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Solids addition or subtraction with Push/Pull tool?

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I am just getting into solids operations and the VW help seems to indicate you can use the Push/Pull tool the add or subtract from a solid using a 2D planer object drawn on the face of the 3D solids object.

I have exhausted all possibilities on this, and the only thing I get when pushing or pulling is a separate extrude object, never an addition or subtraction. This is the case whether or not I hold the option (alt) key before the end of the operation.

I know how to subtract solids using the menu command, or using the new automatic planes and Push/Pull mode of the 2D object tools, but not using the Push/Pull TOOL.

The VW Help clearly says:

"The Push/Pull tool interactively reshapes planar geometry, creating bosses (protrusions) or cutouts on solids by adding or subtracting volume from a solid."

Can anyone enlighten me on how to create a "cutout" from a solid object using the push/pull tool?

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  • 3 weeks later...


I finally figured it out. You are right in part Nicholas. You do have to be in the sub-face mode of the Push/Pull tool, but the rest of it is just as important.

Once you are in the sub-face mode, you have to first select the planar face you will be doing the subtraction with, then you must also select the 3D object you are doing the subtraction from. With both objects selected, now if you click on the planar object and hold down the option(alt) key and push in, you will get a subtraction.

So to do an addition or subtraction from a 3D Object with a planar object drawn on the face of the object using the push/pull tool, you "simply":

1. Put your 3D object in a 3D view

2. Set the Plane mode to Automatic

3. Draw your planar object on the face of the 3D object (I drew a circle)

4. Activate the Push/Pull tool

5. Choose the sub-face mode in the mode bar

6. Select your planar object

7. Select your 3D object

8. Highlight and click-hold on your planar object

9. Hold down the Option/Alt. key

10. Push in or pull out your subtraction or addition

It only took me two weeks to figure out how that tool works, now I will move on to the next tool...

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  • 6 years later...

I'm having a similar problem with this tool and, no Jonathan; buying a $75 dollar manual isn't a helpful suggestion! lol


I can't select the appropriate 3D polygon I want to push / pull, in this mode, when the solids to subtract from / add to are also selected. Holding down the Alt button does absolutely nothing.


Could someone please suggest a 'step by step' method to do this so I can check whether I'm doing something wrong or if there is a bug in the program.



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3 hours ago, naomi3 said:

I can't select the appropriate 3D polygon I want to push / pull, in this mode, when the solids to subtract from / add to are also selected. Holding down the Alt button does absolutely nothing.


If you are using a 3d polygon then that is the issue. The Sub-Face mode of the Push/Pull Tool only works with 2d planar objects (circle, rectangle, polyline etc.) or NURBS curves drawn on the surface. Here is the page from the help -


http://app-help.vectorworks.net/2019/eng/index.htm#t=VW2019_Guide%2FShapes3%2FCurve-based_Addition_or_Subtraction.htm%23XREF_23645_Curve_based&rhsearch=push pull&rhsyns=


Note that the help only mentions NURBS curves but in my testing it works as I described above ( @Jim Wilson do you know why the documentation doesn't mention 2d planar objects? ). 3d polygons cannot be used. You also don't need to hold down the Alt key. The behaviour may have changed since this thread was started in 2012.


The simple steps are -

  1. create a 3d solid with at least one planar surface.
  2. select a tool to draw on the surface (eg. circle) and set your working plane to Automatic.
  3. hover over the surface to draw on. It will highlight blue and you can draw on the surface.
  4. switch to the Push/Pull Tool. Select the third mode (Sub-Face) in the mode bar.
  5. hover over the 2d object you just drew. It will outline highlight in red. Click on it.
  6. hover over the outline of the 3d solid. It will outline highlight in red. Click on it.
  7. hover over the 2d object and it will highlight as a surface in red. Click on it.
  8. You can now drag in or out to add or subtract that shape. Tab into the floating data bar if you need to enter a specific distance. Enter the distance and hit return. 
  9. Click to complete.



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