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Kerschbaumer

Old dog, new VW - Do I make the leap from 2d line drawing to 3d?

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Hi

Been long struggling with the idea to overhaul my workflow to draw in 3d using VW, but am paralyzed by fear and anger at time spent being hung up.  I am approaching the group to (hopefully) offer some sage advice based on your experiences with this.  My question here is in the context of Single Family residential wood frame construction.

 

Some quick background - been using VW since version 6 (1998) - Our office had just started with CAD and we hired a top gun to coach us using wall tool etc which we soon abandoned and to this day I draw in 2d using mostly only lines and polygons (no wall tool). I export my 2d plans to Sketchup and model from there - primarily for presentation purposes.  The VW 3D died for us largely because the energy and effort expended to accurately represent for us what we wanted was such a time waster that we found it faster and more linear to draw in 2d.

 

Typically, when I draw my plans,sections and elevations they are all 100% accurate in terms of assemblies, eave conditions, fascia, window trim etc etc and wonder if in order to draft in 3d do I have to let a part of that 'thinking' go in order to allow VW to digest what is happening and make it back up in 2d drawn details?  Anyways, enough rambling - I would very much appreciate learning the experience of others who have already made the change I am considering, and also appreciate any advice or resources that you feel may help.

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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@Kerschbaumer 

Depending on the type of work you do and how complex your jobs are you may want to spring for some training on using the 3D tools. They can be intimidating and at times frustrating and the last thing you want to do is become frustrated and give up. My experience is that you may experience a steep learning curve at first but things come quickly after.

 

Also don't expect your sections and details to have all things directly from the Wall, Slab and all other styles. You may need to "draft" in the annotation space other materials and fasteners to get the exact look you are going for.

 

I think VW Architect is ideally suited to your very type of work. It's been my experience that, with Landscape Architecture, that going into commercial design we are really pushing the envelope on the softwares capabilities. I strong encourage you make the move!

 

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2 to 3d is indeed a steep learning curve. It requires a lot more effort and time up front. This can reap rewards if you end up issuing at least 2-4 revisions plus for planning and working drawings, particularly if you like decent renders etc and or need to be efficient /faster/ more accurate etc.    We have become 40% more efficient in doing this over the long term. On a note of caution however the programme (and I think its the same for others ?) is not brilliant at real fine tune detailing which we still do in 2d over 3d models. Hope this helps!  

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I've been using VW now for about 4 1/2 years now, having previously used Autocad from a 2D perspective for a long time and even Softplan that is capable of 3D but we used it only from a 2D perspective.  It took a bit to get a hang of working in 3D but I find it worth it.  Self taught.

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When working in 3D, the question is not only whether it saves time or not. (Depending on how you work, it does.)
It has rather a huge influence on the quality of the drafts and the execution. When working in 2D, thinking is often caught up in the orthogonal views of the floor plan, section and façade. One sees things as problems that only appear as such in these limited views. Conversely, by constructing the model completely in 3D, one is pointed to problems that would never have been visible in sections and floor plans.
You therefore have a much more comprehensive idea of the project in your head, which of course improves the quality of the design.
In addition, visualizations of all corners of the project can be made at any time at no extra cost. This improves communication with clients and planners enormously.

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Thankyou All - Sounds pretty unanimous. 

 

David S  - I do like the sound of 40% better work flow.  What sparked my question was attending Buildex trade show and VW had a booth there and was able to speak with the rep and see some demo of his work and was very inspring.  Does anyone know of a tutorial/video/resource that would provide an overview/framework for how the file would be set up and design process unfold?  Full disclosure I havent looked very hard yet on my own, just a quick scan of web is all.

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What you have to keep in mind is that the change is quite big, even if you already know Vectorworks in 2D.
If you want to make the transition in self-study with learning by doing, assume a 5 year learning period that will not be productive at all in the beginning. If you have an employee who already knows the tricks and can do all the model setups, it will take about 1 year until you know the most important things.  After about 2 years you are ready to set up your projects efficiently. The whole thing also depends on your talent, but you already have a very long 2D experience with Vectorworks.
It is highly recommended to buy the know-how, either by a new employee, or by trainings and tutorials.

Edited by herbieherb

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I will be happy to help you with your projects in 3D. I am an Architect and I provide drafting services in Vectorworks.

Please contact me at neelambari@cadmitra.com for discussing this further.

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