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i still like the Wall, Window & Door Tool


we should have a test competition

one person uses the stair tool

one person (who is good at modeling 3d) directly models the stairs

they work off an existing drawing

and they produce plans, sections & details (a fixed amount for both teams)

i think that the stair tool would surge ahead in the beginning, but the direct modeling would win out in the end.

IF so, then why do we have the stair tool (& other advanced tools) unless we view it as a place holder (LOD 100 & 200)?

if that is the case then we should not fuss about getting it to do everything

call it LOD 200 & done, then move onto other core concepts

what has caused this view point?

currently i am outperforming 3 large firms (Arch,Struct & Civil) with my ability to direct model in VW (vs their Revit) they are not even attempting to model

they have done a small bit hidden line. but nothing like the quality of VW (i just use OpenGL)

if VW had a really complete 3d core concepts i think they could eclipse all others

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It isn't that BIM Tools, like Stairs, in VW are very ergonomic or that there

aren't much better solutions outside of VW.

But it is not just about modeling a certain Stair.

The benefit of a parametrical Stair is that you can apply changes very easily,

or better that changes are applied automatically, like number of steps when

you bound it to Story Levels

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yes, i understand. so i view the stair tool as a LOD 200 tool.

then, after things get firmed up i would delete the stair and direct model

it seems that we should have 2 tabs for the stair tool

1 is LOD100 which blocks out mass of stairs AND head room

2 is LOD200 which adds more detail to the stair


tab 3 turns everything off and just has guide lines (3d) that you can place your direct modeling on and lock to these guid lines

we need a way to make a singular surface with the ability to stick to other sticky surfaces. this way WE and not a machine decides what sticks to what

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zoomed yes, right now the way it works is if you want to place a stair as a place holder, you are barraged with a zillion questions about the details of the stair. that you may not know at the time. its like hitting a brick wall

also the DTM tool is also a core tool.

and this tool needs to be parametric

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In VW there isn't any Arch Tool that has a hierarchy that separates the

Main Settings from the Details.

But like for the Stair you can save your Prototypes for reuse at least.

As for the Stair Tool itself,

you can ignore all the detail Tabs and just concentrate on the first or second Tab

to create ANY dummy stair.

For a more controlled stair creation you can set/save Templates for each Tabs

setting separately, which unfortunately can't for other Tools like Doors/Windows ...

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Digital mechanics,

I agree with you, I see in your video that you wish that you can have components that just snap to another area and the stair tool is a perfect example. You cant have the stair snap to a floor and integrate smoothly for example. The stair tool like may others are stand alone plugins.

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I think this is the problem that marionette is trying to solve. Unfortunately there are not enough developers to make the parts and pieces that everyone so desperately needs.

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I totally agree with the concept of core modeling.

The advanced parametric tools do not work for us ever since.

The settings are either too complex or too simple. They never really fit.

Even the 'wall'-tool is both too complicated and too limited.

However there are huge improvements for 3d modeling.

And there is still potential for further improvements to simplify the workflow and reduce the number of clicks for certain processes.

I would love to see Nemetschek US to focus on improving the workflows and the user interface of core 3d modeling and to evolve the concept of 'marionette'.

In combination with as strong database concept this would be a very powerful tool, that might be capable to make parametric tools completely redundant.

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Comparing to what 3D Solid Modeling Tools I was used to have before Vectorworks,

3D core modeling in VW for me is a drama in all aspects.

Of course there should be cleaned up.

Nevertheless I think the Parametric Tools are important and the future.

And there is the at least the same room for improvements.

Even if this just may mean to throw out features to make them easier to use.

Some prefer modeling in plain 3D, especially if parametric tools aren't ergonomic

or not capable to do what is needed, some like me like to work with parametric tools

where ever possible.

While plain modeling (in VW) isn't very flexible for changes in many cases,

ungrouping a parametrical objects is always possible.

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The Stair Tools are the next best thing to useless IMHO. The 2D Graphics remain an unprofessional blight and a shame for a programme that is used by people who draw stuff for a living. Please just take all the stair tools to the island of misfit Tools!

Here's an idea for an approach for all Parametric tools, something of a Hybrid of digitalmechanics great video:

- Make a LEGO set of stuff that may be combined into a Parametric object. Steel & Conc pan Stair treads and C Channels for example - you know the default of most commercial construction

- Let US make our own objects that we can draw as Parametric components to be added to with a very few simple rules

- Build a Construction Set that lets one put the LEGO together

- Allow all Parametric objects to use either user attributes, or the class attributes now generated by the programme and a combination of both.

