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Bruce Kieffer

Section Solids... I can't make this work. How?


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1 hour ago, Bruce Kieffer said:

I've tried what the help says, but I can;'t make it work. I select both the solid object and the nurbs curve, and the Solid Section command is grayed out. Here's the HELP page:

http://app-help.vectorworks.net/2020/eng/index.htm#t=VW2020_Guide%2FShapes2%2FSection_solids.htm&rhsearch=solid section&rhhlterm=solid section&rhsyns=


Hi Bruce,


You need to use a NURBS surface, not a NURBS curve, for the sectioning surface.




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I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do, but the easiest way to create a NURBS surface is to draw a 2D surface and convert it using Command Shift K. Alternately you could use the loft tool. If you post more about what you'd like to achieve I might be able to help further.


The advantage to the sectioning surface being a NURBS surface is that it doesn't need to be a flat plane. If you're trying to section along a flat plane, I would use the Split Tool. Here's a file with two examples of sectioning a cube.





Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 7.44.56 AM.png

Solid Section Examples.vwx

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I'm just trying to understand it. I have use the Split Tool in the past to miter ends of extrusions. The convert Create Surface from Curves command is Option+Command+K. Please explain further how I would use the Loft Surface tool to do this?


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Hi Bruce! Did you work this already?

Some things to know:

- the section solids command is a bit finicky, in my estimation. Sometimes doesn’t work when I think it should. 

- typical use is to cut through a solid with a straight or a “shaped knife” profile, sort of a cookie cutter tool, or ice cream scooper. It will split the target along the profile and allow choice of which part to keep (the dollop of ice cream, or the remaining ice cream) . OIP “Reverse Direction” button switches the choice. 

- the cutting profile needs to be a surface, Eg an extrude, or NURBS surface, or 3d poly (at least this works sometimes), or a generic solid version of the others. 

- the cutting surface needs to intersect the target in a way that defines two volumes. Eg a straight, flat cutting surface that penetrates only partway into a cube will produce an error message. It’s helpful to spin the view a bit to verify that the cutter and the cuttee are engaged in the required config. 


Regarding the Loft Surface idea:

Lofting can can be a quick way to generate a cutting surface, especially a curvy one. Lofts generate NURBS surfaces, but other types of 3d surfaces work with the Section command, too. 




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