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# z for walls

## Question

I like the new walls of VW12, but I'm missing something.

We can set our wall so that it gets the height of the layer.

We can even set the extra height it must get.

So we can have our walls to be the height of the layer + the floorpackage.

If we import our walls, they are always on z=0. I always need to change it to z=-extra height. This is because of the floorpackage that's under the level of the layer.

I think it would be a great improvement if we can set the z of the wall (relative to that of the layer).

## Recommended Posts

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From where are you "importing" your walls??

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The "Bot Z" value of the Obj Info Palette let's you move the wall around the z axis.

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The "Bot Z" value of the Obj Info Palette let's you move the wall around the z axis.

That's the point. When you draw a wall, it's always 0. So you'll need to change i everytime a wall is drawn. It's hard to not forget it. It would be great if you can set this in the wall style like the extra height.

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DWorks, you probably already know this but... That's what VW's "Design Layers" are for. Each layer can have its own "bottom z" and "delta z". So for example, you can draw your main level floor plan in its own layer with the settings : bottom z=0/ delta z =8' ,

and your foundation plan in its own layer with the values : bottom z = (-) 18" / delta z = 18", etc., etc. You can then use the "stack layers" (or "layer links") option to view all the layers in their proper orientation. HTH's

P

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Peter, while what you say is true, I've always felt that this "layer z" approach of VW's is fundamentally flawed. That's because "layer z" is only implemented in layer links or when "stack layer views" is on.

Here's the ArchiCAD approach, which I feel is much smarter: you can set a "layer 0" so that objects are automatically drawn at whatever height you desire, and you can toggle an option to read out the object's height either relative to the layer 0, or relative to absolute 0. That way, an object's absolute height stays with it when pasted from one layer to another, but you can always choose to work within a dimensional context where the height coordinate reads out relative to, say, 3rd floor finish floor.

By contrast, with VW's method when you set a "layer z" value, the objects are actually drawn relative to absolute 0, and their height is augmented by "z" when shown as a layer link. Try pasting a 2nd floor wall into your 1st floor layer, and you will see that it sits down on the 1st floor level instead of up where it should be.

In a reply to a "wishlist" item that mentioned this issue, NNA seemed to show some interest in implementing automatic "z" adjustment when pasting from layer to layer. This may put us functionally into the same ballpark as ArchiCAD, and would probably solve the importation issue mentioned at the beginning of this thread.

Personally, I like the cleaner approach. An object's z value should be relative to absolute 0. I think it is time for NNA to bring some simplicity and clarity to this issue, and to implement a translator that will adjust all legacy layers with "z" values. It would be consistent with the UCS approach to allow different coordinate contexts that interpret absolute coordinate values to the immediate context, so they should provide an integrated 2d/3d coordinate system control that allows named user coordinate systems to be selected based on translation and rotation of all 3 axes.

For example, when working on the 3rd floor 20' above the first floor, we could have a "Third Floor" named coordinate system where the system adjustment factor is z+20'. We could then toggle our coordinate system choice to see that the bottom of walls is at 0 in the "Third Floor" context, but at 20' in the "absolute" context.

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Dworks - I'm sorry, I didn't realize the request was to have this built in to a wall style definition.

Pete - I see your point, and am familiar with the ArchiCAD behavior. Out of curiosity, is there a common need to place 2nd floor walls on the 1st floor layer? (I know copy and paste is used to follow similar floors plans to avoid the need to redraw all the walls)

What I think I am hearing is you have a need for a 2nd floor wall to display on the 1st floor - but I just don't understand when this would occur.

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Katie, I often want to adjust the height of things like windows sills to roof elements, or other things that are on different layers. If I create a layer link in the layer I'm working on, I often get so many objects it clutters the screen and I can't see what I'm doing. So I want to paste one, or just a few objects, in from the other layer. The VW system prevents me from doing this unless I just ignore the "Layer z" system, which is in fact what I do.

