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Structural member visibility passing through other elements


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Happy New Year all! Back at the grindstone I have a number of steel columns that sit within the wall structures, and pass from foundation level to roof level. So it seems best to me to model them on my 0- level and give them the correct height, as you would build it. On that (0-) level the columns (structural member tool, shs) are visible as they pass through the wall, so I can co-ordinate their position in plan. However, when I switch on the visibility for the next level (0.5- as its a split-level house), the columns appear to be obscured by the wall structure on that level and are not visible in plan, similarly if they pass through the floor that appears to obscure them also. Is this familiar to others? How do people manage this? I really don't want to break continuous vertical steel elements down to level-by-level components as that seems very complex and liable to wasting time/ going wrong. I suppose where the steel goes through the floors I could clip a hole for them to pass through but that would be a bit of a pain to edit and doesn't solve the issue with walls...? The columns are all visible in 3D as they pass through walls and floors so I'm unclear why not in plan?




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Thanks Wes, that sorted it :-) although it bends my mind slightly (if I have it right) that elements that are three dimensionally 'below' another in their virtual-physical relationship, can be 'above' that other in terms of stacking order and thus visibility!

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For multiple storey projects like this I sometimes create a design layer called "reference" which is at the top of the stacking order. In this I place the coloumns and grids so they are always visible in top/plan view. Also good for datum markers, section reference lines etc.


Another technique is to have the columns only go one floor but turn them into a symbol that you can also have instances of on the other floor levels. 


I have a related issue perhaps someone can help with.

i sometimes have beams or lintels occupying the same 3D space as floors or walls. However when I create a 3D section viewport the beams or lintels are concealed by the wall or floor objects. Send to front doesn't work. Any suggestions?



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@ Boh,

In your slab(s), assign the "joist gallery" component to a class in your slab style.  In your viewport, use a class over ride to turn this class OFF.  Leave your structural beam class ON and the beams/lintels should show.  Here's a screen shot and the file if you want to have a look...you can get walls to work similarly...



Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 10.40.40 AM.png






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Thanks Wes. As I don't generally model the whole floor frame I would prefer to leave the floor components visible. I was hoping their would be another way to adjust the visibilities to put the beam "in front" of the floor. Like adjusting the draw order? Not sure if this is possible.

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On a similar layer-visibility note, I'm having problems with lower floor wall structure showing 'through' windows on an upper layer. The attached screenshot shows my plan of floor 0.5 (split-level house), I need to have the design layer for floor 0.0 turned on as in some areas the walls that are within floor 0.5 are drawn in 0.0 (in any case I want to see elements that are drawn in 0.0 that are not 'covered' by elements in 0.5 - such as lower level walls etc - on my plan drawing). Clearly I want the windows to cover the lower floor plan to make it legible. They're definately inserted into the wall on floor 0.5, and my window class has an opaque white fill - am I missing something?!


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If these are windoor objects then you can adjust the sill to match the width of your wall so to conceal the wall structure below.


i don't use the window tool so if they are window objects then I can't say for sure but guess it could likely be resolved in similar way.

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