Jump to content

Creating details from 3D model

Recommended Posts

We have been creating 3D models in Vectorworks up to Planning stage for a while but trying out the jump to a full construction set that is taken from the model, rather than drawn separately in 2D. We have been muddling along with this but have been looking for any online tutorials on creating construction details from the 3D model. Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction?



Link to comment

The best start is to make a viewport plan view this can be rendered in various ways I  generally use hidden line with a dashed Hidden-line background and place it on a sheet layer at a scale to suit your project and print set up.  Once you have this on the viewport you can then create elevations and sections using the plan view. May seem a bit daunting to start with but you will soon get the hang of it.  Loads of videos on YouTube.   Just type in creating viewports in vectorworks.  It’s great fun and so easy once you get the basics.   Hope this helps.  

Edited by Phil hunt
Link to comment

sorry laura meant to add create the viewport from the design layer or layers that you have created the model on....i usually set my dpi on the sheet layer to 300 the one thing that is a bit tricky if once you have all your viewports on the sheet layer if you add any additional classes to the model you need to update the viewports visibilities otherwise when you update the viewports the additional classes will not be added.....caught me out when i was  learning the process 

Link to comment

Hi Laura. I assume you are doing architectural construction drawings? Unless you are a super keen on 3d modelling there is usually a lot of construction detailing that is done in 2d.


For me I find my Elevation drawings are 95% 3d, Sections are about 50-70% 3d and details are all in 2d. I do use details section viewports (under the view menu) to set up 3d detail viewports but then overlay 2d details in the viewport annotations. The 3d portion acts as a guide and the detail viewports have auto drawing referencing via detail callouts which is great. Once I have my details set up I turn off all layers in the detail viewports so only the 2d annotations are displayed.


I.e. I hardly do any detailing in design layers, pretty much all of my detailing is done in viewport annotations.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

I've read that BIM is good for up to 1/4" or 1:50 scale and anything more detailed needs to be hand drawn.

This seems to make sense to me.


I saw an interesting video by Evan Alexander on youtube  - 'Elevations and Sections for TV & Film' and have used his method to make my own workflow.


My basic work flow:

  • Create a TEMP sheet layer and a ELEV design layer.
  • I make a 1:1 section or elevation viewport on the TEMP sheet layer - it's going to be hugely oversized for the paper! use fit to page to zoom out!
  • I modify>convert>convert copy to lines.
  • I select the resulting Group and copy it.
  • I past this Group (not the viewport - I don't think you can past an elev viewport to a design layer - weird as you can past a top/plan viewport.) on my ELEV design layer.
  • I clean up this line drawing - deleting lines that make no sense, composing lines into polylines if needed, purging duplicate/overlaid lines. This is a bit of work.
  • I now have a really nice base of a line drawn elevation at scale to draw my details with.
  • Now you can viewport this drawing onto your elevation and detail sheets as needed.

The good:

  • I don't have to redraw all that modeling work I've already done to get elevations.
  • 'Convert COPY to lines' doesn't destroy the viewport - so you can update if needed (not very cleanly as mentioned below).

The bad:

  • LOTS of duplicate/overlaid lines to clean up! purge does a pretty good job but it can really slow you down until you've purged.
  • Does not update with the model - you can use the original viewport to get new base lines, but you really are starting over...


I like using the above to get a good solid base drawing for when I'm going for more detail/.

Honestly, I've found myself using this for most of my elevations as I don't like the output I've been getting from viewports. To much tweaking the settings when I'm on a schedule and I can just modify the 'copy to lines' quickly and get the graphic style I like...


Hopefully when I have more experience with VW I'll be able to output viewports that look the way I want them to.


Edited by hollister design Studio
Link to comment

You can skip a step with the sheet layer by creating the section or elevation viewport on the ELEV design layer itself.  When you are in the Create Section Viewport dialog box, tick the box for "flatten viewport."  This will create the viewport on the design layer in the same manner as the sheet layer example you posted.  Then you are free to convert it.


I usually do this if I have to get a drawing with sections or elevations to someone in DWG format, since the export process usually destroys the 3D components of walls and doors/windows or if I'm handing the drawing off to someone who doesn't understand 3D very well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...