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"Contracting/shrinking" objects

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In Vectorworks, if you wanted to create a square which has another square cut out of the middle, leaving a 5mm wide "border", it's quite easy. The way I do it is:


  1. Make a square (e.g. 100mm x 100mm)
  2. Duplicate the square and scale by 0.9
  3. Use the clip function to get the desired result


The steps above are shown in the following images:




That's easy enough. You can then extrude or do whatever you need.


In this case, I've been provided with a polyline. Let's say it looks like the following image:




If I wanted to do the exact same process as above, to essentially make a duplicate of the shape with the lines "pulled in" or by 5mm each, how would I go around doing it?


In Photoshop, they have a tool that allows you to "Contract" a selection, as per the following images:




How would I go around doing this in Vectorworks? What methods/tools should I be looking at? The polyline I need to apply this to is quite specific, so it's quite hard to redraw.


Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 


Edited by cheechm

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You should use the Offset tool. This let's you set a width (5mm) and click inside the shape to make it smaller, click outside the shape to make it larger. This method would also work with your square example in less steps.


Edit: Jim beat me to it... 

Edited by EAlexander
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Also, note the the offset tool will modify tight corners to avoid overlapping points.

Edited by EAlexander
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Thanks very much both of you. I thought I'd done it before in VW, just couldn't remember how. I mainly use Spotlight so don't often need tools like the offset tool!

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