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New Beam Tool Question

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hi Samuel,

Currently, the Structural Member object tries to maintain joins as long as the axis lines (control lines) intersect. When moving one beam so that its axis no longer lines up with an associated beam, they will lose their connection. Given this behavior, you might be able to get what you need by changing the profile offset (in the Structural Member Settings) to effectively raise the geometry without moving the axis. This is assuming the member is not sloped.


Structural Members used for columns can connect to other Structural Members used for beams. Again, their axis lines must intersect for the connection to work.

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Yea i was referring to members that would be sloped. This would be very effective for truss type structures - where you would have a class for the web, the top chord and the bottom chord connected to lets say a column top and bottom. By moving the column, this would in turn move those elements on different classes.


Is there a way to have a marionette be coded for members attach to something like a node?  

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I think the current implementation of the Structural Member may not quite do what you need. However, if you have a good example file showing what you'd like to be able to do, I'd be happy to file an enhancement request. We do plan to making improvements to the Structural Member in the future and the more use case examples we have, the better.


As for using Marionette with the Structural Member, I'm not sure how this could help you. Are you suggesting having a Marionette wrapper that creates and controls structural members?

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I will confess that I am no expert on Marionette. So I can be of little (read no) help on this. However,@MarissaFmight have some ideas.  :-)


Thanks Samuel. Screenshots would be good. Please feel free to send me a VW file privately as well (if you can). The more we have to help us better understand the problem, the better the chances...

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello Samuel- 


As far as using Marionette, you can definitely create a system of 3D objects that interact with each other like Structural Members, but at the moment there are no nodes in the default library that deal specifically with the Structural Member tool. You can think of Marionette as a set of building blocks for creating you own plug-in object, but the building blocks are the basic geometries and tools of VW.


If you already have a workflow where you model structural members in 3D and then attach data to them, this is where Marionette would be very useful - you could use it to automate and optimize this workflow - but essentially this would be replacing the Structural Member tool for your own version.


There are nodes in the library that currently work with other plug-in/BIM objects like walls, slabs, and roofs, but not structural members as yet. If you want to learn more about how to use Marionette in this way, @Alan Woodwellhas some great projects:



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