Actually, because we can't set the texture of the edge of a floor object, and also because horizontal textures don't align to a common datum, we often have to adjust the exterior walls so that the top of a wall below aligns with the bottom of a wall above. In that instance, I like being able to paste a 2nd floor wall into my 1st floor layer to make sure that there is no gap, or that the transition point is occurring where I want it to be. Then I can render the 2 in OpenGL and apply a fudge factor to the texture vertical so that I get seamless rendered exterior treatments.

PS, Katie I was editing my post above when you replied, so you may want to go back and look again!

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Pete, I agree. I was merely attempting to point out the "recommended" methodology in VW's, without making any judgements as to its merit (or lack thereof)... ;-)

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Peter, I wasn't giving you a hard time, just taking the opportunity to harp on one of my perennial complaints!

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Got it - makes sense now.

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Going back to the original question posted by DWorks, it sounds as though he'd like to extend all his walls down past floor level, instead of extending them up past the next-higher floor level. The wall style definition allows for automated adjustment of the height (and hence the top) of the wall, but not the bottom z value. His suggestion makes sense, but he threw me off by talking about "importing" walls, by which I thought he meant copying walls from one document to another.

By the way, if you look at the "insertion" tab of the wall styles dialog box, that adjustment value is called an "offset." This suggests that the wall z value would be offset by the number inserted there, but as we know the number inserted there instead modifies the delta z value. This language is a bit misleading.

Anyway, DWorks, Peter is suggesting that you define the layer z at that point below your floor slab where you want the walls to begin. The flaw with that approach is that all your interior walls, which I assume you want to sit on the slab, will be low as well. Katie is suggesting that you select all your exterior walls and modify the "Bot Z" value, which seems to me to be the best workaround at the moment. Having a "Bot Z" offset as part of the Wall Styles Insertion definition seems to be a worthy request, and I'd like to add to that clearer language in the dialog box.

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Well, The way I think in VW is the following:

The height of the layer is the height you have in your room. So If my room is 250cm, the layer is 250cm. This means that the level of my finished floor is the ground plane of my layer.

I use a layer for the room and the underlaying floor package and slab.

Now walls start from the slab. Thus the walls always need to be under the ground plane of the layer. You can set it in the info pallet now, but it would be very handy if you can set it in the wall style, so it's ok from the beginning (when they are placed in the drawing.)

I draw my exterior walls with 2 walls because of several reasons. And I want my model as exact as possible.

I hope my post is understandeble.

Edited by DWorks

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This 'wall elev' wish points to a MasterElevations PIO which would allow both Classes & Layers to be assigned specific Z offset values. Hence, within the Class/Layer and Wall OIP a check box called "Use MasterElevations". This approach would allow an interior wall class to settle on the finished floor or above it and an exterior wall class to settle on the foundation.

A MasterElevations PIO would provide the missing overall structural elevations set-up via OIP, thereby freeing the Layers to perform basic Hybrid functions specific to their Z elevation and thus eliminating Z >deltaZ confusion & conflicts.

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I added both the request for Bot Z to be included in the wall style definition as well as the request for the Insertion Option "Offset" to be renamed.

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Thanks, Katie! There is a lot to add regarding walls and components. For example, I speculate that the reason DWorks uses 2 walls for his exterior walls is that he can model the way sheathing and exterior finishes cross over the floor structure, but wall structure and interior finishes don't. Islandmon refers I think to the same issue.

It occurs to me that separate control over the bottom and height of components would accomplish this in an integrated way. Then, for example, the exterior sheathing elements could have an override so that their bottom z = top of foundation while the bottom z of the structural center is at the subfloor and bottom z of the interior finish could have an override to sit on top of the finish floor. Add to this similar control over the top of components, and the ability to wrap components around the freestanding edge of a wall, and you would have the perfect wall tool!

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Okay, so I'll also add the bot z value should be available per wall component, not just the overall wall -- is that another part of a wish ?

