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I’m curious about representing historic stone construction, esp UK & Europe. Not the palaces & churches with fully dressed and sculpted stone, but rather the older, less formally designed and constructed homes and compounds. Many renovation projects start with a ruin or a building exhibiting wall/roof/opening deflections (maybe built that way, or deteriorated), additions and repairs over several centuries with different materials and techniques. Site may contain doorways, arches, quoins, etc with fully dressed, but severely dislocated stones, while other areas have stones with little or no dressing arranged with lots of mortar of varying condition. Walls may taper as they rise, wooden timbers may be twisted and bowed (original condition? deflection?), etc. Most of these old structures have uneven stone stairs, giant rustic chunks of carved stone for basins, mixed roof tile styles, “modern” utility systems inserted/removed/updated - and now someone bought it and wants documentation for preservation, renovation, or addition for modern life and new uses.


How are designers, contractors, preservationists working with such structures in Vectorworks? Wall and slab tools seem pretty useless. Is 3d modeling even considered?

A laser survey can generate a stone by stone point cloud, but is that often used? Or required only in special situations or for certain elements?  Is a 2d schematic approach more common -  plans referencing lots of sections and elevations. Is extent of deflections, corrections, material changes, etc handled in notes on the drawings? Or, modeled with NURBS surfaces & SubD?


For instance, I found this UK source:

which has chapters with drawing standards and examples, but much of that emphasizes schematic 2d plans and elevations with photo/text documentation, rather than 3d modeling.


As I said, just curious about current jurisdictional requirements and drawing practice. Pointing to any sources or examples would be appreciated.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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Sounds really interesting.

I have in mind (one day!) to use vectorworks to model some timber frame buildings for example those at the Weald and Downland Museum (http://www.wealddown.co.uk)

I thought vectorworks would be brilliant for it because it's so easy to make irregular 3d solids, texture them and add data to them (for example, often timber was re-used from older buildings) and also renderworks would be great for it. Getting a feel for light quality would be interesting too!


Sorry it's not hugely helpful for your question though!

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One thing I've noticed about the scanning devices and services is an intent to capture as many points as possible.  Each subsequent generation of equipment and software produces more points in the point cloud, more resolution.  This is appropriate for many uses, but does not translate to manageable Vectorworks edges, surfaces and volumes.


My dream would be a portable device to capture xyz of significant points, edges and areas of my choice. Sort of an optical scanning version of a tape measure & transit, smart enough to constantly reference its location on the site and maintain the spacial relationship of all the captured points.  Ideally, I want to aim/scan along edges (corners, openings, eaves, big cracks, etc) and a few chosen areas to record surface shapes, deflections and irregularities, terrain points & features. The scans capture at a resolution I choose moment to moment (single point here, .5m grid over there, 5mm at another place, etc),  rather than thousands or millions everywhere. Vectorworks imports the scan as 3d loci which can be used as snaps to generate manageable & editable edges, surfaces and volumes in vwx.  Or better, a mobile system with software which builds the vwx model on a laptop or tablet in real time as I capture the points. I can add more scan, delete unneeded, and otherwise interact with the model as I move through the site.


If the massive point clouds from Technics Group equipment and others were easily acquired, affordable and more manageable in Vectorworks navigation, then the detailed scans available now could be OK.  I would want ability to snap loci or curves to create edges for NURBS lofts, extrusions, shells, etc.




I'm assuming design, permitting, etc is usually handled without the scans at this time. But scans are coming on strong? Side note, I was told that building up from a ruin can be advantageous for design & approval, because the new portions on or among the ruin elements have less historic preservation requirement - windows & doors can be large, new stairs can be comfortable rise/run, etc.



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Seems like scans and pointclouds are of greatest interest in this thread.  Nothing against that, but I'm still curious about current practice if anyone is willing to share their experience.


I checked out the dotproduct3d site. I downloaded their Alamo.pts demo file (247mb) captured with their tablet style portable scanner. The point cloud shows partial exterior facade around entry door. No continuation to inside of structure, no wall thickness, etc.  Full size import to vwx has more than 6 million points. The resulting point cloud object is very manageable in vwx. Snappy navigation and OGL rendering. I also did a 50% import which is also good.  Sheet layers with section VPs produce pretty clean sections, although these are comprised of pixels rather than continuous vector lines or shapes (makes sense). I'm still exploring.





Edited by Benson Shaw
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