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Help with Polygon and extrusion

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Hi there,


I'm fairly new to VW, so I don't fully understand its workings and I'm having a very frustrating time.


I'm trying to create gothic roof beams in a drawing of a church for a show I'm working on. I've drawn the lattice work using the line tool, then added any arcs using the arc tool, converted the arc to lines then used compose to create a polygon. When I try and extrude the polygon it only seems to extrude as though it were lines, not as a solid structure. I've tried converting this to a 3D polygon and use the push/pull command but it doesn't seem to locate the face in order to pull it out.


If anyone can tell me how I'm being stupid I would be most grateful!!


Many thanks,



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This usually means that the profile is not a closed polygon, also, you will want to leave it as a 2D poly.

Can you attach a file that contains the profile? I, or someone else, can take a look for you.

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Hi Marissa,


Thanks for the quick response. I've attached the VW file in v2018, let me know if a there is a better version.


Ah, ok, I didn't realise that was a thing. It seemed to come up as closed and all the lines seemed to connect. Anyway, file attached. The way I've been building the frame is to create a solid beam then subtract the other beam shapes to create the lattice work. Then I was going to flip the beam in 3D so it stands upright.


I'm guessing there is an easier way to do all this, I'm not really proficient at any of the 3D stuff, I kind of hack away at things until I get roughly the result I'm looking for. Kinda like the monkeys with typewriters and infinite time being able to write the works of Shakespeare...


Zoomer - It is definitely filled solid in attributes... just checked before I embarrassed myself any further!


Thanks all!



websters upstairs v1.3.vwx

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So I found the issue and fixed it -

On the inner edge of the left side of the profile, there must have been two lines overlapping when you composed because stepping through the vertices bounced back over that edge once before continuing. The poly was also not closed.


I've attached a revised file, exported back from a newer version (you should have no issues opening it, please let me know if otherwise). You should be able to extrude this shape as a solid (I tested and undid the action to make sure).



websters upstairs v1.3_MKF v2018.vwx

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Amazing! Thank you so much!!!


Was that the issue with the poly not being closed? Ah, wait, just seen the 'closed' tick box. Guessing thats how you close the darn thing?!


How did you spot the overlap? I can see when you select the poly that you can step through the vertices. It only seems to flash up a little box then it disappears, it's very difficult to identify... is there a better way to view this?


Apologies for all the questions, I'd love to be able to learn so I don't have to keep annoying everyone for help!


Thanks so much again.



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Yes, the closed checkmark is what I used, but usually if your points all touch it will close itself. You must have been off by the teeniest unseen-to-the-eye amount.

If you click-hold the circle button between the two arrows, the vertex will remain highlighted.

I did notice while going through again that there was still one extra vertex, so I removed it in this revision.


Please don't feel bad about asking questions! This forum thrives on questions from users, and everyone here is willing to help 🙂 We would rather get asked all sorts of questions than have anyone stuck on something they need help with.



websters upstairs v1.3_MKF v2018_v2.vwx

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Thanks for that.


Ah yes, I think I know what's happened on the main structure, my centre must have been slightly off when I mirrored the arcs, I did have to extend and trim lines, so I've probably not zoomed in enough when doing so. The sub structures to create the lattice work seem to be composing as closed polys.


I do intend to get some formal training in VW, it's on my list of CPD. I'm sure I'll get around to it at some point!


I appreciate all the assistance in the meantime!





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I've attached the completed beams as well as a pic of the venue...


Again, thanks for this. Not quite got the textures right, still having issues with getting the walls and floor to play correctly but thank you so much for helping me out. It's pretty damn close, good enough to visualise the production we are hopefully putting in there.





websters upstairs v2.1.vwx


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@JazzLX Congrats, glad you are getting the hang of it.


Perhaps you had reason to Select the curved elements and Convert to Lines.  Note that VWX can easily extrude the arcs and other curved shapes. The Convert to Lines command transforms curves into hundreds of straight lines which then need to be composed.  More points in an object mean higher overhead (lag) for navigation, screen redraw, rendering, etc.   In addition to the extra steps of Convert and Compose, the resulting composed object is very difficult to edit and may cause slowdowns, especially if many such objcts are in the drawing. Best to extrude the curves without the Convert step.


For the walls, try this:

VWX Menu>Preferences>Edit - Disable Auto Join Walls


On the drawing:

Make a Surface for use with Fit Walls to Objects command if needed

Front View, Screen Plane or Screen Aligned

•  Draw a Polyline tracing with two straight segments the peaked roof edges

•  Extrude the poly to 15000mm

3d view, Layer Plane

•  Move the extrude to cover the building - like a roof.


