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Structural Member Pitch

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I am used to working with the legacy framing member and decided to check out the structural member tool.


How do you set the pitch of a structural member?  For example, if you want a 1:12 slope to the member?  Setting the start and end elevations will change the angle of the member as it grows in size....

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  • 2 years later...

No.  I mostly avoid the structural member tool.  VW's focus on data at the expense figuring out a tool that better meshes with construction is a little problematic, with respect to this tool.  The structural member tool is scheduled to be improved in the VW roadmap. (probably in September)  Not sure if this will be one of the changes. 


I use the framing tool for roof framing members and even for many of my steel detailing projects.  The framing member has a useful dialogue box that allows you to lock the end on resize which is especially helpful when doing roofs.  It shows the start and ends of members.  It also allows you to group and stretch multiple members.  While simpler, the framing tool is infinitely more flexible.  Data is more easily applied via record formats, since everyone's data needs can vary. 


It would be really good if the both tools could show wood members in section.  (Like in the graphic below).





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Yes, I agree with everything you have said.  I can't believe that you can't change the length of a sloping member without it changing the pitch? We had some issues with an IFC coordination with a structural draughting company where the framing members were 'shifting' in the file transfer & we had better results with using the structural member. These were however, horizontal members so were easier to reshape.  It is a pain not being able to change the length of multiple structural members in one go.

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You might find this thread useful/interesting.




There are still lots of annoying things about the structural member tool but I have been using it a bit.


For me, it's less bad than the framing member tool.


(There are some scenarios where you can use a roof face object to create eg. timber rafters. Otherwise, for me it's generic solids.)


Not being able to lock the pitch is indeed frustrating. However, there are a couple of ways you can change the length without affecting the pitch. Firstly you can do it manually by resizing in a 3d view (rather than a top plan view). Shift+drag on the end points. Snapping the end points to where you want them is a different matter and gets complicated when you are using offsets etc.


Alternatively you can do it in the OIP. NB if you change the value for the span, the start and end Z heights stay the same and the pitch changes. However, if you change the value for the length, the pitch stays the same but the end location moves (in plan and Z height).


If you get to working out how it behaves, then you can actually control structural members quite precisely, if not intuitively or conveniently. I've found that it can (maybe??) be worth using them once drawings get to a more detailed level, when you do want to be quite precise, and the likelihood of future wholescale changes is decreasing.


For example in setting out complicated roofs, you can choose a Z height for the ridge, or the eaves, or whatever, using story levels if you want, and then work from here using the various controls for start/end offsets and so on.


It's one of those tools that's nearly very useful, but remains at "just about usable" stage because of unfixed bugs and lack of development. That other thread lists all the things that need to change. We'll see if any of it gets implemented before we all retire or get replaced by AI.

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Thanks, that is helpful. It is frustrating that a tool is close to being useful, just needs a bit of further development! fingers crossed before retirement, although with the state of the worlds finances, that may not be for some time yet!

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