- Rather than type stuff, allow the Parametric object to be edited GRAPHICALLY, by double clicking (like a symbol) because most of your users got into this game because we like to DRAW STUFF.

Edited by Jim Smith

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I think this is the problem that marionette is trying to solve. Unfortunately there are not enough developers to make the parts and pieces that everyone so desperately needs.

Oh please, Marionette is just Python in a graphical jacket. I would be more than happy to create Marionette components from my DLibrary DLibrary library, which is great for building plugins for Vectorworks.

It just tries to get people into programming their own stuff....

Edited by Dieter @ DWorks

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The Stair Tools are the next best thing to useless IMHO. The 2D Graphics remain an unprofessional blight and a shame for a programme

Can't agree on that. You can create great looking stairs in 2D!:


Edited by Dieter @ DWorks

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Not wishing to get into any hysterical debate but the stair tool is ok for the simple things, but try getting the handrail to stop and start or go round the bend at the change of direction in a simple U shaped stair, or have the handrail join the horizontal handrail in a continuous seamless profile or the junction of the stair to join the slab top or bottom seamlessly.

But I will use the stair tool whenever I can and any other infact, because they there and there are uses for this and many others plugins in the program.

I love this program but there a a few of the plugins than need to be married together a little bit better.

Edited by Alan Woodwell

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I like Jim Smith's approach.

And as Alan said,

the Handrails in Stairs are very tedious to set but not capable enough in 75% of

all used Stairs for me too. So why not throw them out of the stair tool to clean up

and make things easier and more reliable.

Instead make the Handrail Tool more capable and find a way to constrain it to

the dimensions of the parametrical stair.

Compare Handrail Tool from VW with Allplan, which can follow NURBS Curves

or even be used to create some kind of grid ceilings or facades.

Also I think that all Arch Plugins need to have the set of the most important settings

on Top in bold font, the details or advanced settings hidden under Tabs.

For Example, VW 2016 Window brought the glass thickness setting.

I can't imagine any situation having different thickness settings in any way, but

there may be some very rare cases someone will need.

The way as it is implemented now means that you have to set 3 Thickness Values

every time !

Or the way you will apply your own Classes to Windows and Doors, you can't select

groups or all Classes at once, you have to use the dropdown for each Class and

scroll again to find your Class in the list.

These are things that, from a User Interface perspective the lowest level of quality

and make Tools not just tedious but really annoying for me.

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I tend to lean towards digitalmechanics line of thinking. I'm beginning to model my own stairs simply because the stair tool can't do everything. I do use it to start a building model but only for basic form (width, height, number of riser/treads, layout). I always leave out the rails. I may change some colours/textures but just for clarification.

Once I know a project is not going to change in layout or height, I'll dig in and do up a more accurate model of the stairs complete with railings and trimmings. With my stair model I now get the look I want.

I don't think I would get rid of the tools like stairs entirely. I do think there is a place for them. It's knowing how and when to use it. There are indeed a lot of parameters like digitalmechanic is pointing out to put a stair together.

I like your idea too Jim about having parametric "parts" with which to build a model. This is one thing that REVIT is great for in my mind. It has templates for making your own parametric objects. Very powerful once you get your head around putting the parameters together. I wish VW had the option for this. Maybe Marionette is that answer and maybe something that could be used to make your idea Jim a reality. It will take work in the beginning but once you've got it and perfected it, it can be used over and over and over with the ability to input different numbers to adjust the outcome of the modelling piece like a stringer, tread or bullnose (since stairs is what we're using as an example). I'll have to give this some more thought. Getting VW to do this part would be great, then I don't need to do the work but just model and produce the drawings I need. But we're not there right now.

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Perhaps my recent frustration using the tool had made me a little too grumpy. Like Alan I use the tool (it's what we've got) as a mass model thing. But I keep it in a hidden class & always represent a stair in 2D so I have a fast, and good looking graphic object.

Sorry Dieter, I used paper & pencil too long (heck this past spring I found two bottles of eradicator fluid while cleaning up!). For some your stair may be ok, & if it works in your office great. Great thing about VW is no "one right way" of doing things. I suspect my old Drafting instructor would give you a 6 out of 10.


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And then there's this: Lego Digital Designer

I watched my 12 year old boy turn out a conveyor belt and several other items within minutes of opening the software.

Edited by mjm

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Could we also do something about the Roof Tool? I mean I use it, but only to give me the basics then Ungroup it & start editing the resulting faces. That we can't edit the size of a simple roof, or make simple dormers is really bad.

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