3d view

• Select a wall and drag its bottom corner "handle" away from the corner (hold Shift to lock direction). This unjoins the walls at that corner.

• Select/Drag the other wall handle away from the corner.

• Drag the peaked wall corner back to corner of slab

• Drag the side wall to meet the peaked wall - Walls should not auto join - they won't have that miter/bevel

• Repeat for other corners


If the drag operation changed the slopes of the peaked ends, here is how to fix:

Select the two peaked walls

AEC>Fit Walls to Objects - Enable the constrain wall tops and choose the Theater Floor Plan layer- Click OK

Result is that wall peaks and corners rise/fall to that extruded "roof" object.


Dbl click a side wall

Drag its top center handle up/down to set wall height at corner of peaked roof.

      The drag can actually go sideways on screen to snap to a corner of the peaked wall

     The wall top will move only in z, not sideways.

Repeat for the other wall.


Delete that "roof" or move it away or send it to another layer








Edited by Benson Shaw
  • Like 4

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Hi Benson,


Thanks for the info, the reason I converted the arc is that it was creating a centre vertice point and looking like an unclosed poly, please see attached pic. I couldn't seem to find a way to stop it doing this so then converted it to lines. I'm clearly being a dunce and not looking in the right place!


I see what you mean about it slowing everything down a bit, it explains why I was a bit laggy at certain points.


Ah, cheers for the tips about the walls, gave it a quick bash there but couldn't get the peaks to extend to the poly roof. I'll give it another bash after I've had a second coffee!


Kinda unrelated question, but one I've been coming across recently, I've now added the hanging pendants and other electrical items to the drawing. When I've added the lights it has changed the way the 3D view looks, obviously because its now trying to render using the light sources I've added, but now it looks kinda dark and a bit difficult to navigate. Is there a way of turning this off?!


Thanks so much for your time and tips!




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1 hour ago, JazzLX said:

Kinda unrelated question, but one I've been coming across recently, I've now added the hanging pendants and other electrical items to the drawing. When I've added the lights it has changed the way the 3D view looks, obviously because its now trying to render using the light sources I've added, but now it looks kinda dark and a bit difficult to navigate. Is there a way of turning this off?!


Put the lights into a separate class and turn the class visibility off when working in your 3D view

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Ah, yep, I understand that, but was hoping there was a way of doing it so the fixtures were visible whilst working in 3D but not producing that effect. If that makes sense?

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8 hours ago, JazzLX said:

it was creating a centre vertice point and looking like an unclosed poly


This does not have to be a problem:

1)   I find that drawing with the color fill on is annoying and counter productive.  So I turn it off by clicking in blank space to deselect everything, then change the Attribute Palette>Fill from Solid to None. New objects will not have any fill, existing objects will not be affected.  Try that for a while and see if you prefer.  If not, return the fill to Solid. I also prefer, usually, to draw in None class and reassign objects to new classes as needed. I Edit my None class to have None fill, no texture, and disable the Use at Creation (most other classes have fill and Use at Creation, and many have textures).  


2) I think in your file your work flow for the extrusion is to define the negative spaces?  Try it the other way.  Draw the roof peak/wall edges as 2d guide objects, then draw the outlines of the wood pieces with arcs, lines, polylines etc.  If you make an element with several components (eg the big arches would be enclosed by a long arc, a concentric short arc and several straight lines). Select/Compose them to make a single enclosed object, or use the Polygon paint bucket. Delete or hide the guide objects so they are not part of the selection for the Extrude command.


Anyway hang in there - lots to learn.  You will develop a personal set of templates and drawing prefs that suits you.  Vectorworks is flexible!



Edited by Benson Shaw
how I draw

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Ah, that makes sense with the attribute fill. I also like the idea of working in none then reassigning the objects later. To be fair I usually end up doing something similiar as I completely forget to change layers and classes. My drawings can end up quite messy sometimes!


Yes, when I drew the beam structure I drew the whole structure, then converted the outline to a poly, which I extruded, then extruded the internal negative spaces and subtracted the solids. Sometimes it bugs me in VW when you make an structure out of several objects and as you move around you can kind of 'see' the edges, sometimes they do a little flicker. I realise the actual beams themselves are made of multiple sections, and its kind of a silly thing to be annoyed at but thats the reasoning behind the way I constructed the beams. If that makes sense.


Oh yeah, loooaaads to learn, at the moment I'm just trying to make my workflow more efficient and effective with little tips and shortcuts etc.





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