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BenG

Vectorworks fails to ADD, Subtract, Intersect due to

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I am having a real problem with VW not being able to do “simple” things, like adding, subtracting, intersecting two objects, Push/Pull…..  The error message is either a blip at the bottom of the screen saying the process has failed, or a pop up window with  "You have tried to create a solid object which cannot be computed.  Edit the geometry to resolve this condition and try again.”  Of course, both these error messages are meaningless.  

 

They don’t tell you what is wrong, or how to fix it  (edit the geometry?????).  This has happened over many years and versions, so it is not particular to VW17 (my current).

 

I may draw all day on an object (medical devices) to print on a 3D printer, and get this message several times a day.  The object will have many edits and changes - additions and subtractions - as I fit things together or try a new approach.  Somewhere in the process I will run into the dreaded message below.  I can waste many hours redrawing a complicated object.  

 

I have sent files off to VW and they have explained some  internal conflict, which I cannot see, or know what it means.  I know CAD software is extremely complex but it seems VW is behind the curve on trouble free drawing.

 

So, my question is what workarounds do forum members have when:

 

1.  Add/subtact/intersect/section solids doesn’t work.  

2.  Push/Pull doesn’t work.  All the construction lines appear, but will not execute.  Sometimes I can use ADD or Subtract to do what P/P is supposed to, and it works.

3. I have tried to convert to generic solids, thinking that will wipe out all internal conflicts, but it doesn’t help.

4.  Above is flakey.  May have three screw holes in a object.  Two work (subtract) and the third doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

Cannot Be Computed.png

 

VW_error_can't_add.vwx

Edited by BenG
correction, replaced file

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For the Push Pool Tool,

you have to care about its modes.

You can try another mode if it is not working.

And check what different kind of object types they produce at the end, to get

a better feeling which mode is appropriate for you in a current situation.

 

For me the problems since VW 2017 was often that PPT refused to select

faces of objects. In that case a selection and sent to front CMD+F helped

as a temporary workaround.

I'm not sure if that was fixed now by 2018 SP2.

 

 

For Boolean opreations,

beside objects have to reside on the same, active Layer,

problems can occur if things are not accurate enough and nearly touching

or nearly overlapping.

But so far I think VW always did a pretty good job in these cases and isn't very

discriminating.

You should care about not nesting too deep and converting to generic solids

from time to time if you can afford to lose edibility and history.

Like for your 3 holes, make it in one go, subtract all three in one step.

And avoid changing the components much later in edit mode, like adding new

geometry. Better throw all out old parts and recreate with new cutting parts.

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1 hour ago, Kevin McAllister said:

Can you post an example of the type of object you're trying to make?

The file is attached underneath the screen capture.

 

2 hours ago, BenG said:

 "You have tried to create a solid object which cannot be computed.  Edit the geometry to resolve this condition and try again.”

This could indicate that the push-pull generates self intersecting geometry or that the geometry otherwise falls apart (e.g. a part gets reduced to zero). VW does not know what you want to achieve so it cannot tell you what or how to fix with regard to the geometry. Though some reason of why it failed (e.g. self intersecting geometry) might give you some clue so I agree that the error messages could be more useful in some cases.

 

2 hours ago, BenG said:

The error message is either a blip at the bottom of the screen saying the process has failed

If you use the push-pull and move one face behind another face, e.g. as to flip the shape, or that a snap causes the face to overshoot and then it will fail too, or something else depending on what exactly you want to do.

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I too find that things often start to go wrong after I've done a number of additions and subtractions etc.

 

Whilst I'd like to try and draw everything so that it remains as editable as possible, I tend to give up on this in VW. Like Zoomer describes above, I'll convert to generic solids periodically to try and iron out strange behaviour.

 

The push pull tool has had problems selecting faces for some time. See this thread.

 

https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/51856-vw-2018-push-pull-tool-problems-continue/

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In my experience, VW doesn't really like messy geometry. Years ago when VW changed to the Parasolid engine, many of us expected 3d modelling in VW to significantly change (eg. move in the direction of industrial design software to create objects like your example). There have been improvements but everything still goes through the VW interface/math/front end which seems to be where the errors occur. The geometry in this file is particularly complex so I'm not surprised VW is failing.

 

A good tool for seeing what's happening is the Extract Tool. If you set it to surface mode, when you mouse over the model you can see there are some disjointed surfaces on the ends where you're trying to add solids. When I tried extracting one of the ends as planar surfaces I ended up with two non-planar NURBS surfaces (blue) and two planar polygons (green). I'm sure this geometry is contributing to the error.

 

5a164493f311f_ScreenShot2017-11-22at7_34_15PM.thumb.png.42f31ee54d75757c7d541ea0226cb1e3.png

 

I tend to stick to simple building blocks for exploration, adding details like fillets at the very end. I wish VW was more like some of the industrial design modellers at times though.

