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Laser cut metal panels

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Are image mask textures the best way to model laser cut metal panels in Vectorworks?


Are there any such textures in VW? I can't find any.


Can you recommend any good websites where you can download laser metal textures?


Is is simple enough to make one's own texture from images off the net?


And are there any other methods for modelling these in VW? 



Edited by Christiaan

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Just take normal metals. Draw your cuts-outs as black/white pictures. Use these black/white pictures as transparency map.

Edited by herbieherb
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Hi Christiaan


Yes, it's really easy to make your own textures for Renderworks. To learn how to get the most out of Renderworks, I recommend this series of videos from "RenderMaester" Stephan Monninghoff:



Of the Renderworks Getting Started Guides on vectorworks.net.

Or, or course, anything you can find from the very talented Daniel Janenson.


(And, we do run a 1 day course on Renderworks, here at Vectorworks UK!)

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Christiaan, if you have a specific laser-cut pattern you'd like to try, send it along and we'll see about creating a sample texture for it.

Dan J.

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A bit of experience:


Several versions back I started creating textures for the common variants of standard perforated metal - Round holes, hex holes, etc in the various open to solid and pitch ratios, inch and metric ( there are only a few common ratios).  These base textures can then be scaled to match spec for any hole size in a particular ratio.


Manufacturers' internet images worked OK, but were difficult to properly crop, and made fuzzy textures. Maybe there are great images out there, but I usually found them too pixelated.


A better solution for my project was to draw an area of each pattern, say 12 x12 holes at 1"Ø, in pure black and white.   Crop to display 10x10 holes with the intermittent half holes on the edges.


Then export the crop as an image, import the image into vwx, and create a texture from the image.

I found that the sharpest textures were created from pdf exports rather than png or jpg.  Tiff based textures did not render efficiently.

If needed to prevent tiling, rescale L or W of the base image by a few pixels prior to import and texture creation.


Some strategies needed for thicker metal cutouts because of texture or masked areas on the edges.  Or just model it instead of texture.


Another disadvantage of textures is that they do not produce vwx data - eg open/closed areas, exposed edge lengths, etc.  This means more spreadsheet control needed for each variant or rescale of the cutout.


Textures are tempting, but if the design repeats, also consider modeling a Unit of the cutout as a symbol, then array instances as needed.






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