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Okay, so I'll also add the bot z value should be available per wall component, not just the overall wall -- is that another part of a wish ?

Yes, Katie, thanks! Is this really possible? I mean, I know it is possible, but is it a realistic request (rhetorical question)?

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I have no idea if it's physically possible or not. That's why I'm in training and not engineering / programming

In all seriousness, I would think it's possible - and if not, I'm sure we can find a way to make it work at some point.

I can tell you we appreciate feedback from customers to help produce ways to make the software better each year. The NNA family truly prides themselves on gathering the feedback and finding ways to implement the wishes. Without feedback like this, we wouldn't be who we are today.

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Thanks, Katie! There is a lot to add regarding walls and components. For example, I speculate that the reason DWorks uses 2 walls for his exterior walls is that he can model the way sheathing and exterior finishes cross over the floor structure, but wall structure and interior finishes don't. Islandmon refers I think to the same issue.

It occurs to me that separate control over the bottom and height of components would accomplish this in an integrated way. Then, for example, the exterior sheathing elements could have an override so that their bottom z = top of foundation while the bottom z of the structural center is at the subfloor and bottom z of the interior finish could have an override to sit on top of the finish floor. Add to this similar control over the top of components, and the ability to wrap components around the freestanding edge of a wall, and you would have the perfect wall tool!

???

In Belgium, we first built all our walls in brick and then lay the floor, so I have not a single wall that starts on the finished floor and thus not a single wall start at 0.

And reasons why I use 2 walls instead of one with components:

* You can't set the 'bot z' of the wall components,

* You can't use classes for wall components,

* You can't calculate the wall correctly,

* The wall joins don't show correctly most of the time (when using special constructions and that's most of the time),

* The cut of a symbol or pio is not realistic (the inner wall cut must be greater then the outer wall cut if you use bricks),

* ...

That's the main reasons of not use a wall with components, so maybe they can added to the wish list?:

* 'bot Z' for wall components AND a 'bot Z' for the wall as a whole,

* assign classes to components,

* when using loci in a symbol/pio for creating the cut, make it so that each wall component can have a different cut (maybe this can be done when you set your loci where the wall component should be? You'll have more loci, but you'll have realistic cut.)* ...

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I believe (from memory) that ADT has this facility. So it should be possible. Maybe then we could also get multiple components vertically e.g. brick up to 450mm and block above, or some such. In fact defining a wall style by section (a la Revit) rather than by plan seems much more sensible to me.

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I have no idea if it's physically possible or not. That's why I'm in training and not engineering / programming

C'mon! It's physically possible. Been done for decades, if not for centuries. (I won't comment Belges, the bravest of all Gauls.)

Surely for your Pride Engineers, it can't be too difficult to implement such a feature, can it? Seriously, if I'd just put some effort in it, I could create a VectorScript object for this. Windows & other openings would perhaps not behave as expected, but having a (say) three layer sandwich element external wall... Elementary, dear Watson!

(Any more typos tp fix?)

Edited by Petri

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Petri,

As you can see from the rest of my post, which was conveniently cropped from the reply, I did state it's probably possible and the engineers could find a way to do such a thing.

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the engineers could find a way to do such a thing.

Could? OK, but:

Should? Shall? Will?

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I did state it's probably possible

Sure it is! No worries, mate!

But as long as ArchiCAD, the (obvious) cash-cow of Nemetschek, does not, is VW going to?

Edited by Petri

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Originally the Wall Tool was conceived as a 2d object creator with some limited 3d functionality.

This was really great when the vast majority of CAD was 2d based with limited attempts at hybrid 3d modeling.

Since everyone now has a Workstation = to a supercomputer combined with many years of CAD experience,

there's a need to switch the paradigm from 2d presentations to 3d realism.

A total reworking of the Wall Tool will be required; also a new class of 3d loci to adequately interpret and control the finishes.

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