 

Kevin

 

 

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Had a quick look at your model. Hard to say what the problem is as the main object is a Generic Solid. From the smaller parts though, I noted that it consisted of quite a few more steps than actually required. As a general rule in solid modeling, make a proper plan how to get things done before starting,  keep it as simple as possible, do as much as you possibly can in the 2D phase, be very precise during assembly keeping corners exactly edge to edge, avoiding tiny steps,  very pointy joints, and leaving fillets and chamfers to the final stages of the process. 

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7 hours ago, Claes Lundstrom said:

Had a quick look at your model. Hard to say what the problem is as the main object is a Generic Solid. From the smaller parts though, I noted that it consisted of quite a few more steps than actually required. As a general rule in solid modeling, make a proper plan how to get things done before starting,  keep it as simple as possible, do as much as you possibly can in the 2D phase, be very precise during assembly keeping corners exactly edge to edge, avoiding tiny steps,  very pointy joints, and leaving fillets and chamfers to the final stages of the process. 

^ this is great advice for working in 3d in VW!

 

Kevin

 

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Thanks for all the comments.

I have been using Vectorworks since the first MiniCAD and agree that some problems never get fixed.  As to design methodology, I am probably a very messy designer.  

 

For example, I may design a part, finish it off with fillets, etc, then 6 months later find I need to change something.  Add a part, change a dimension, etc. I have parts that fit together, so if I change one, the other has to change.  That is why my parts are convoluted, they are works in progress.  I try to clean them up as I go, but get into trouble along the way.

 

VW is unpredicatable as to when and where a problem will occur.  I frequently get long delays while it is thinking.  It will do an operation on one component and not do it on an identical feature nearby.  I spent hours redrawing the part I sent in the post.  Had to redo fitting parts also.  Converting to generic solids doesn’t seem to help.  I don’t see or hear of this behavior in other CADs.

 

 

Edited by BenG

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On 11/22/2017 at 5:50 PM, Art V said:

The file is attached underneath the screen capture.

 

This could indicate that the push-pull generates self intersecting geometry or that the geometry otherwise falls apart (e.g. a part gets reduced to zero). VW does not know what you want to achieve so it cannot tell you what or how to fix with regard to the geometry. Though some reason of why it failed (e.g. self intersecting geometry) might give you some clue so I agree that the error messages could be more useful in some cases.

 

If you use the push-pull and move one face behind another face, e.g. as to flip the shape, or that a snap causes the face to overshoot and then it will fail too, or something else depending on what exactly you want to do.

UPDATE: I now have VW2018 and see many of the same problems, with new ones thrown in.  

 

Let me review.  When a part becomes “complicated” with many edits, VW refuses to do a lot of things, such as add, subtract, fillet, chamfer, PPT, even highlight a selected object.  ALL my parts are complicated.  They are the components of a microscope stage, with multiple parts, holes, curves, etc.  I can’t do design any other way - I have to fit them together, look at views for conflicts, then modify.  The conflicts sometimes require adding a hole, or extending a surface, or moving something to a different location.  I may move/create parts in separate dwgs, then bring them back to the assembly file for “testing”.

 

For example, sometimes the PPT will highlight an object, show the extension menu in or out, accept a typed distance, then do nothing when asked to execute.  The same surface may pull/push if I use a large number, then p/p back to the original desired location.  Sometimes it will pull out and not go back.  Sometimes fillet will accept all the inputs, but refuse to execute (no messages), but chamfer will work on the same edge.

 

The best workarounds I have found so far are generic solids, which works about 30% of the time.  Intersect solids seems to work better and do about the same thing.

 

In VW 18 I am having slowdowns/freezes that can last 20 minutes.  For example, I highlighted an object to change the line width and color.  It froze for ~15 minutes.  The same can happen when I cut and paste an object from an assembly dwg to a new file with only one simple part in it.  5-20 minute waits have happened for it to paste the object in the new file.  Dosen’t seem to be related to the object size.

 

I have begun monitoring the Activity Monitor on my MBP to see if I can tell what the prcessor is doing, or the memory, etc. My computer is a 2013 MBP with retina screen,16GB RAM,  i7 @ 2.6 GHz, 1TB SSD drive, so it shouldn’t be underpowered.  I am also powering a 28” 4k monitor and a 28” 1080 monitor.  I know that is a lot of monitor, and I heard from VW that they are having problems with 4k external monitors (back in vw17).  So, I have tested using no external monitors ( a little better) and using one 1080 monitor only.  Still have problems.

 

My Vectorworks/ %CPU register frequently shows 150-180% when the program is hung up on the simplest tasks. It must be running around in never-never land, but there is no “not responding” message.

