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I'm quite new to vectorworks. I'm trying to understand how to build complex hatches like hexagon hatches, hatches with circles etc, not just lines criss crossing.

I've found on Vectordepot.com some hatches, but as I open the files, I can't find already made hatches resouces in these Vectorworks files, the hatches are just "drawn" in the file, but not available in the Resource Browser.

How can I import these "drawn hatches" into a Resouce Browser's Hatch??

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I don't know about the Resource Browser, but you should be able to find and use all the hatches that are stored in the current file by using the Attributes palette. Change the fill type to Hatch, and then pull down the list of hatches under that to select a hatch fill for the currently selected objects. If no objects are selected, then doing that sets the default fill for newly created objects.

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If you want to create your own hatches, you can open the hatch editing window by clicking on the word "Hatch..." at the bottom of that list of hatches in the attributes palette. A window will pop up. Click "New" (or select an existing hatch that's similar to what you want) and then click "Duplicate". Then click "Edit", and the Edit Hatch window pops up.

A Hatch consists of one or more "Levels". Each Level consists of an array of identical and equally spaced parallel lines. The lines can be dashed or solid. The Levels are related to each other by a common Origin.

Each "Level" is defined by:

-- color & lineweight attributes the same as for any line in VW,

-- a DASH FACTOR (1.0 for a solid line)

-- 3 vectors

The 3 vectors are:

1. START POINT vector = angle and distance from the Origin to the start point of a dash. For a simple one-Level Hatch, or a two-Level cross-hatch, this vector can be set to 0,0.

2. REPEAT vector = angle of the line itself, and distance along the line itself from the start of a dash to the start of the next dash. DASH FACTOR is applied to REPEAT distance, so the length of a dash = DASH FACTOR x REPEAT. For a solid line, DASH FACTOR and REPEAT distance can both be set to 1.

3. OFFSET vector = angle and distance from any point on a line to the equivalent point on the next parallel line. For simple hatches, OFFSET angle = REPEAT angle + 90 degrees, in which case OFFSET distance has the same meaning as in the Offset tool.

The linear distances of the vectors can be:

-- WORLD = "to scale" (for example, brick coursing or ceiling grid)

-- PAGE = relative to print-out size (for example, shading or poche).

A Hatch can be either background-filled (any color) or not.

For simple one- or two-Level Hatches, it's easy to just fill in numbers and see what it looks like, changing the numbers until it looks right.

For a complicated multi-Level Hatch, I usually draw (in VectorWorks) a small sample of the pattern I want, making each Level a different color for easy identification. I don't use dashed lines, but actually draw a dash and then repeat it a few times, so that I can later snap to the ends of the dashes. Then I draw X and Y axes, and for each Level I draw a thick polyline representing the 3 vectors. Then I print that out, and write the angle and distance of each vector next to it.

It sounds more complicated than it is.

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Originally posted by jan15:

A Hatch consists of one or more "Levels". Each Level consists of an array of identical and equally spaced parallel lines.

Thanks a lot jan. What you say is that everything in a hatch is composed of just lines? This means that a circles hatch is in reality composed of circles broken down to lines?

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Originally posted by jan15:

For a complicated multi-Level Hatch, I usually draw (in VectorWorks) a small sample of the pattern I want, making each Level a different color for easy identification. ... Then I print that out, and write the angle and distance of each vector next to it.

Does this mean you can't "import" a drawing into an hatch automatically, but the only way is to manually reconstruct it in the Hatch editing windows from your printed sample??

This sound pretty crazy if you're going to design complex hatches!

Some hatches found on VectorDepot seems like imported from Autocad, they do have for instance, circles. How do I draw circles in a VectorWorks hatch manually... recontructiong a circle as a 32-sided line collection??!! can't it be a simpler way?

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Originally posted by islandmon:

I posted a bunch of those hatches @Vectordepot ... but I often use Image Fills within wall cavities instead. For example for PolySteel Wall System Blocks which have a distinct circular and rectanglular center fill pattern.

Image fill is quite interesting, but doens't work if you need to export to DXF/DWG/autocad...

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Yes, Paolo, you've got the idea. No true curves in hatch patterns. And no convenient do-all-the-math-for-you hatch creation window as with most VW features.

But it's much easier to create hatch patterns in VW than in Autocad, if that's any consolation. In AC you have to specify all the vectors in a text file, then close the file and then re-start Autocad and hatch something before you can see what the pattern looks like. At least VW shows you the pattern while you're working on it.

I personally wouldn't even try to create a hatch definition with circles in it. When I want to poche gravel or concrete, I don't use a hatch pattern at all. I paste in a drawing of gravel or concrete poche that I created a long time ago, making it a group so that the poche can be treated as a single object. It's not as convenient as a hatch when you want to alter the area that is poched, but it looks much better than any hatch pattern could look, and it exports nicely to DWG format.

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Let's face it ? the hatch implementation is bad in VW, for many releases. Paolo is right; you can't expect us to start breaking a much needed simple object, like a circle, into zillions of calculated vectors.

Working with groups of ready made drawn elements is a bad solution (I use it my self some times but I'm not happy). There are a lot of situation that you want to fill a complicated area and "designing" the group to "fill" is a lot of work. ]

The image fill got it strength but it is sure not a hatch replacement. Most of our job is vector based, from a lot of good reasons, and this situation won't and shouldn?t be changed. So image fills can't help as a hatch replacement.

It is even more annoying when you check the nice stipple feature that exists since VW 11. This tool allows us to generate very useful complicated but controlled, vector fills that got a lot of common with hatch. The problem with this tool is the clumsy editing capabilities of the polygon, and the long time it takes to regenerate the stipple.

I think that the solution for a decent "hatch generator" is almost here: all we need is the ability to point on a stipple and command "convert stipple to hatch". Please NNA make it happen.

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Originally posted by Yovav:

... the clumsy editing capabilities of the polygon...

Compared to what?

I think of polygon editing as one of the best features of VectorWorks. Between the 4 modes of the Polyline tool, the 5 modes and 4 sub-modes of the 2D Reshape tool, the Rectangle tool, and the Add, Clip, and Intersect Surface commands, polygon editing is so easy that I never use lines.

And disparaging the hatch capability in general doesn't seem fair. It's not as good as I could imagine it being, but it's much better than in other CAD programs.

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You are correct ? editing a polygon in VW is superb. The problem starts when you try to edit a stipple, with the same editing mechanism:

a. The time after moving the point until the stipple regenerates is, in some cases, very long.

b. If we are looking for "filling" technology we want to apply the fill to an object or to group of objects, and not to trace them with a "filling tool". There are ways convert object to a stipple, but when you change the object you have to reshape the stipple.

I think that the stipple tool is very versatile and gives great products, I just wish we can use it strength with the easy operation of the hatch ? select and apply, or select and change.

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