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VWX 2018 - Hanging lights on an angled truss

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I am trying to hang light symbols on an angled truss.


I laid out my truss with no hanging angle, then I added the lights where I would like to see them on the truss. 

Next, I checked "Draw 3D Only" on the truss hanging position.

I go to the right 3D view and use the rotate tool. 

I rotate the trusses to a 45 degree angle. 

The truss rotates but the lights do not follow. 

The lights did follow when I trimmed the entire truss unit from 0 Z axis. 


What am I doing wrong? Or is there a specific method to angle a truss converted to a hanging position with lighting fixtures on it?




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The truss needs to be converted to a hanging position. That way the lights will travel with the truss. If the lights are already in place, then select the lights, right-click on them and select Add to hanging position and then select the truss system.


hope that works for you



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You have to tell the lights to rotate as well. In the OIP go to set 3D rotation. You can not rotate lights and truss all at once unless you ungroup high-level objects, and then group them all together, which is not recommended. It's much easier to do the first method.

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I converted the truss to a hanging position, then I assigned the lights to the hanging position in the OIP.


When I move the truss around without putting an angle on it, the lights move with the truss. 

I then try to put an angle on the truss (hanging position) by double clicking it and then rotating from a side view using the rotate tool. 

The lights do not follow the truss at that point.


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Don’t select the lights. Just the hanging position. The z value of the lights if properly associated with the position will alter with the hanging position as you rotate it. I believe this is a new feature in a recent service pack. I discovered it a few months ago.



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  • 1 year later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Not any more

In the 2020 release we have made improvements to how fixtures are inserted and orientated in 3D.

Fixtures can be added directly to angled and or rolled truss at any point. If you want them to insert with the correct 3D rotation you should attach a correctly orientated working plane to the truss or pipe and set your active plane to 'working'.

or you can insert the fixtures from a top/plan view and use the new X, Y and Z rotation fields in the OIP, to rotate the fixtures to the correct orientation on the truss or pipe (this works with group selected fixtures)


The 'Align and distribute' tool in the Spotlight tool-set has be upgraded to work in 3D.

select the fixtures you want to work with (can be inserted any where in your document), configure the tool mode and then draw a line in 3D that the fixtures will get orientated along, for example along the chord of a truss with both a hanging angle and roll.

note: the fixtures will only be aligned positionally and will still need the rotation fields updated manually to be correctly orientated in 3D to truss, pipe or other object. With the new rotation fields for trusses and fixtures this is much easier than before


We have also improved how fixture and other objects associate with trusses and pipe.

It is no longer necessary to convert the truss or pipe to a hanging position and assign fixtures and plug in objects to the position for them to move with the truss or pipe. Fixtures (and other plug in objects) will now automatically move and rotate with the truss or pipe they are associated with. Just move or rotate the associated truss line or pipe.

This behavior is controlled in the Document setting-Spotlight-Loads and Rigging pane in the 'Auto positioning' section.



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