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Laurence_R

The ability to rotate the coordinate system/view

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Ok you can move the origin. How do you draw 2D sections and elevations of something without doing headstands or rotating the original plan? An ability to rotate the 2d plan view would be useful!

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- Layer link the required Layer(s) into a new blank Layer.

- Unlock the Layer Link(s)

- Group them so that they are a single object you can move, rotate, duplicate etc. as required.

These Layer Linked 'Objects' will update with the changes you make on the source layers. You can control what components are viewable using Saved Sheets (turn different Classes on and off). The one thing you can't do is crop them when you are drawing sections - use Send to back and then draw a mask polygon over the parts you don't want to see.

On completion these Layer Link Objects can be deleted. If you want to keep them because you are going to continue to work on the building plans making changes have the Layer Link Objects in one layer and then draw the Elevations and Sections in another Layer above that one.

Better still would be to model the building and generate the elevations and sections from that model. Then you wouldn't need to rotate your building to draw the elevations and sections.

Edited by mike m oz

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Mike's on the button Laurence, and I'd give his last piece of advice ago if you can too; working with a model makes draughting all the more pleasureable.

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Just one problem with that. The project I'm working on: 79 apartments on 5 floors, a three storey office complex and a floor of shops and restaurants, in a 200 year old existing building with wonky walls with up to 5 architects and two assistants working any one time on the drawings.

It's going to take more than a lunchtime to set up a model, that everyone can work on. Anything 3d we need in the office we use sketchup. VW doesn't stand up against its speed and ease of use.

I'll give Mike's method a go. Not exactly staight forward as clicking one icon to rotate the view, though is it?

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Okay, after an hour of trial and error I got the layer linking method working. It's not exactly what I'd call user friendly and respect must go to the person who figured this out who obviously works in the field of brain surgery / rocket propulsion. I'm not exactly a numpty myself and have been working with CAD since 1992 when the only way to print was with pen plotters. Still back then I could rotate the view no problem by typing UCS, Z, 90, PLAN (there were no icons in those days of course). This is still much less painful than creating a layer, linking it, unlocking it, grouping, rotating and then masking (which doesn't stop you snapping to the objects behind btw) to draw an elevation which isn't on the south side of a building.

Bottom line VW needs to be able to rotate the view 2D easily. Can anyone name another CAD package that does not have this facility? Seems daft to have a 3D facility but not see 2D from other angles. Even a drawingboard lets you do it - unstick, turn paper, restick and hey presto! You're done.

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Furthermore and possibly related to this rotate wish:

Would it be possible, I wonder, to have a system whereby you can place your building in its correct geographic position and rotation in terms of origin and with north directly up the page, but then to be able to rotate the drawing so you can work on the plans at right angles, independent of the building's correct geographic position and angle.

I'm just thinking aloud here. Anyone want to chime in and explain why this is a bad idea? Or a good one?

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Would it be possible, I wonder, to have a system whereby you can place your building in its correct geographic position and rotation in terms of origin and with north directly up the page, but then to be able to rotate the drawing so you can work on the plans at right angles, independent of the building's correct geographic position and angle.

If I understand what you're saying correctly, this would be easy to do with a UCS capability (sorry to use the AutoCAD command name, but it's convenient shorthand).

Does anyone from NNA have a perspective about why it might be difficult to implement UCS in VectorWorks?

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Christiaan, Pete, and all,

The rotate view feature is still very high on our wish list too. Autocad had it as a UCS rotate feature, and Microstation had it as an even easier tool command. I am wondering if VW's slowness to incorporate has something to do with the difference in 2D vs 3D elements in the program. I don't think the other programs had this difference. Everything had 3D coordinates, which probably made it a simply matter to just change a view and not affect the position of any of the drawing elements. We all know that 2D elements "drop out" when you go into a iso or perspective view in VW- kind of like they are in their own "paper" or "sheet" space. (unless you are projecting 2D objects in a layer link) I'm guessing that VW might have to change some of this 2D behaviour to address the rotate view feature.

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Interesting thought Eric. It would be helpful to know NNA's current thoughts on this. Hopefully I'll get a chance to discuss it tonight with NNA in London.

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This topic has been on the wish list for years. It's really frustrating at times not to get a feedback from NNA about it and even more frustrating to spend hours solving the rotation issue by working ways around.

NNA should make a list of all topics they regard as interesting and eventually will render a useful function.

At least they could say it would cost too much - that's acceptable

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This issue is still right at the top of our wishlist as well.

Christiaan, I will be at the London event tonight -see you there.

