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Framing take-off


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I am still trying to get my framing to generate a materials take-off worksheet.

I am not using the framing tool because The spread sheet that is generated by the tool is not linked to my framing so that when I add or delete the framing the worksheet does not get modified. It is odd that this sheet does not work off a database header and criteria.

I am trying to get the count and lengths for my dimensional framing. How can I get the length of each stud.

I have tried this, =('FramingMember'.'LineLengthReal') but with no results.



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I'm almost positive that there are not record formats attached to the framing members. So there is no direct database call that will do it.

Luckily, all the framing members are classed, so it's easy to do it the old fashioned way.

Use the class as a criteria. Take the volume of the objects in each class. Multiply by 144. Divide by the nominal lumber dimensions.

Example attached.


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  • 6 months later...
Guest Wes Gardner

At the moment, studs are created as extrudes. Rafters and joists are framing members. Framing member width, thickness and length can be gotten from a report - I use "Span" as the call for length - =('FramingMember'.'span')

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At the moment, studs are created as extrudes. Rafters and joists are framing members. Framing member width, thickness and length can be gotten from a report - I use "Span" as the call for length - =('FramingMember'.'span')

Wes- you're referring to using the 'Wall Framer' command to create the studs in your response, correct? and not using Extrudes to model studs [Model > Extrude]?

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  • 5 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The wall framer tool is a complete nightmare. I have ended up using it simply to generate the extrudes then immediately copying + pasting them into my own design layers + assigning them to my own classes + deleting the wall framer model/layer/classes. It's a bit of a long-winded process but at least at the end I have the framing exactly where I want it + have full control over it. If I have some stud work which is 3" + some which is 4" I can put it in different classes then create a simple worksheet that returns the total volume of the extrudes in each of those classes which I can then convert into linear metres for each size of timber. The in-built wall framer reports are hideous in my opinion. All I really want to know is the total amount of each size of timber for costing/ordering purposes. I have spent ages trying to do this within the wall framer model but found it was impossible, hence deciding I was better off copying the extrudes + removing them from the framing model.


This method, if you edit the extrudes on one of your framing classes the worksheet will update to correctly reflect the change in volume.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

For structural framing I'd recommend using Structural Member tool. =LENGTH will give you the length of the member and you can use =CONCAT('StructuralMember'.'ProfileShape', ' ', 'StructuralMember'.'ProfileSeries', ' ', 'StructuralMember'.'ProfileSize') type of formula to concatenate the profile shape to show 'Wide Flange BSI (Universal Beams) 203 x 102 x 23' for steel profiles for example. 

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But how would you model multiple stud walls using Structural Members? That would be quite laborious wouldn't it? Perhaps individual beams + posts but not frame a whole building surely?


Whilst we're on the subject, one thing I never understood about structural members is why there is no 'length' field in the O.I.P.?


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You can't create a vertical column with the Framing Member tool but you can with Structural Member:



But I'd have said use Wall Framer if you're doing stud walls rather than modelling all the members individually.

Unless someone else suggests otherwise.

Do you need to produce a take-off of all the individual studs, plates, headers, etc or just a linear metre total?

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@E|FA That's a really good question. I definitely think there's a place for the Framing Member tool. Structural Member, it seems to me, is great for building networks of interconnected beams + columns like in a steel framed building but for most other things - for non-associated members - Framing Member is better. But maybe I need to spend more time with it

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@Tom W. linear metre total is needed for our embodied carbon analysis

but thhe more data we can obtain, the better.

the issue with the wall framing tool is that it doesnt update if you, for example, move a wall. you have to run the whole thing again. or even if you just double up a stud, it doesnt update on the worksheets which is very annoying.

also everything is extrudes so it runs separately to framing a floor slab or roof.

it's also very tricky to run in general, making all the layers and sheets and 2D drawings gets very messy. as an automatic tool it needs a lot of refinement

@Luka Stefanovic are any of these improvements likely to happen any time soon?

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@zoeageorg I agree 100%. It is basically just a quick way of generating lots of extrudes. No more than that.


If you ignore the automatically-created worksheets + do your own one that reports on the volume of the extrudes at least when you change things the report will update to reflect the change in volume


Like you say, at least with 'Create Joists' + 'Roof Framer' they generate framing members so you can easily report on individual lengths, sizes, structural use, material, etc


If wall framer generated framing members too that would be a big improvement.


See recent Wishlist item re framing tools:


If the framing was actually somehow incorporated into the wall/slab/roof - as a component - then that would be amazing. If you could edit it through the style + it responded to changes to the slab/wall/roof. There was a Wishlist item about this too I think but can't find it...

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@line-weight I haven't found Structural Member tool buggy, it is just a bit over complicated for what I need to do (too many parameters), and I don't need the associated-member functionality (where members auto connect like walls + move together like walls). Or need to do poly line style members. I think if you were building a free form steel framed structure with beams heading off all over the place structural member would be perfect. Otherwise like Zoe says framing member is better. Except won't do a vertical column which is a bit annoying...

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@Luka Stefanovic more complaints on the wall framing tool - sorry!

it doesnt even read how i've joined the corner of my wall - it's ignored the fact that another component extends along with the wall (in this case the OSB sheathing) 

it only joins the sole and header plates with a mitre join, which i won't be doing because these are for off-site constructed panels

and it hasn't place studs at the end of the wall which is structurally not an option!


see the 2nd pic for how we would like to frame it...

framed corner.JPG

framed corner 2.JPG

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Guest Wes Gardner

@zoeageorg, just FYI, all of the framing tools should be viewed as conceptual.  The wall framer is the oldest of the lot...as you've seen, it creates extruded elements. It can produce a "pretty picture" but it will not frame a proper corner.  The other framing tools offer a bit more intelligence but will still need to be checked carefully.  



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@Wes Gardner I'm afraid I don't see a whole lot of point in being able to frame something conceptually... that level of architectural detail should be accurate


is there any way of using the other framing tools, such as having an array where you can adjust the centres?


i was evening wondering if you could put framing or structural members inside of symbols, for example, where you will have repeating windows and therefore have the repeating sill, cripple studs etc... therefore if i edit one window, and edit the height of the sill within the symbol, it will update the framing around my other window instances.


or can i join a stud to a header so that if i move the height of the header, the stud height adjusts too?

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My feeling is that while all these ideas for automatically framing around windows and that sort of thing would be really great if it could be made to work.... it's way down the line of things that need to be urgently fixed. Make the windows themselves work properly first, for example. Because if the windows are essentially unusable at a construction detail level, then there's not much point trying to make the walls able to frame around them.


And while it would be great for VW to automatically create correct corner junction details in timber frame... can we first get it to work properly with basic monolithic materials like masonry, please.


As pointed out above, timber frame corners are not usually mitred in real world construction.... but neither are brick wall corners, whatever VW thinks.

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