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From Rhino to VW 2017 - Solid volume


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I work with VW 2017, but I'm still not really used to build complex 3d volumes. At the moment I have to model an elliptical stair, and I'm only able to build it in Rhino.


I've exported a DWG file from Rhino and imported it in VW.

The imported faces are not really clean (dividied in triangles) and I am also not able to make sections through it and having a nice and clean section/elevation.

I guess that this has also to do that rhino works with planes and Vectorworks with solids (?).


Is there a way I could model/export this stair in rhino, import it in VW, and be able to make sections through it and also have the elevations?


Thanks a lot. Have a nice week.

Edited by t_and
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Sorry, I don't have any stairs modeled in Rhino but I do have this which is fairly curvy...


I am importing direct from Rhino, NOT using dwg and get a pretty good drawing...you may want to give that a try... FILE > IMPORT > Import Rhino 3DM (3D only...).  I think you'll find that dwg DOES give you a fair amount of segmentation/triangulation/mesh.


You WILL get NURBS surfaces when importing...you then may have to use Shell Solid (Tool Sets > 3D Modeling > Shell Solid) to give them thickness as required in order to cut a section and have objects show as solid.


As Hans-Olav posted, you may want to post up an image of what you're trying to do and there may be an opportunity to just model it directly in Vectorworks using extruded elements that WILL show correctly in section.





Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.46.49 AM.png5a7328f648f4d_HiResPersp.thumb.png.1c75d5c3888e73922becf76bc1b51dbb.png

Hi Res Persp.png

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3 hours ago, t_and said:

Is there a way I could model/export this stair in rhino, import it in VW, and be able to make sections through it and also have the elevations?


As Wes mentioned, definitely use the direct Import Rhino 3DM / Export Rhino 3DM commands. I bring solids objects back and forth all the time without any issues. In the worst case a Rhino solid might decompose into NURBS surfaces if VW doesn't think its solid. Usually you can use Stitch and Trim Surfaces to make a Generic Solid if that's an issue.




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Thanks to all for you replies.


Things is that I've never worked with solids with Rhinoceros. Is it possible to convert many surfaces in to a Solid?


And my main concern is being able to import the volume and make that VW interprets is as a Solid, and that it is able to make clean elevations and sections through it (showing up a regular filled surface when sectioned).


This would be a view of the stair. The main issue is the unter face, having to go smooth from top to botom. And old friend from mine was able to build it once in VW, but he doesn't remember how :S




Thanks lot!

under view.png

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6 minutes ago, Kevin McAllister said:


Yes. Use the Join command to create a Closed Polysurface. However if its too complex it may still come into VW as surfaces instead of a solid.



 Thanks Kevin.


I hope it doesnt, the aim is to be able to section through it and see it as a solid volume.


Not sure if the picture I joined is too complex or not. I'll try and let you know.


Have a nice weekend.

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This can be done in Vectorworks.  Stair parameters may make this more difficult.  Get used to working in groups.

One way is to create a vwx stair, convert to NURBS, Stitch/Trim, then bend with the Deform Tool.  But this is difficult to make in to an ellipse.

About same result as using the circular stair options.


For better ellipse, start by building the edge profile and then shell it.

v2018 file attached.








Edited by Benson Shaw
  • Like 1
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Probably lots of other ways, too.

For this one, the extrudes must be converted to NURBS prior to Add Solids.  Strangely, the "raw" extrudes gain some thickness during Solid Add.

And too bad the profile NURBS curve cannot be used directly as Sectioning object.  Have to make a surface, then section with the surface.




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