Jump to content

Hoist functionality question

Recommended Posts


Hi all, I’m getting really frustrated with the lack of documentation / explanation of what Vectorworks can or can not do.


For example, I can build a truss, convert it to a lighting position, and hang lights on it.

VW will then give me it’s combined weight. 

If I use the cable tools and have cable weights included, it will add these weights as well. 


I can then add hoists to the list;

however, despite the hoists being linked to the truss, they do not recognise the weight of the truss.

(I see no reason why this cannot be within the capabilities of VW, even without the structural analysis that may be offered by brace works.)


I have found no explanation of what is offered with brace works, and what features can be done with standalone VW spotlight.

It appears that users are left to their own resources to work out what features are hidden away within the software.


So, my question would be:

Where do I find out what functionality is offered by VW, and where do I find out how to utilise it?


Can VW calculate the load on each hoist?

Is this a functionality reserved for brace works?

Where is this explained?


I would happily RTFM; I'm half way though a 48 hour layover in Jeddah KSA with time to kill - PLEASE, PLEASE send me a link!

Thanks in advance.

Share this post

Link to post

Hoist load calculation is exactly what Braceworks is for, ti can not be done in Vectorworks, as it is not simple calculations that create that data.

as to where that is spelled out, That I do not know.  

if you go to the Help, there are sections in there on workflow, not sure if it was updated with Braceworks, I only know I helped lay out the Spotlight workflow as one option.  you can also look on Youtube, there is lots of tutorials on there, some not so great, about Vectorworks, Spotlight, and Braceworks.

Share this post

Link to post

You see, this is exactly my problem. 
Nobody knows where the feature set of the software is laid identified. Nobody knows what add-on unlocks what functionality!

I've added the 'system check all objects' menu item to Spotlight, and it does work... sort of. 

it checks the system, but gives me the error "the suspension point is not attached" even though if I change the truss' height, the motor updates in 3d views - how do I fix that? (It's not documented anywhere!)


Braceworks is referred to in the workflow tutorials mentioned above, but they really skim over the facts; especially when there are so many questions.

As for youtube, I have not found a single useful tutorial that references hoists in Spotlight or Braceworks.


This is a big problem to me. 

It's all very well to continue to develop the software, but no effort what so ever is going in to explaining the developments. 

I like to think of myself as computer literate, but I am not a full time draughtsman, and I simply do not have time to go through the forums / help files / youtube videos where I may or may not find help to work out how (or even whether it is possible) to do what should be simple tasks. 


I would love to know whether brace works is worth my investment, but at the moment I cannot find out what it does, or how; all I do know is it offers a bunch of stuff way more complicated than I need.

There is no manual whatsoever; and no support. 


I am approaching the end of my first year of VSS, and considering whether it is worth continuing, or whether I should count my losses and return to Autocad - which at least has proper support and manuals.

Share this post

Link to post

There was a bug with Hoists and connections that should be fixed in SP3, are you up to date with your software?

I only say that I do not know where larger documentation is because I have enough of a job making all the new content for Spotlight, something you won't see if you go back to Autocad; there you need to make it all on your own, specially not that GDTF is coming and will be a standard that Autodesk will not control, so they will probably not include it in their software.

Since you are a Service Select customer, have you checked out the portal and the bonus stuff you get there?  

From my understanding, unless you do the load calculations for many shows a year, Braceworks might not be for you, it is for those shops that do a lot of truss work and want to save the end money of the back and forth with an engineering firm before sending the drawings to be loaded in.  

maybe @JimW can give more ideas on where to go to learn the ins and outs.

Share this post

Link to post

There's also a Braceworks forum thread here on the forums.

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114


© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.