Jump to content

Creating parametric Extrusions using standard profile

Recommended Posts

I've got a situation where i've got 35 extrusions, each of them with varying lengths but all using the same profile for the extrusion. 

The design team has not locked in the final design of the profile yet, but I need to move on to other parts of the model, so i'd like to set this up in such a way that I can make a modification to one single profile plane and have all the other extrusions update automatically.


Does anyone know of a way to do this using Vectorworks, either through Marionette, or a plugin that is out there?




-Ben Price


Running VWX 2017 on Macbook Pro (Late 2013)



Edited by ibenjamin.price

Share this post

Link to post

Hi, You could simply use a Symbol with the extrusion as the symbol to the object and change it in and out as needed, Either as just a symbol or as a Marionette object.


You also have the Structural Member tool which will allow you to change to many profiles in the OIP{.

Edited by Alan Woodwell

Share this post

Link to post
1 hour ago, P Retondo said:

What Alan said.  Your symbol instances can be scaled, so when you change the profile all the lengths will remain the same.



Extrusion symbol.pdf


The only issue is that you will have to know the relative ratio difference between the sizes.  100% doable in Marriott - and this would allow you to input an exact measurement for each.  They could all reference the same profile object in case you needed to modify that.   Would be a good starter marionette project.    (all of this is going to take more time than the solutions above for the first round - and will only make sense if you think you are going to have to continually modify the length of these objects as you develop the design.)


Share this post

Link to post

Does this technique only work in VW 2016 ?   I am using VW 2015 and it does not allow me to select a 2D symbol for an extrude along path object.

Share this post

Link to post

The symbol needs to be a group not a plugin. so when you create a symbol untick convert to a plugin, then it should EAP.

Share this post

Link to post

when I tested it, I made a simple rectangle, converted it to a 2D symbol, then tried to extrude it along path.  It does not work.  Since it is not a plugin, I don't understand your comment Alan. What is it that I should "untick"?

Share this post

Link to post

The Insertion Option for the symbol need to be set to Convert to Group.  That means that it is a Symbol so it can be stored in the Resource Browser (Manager in 2017). But when it is inserted into the drawing it will convert back to a Group, or if there is only a single object in the group it will become that thing, in your case a Rectangle.


This can be changed for existing symbols by selecting the symbol and Edit Symbol Options and checking/unchecking the Convert to Group (convert to PIO) option.


Symbols with this turned on show their name in BLUE text. Symbols containing PIOs which are set to turn into PIOs on insertion show their name in RED.


So sometimes you will hear people on the board talking about Red Symbols or Blue Symbols. This just means they are set to turn into their component objects on insertion.

Share this post

Link to post

hey guys, just a follow up on this.

I took the advice you guys gave and here was the solution I went with. 


Create the Extrusion Profile as 2D Polygon.

Extrude 1mm

Create Symbol of extrusion. 

Place Symbol in all locations where the Extrusion Part is needed.

Type the length of the extrusion piece into the Y scale. 


Making the starting extrusion 1mm helps with not having to do complex scale ratio math. Scale of 1 = 1mm. So 11.5928394mm = Scale 11.5928394

Creating this symbol and then placing & adjusting the 30 different length extrusions took me about 15mins. The lengths won't ever change now, but its still easy for me to update the original symbol and the profile shape of the Extrude to update all 30 instances of the profile.


Thanks again for everyones help!




  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114


© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

  • Create New...