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Substracting solids from walls

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I need to substract the highlighted solid from this wall in order to insert the slab on the right properly. The substraction affects only part of the wall not it's entirety, that's why I can't use the component offset option you can access from the OIP. It also only affects the outer component of the wall.

The object I try to use to do the substraction is a simple extrude, and I'm trying to use the "Substract from wall" (ot whatever it is called in english) command of the AEC drop-down menu.


I get an error message saying pretty much: "there's no valid object to sculpt a wall selected".


But I remember substracting solids from walls in the past just like this and in my memories it worked just fine.


Where did I go wrong?

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In Top/Plan view draw a rectangle

Select the Wall & Rectangle

Right Click (contextual menu)>Clip Surface

Adjust the Height and Offset from top of wall to fine tune the vertical position and height of your subtraction.

TopPlan Setup.png

Feature in Wall.png

Edited by bcd

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@bcd Thanks for your answer.


However, this method up the top/plan appearance:



The bricks don't show anymore...

any solution?

Edited by Phileas

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So instead of trying to substract the surplus of isolation, which caused my top/plan view to not show the component anymore, I've now tried to set the general height of the top end of the wall to the lowest level I want, and then add solids using "add surface", since that doesn't destroy the top/plan view.


I find myself facing a new problem now:


When I just add a square that doesn't touch the end of the wall, everything is fine:




But as soon as I add the little triangular shape I have to fill in, everything goes bananas:




this thing is really starting to piss me off, cause I'm losing valuable time.

I move on on other things while waiting for a solution, but what bothers me is that I'm not trying to do something complicated... This is a simple project, and every construction has walls with different component offsets within itself.

I know I could just add a solid that'snot part of the wall but still has the right fill, or I could simply make this single wall into 5 different walls, but I feel this should be somehow possible to solve without such illogical methods as it's not something complicated...


I'm guessing I'm attacking this issue in a completely wrong way... I'm actually trying to insert a slab into a wall by having it cut through one of the components of the wall only.

I can't use the standard top end offset command in the OIP because the slab I'm trying to insert doesn't take up the full length of the wall.

I can't use the manual adjustment of the wall peaks and add vertices and offset them, because that affects all components.

How do you do this?

Edited by Phileas

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You might also try something like this that uses the Wall Hole command...cool thing is that it'll go around corners where Wall Recesses/Projections get a bit weird at corners.


Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 11.37.53 AM.png

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@Wes Gardner your pictures look very promising up there, it looks exactly like what I want to achieve actually. But my version of VW can't open the file you shared, saying it's "a much older version and probably damaged". Could you explain quickly how you achieved that?


And by wall hole command do you mean the "substract from wall" command in the AEC drop down menu? or the "Window bay" part of the "Doors and Windows"-tool? cause this tool cuts through all components, making it useless to me. And the "substract from wall" command destroys the 2D appearance of my wall, that's why I don't use it...

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Thanks Wes your examples.

I didn't know you can auto-bound slab element with only one edge to the wall...really really handy to know.

It's great to learn new stuff every day. 🙂


Thanks Phileas for typing all those questions, they are all very much useful topic to me either as I try hard to collect all the techniques using 3D - BIM only approach.



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@drelARCH yeah I'm kinda spamming the forum lately lol 🙂


Just like you, I'm trying to learn every technique available to be able to use this program to it's full extent as I feel like it has a lot of potential once you get the hand of it.

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  • Model your slab until you're happy with it
  • make it a symbol, make sure it inserts into walls
  • adjust 2D appearance of the symbol if needed
  • edit the 3D wall insertion of the symbol (or whatever it is called in english, the part where you can edit the shape of the cut the symbol makes into walls)
  • create a volume that fits exactly the shape of the cut you want to make into the wall
  • place it where you want the cut to be, relatively to the slab you want to insert
  • exit symbol


there you are

Edited by Phileas

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@Wes Gardner oh and btw, I checked out your method (@drelARCH converted the file for me, thx again man).


To explain it quickly:

  • create a wall style you name "virtual walls", and set the top and bottom level of these walls to height levels that are not defined within the story you're building at. This way, the walls will have no height.
  • place these walls into an "invisible" class, so they are completely invisible, or place them in their own "virtual walls" class and have it permanently disabled. The point is these walls have to exist, but you obviously don't want them to show up in your VPs.
  • create a slab which limits are defined by the wall you want to insert your slab into, and 3 "Virtual walls". That way, you'll have a slab that has automatically defined limits (as opposed to manually defined ones).
  • Set the side offset of your slab on the side of the wall you want your slab to cut into to be "Outer part of the main wall component" (you can do so via the OIP).

Done, your slab cuts into your walls nicely.


I just find my solution to be more versatile, as you can define the shape of the cut manually, and also more "logical", since it bothers me to add some illogical objects like virtual walls.


Also: make sure you don't have a parametric object like a slab or wall object in your symbol

Edited by Phileas

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Hi All,

Sorry for any confusion with the file.  You DO need to bound the slab on all sides - I used Virtual walls in that example..  Here's the " 3D Wall Hole Component" method..It WILL take you a while to get your head around how to do it.  Follow the instructions fairly carefully...


Have some fun




RevealMaker Notes.docx

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@Wes Gardner OK so I played around with your "wall hole" method (which is very similar to the one I proposed).


I can get the 3D to look exactly like what I want it to.


here, you can see the 3D symbol that I used to cut out  the wall, I highlighted it because it is in an invidible class. You can also see the cut I made using the wall hole component. Everything looks fine.



Even when I inserted  the slab like I want it to be.



However, the top/plan view gets ed up by this method:1704443553_Capturedecran2019-05-01a10_30_03.thumb.png.82192ca483eef5d6fc4cca8bb2146748.png

the wall hole command completely deletes the wall, even after dragging the cutting symbol out.


I can't seem to fix this. Any Ideas?



I built the entire thing from scratch again, and this time the 2D Part stayed the same. weird. But problem solved 🙂

Edited by Phileas

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@ Phileas,


Cool!  yeah, the whole thing (pun intended) is a bit nervous...I don't really like to show it but sometimes it can work, particularly for things like reveals when they are important to a design. The cool thing is the whole wall hole thing can be made to go around a corner which is something other approaches can't do.


Good luck!




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