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Duplicate along path issues


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I've been trying for years to make sense of this tool. I know I must be doing something wrong, but I also think that the tool does not behave in the way that it 'should'.

In this example (with tangent to path checked):


1. The object is ever seems to be placed on the path about its centroid. This os often not what I want.

2. The object is not tangent to the path in this case.

3. The object duplicates are rotated - seemingly arbitrarily. I've tried pre-rotating the object to compensate but this does not work either.

4. The spacing between the object and the first duplicate is never what is specified.

5. The manual is no help.

Does anyone else have a problem with this tool? The tool is even more difficult to use if I try to duplicate 3D objects - sometimes they don't even line up, or have a twist.

Surely only ever being able to place the object on the path about its centroid is restricting the usefulness?

Is there another tool that will do the job I want?

Edited by DDDesign
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Try making a symbol from the desired profile. The Duplicate Along Path (DAP) command will use the symbol insertion point as the insertion point in the path. This method affords you the possibility to make adjustments to the profile and insertion by modifying the symbol definition.

fwiw, this command has been significantly improved in 2008, and is now in 2009.

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Thanks Frank, it's a work-around, but not very satisfactory.

1. I am working on a front view, and you can only make symbols in plan view.

2. I want to use the object for further solids operations, which means I have to reconvert all the duplicate symbols.

3. The duplicates are still distributed in a strangely rotated way - and it's trial and error to get the symbol insertion point right.

4. The first duplicate is still incorrectly spaced.

I am glad the tool has been improved in 2008.

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I am not quite sure what you are trying to accomplish, but here are several things to consider (comments are valid for VW12x):

1. If you need the symbol for insertion point setting, Create the symbol in TopPlan, then switch to Front and invoke DAP with the symbol and path.

2. Start with your object off the path and in vert or horz orientation. It can be anywhere in the layer. No need to place or orient it on the path, VW will place it tangent.

3. The Start Offset tool controls dist between start of path and first dupe, not dist btw object and 1st dupe. If desire is for 1st instance to be at start of path, then Offset =0.

4. My example shows DAP of rectangle symbol in both vert and horiz start orientation. Any angle works, but vert & horiz illustrate best.

5. DAP command works with any combo of 2d & 3d objects & paths. No need to start with a 2d symbol and later make it 3d. But symbol edit would change all instances, which could be handy.

Hope some of this helps.


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