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scottmoore

Spotlight trussing and BraceWorks

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After twenty some-odd years of using my own truss symbols, I am slowly starting to integrate the truss symbols from Spotlight. The reason is simply to have functionality for riggers using BraceWorks. Yesterday was my first run at things using some 12” truss. I needed an articulating hinge so I added that. From what I have been able to tell, there is no functionality to rotate a hinge. I found an online video that described how to create a duplicate symbol at a specific angle. (Very informative video but what?!?!)  Is this how we deal with hinges now?  I am assuming there is a much simpler method and I am just missing somethings. Any thoughts?  

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@scottmoore  Currently there is no functionality to use hinges with auto connect in Braceworks.  The easiest way is to create a duplicate symbol and set the angle.  Most of the hinges that ship with the software are built as two solid additions so that you can rotate to create a custom angle.  They do have a Truss Hinge record that shows manufacturer and weight for worksheet purposes.

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Thanks Brandon. It does seem like creating hinges as two symbols (like we have done for decades at this point) would be the solution, however, perhaps Bracworks can not calculate trusses assembled in that fashion. I’ve not looked beyond the 12” symbols. Are you saying that other sizes do ha e hinge symbols that are only one sided so you can put a pair together in any configuration? 

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Scott,

I think the main issue, at the moment, is keeping Braceworks functional. It's likely the video you found showing duplicating and creating a new hinge for each angle was one that I posted on YouTube a while back. It was the only way I found to have the hinge fully function with Braceworks.

Braceworks has other limitations involving connection points that have info other than straight or having more than one directional option. For example, you can't use a corner block without adding a truss going off at 90°. I've reported as a bug, but at the moment, it's a limitation of Braceworks itself.

 

Best, Scott

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I know that the newer symbols that I have created were done in two halves.  The 3D component features both sides and they are "closed".  What I tell users to do is if you know the angle of the hinge you want to use you can duplicate the symbol and edit the 3D by selecting the right portion and rotating about the hinge point.  This will maintain the left side being setup like the rest of the horizontal truss symbols and make it easier to connect to truss in the drawing.  The auto connect will not work but the Insert Points loci can be used to at least line things up properly.  There is no 2D component as it would be inaccurate once the 3D changed.  If you know how to setup a corner truss symbol with auto connect you can apply the truss record and get the auto connect to work, you just may have to flip the geometry.

 

Edited by JustinVH
Added notes.

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SCParker,

I believe the video in question was yours. Well done.

 

It’s a shame that BraceWorks can’t calculate hinge blocks. That is a pretty common bit of functionality.  I may just stay with my symbols until BraceWorks becomes a fully functional product. I certainly have found that my drawings slow down considerably using Spotlight truss symbols. 

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I'm on the same crusade @scottmoore is at the moment, after many years of using custom symbols, trying to see if I can get  stock truss libraries into my workflow. One thing I need to get around is classes, is there any way of editing the label root class?

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You can do that by dragging the symbols into a blank file, making sure they are actually in the drawing and not just the resource browser. Then edit the class names. Note that every symbol you want to use would have to go through this process. The upside is that then they work as you are used to working. The downside is everyone else will be used to working with the original class settings so if you are sharing a drawing, an explanation is in order. 

 

I would like to know of there is any coding coding in the background that might be negatively impacted by changing class names. Any issue with Braceworks, worksheets, etc.?

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As far as I know there is no coding in the background that will cause issues with changing class names.  Braceworks uses the Truss Record to get all the necessary information that is needed in the calculations so changing the classes will not change this information.

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Hi,

I'm a 20 years Vectorworks users, and work with my own truss librairies and data record since beginning. Now I want to use fabulous Bracework so I have to learn to work with spotlight trusses. It will be easier if I was a new beginner 😉 

I've got same problem than you. For hinges, and also with rounded truss, and mostly with ground support calculations !

I hope those lacks of functions will be soon available !

I've seen your video too @SCParker . For hinge, I've got 1/2 bookend symbols. Do you think I can integrate them into braceworks?

This is a typical truss that I would like to calculate with Braceworks :

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You should be able to integrate them into Braceworks.  I would create a hinge symbol that has the desired angle you are looking to use and attach the Truss Record.  When you set up the Braceworks data use the corner settings and the L-Corner and that will allow you to add the Braceworks Auto Connect.  If you know the cross section data you can also attach that as well. 

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On 1/30/2019 at 12:10 PM, scottmoore said:

You can do that by dragging the symbols into a blank file, making sure they are actually in the drawing and not just the resource browser. Then edit the class names. Note that every symbol you want to use would have to go through this process. The upside is that then they work as you are used to working. The downside is everyone else will be used to working with the original class settings so if you are sharing a drawing, an explanation is in order. 

 

I would like to know of there is any coding coding in the background that might be negatively impacted by changing class names. Any issue with Braceworks, worksheets, etc.?

That’s a good workaround, but I am just creating new custom libraries that way... maybe the ability to edit the root class can be added into vw2020...

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On 1/31/2019 at 11:11 AM, David Dauphin said:

I've seen your video too @SCParker . For hinge, I've got 1/2 bookend symbols. Do you think I can integrate them into braceworks?

This is a typical truss that I would like to calculate with Braceworks :

@David Dauphin I do think you can get your hinges to work. If it were me, I'd grab an existing hinge object from one of the libraries that closely match the shape and direction of the one you want to create. Duplicate it with a new name. Then replace the parts with your own. After that, tweak the Braceworks settings to match your angles. I do this all the time with lighting symbols to make them my own.

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Are any of the vertical truss hinges working in Spotlight? It seems you can only use the insert truss tool to insert hinges on a horizontal plane.  The vertical hinges that ship with spotlight don't auto connect, and can't be used to make a truss system.

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@MSLD

What type of hinge corner are you trying to use, a bookend hinge or center point hinge?

and what model/brand?

 

The most likely reason for the problem is the difference in the way the 2 types of hinges behave in Spotlight. Bookend corners are assumed to be non-load bearing and center point hinges load bearing. This means that bookend hinges can only be used in the horizontal plane (X, Y axis) and can't have a hanging angle or roll. In most cases that I am aware of this follows the manufacturers usage guidelines.

 

If you are using center point hinges and having this problem then it is definitely a bug.

 

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It's interesting that the VWX library includes vertical bookend hinges, if they can't be used to make a truss system. There is no documentation, and no feedback when you try to use a vertical symbol as to why it fails. The truss hinge video in Vectorworks U fails to mention the restrictions

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Which library(s) has the vertical bookend symbols?

 

This could do with being better documented, the difference between the hinge types is in the help manual under 'Adding hinges to an existing system' just above the link to the tutorial video but doesn't explain how this impacts on the insertion of a bookend hinge. I will make an enhancement request to have this better explained and to add a feedback dialogue to the insertion tool to say why the insertion failed.

 

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Tomcat TC20 and TC 12 both have vertical bookend hinges, and the Tyler GT Truss bookend vertical hinge has the same problem. (Don't ask me why I can build a structure with TC1212-VHB with the truss rotated, but the TC1212-VVB fails) If rigged properly, with motors on each truss, bookend hinges can be used vertically. This forces us to convert the "system" to a group or hanging position to be able to move it. Yes, better documentation would be appreciated.

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I just spoke with the developer about the bookend corner issue, there is nothing in Spotlight and Braceworks that will restrict you from using bookend corners on a truss hung with a hanging angle or roll.

I just tested this with the libraries and it looks like the TC VVB hinges are bugged as is the GT vertical hinge, all 3 are coming in as 2D/3D symbols not as truss objects. I'll get a bug report opened

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