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Beams Above

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Newbie here.


I looked but could not find a solution. In architecture it is extremely common to show items above in plan view, such as beams above and changes in ceiling elevation.


Question is: Is there a way to show these so that they are tied to the model (wall with beam/opening or ceilings actually at different elevations. This would be extremely helpful to avoid inadvertent errors where the item below moves, but the representation of the conditions above do not move with it.


Thanks in advance.


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Hi, in Vectorworks there is no easy way to do that directly, is a limitation of the software, however there are several workarounds, from drawing the projected lines manually, or using a old plugin called Beam Above http://vectordepot.com/plug-ins/

Also you can try to use the horizontal section viewport, but is still very limited in terms of 2D representation and being a section you will have to wait to render every time you make changes on the model

Edited by DBrown

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This can be done by using the Framing Member tool with all attributes set "By Class". This provides several options, including:

1) These objects can be placed in the model in their correct X/Y/Z position(s).

2) If a discreet Class is used, the objects can be visible or not depending on user settings in Design Layers and Sheet Layer Views.

3) By Class attributes can be dialed in to your desired graphics, for both 2d and 3d representations.

4) In Plan Viewports (eg as you mention above) the Class Attributes can be Overridden (modified) as desired.



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Thanks for the feedback. I will use the workaround beams, seems like the best option for now and use the manual drawing in a pinch (last resort). Again new here, working through the learning curve and (and limitations from the software, many of which i am surprised are still limitations in 2020 BIM). The saving grace is that VW has great customer support and devoted users.


Total side note. Is there a good book to walk you through an architectural project, both large and small, to speed up learning a good workflow and avoid me learning bad habits. The you tube videos are nice, but finding good ones, and ones in a coherent manner is hard to do and makes my head spin (also from experience learning revit, not everyone teaches best practices that end up causing future problems, they end up teaching sloppy drafting... I tend to like to do in right the first time).


Again, thanks for all the support, you guys are the best. I will probably have more posts with questions and apologize in advance if I am repeating old questions. I always try to do the search in the help and forums first as I respect your time, but sometimes cannot find a pertinent post.



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There's no "best practice" or coherent workflow that VW is designed around, for architectural projects, I'm afraid.


You kind of have to work out what works best (or least worst) for you and the type of projects you tend to do.


One of the big issues is touched upon above: the "top-plan" concept sort-of works for certain kinds of buildings (large rectilinear ones with flat roofs) but falls apart for more geometrically complicated things. Then you can use the horizontal section approach - which has a separate bunch of problems associated with it.


Vectorworks frankly is a big mess - but quite a flexible and adaptable one, which is why many of us stick with it.

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4 hours ago, PLENZEN said:

Is there a good book to walk you through an architectural project


I don't think any of these are in book form (earlier versions were), but they are pretty comprehensive and structured to walk you through the process:




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I'll check out archoncad. I saw those in my research. Hoping for a book as a reference as well, but these should work...just need to take notes.  Thanks!

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