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Cannot extrude simple polygon.

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Hi All, 


I have a quick query regarding extruding polygons. We are currently creating a context model that combines the massing model tool with simple extrusions. Sometimes the file will not extrude for us. Is there any reason why a simple polygon will not extrude? Is it the fact that we have a DWG referenced into the file? or is there some setting that must be turned on to ensure  the extrusion tool will work? Our polygons/shape wont even highlight red at the moment.  


Any advice would be very really useful.


Thank you. 

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If they won't even highlight, it sounds like a class or layer settings issue as described above.


Another thing to check: make sure when you select the Polygon that the OIP actually says "Polygon" (or Polyline). If it says something different, such as Group or Symbol, you won't be able to extrude without first going inside the container, or ungrouping it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

This sounds to me like a problem with the geometry being too far from the internal origin.

I suggest you run Tools > Origin > Center Drawing on Internal Origin. 

This will move the geometry (along with the user coordinates) close to internal zero.

When importing DWG files, on the Location tab, choose the default option to center geometry on the internal origin to avoid this problem. Don't worry... the coordinates that you see and interact with will be preserved, so you will still be able to line up geometry with any third party's geometry.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi guys.

We also tend to have a problem with extruding sometimes.


For example, we created some 3D objects by extruding some time ago. Now we need to amend their height and some of them just don't seem to react with the extrude tool.


I also tend to struggle with using Push/ Pull mode. I watched the videos and it seems dead simple, but very often I create a simple box shape, change the drawing plane to one of its faces, draw my new shape and rather than being pushed inside, for example, it creates a new solid inside the original one. I then need to subtract. Is there any setting that controls this behaviour? I might still be missing some settings hence not making the most of it.


I would appreciate your thoughts.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello to all,

I'm very new with vectorworks but I've been trying to make some modeling and it appears that I'm stuck now ; I'd like to do the sequence to subtract some holes in a wall, but every time I want to draw the rectangle on the surface, I get stuck on the X plan, can't have it draw on the wall as I see it. I'm pretty sure it's something very simple but I've tried many options and looked it up, without result...

I'm also stuck with some extrusion object (rectangles on a wall) not doing the holes I'd like them to do...


Thank you if anybody has any hint at all that could help me on the correct way...


Have a nice day !




Capture d’écran 2020-04-15 à 11.59.21.jpg

Capture d’écran 2020-04-15 à 12.25.19.jpg

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Emilie F.  there are two VERY different issues here.  If you want to create a hole in a wall and have the wall stay a "wall", the easiest way is to use a Window and set it to "Opening" - see attached screen shot. You can then use its parametric ability to change the size and location within the wall.  If you are MODELING with SOLIDS, the operation is different. See the post below...





Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 11.56.58 AM.png

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Emilie F if you are MODELING with solids, you can use the Automatic Working Plane ... see attached video.  This operation uses SOLIDS that are extruded from 2D shapes using Automatic Push/Pull and the Automatic Working Plane.  The operation where one is subtracted from the other uses the Option key to inform the program to subtract one from the other.  You must draw your rectangle on the face of the object, start the Automatic Push/Pull and then BEFORE you finish the operation, hold the OPTION key down and then complete the subtraction.  If you look at the Working Plane Control, you can see where it is set to Automatic - this lets you perform the subtraction. It's a bit tricky to hold the Option key down at the correct time.





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  • 1 year later...

I think the red outline is the selection highlight for the bench, but is not an indication that next action will be an extrusion. The Push/Pull tool, instead of the Selection tool, would allow you to extrude a planar face of the bench or other object. 

Drawing the circle and extruding to a cylinder via a cursor drag demonstrates a feature only available while the 2d object remains selected immediately after created. Any action which deselects the newly created object (eg a click away from the 2d object) cancels the hover/drag extrude option for that newly created object. To extrude after a new object is deselected, reselect the object and apply the Extrude command (MacOS shortcut is Cmd E)

Post back as needed. 


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Hi @Nicholas Beloso . I think I recognise what you are experiencing here and it is a fundamental problem with Vectorworks that I have been complaining about for several years now, but it does not seem to be taken seriously by VW. Essentially the push-pull tool often fails to select a surface when it should. See below for a thread on this topic.


Because there seems to be no urgency at VW to fix this, it looks like it's just an annoyance that we have to live with for now, even thpough it is very disruptive to a fluent workflow. Here are my tips for encouraging VW to find the face you want:

- sometimes selecting the object containing the face before activating the push-pull tool helps

- Sometimes selecting the object and sending it to front (cmd-F) helps

- otherwise, try changing your viewpoint (several times). usually, eventually you will find that there is a certain direction of view where it will work from. I think it helps if there is not complicated geometry immediately behind the object

- try using the "select back face" option (hold down option key) and view the object from the other side

- if all else fails, my solution is to temporarily put the object in a group by itself, double click to enter the group and hide other geometry, and then the push-pull operation will succeed. Then exit and ungroup. This method is of course inconvenient when you want to snap to some other object.


If your experience matches what I describe above, please complain to VW and your distributor, and so on. Add a vote to my thread below. This problem is one of the things that frustrates me most about VW on a daily basis. As you can see, I have been complaining about this for at least 5 years now.




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I find that similar "face selection" problems exist with some other tools but the push pull tool is the one where it is by far the most disruptive. It defeats the purpose of that tool which is supposed to make it easy to rapidly manipulate 3d geometry.


Maybe add a comment to that other thread to make clear this is a problem that doesn't just affect me!

  • Like 1
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I've experienced this many times as well, and it seems to be whenever there is a complex mesh in the vicinity (in this case the Site Model might be the culprit). Definitely needs some attention.



6 hours ago, line-weight said:

- if all else fails, my solution is to temporarily put the object in a group by itself, double click to enter the group and hide other geometry, and then the push-pull operation will succeed. Then exit and ungroup. This method is of course inconvenient when you want to snap to some other object.

This is what I usually do. Regarding the last sentence, if you have "Show Other Objects While in Edit Modes" enabled you should still be able to snap to things outside the group. (If you don't have the button, you can add it with the triangle flyout towards the right).



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26 minutes ago, line-weight said:

I often find that the "show other objects" mode doesn't show enough to snap to what you want



My experience in VW life is that very often you can see background elements in Edit Modes but you

can not snap to them, temporarily not snap/to them, snap goes completely nuts, snap only to vertices, ...

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