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3D Modelling to Working Drawings

Jim Smith

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Perhaps, I'm at fault for not being clear.  I don't use SU and find the interface counter intuitive, but I'm a geezer, & only know enough to get me in trouble. Our present process is generally to noodle around with Back-of-the-napkin ideas then jump into VW. Generally we start with Walls, often with "helper shapes" in 2D mostly in Plan but also in Elevation and this serves us pretty well. Our template has some standard Layers & we often have to adjust these on each project. Then to quote Wes Viola! we're on the road to what I'd call a REAL 3D Model with "real" Walls Doors etcetera. 


Having seen Wes' videos some time ago (and rewatched them this week) & having used Jonathan Pickup's manual in the past to get a handle on 3D tools has always made  me wonder if there isn't a better way to go with 3D Modelling. I know the beauty of VW is there's no "one correct way" to do stuff; but what strikes me is there are fundamentally two distinct paths of 3D in VW and they don't quite mesh together well. A consultant plunking around in SU in January brought this to the forefront of my mind. My examples basically show that may I call it a "Dumb" 3D model in VW is only slightly more useable than importing SU models.


The advantage of using Walls & other PIO's is one of the reasons we continue to use VW. As I said, I'm a geezer who learned drafting on velum with a pencil, so I gravitate to thinking Plan first even when imagining a 3D space. Those of my kids generation don't think this way and want to push and pull and work in 3D. So perhaps this is a wish list item, that VW's "Dumb" 3D Models play nicer when converting them to Walls & other PIO's

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Now, The VW Sketchup import plugin currently interprets vertical surfaces as walls, horizontal surfaces as floors (slabs please), sloped surfaces as roofs.

Why couldn't VW just skip the SU part of that workflow and do a similar conversion of VW solid objects internally.


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@Jim Smithhi I too started on tracing and pencils and find that I need to progress from a sketch and then complete construction drawings. The Design director will sketch in pencil and I have to produce the 3D model and on to construction drawings. Starting with the wall tool and adding in window and walls will produce a great 2d plan. But if you add height to the design layer it will produce a 3D model all by itself. Add a roof and you have it. I never looked back. Elevations and sections are produced from the model. Try it you will wonder why you didn't do it earlier.

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Hi Alan, what you describe is more or less our present workflow. In simple projects we often don't even start with a marker sketch as we know the site constrictions, setbacks, angular plane; away we go using Walls & other PIO's. Like you say, Sections and Elevation; even some details are all part of the 3D "Smart" Model. We have not been asked to do a BIM project yet, but many many times I believe that VW saves time & money because what the 3D "Smart" Model produces. A Garden Centre project we're working on now for example, other than discussion scribbles, no concept drawings have been undertaken. We've solved many conflicts between Structure & MEP before they became conflicts as we identified stuff the consultants had missed as I have all my OWSJ's, Roofs, Slabs, columns, Walls, Loading docks, fire & retaining walls modelled.


What I'd like to be able to do on other projects that require some concept design effort,  is to have the "Dumb" 3D tools transition more seamlessly to what I now employ as my "Smart" Model. If you rewatch Wes' great video, he basically stops halfway through the 3D Model process to convert to Walls & starts fleshing out his concept with Walls & Doors & Windows. My point is I want to take the "Dumb" 3D Model further, and make the "Dumb" model more aware when converted to a "Smart" Model. 


As I've said, I'd like the 3D tools to mesh more seamlessly with the AEC tools.

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...to mesh not only 3d tools and the standard aec tools, but also marionette tools.


generally there are two methods of designing: either space programming, or shapes' manipulation. of course mostly there are the combinations of both.

we have adjacency matrix as a good start for space programming, and the massing model-to-floorplan functionality for 3d modelling come the edifice model. the latter one is not very optimal, as it has two flaws, at least: the resulting storey walls are not exactly closed when the shape is not angles only (screenshots), and we don't have slanted walls.


in this way we can't freely model what we want...





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