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Fast Flat v0.9.1

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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.


This is it for a while for this tool. ¬†Still not to v¬†1.0¬†ūüėč. ¬†So this is v¬†0.9.1‚Ķ


But I have actual work to do.  And I've started working on the actual tool that I built this tool so I could learn how to build tools.  That tool will actually be useful!


Release notes:

1. Added braces

2. Added vertical ribs w/ separate controls for vertical and horizontal rib sizing.

3. The @C. Andrew Dunning bug is still there.  

4. The blank ID Bug is still there.

5. Did not add corner blocks & keystones.


I'm attaching a file for 2017 - 2019 to include the useful worksheet.


To install:  Go to Vectorworks > Preferences.  Click on the User Folders Tab.  Mac users will have a button that says "Reveal in Finder".  Windows users will have a button that says something like "Reveal in Explorer"(?).  That will take you to a folder with the year of the version you are currently using.  Inside that folder will be a folder called "Plug-ins". Put the attached .vso file in the Plug-ins folder.


Then you need to add the tool to your workspace. @Jim W explains it here.




Fast Flat.vso

Fast Flat 0_9_1 v2017.vwx

Fast Flat 0_9_1 v2018.vwx

Fast Flat 0_9_1.vwx

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Wow.  Just tried it in metric.  


Sorry.  What a mess.


I didn't know what the default metric lumber dimensions should be.  Any thoughts?


There isn't a field to alter the length of the jacks.  The number of parameters was getting large and so I just picked a couple dimensions.  What it does now is the base is 3' (about 1m) long.  The upright part is the same height as the flat if the flat is under 4' (1.2m) tall.  Otherwise it's 12 inches (304mm) shorter than the flat.





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Dear Michael,

Not a mess - just numbers!

Your default height and width is good at 2m x 1m so maybe the ribs should default to 500mm for each. It would be very useful to have an adjustable parameter for the Jack's depth. A default of 900mm would be good which is close to 3' as you have it. Or...maybe some buttons - 1'/2'/3' (300mm/600mm/900mm)?







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On 6/10/2019 at 10:22 PM, Peter Neufeld said:

Excellent. Now if only we can have different options for at least right and left Jacks...! Great that 0 covering depth means just the frame. BTW If I put in a number greater than 1200mm in the spacing it doesn't draw.



I never tried doing a 0 cover depth. ¬†But you're right. ¬†That is cool. ¬†I wish I could say that was intentional. ¬†ūüėú


I didn't put in roadblocks for crazy values.  You could also have a negative thickness.  If I was good at this - like the the people mentioned in the previous thread - I would have made cool subroutines to check the validity of the data going in.


If you put in a rib spacing greater than the flat itself, then there is no rib.  It takes the spacing as approximate and uses that value to calculate the number of ribs and then spaces them evenly.  That way if you are duplicating flats and changing the dimension of the duplicated flat they will have approximately the same rib spacing (as opposed to specifying the number of ribs).


If the rib spacing is less than half the flat dimension, you'll get at least one rib.


Thanks for your help!


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On 6/10/2019 at 10:22 PM, Peter Neufeld said:

Excellent. Now if only we can have different options for at least right and left Jacks...! 



Your 0 trick works to create just a jack.  So you can set the cover depth to 0, the framing depth to 0, and the flat ID to nothing.  Rib option to None.  

Draw one  jack.  You've got nothing but a brace!

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I wish I knew what was causing it. I need some more plane flights to figure it out :-).  If I can't figure it out, I guess I could always put a checkbox to turn the ID on and off.


Until then, if you don't have any ribs, i.e. building a jack only, you can set the ID to nothing.   Or you can set the ID class to invisible and all the IDs go away.

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Fixed the ID bug.  


Came to me while drawing.  What if an empty field in the OIP doesn't return chr(13).  What if it just returns null.  


So when you create text with that variable that reports null and then tempHandle := LNewObj; it doesn't grab an empty text object - there is no text object.  


It grabs the last object.  In this case the last rib.  And it rotates and moves that rib instead of the nonexistent text object.




I'm not sure if any of that is true, but it's they way I'm choosing to understand it.  And it works.  Good enough.

Fast Flat.vso

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  • 10 months later...

Hi Peter!


Until 2 days ago that's exactly what it did!


I should probably put back the checkmark to create the classes.  But I don't want to force people to use them.


Maybe I should have a button to create the classes, and then people can set the defaults to use those classes?


The big issue is that there is no¬†way that I (not being as good at this as Julian ūüôā¬†) can create¬†custom textures to assign to the classes to get the grain running in the correct direction on the ribs, stiles and rails. ¬†That's going to be up to the user.


I'll consider this the first feature request.¬†ūü§ď

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Dear Michael,

I think it saves the user from having to think about and then create each and every class if they were pre-populated. That way the user gets the best of both worlds which is the choice to use those or make their own. Currently it's just more work IMO. It would also make it similar to the rest of the PIO's in the staging toolset.

I haven't investigated the texture side of things but personally having the already aptly described classes pre-filled allows me to get to the texture settings straight away knowing what's what and then suss it from there. Not everything will have a grain or even be seen so close...




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