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HEengineering

Best Methods for Extrude along path in multiple planes?

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Posted (edited)

This is something we don't deal with a lot.  I have been able to do it in some scenarios, but if often seems very difficult.  Can anyone provide some insight on the best way to say do a conduit run that moves across various vertical and horizontal planes? 

 

Also I notice if I draw the path in segments and try to convert them to a 3d poly, to form a path I get a group?  But when I use the connect/Combine tool, which also converts it to a 3d poly it doesn't group them, but makes them all combine into one path.  Seems odd that both don't give the same result?

 

And one I have the line all combine It seems I cannot go into edit mode and put a radius on any of the corners??

Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 10.16.41 AM.png

Edited by HEengineering

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Posted (edited)

That's essentially what I did.  Just moving from view to view.  You can't really your the set working plane tool tho on a line.  So the only way it seems possible is to rotate around to the view you need.  

 

The challenge always seems to lie in knowing when you can use what tools and I guess one thing I liked about AutoCad w the plane icon in the upper corner which just gave you a better sense of where your at in space.  VW is one one the more unintuitive when it comes to this specific operations.

 

I had to draw in segments.  Because as far as I can tell  you cannot switch planes while in an active 3d Polygon command?  So if you wanted to make this a continuous line in a co-planar fashion you must..?

 

1 draw segment to segment

2 Use the combine connect tool to convert it to a 3d poly

3 extrude along path

4. edit the path if you want any radius at the bends.

 

I was hoping for a more efficient way I guess?

Edited by HEengineering

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@HEengineeringHi, I know what you mean about the icon in top right.

What i do is have a full screen curser. it helps in me in drawing. Set option here in tools/options/Vecterworks Preferences/interactive.

See attached. the Red line is X and Green is Y.

Capture.JPG

Capture.JPG

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I've come up against these issues too. I use extrude along path to draw things like rainwater downpipes and waste pipes.

 

Sometimes, if you want to draw a 3d polyline that runs on two perpendicular planes, it can work to make a temporary extrude, then use its corners as snap points.

 

In fact temporary extrudes are often my 'cheat' method to draw something perpendicular to the active working plane without setting a new one.

 

The inability to put a radiused corner on a 3d polyline is frustrating, because that's what you want on pipework generally. Sometimes I fudge it by making a segmented corner that looks ok if the drawing is not too large scale. Otherwise you have to tediously draw the straight sections and radiused corners separately, and extrude along them separately.

 

There should be a 3d pipework tool where you can make a path with junctions, radiused corners and so on, and then define a pipe diameter for it, and which would remain fully editable!

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I usually put in 3D loci to locate corners and then use the nurbs curve tool with the degree set to 1 to draw the path.  Then you can use the extrude along path tool as normal.

 

Under the hood VW converts your polyline to a numbs curve anyway.  If you use a polygon or polyline as a path object and then edit the path you will see that it's a numbs curve.  You can edit that nurbs curve also to get the results you are looking for.

 

 

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@line-weight you can actually put a radius on them.  You have to double click and get into the path editor dialog.  From there you see just the single line. (this is after the extrude along path has been completed).  Once your in to the path you can use the fillet too actually.  Which I would have normally not tried bc I assumed it was a 2d tool only, based on past interactions.  

 

It kinda feels like one of those workarounds that is not so intuitive unless you have years of knowledge that tells ya sometimes VW will allow you to do things you otherwise thought it couldn't do.  

 

I find that its a lot of trial and error when it comes to editing the path of a 3d object, this is also a battle I have on occasion with roadways on site models.  

 

This is a little off topic but I still don't understand why you can double click a roadway to get into the path, but at that point it seems pretty much un editable, yet your in an edit mode? Which makes me think there is a way, its just not intuitive as to what you can actually edit?

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Posted (edited)

I know Im hijacking my own thread here, but here s a quick screen shot of a road and then the editable path.  When in the path Im clearly looking at a Y elevation or the "side" of the road.  However none of those nodes actually present any real elevation, or relation to 0.  So what is the point of this edit mode??  In the model view the pt is elev 692.  In the edit mode its 3 1/4"?  So again what is the point of this edit mode 🤕

 

Adding another level of weirdness is This editable path view is actually shown in "Top Plan"🤦‍♂️ (see final attachment showing this)

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 9.10.35 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 9.10.46 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 9.13.14 AM.png

Edited by HEengineering

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, HEengineering said:

@line-weight you can actually put a radius on them.  You have to double click and get into the path editor dialog.  From there you see just the single line. (this is after the extrude along path has been completed).  Once your in to the path you can use the fillet too actually.  Which I would have normally not tried bc I assumed it was a 2d tool only, based on past interactions.  

