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designing in section

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i'm frustrated trying to design in section. vw (as i and others posted on the wish list) does not have live sections and the section tool is very clumsy. at the moment, i made section viewports, exported pdfs, then imported those pdfs back into vw and am drawing over the pdfs. that is kind of pathetic for computer aided design. does anybody have a better way of designing in section? i'm open for ideas.



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We use the 'cut 3D section' command, then 'convert to lines- hidden line rendering', which turns the 3D sectional model into a bunch of lines that can be edited and drawn over. Not live, so you'll have to re-cut and re-convert whenever there's a chance to the model, but keeps the file size down and the section flexible.

Either that or draw in the viewport annotation over the section?

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Well it is possible to create a Section VP in a Design Layer and then use this as a live trace, problem is that you need to draw in front view (or one of the other side views depending on the direction of the section) which means all objects you draw from then on must be Screen Layer objects for it to work.

An extended alternative to this is to make a copy of this DLVP (Design Layer ViewPort and offset it by a logical distance, then convert to group, this will give you a more usable 'dead' line trace. Downside is you need to redo this step each time the section changes.


Edited by Vincent C
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thanks for the suggestions. creating a section viewport in a separate design layer seems to work best for me. i could never get it to work before, now i know why...i was always expecting a section view, rather than a slice of the 3d model. one i figured out what i was looking at, i was able to view it correctly by setting the working plane, them saving that view. i guess that is as close as i can get to a live section...for now?

i'm curious about the "cut 3D section" command. i looked for it, but couldn't find it. where is it?



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Available in Fundamentals Workspace., not in Architect Workspace.

Also, Fundamental Workspace does not have Section Viewport.

Cutting 3D Sections

The Cut 3D Section command cuts a 3D section, or slice, through a 3D model while leaving the model intact. The slice is placed on a new design layer.

To cut a 3D section from a 3D model:

Select the 3D model to section.

Select Model > Cut 3D Section.

The cursor changes to cross-hairs.

Click to set the start of the section. Draw a line across the object to define the section, and then click to set the end of the section.

When cutting a section while the drawing is in a Plan projection, the cutting plane (and the cut edge of the object) is perpendicular to the active layer plane.

When cutting a section while in a 3D projection, the cutting plane is perpendicular to the working plane.

Click on one side of the line to indicate the portion of the model to keep.

The Vectorworks program automatically creates a new design layer and places the cut 3D section on it. The original layer remains intact. The new 3D section behaves like any other Vectorworks 3D object.

Dimensions and text are 2D objects; therefore, they do not rotate with the cut 3D section.

Edited by taoist
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  • 1 month later...

for me neither 'cut 2d section' nor 'cut 3d section' (from the fundamentals workspace) displays any editable 2d section representation, obviously it exceeds my comprehension capabilities.

i suppose it may lie in the working plane setting, as i get only a portion of the floor plan (3d cut) or a blank design layer (2d cut) :(

the model is pretty complicated (5 storeys above and 2 below ground) and i try to cut from the top/plan view of the top floor.

the fundamentals guide (pages 811 & 812 for the v 2012) doesn't help me either...


Edited by gester
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A cut Section is a process of breaking down a 3D model into 2D lines. These lines are editable and not connected to the model at all.

You need to create a design Layer VP. In the VP turn on all layers you want to cut.

Then use the Cut 3D section- this should create a new model of 3D objects. Change your view to be looking into the section. Then use 'convert to lines' this will collapse the model into a group of 2D lines.

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Cut 2D and Cut 3D are very problematic on a model of any complexity. They typically don't work in my experience, not since the last few upgrades anyway and that's why they are in the Legacy Folder. They still, in Vwks 2012, work when sectioning simple elements so for some of us, are worth bringing back to our workspaces.

In Fundamentals (v.2012), under View, Create Layer Link is an option to assemble layers but Cut 2D and Cut 3D Section are NOT offered as default sectioning options nor is a Viewport creation or Viewport sectioning process. (As an aside, can this kneecapping of Vwks be considered a positive in growing the Vwks community?)

Keeping a model whole and drawing over it, whether as a DLVP or a Viewport in Annotations, is very unsatisfying, in my opinion. In real world conditions, there will be parts of the model purposely left unfinished; lines will have the incorrect weights; some PIO elements may need tweaking in ways not available via the OIP or because of time constraints; Vectorworks might not model all lines in a Hidden Line drawing--roofs adjacent to walls is an example. And drawing over lines reveals misalignment of overlaid lines and dot-spots at line ends when you examine your printed output. This becomes ever more of an issue as the model grows in complexity. For these and other reasons, when drawing a Hidden Line view of the model, I create a copy of the model from the Viewport and simply move it back to a Design Layer to ungroup for cleanup and correction.

The process above does not remove the original Viewport so it is available should the model change. There are some techniques which make it easier--I won't go into them here--but I sooo would like to have NA provide me with the means to one-click this process instead of the kludge I now employ.


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