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Just got back from the evening with NNA in London. A very satisfying evening I must say. Great venue, great food, decidedly helpful presentations, topped off with remarkably useful meetings with the software engineers.

Useful enough to find out that our rotate view wish is at the top of the list of things to implement, that they are working on it, and that the way VW deals with 2D and 3D objects is indeed the main obstacle. Not, however, because of any programming difficulties but because of how to deal with legacy files.

It was pointed out that they could have maybe implemented something a bit quicker but that it wouldn't have been the best way, and that they're taking the time to get it right. I was glad to hear this.

It's good to know it's being worked on and what some of the issues are. Makes it much easier to plan ahead and explain things to bosses and colleagues, etc.

P.S. nice to meet you John.

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It would be nice for the NNA guys to let us know that they are working on it rather than being pressed at a conference. Better still would be a date by which they are aiming to achieve these goals. If this item has been a topic on the wishlist for years, I'm not going to hold my breath, until we see this implemented. I know nothing about programming but it didn't seem to take them too long to migrate the whole package to use the new intel cores, legacy files and all. Putting in a rotate coordinate / view command has got to be a simpler job in comparison and even if it isn't, it's no excuse! It's still a one of the most fundamental drawing features you'd expect in any CAD package. It should have been there ages ago.

Next time my clients ask me why their drawings are late, I'll explain to him it's because the software engineer's at NNA are finding it difficult to figure out how to display a rotated drawing. I'm sure they'll understand.

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Next time my clients ask me why their drawings are late, I'll explain to him it's because the software engineer's at NNA are finding it difficult to figure out how to display a rotated drawing.

Why would you do that when I just reported that this wasn't the reason.

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Very sorry, I'll correct my previous moan:

Next time my clients ask me why their drawings are late, I'll explain to him it's "Not, however, because of any programming difficulties but because of how to deal with legacy files." I'm sure they'll understand.

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Next time my clients ask me why their drawings are late, I'll explain to him it's "Not, however, because of any programming difficulties but because of how to deal with legacy files." I'm sure they'll understand.

In that case, why don't you just give your clients timelines based on what Vectorworks is capable of, rather than giving them timelines based on what it doesn't do? Are you going to explain to your clients that the project hasn't been built yet because NNA programmers having built robotic builders into VW yet?

I could understand your rhetoric if we had the feature and then lost it while in the middle of a project, but you don't have the feature in the first place so how can it make you late?

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The point is the client will just say "not my problem, try getting a decent CAD package". Which is very difficult to argue with when all the consultants we work with use either AutoCAD or MicroStation, and they waste considerable time (as we do) importing each others files and then tidying up each other's drawings so they are legible, before we can start coordinating the design.

I guess I'm really grouchy at the moment as it's taken me 3 weeks to set out a very large, very complicated building with 7 different areas, each with it's own alignment with fraction of a degrees off the true north, so VW has a great time snapping to parallel, horizontal and perpendicular points, which are all slightly different, and not obvious if it's the right one without spending all day zooming in and out. I'm not completely new to VW, I've been using it for a couple of years, but for this particular task the ability to define a ucs for each area and then put on ortho lock on ACAD would have seen the job done in much less time.

That and the useless dimensioning tools, but that's another topic...

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I am glad to hear that NNA is working on this. Most of my projects are rectilinear where this is not an issue. However, I am now working on an angular design and the importance of this issue has become paramount.

My solution has been to select all layers and rotate them all at once to the horizontal or vertical. By mistake I once rotated just shy of zero degrees or ninety. Now I have a bunch of walls that are slightly off of square. At some point I will have to go back and redraw all these floor plans in order to keep the intended geometries, aargh!

Thanks NNA for listening to us. I await the day when you have a solution for us.

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This is something that I have been asking for for years...! It was in the wishlist items but seems to have disappeared...? In all fairness to Nemetschek it is good that they are listening to what we have to say here and do seems to be trying to implement something. The last time I bumped the original wish list thread I was actually contacted by Nemetschek with a few questions about how the rotate view command worked in Microstation. The company I work for are actually reluctant to update our version of VW at the minute as its working ok for us and dont really need the added features that 12/12.5 have to offer. In saying that, if NNA where to implement a rotate view command we would update immediately...! Almost all of our building are angular and can be a real pain to work on. There are workarounds but with us, they only work on projects that are under certain sizes, if ye know what I mean...! It has been a while since I checked into these forums and would love to see the original thread re-activated as it could be of use to some...!

I do have to reitterate what Kevin says in his last line... Many thanks NNA for listening to your users...!

Richie

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