 

It kinda feels like one of those workarounds that is not so intuitive unless you have years of knowledge that tells ya sometimes VW will allow you to do things you otherwise thought it couldn't do. 

 

Hm, yes I can see you're right. The way the 3d polyline highlights (just a single segment at one end, not the ones you're filleting) when you do it, makes it look like it's not working but actually it is.

 

Problem is though, the whole thing then changes to a NURBS curve, which is then not usefully editable. I can't move any of the vertices without everything going haywire. There's no midpoint selection handle on a segment like with a polyline that allows easy reshaping. The radiused corners don't know that that's what they are, so even if I could move one 'bend' location, say, up or down then the curve between the two straight sections will no longer be a smooth radius.

 

Or do I just need to brush up on my NURBS editing skills (I usually don't use them)?

Edited by line-weight

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Posted (edited)

Yes that is the case.  So it may not be a viable solution in every case.  For me It got the job done.  It would be great to have a more flexible 3d conduit editor if you will.

 

I also am no nurbs expert. I find that is hard to know when to use one?  I think I even tried to extrude along a nurbs and it didn't work?? I could be wrong.

Edited by HEengineering

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Here are a couple comments about the original conduit run question.

 

1) An alternate workflow coopted from @digitalcarbon:

For conduits and downspouts and plumbing, make a library of bends - like a hardware store.  These would be 3d symbols eg made from EAPs of arcs or polylines.  In each symbol, place a 3d locus at center of each end - one of these will be the symbol origin.  These symbols can be snapped to ends of straight sections, then rotated as needed. Not a perfect solution, because not all assemblies use standard curves and bends.  A hybrid approach would be to place the straight sections, then connect the end point centers at each bend with a NURBS Curve, then EAP.  There are ways to loft this, too.

 

2) Regarding edits of NURBS Curves:

Yes, moving a single point changes surrounding points.  But, the Reshape tool provides a couple helpers:

• Marquee selection of several vertices.

•Vertices at ends of straight segments can be changed from those 3d bezier type points to corner points.

Therefore, vertices comprising a bend can be selected as a bunch and moved together along the straight run.

 

 HTH

 

-B

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Benson Shaw said:

Here are a couple comments about the original conduit run question.

 

1) An alternate workflow coopted from @digitalcarbon:

For conduits and downspouts and plumbing, make a library of bends - like a hardware store.  These would be 3d symbols eg made from EAPs of arcs or polylines.  In each symbol, place a 3d locus at center of each end - one of these will be the symbol origin.  These symbols can be snapped to ends of straight sections, then rotated as needed. Not a perfect solution, because not all assemblies use standard curves and bends.  A hybrid approach would be to place the straight sections, then connect the end point centers at each bend with a NURBS Curve, then EAP.  There are ways to loft this, too.

 

2) Regarding edits of NURBS Curves:

Yes, moving a single point changes surrounding points.  But, the Reshape tool provides a couple helpers:

• Marquee selection of several vertices.

•Vertices at ends of straight segments can be changed from those 3d bezier type points to corner points.

Therefore, vertices comprising a bend can be selected as a bunch and moved together along the straight run.

 

 HTH

 

-B

 

Yes I think having a library of bends is the best way to do it when working in detail ... however if you want to quickly draw up a load of rainwater pipework for a 1:100 or 1:50 drawing it's nice just to be able to make one line and then extrude it all in one go. This used to be a really tedious part of drawing elevations manually... but the EAP method makes it a lot less painful. Even in its current non-ideal state.

 

Problem with moving the vertices in a bunch along the straight run like you suggest, is that doing so generally changes the angle of the bend, and then the bend points no longer make sense and I am scared of trying to edit them because I usually seem to just end up with unpredictable spaghetti results!

Edited by line-weight

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Posted (edited)

Follow Bensons suggestion.  If you use the lasso too while in the editing mode you can grab just the nodes you want to move. Whether you want to include the corner or exclude the corner it can be done.  Double click, grab the lasso tool and try grabbing just a few nodes you should see how it works. Once selected you can grab them as a group and move that segment.

 

Also as Benson said you can alter the type of node it is.  Or vertices if thats what you call them.

Edited by HEengineering

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For me, the reshape tool will let me use marquee or lasso selection if I'm editing a polyline - but not a nurbs curve. So I can't actually see how to select several nodes at once.

