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A few Vectorworks Questions & Issues

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I'm having a number of problems using Vectorworks the more and more I try using a 3D model to generate 2D drawings.

1. I cannot effectively control lineweights when using a 3D model to generate 2D drawings. Drawing over the model by annotating the viewport is an unacceptable waste of time and defeats the purpose of having a 3D model.

2. Show door opening direction does not show up in elevation drawings, or does so sporadically.

3. The default for viewports is to exclude new layers and classes which tends to cause lots of errors in printed drawings on my behalf.

4. How do I apply a hatch to a wall so that I can see the hatch in elevation?

5. How do I create custom doors. I would like to create:

a) Something similar to a Nanawall, a multi-panel tri/quad-folding door.

b) A fence gate which would essentially be a sliding door with two moving doors which can bypass each other. Much like you find in some mirrored closet doors.

Edited by Nathan_B
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3. The default for viewports is to exclude new layers and classes which tends to cause lots of errors in printed drawings on my behalf.

Hi Nathan,

One trick when creating new layers and classes is to duplicate an existing one and rename it. If you use the duplicate method, the layer/class will be turned on in any viewport that contained the layer/class you duplicated.



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Hey Nathan,

It would be helpful in the future if you would include on your profile your VW version, OS and hardware information.

On line weights for elevations remember you can override your class line weights in your viewports, also, I tend to use just a few- maybe four, distinct line weights in setting up the document, and find that they will represent the view graphically quite well. I will draw a polyline outlining the building with a heavy light weight to represent the "edge" of a building, and another to represent the ground but that is typically it in elevation annotations.

If you don't have VW2011, it is still pretty quick in annotation mode in a viewport (save viewport cache for a hidden line view) to draw a polygon over a wall, clip the windows and other necessary geometry, assign no line weight, send to back and assign a cladding hatch for elevation views. edit: You can also try to use the paintbucket mode in polygon to create the areas to hatch but I find that doesn't work as well as it should sometimes.

For creating custom doors just find one that is similar and use that as a template. Set the parameters to be as close as possible to your custom parameters, particularly the overall size and size/swing of door leafs (this may take two different doors or types of doors to use as templates) and either break apart that door with the ungroup command or just add and locate doors within the rough opening that you want to use. It will take a little trial and error but once you've done it a couple of times it will be quick- and you can save these doors you have created as symbols.

edit: Make sure you are in a 3D view when you modify the door to a group or else it won't retain its 3D geometry- or at least that's what I have found in the past.

Good Luck.

Edited by Damon Design
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On elevation hatching you could also go "old school" (when they were hand drafted) and do a partial hatch (no line weight) on the particular plane with a callout note to it. Sometimes I think this actually looks a bit cleaner than covering every single plane with a cladding hatch.


Edit: Well that is nearly impossible to discern- I am having problems with image hosting sites and getting the image to a decent size. I asked about this years ago and someone mentioned a widget upload but that doesn't seem to work anymore. Anybody have any suggestions for someone without a personal webpage to host and post images here?


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Duh! OK I'm feeling a little bit stupid- thinking a code had to be inputted (via Forum's FAQ description of image uploading) as opposed to just using the file manager.

Thanks Starling75

Testing this out with new pic:

Aha! That's a little bit better

I still like the way most of you are able to have a nice image just pop up on the thread without an additional click, so I'll keep trying to figure out the best way to accomplish that.


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Actually, I preferred your inline image...allows you to annotate it and for others to see it at a glance. Pity you have to use an image host to do is this way...(unless I'm mistaken).

Yes, I prefer it to show right up as well- it just comes out so darn tiny with the image hosting.

Maybe that's just as well so as not to be mocked for my modest and rather conservative residential designs when so many of you are on the cutting edge of architectural design, new materials and techniques and large scale projects haha

Hey, any ole' project one has secured is not a bad thing in this era of such a dearth of available commissions right?

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Thank you very much for your help. Here's what I found:

1. I have been resolving the line weight issue with "redrawing" in the annotation mode of viewports. This is much faster than I thought it would be. Starting from scratch, an elevation is taking me about eight minutes to get it looking acceptable, at this stage of design. Using the Polygon paint-bucket tool really helps. Still, I think the issue of line weights in drawings generated from 3D models should be an issue that gets resolved in future versions of Vectorworks.

2. Door opening direction hasn't been resolved. I can draw the dashed lines over each door and operable window in the viewport annotation mode, but I would rather not have to.

3. The default view for new classes can be fixed in the creation dialog box, which I never noticed before.

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