 

My memory usage shows 8GB when I first start VW (all other pgms shut down - browser, mail, etc.).  The first file below is 4.65GB, and the total RAM used jumps to 12-13GB.  Note that the file of just the right side of the assembly (2nd pic) is 4.32GB.  This can’t be true.  When both files are active, the RAM still shows ~13GB. The total memory usage by VW is 40GB. RAM and SSD.

 

I have tried rebooting (warm and cold) and things improve in the short term, then go downhill. 

 

Ideas?

 

 

VW dwg.png

VW dwg 2.png

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@BenGIf your 2013 MBP is using Intel integrated graphics it is underpowered. See this thread to a link for what you need to know about system information - 

 

Unfortunately VW needs a dedicated graphics chip to perform properly. VW often has trouble with driving the internal display with the integrated Intel chips, so I can only imagine how much trouble its having with two external displays.

 

As for file size, solids operations can increase file size significantly but without looking at the file its hard to know if its the only issue.

 

Kevin

 

Edited by Kevin McAllister

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@Kevin McAllisterI actually just installed 2018 on a 2+ year old mac mini, and messed around with multi-pane views in a moderately complex 2-family house with modeled site architectural project.  Nothing has crashed, performance was fairly reasonable, and I'm pushing two monitors (1920x1200 and 1440x900).  At one point I got a phone call that necessitated opening an active project file, so I popped open 2017 as well and navigated a more simple project to answer some questions.  All that is to say, you might be surprised what the older hardware can do, even with integrated graphics.

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7 minutes ago, nrkuhl said:

@Kevin McAllisterI actually just installed 2018 on a 2+ year old mac mini, and messed around with multi-pane views in a moderately complex 2-family house with modeled site architectural project.  Nothing has crashed, performance was fairly reasonable, and I'm pushing two monitors (1920x1200 and 1440x900).  At one point I got a phone call that necessitated opening an active project file, so I popped open 2017 as well and navigated a more simple project to answer some questions.  All that is to say, you might be surprised what the older hardware can do, even with integrated graphics.

 

I'm running VW2018 on a mid-2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro so my comments aren't really directed at older hardware. Based on forum posts the 13" MacBook Pros with integrated graphics seem to get bogged down with VW2018. So much of how VW behaves is dependent on workflow and the type of work. I do a lot of solids modelling like the examples above whereas it sounds like your work uses a lot more PIOs. Perhaps these issues are unique to laptops where processor throttling happens for thermal reasons or maybe Apple is throttling for older laptop batteries, who knows.

 

Kevin

 

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Kevin,  

 

MY MBP has 

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB
Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

 

So, the NVIDIA is a dedicated graphics chip and the Iris Pro is the built-in chip.  

 

Let me add another bug to my VW18 list.  Frequently, the Object Info Pallet is blank and will not show my object’s specs.  Everything else works, but the Info pallet is useless.  Opening and closing the pallette doesn’t help.  It may come back later.

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4 hours ago, BenG said:

MY MBP has 

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB
Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

 

So, the NVIDIA is a dedicated graphics chip and the Iris Pro is the built-in chip.  

 

Great to hear you have one with a separate graphics chip. Make sure you have turned off Automatic Graphics Switching in the Energy Saver system preferences to force your MBP to alway use the better graphics card. A few other things I've found can affect system performance - anything syncing over wireless (Dropbox, Time Machine etc.) and if your SSD Hard drive doesn't have enough free space (they require more than regular hard drives).

 

This may narrow it down to a geometry/file issue. There are many of us that would be happy to take a look as I'm sure Tech Support would.

 

4 hours ago, BenG said:

Let me add another bug to my VW18 list.  Frequently, the Object Info Pallet is blank and will not show my object’s specs.  Everything else works, but the Info pallet is useless.  Opening and closing the pallette doesn’t help.  It may come back later.

 

I haven't seen this myself but there are other forum threads about it. Its a known issue but the engineers are having trouble reproducing reliably. If you are able to reproduce it with specific steps please make sure you submit it to Tech Support.

 

I hope you get things sorted out. It can be frustrating when things don't work as expected.

 

Kevin

 

 

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This fiddling around with system settings (even if it has any effect) shouldn't be necessary. The software should be designed to work properly on reasonably current hardware. VW users shouldn't be assumed to be computer technicians. It seems that with VW2018 we are signed up unwittingly as beta testers. Again.

 

New features having a few bugs to be ironed out is one thing. Bugs in the basic functionality of the programme is another.

Edited by line-weight

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4 hours ago, line-weight said:

This fiddling around with system settings (even if it has any effect) shouldn't be necessary. The software should be designed to work properly on reasonably current hardware. VW users shouldn't be assumed to be computer technicians. It seems that with VW2018 we are signed up unwittingly as beta testers. Again.

 

New features having a few bugs to be ironed out is one thing. Bugs in the basic functionality of the programme is another.

 

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