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Wall Framer workflows

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I'm modeling an as built of a 100 year old wooden house. I don't often use VWX for this, so excuse the rookie questions.

I created a custom wall style to describe a "pony wall" rising about 16" from top of foundation to support joists for main floor. Two components: 3.5" frame, 1" exterior siding, no interior cover, so total thickness is 4.5". This bears on a 7.5" wide concrete foundation, with framing plates flush on outboard edge of foundation. Then I applied the Wall Framer. Uh oh!

1. Wall Framer centers the frame elements in the 4.5". How can I offset the frame to outer edge of foundation? Tried OIP replace the wall style with a version of itself set to insert at outer edge of frame.

2. Wall Framer offers dbl top plate. But that creates mitered plates at corners. Can the framer create overlapped plates? Or is there a good strategy to mimic construction practices? Maybe forget the Framer and just model all the elements from extrudes?

3. Does anyone use the framer? It seems so generic. I'm thinking of deleting everything in the frame layer except one stud and one plate. I can then duplicate and resize them according to existing conditions. That uses the special framing classes, but lets me place elements to represent actual locations.

4. If the drawing includes framing layer(s) established by the framing tool, is common workflow to keep the wall objects which generated the frame? or delete/hide those walls and just show the frame layer? Or?



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Yes the wall framer tool is woefully inadequate.

Definately needs a major overhaul.

As far as #4 depends on your needs.

Are you needing to show the framed walls in plan and elevation (panel) views.

I myself never use the wall framer tool. It just does not meet my needs.

You could creat details to show how you want it framed.

I would have to play around with the tool and wall styles again to see what is / isn't possible.

Wish I could be more help.

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Thanks, Taoist!

Some of this is just me exploring and trying to learn the tools and seeing how far I can take the model. DigitalMechanic's work is an inspiration.

There is a NIMBY component in this project - it's a historic house in a neighborhood undergoing rapid change, with rezone mandate for density. There is also a sentimental component - I lived in the house during the 1990s and 2000s.

I'm trying to describe the building, and site with a detailed model of existing conditions. The model will facilitate measurement, shadow study, maybe some engineering analysis (bit of deflection from roof loads in upper story), notation of historic design/construction practices. The model may also become part of a street front or neighborhood model used for comparison of old and new zone policies. There may or may not be future alterations to this structure. It may even be razed and replaced with several new structures.

I may have need for sections and other detail sheets and views for paper or other distribution, but these are not so important at present. I would rather get as much as possible in 3d. If the PIOs are not working, I will just use 3d modeling tools and techniques.


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Guest Wes Gardner

Hi All,

I have used the wall framer in conjunction with both the roof and floor framers to produce framing diagrams I used to discuss possible framing scenarios with my framer. The wall framer unfortunately creates extrudes which are both good and bad. The other two (floor and roof) create framing members. However, due to a limitation of the tool, a framing member CANNOT have a pitch of 90 degrees (standing vertically). Extrudes are easy to shape/reshape and duplicate and can have data attached for quantities, etc. I also used extrudes to verify with the truss guys that all was well (which in some cases it wasn't) as in the case of the attached model, the roof was a composite of both stick-framing and trusses.

From a permitting standpoint, I have found that floor framing plans and roof framing plans ARE required drawings (in some municipalities) whereas wall framing diagrams typically are not.

Also keep in mind that any framing done needs to be checked as Vectorworks will NOT know where to place doublers as well as it will not be able to size headers for you. The good news is you can easily resize the header in your framing model once you've determined what size it really needs to be.

Also, Benson, last time I ran the wall framer it DID place the studs properly in the stud space (at least it did when I framed the attached model which was a couple of years back) NOT in the center of the wall...I'll have to go back and check again...

I just went back and ran the wall framer in 2015 - it places whatever size lumber you've selected in the center of whatever you've defined as the wall "core." This logic seems correct to me. I DO use fully "componentized" walls - I assume an unstyled wall will be framed to its center.

Additionally, regarding the double top plates, that will need to be changed as I can almost surely say that one NEVER miters top plates - maybe the option is to overlap or not. Currently, you'll need to edit the extrude(s) to get the overlap you're looking for.


Edited by Wes Gardner
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  • 3 years later...

Hello To all:

I use wall framer since...... I do not remember the VW version. In conjunction with FRAMECAD STRUCTURE ( to produce LGS automatized ) is a very nice toll to take an approach of the steel quantity and structure model details.


Now, since VW 2017 it is very complicated its use. And follow all the common steps I did before, have a lot issues. For example: If in a Story I have two kind of walls, only frame one. And the others can't at all.


Any way, any have the same troubles?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Vectorworks wall framer tool is in dire need of an update.

It has not changed for as long as I can recall.


I will admit it has been awhile since I have posted anything.

I will look into the opening options, ( doors, windows) and see what is available.


I design new residential houses and do the estimating.

We use other software, so I have something to compare Vectorworks against.


I have recently purchased VW 2019.

Prior to this update been using VW 2013.


List of suggestions, please feel free to chime in.


1. Need to have option for number of jack studs supporting header.  Based on opening width, is a great place to start.

    Be able to edit any opening for framing changes

2. Option for window sill jacks

3. Option for number of framing sill plates

4. Option for where to locate the header (under top plate, or on top of window) it's depth, and material.  ( Dimensional, LVL, etc..) 

5. Option for plate at bottom of header

6. Option for jacks to support header from shoe plate or from sill plates.

7. Options for how to frame exterior corners,  2 Stud "L Corner, Double stud (currently have) 'U" Corner, etc..

8. Options for partition wall joins.  Blocking between 2 studs, Stud on flat, etc..

9. Worksheets to be able to account for all of this.





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