 

1025148475_ScreenShot2019-04-19at13_04_49.thumb.jpg.9a3f4e1ddcf64582c39352e9e7088127.jpg

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Posted (edited)

easy breezy...and I can get a BOM from it...no need to go back and redo it...done right the first time.

However,  I will admit that electrical conduit could be just a EAP...but I would rather not fight with it.  So I just made...(see last image)

(Note the texture labeling)

 

938367346_ScreenShot2019-04-19at8_50_49AM.thumb.png.81a66e753d21fcda2b457f99c6538419.png

 

 

1465971908_ScreenShot2019-04-19at8_58_05AM.thumb.png.76d3481dba80bd2f2aa8873d6f049528.png

 

Edited by digitalcarbon
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1 hour ago, HEengineering said:

When in the mode just click and drag.  I mispoke, you don't get a lasso you get a selection box.  See my quick clip below

 

 

That doesn't work for me. If I do the same, click and drag, nothing happens, no marquee, nothing selected.

 

Are you on 2019? I'm on 2018.

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Hmm that seems odd.  Im on a Mac?  But it would be very strange that both platforms didn't have this function??

 

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52 minutes ago, HEengineering said:

Hmm that seems odd.  Im on a Mac?  But it would be very strange that both platforms didn't have this function??

 

I'm on mac too.

Just tried it in VW2017 - no different.

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Well ya got me.  Maybe try a shift and click? Hoping someone will chime in bc it should be something you can do.  I can't imaging what would be causing the issue?

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4 hours ago, HEengineering said:

Well ya got me.  Maybe try a shift and click? Hoping someone will chime in bc it should be something you can do.  I can't imaging what would be causing the issue?

Yeah, I've tried shift, alt, cmd and so on, with no luck.

Maybe I've got an obscure setting set to something somewhere.

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@line-weight Apologies - I don't think it's a setting.  Rather it's me assuming and not testing.  I find now that I also cannot marquee select multiple NURBS vertices with the Reshape tool. No way to go back and test, but I thought that was a valid process in earlier versions.  I thought it might be screen plane needed, but that makes no difference, either.  @HEengineering - are you able to marquee select multiple NURBS Curve vertices with the Reshape tool in Move mode?  Or by other means?  I'm still on v2019 SP2 but this evening will update to SP3 and post back.

 

A stoopid workaround is to start with a 3d poly, all straight sections. Make the EAP.  That 3d poly is now a NURBS path made of a bunch of corner vertices.  Edit (reshape) by adding vertices in the bend segments.  Every new bend vertex on that segment has to stay on the plane established by the  adjacent straights -  a problem if it's no straights, or they are skewed. Trying to make a NURBS bend tangent to the straights and maintain codes for min radius is visual only, therefor uncertain.

 

sigh

 

-B

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8 hours ago, Benson Shaw said:

@line-weight Apologies - I don't think it's a setting.  Rather it's me assuming and not testing.  I find now that I also cannot marquee select multiple NURBS vertices with the Reshape tool. No way to go back and test, but I thought that was a valid process in earlier versions.  I thought it might be screen plane needed, but that makes no difference, either.  @HEengineering - are you able to marquee select multiple NURBS Curve vertices with the Reshape tool in Move mode?  Or by other means?  I'm still on v2019 SP2 but this evening will update to SP3 and post back.

 

Seems to be video evidence above that they can?

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Um, sort of, SP3 fixed it?  For NURBS Curves, marquee selection of multiple vertices is enabled again, but with a serious limitation.

 

Except . . .

If any of the vertices are changed (eg to corner) via the Reshape Tool>Change Vertex mode, then marquee select is not available anymore.

 

If any vertices are changed and then all of them are changed again to original status, then the marquee select is able again.

 

 

 @HEengineering  - is this consistent with your v2017 setup.  Your screen capture video shows marquee select operating.  What happens if you change one of the vertices to corner?

 

Is there a bug submit on this? I will try to submit a separate thread and a bug submit over the next couple days.

 

-B

 

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@line-weight - Looks like we posted about same time! Having horsed around with this some more, even with the marquee selection working, the NURBS Curves can become misshapen and require some serious vertex by vertex edits requiring a working plane or view changes.  Can be done after getting the hang of it, but sheesh, what a pain!  

 

So, maybe a hybrid approach? Instead of @digitalcarbon's  hardware store full of fixtures, maybe just a few path bends are needed? or make them on the fly?  Start with an arc or poly of correct radius and arc length.  Convert to NURBS. Snap it to end of a straight and 3d Rotate as needed to point at next station.  When the run is complete, select and compose, then EAP.  Or? Gotta be a way to do this.

 

-B

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