complex designs - from pr-design through construction'.

Now for me 12.5 missed out on all my problems:

1. Container class has still be created in one file on the update

2. Splay wall lines still show in elevation.

3. No circular windows


Link to comment

I understand that this is not a trivial feature to implement, and that, for me, would be enough to explain why it's not implemented yet. However, my concern is that NNA doesn't understand the importance of this feature and that this may be slowing its development.

I'm willing to concede that I may be wrong but I was just surprised to hear Andrew even ask the question, would it be "that useful?"

As Andrew clearly points out, however, he's only speaking on a personal level so it's unfair to interprete this as a general attitude at NNA.

Link to comment

Historically, "sections" have evolved as both an art & a science. The easiest sections just darken or hatch the areas at the cut leaving everything else as lines. In fact, VW could've offered this basic technique years ago.

However,'virtual' active sections reflecting the exact materials and intersections of materials as renderable graphics appears exceptionally challenging.

Link to comment
I was just surprised to hear Andrew even ask the question, would it be "that useful?"

I would like to think that Andrew (and Sean for that matter) would ask Robert A. if true live sections would be useful to an architect. I think I know the answer.

I put a lot of effort into drafting in 3d and personally, I'd like to reap the benefits. Currently I still spend an enormous amount of time doing 2d electronic drafting to make sections and elevations "right."

cheers, mmm

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...