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VW12 - The Emperor is naked!!!


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Mike nailed it. I don't know about most people posting on this thread, but our office is small and we don't have the luxury of "exploring the new possibilities". Our jobs live or die by a few hours of profit margin. Even this thread is taking me away from working and sometimes gives me pause to reply to these messages. I do it because I know that there are other users out there who could benefit from the outcome of this discussion. I'd like to see one of two things come from this:

1- NNA creates VW Lite, VW 2D, or VW Fast

2- NNA supplies a vastly improved reference on how to use the software with hugely improved search capabilities. Has anyone actually tired to use the Help files with VW 12? What a joke!!!

What I am seeing from this discussion is encouraging and I appreciate all who have constructively participated in it. I just hope that Nemetschek is reading and taking notes!!!

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I concur with jan15 on the usefulness of 3D models. On two recent projects the structural engineers and others have had problems understanding what was happening three dimensionally. Clarifying what was going on with them, and thus solving the problems, was much easier using the 3D model.

[ 03-06-2006, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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I'll add my voice to the 3D chorus. As a former builder, it is in my blood to know if what I'm designing can actually be built properly. I've seen many construction plans drawn only in 2D where different elevations don't match up with each other or the floor plans. The Building Information Model (BIM) eliminates that problem. When designing a staircase, for instance, after placing the staircase in plan view, I can press one key to see the elevation of the stair and find out how big the hole in the floor above can be to allow for proper headroom, or if that required headroom is running into the framing of the roof above.

I agree with Mike M Oz here:

"They are not motivated like "the enthusiasts" are to explore and experiment, working out the best ways of doing things. Not being provided with the resources to help them learn how to do this quickly leads to frustration and angst."

Even if those resources are available, if you don't have the desire or positive attitude going into something like this it is bound to lead to the frustration and angst. Most of the learning process definitely has to come "off the clock". It takes time and practice and you can't charge anybody for that. No one that I know of ever gets paid to go to school. I'll spend hours after my kids have gone to bed exploring features I haven't learned yet or reading these forums. Count me as an enthusiast. An architect who was still drawing by hand (nothing wrong with that, by the way) asked me how easy it was to learn VW or how long would it take to be up and running with it and my question back to them was do they like working with computers? For me, I love computers and think what VW can do is really cool and fun; the desire and motivation comes easily for me. It's obviously not for everyone. Different people use different tools and they even use the same ones differently.

In the words of a Clint Eastwood character: " A man's got to know his limitations".

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The architect who is still drawing by hand may have tried using PCs and ACAD 20 years ago and then thrown the whole lot out the studio window.

The computer/software/userinterface has come a long way since then. Users who were frustrated then may have a different experiance now with a competant tutor. I can't say enough about having a good instructor giving you an introduction to new modern software. Resolve.ca's training courses are well worth it. Why spend thousands on software and not get some training to use it?

My wife works in the travel industry. Her co. got new software, each staff member got a week of training to use it.

In VW, the 2D drawing IS the 3D model. You don't have to spend a whole lot of time just to get the benefit of the 3D.

Learning is a life long process. Surely there have been great changes in materials and processes in architecture and engineering that make constant learning necessary. I am a bit taken aback when I see some professionals complaing about having to complete thier minimal annual skills and or knowledge upgrading.

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Of course everyone would love to wholly work in 3D. The benefits are enormous and also will be the essential in the future, However, much as I would like to cut sections, draw plans etc, once you apply a Z factor to any element it loses its patterns, fills and basic graphics, or am I missing something essential. Everything is in wireframe and not in the graphics which makes VW 2D so special. I use 3D for models, but once I do this I have to abandon the base file, and then in 2D in a new version of the file, return for the major working construction drawing programme. VW works in detailed hybrid symbols, which to my understanding does not translate to the basics of 2D/3D general working. Any comments from anyone?

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In my experience many architects are their own worst enemies with their attitudes towards training. Quite often their egos won't let them admit that they need to be shown how to do something. More often it is because they think they don't have the time to do it, and/or it costs too much.

Instead they will choose to flounder on being inefficient, using only some of the program capabilities.

PS I am an Architect and I am speaking from 12+ years of experience of CAD and Architects.

[ 03-06-2006, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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The VW Lite that would suit your needs already exists within the existing program.

Using the Workspace Editor, you can pare down your interface to those tools and commands that you need, and save it as your default. Choose Edit a Copy of the Current Workspace, give it a new name and then remove anything you don't need. When you exit the editor you will be in your new Workspace. You can reverse any changes, or delete the entire Workspace, put it on other machines.

Granted, it's not an "out of the box" solution to your needs, but the ability to shape VW the way want is one of its strengths.

I don't find the Help files to be much better or worse than what you get with any program. Most are minimal at best.


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'Our jobs live or die by a few hours of profit margin.'

Skot, this is a symptom of crisis. Chances are, it will not become better, unless something is done about it, but worse. And sooner or later it will be like like the old tailor working 16 hours a day, failing to compete with the new tailor downtown, who has bought a sewing machine

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Originally posted by Kaare Baekgaard:

[QB]Skot, this is a symptom of crisis.

Not from where I'm standing.

A comment to my mind more like the reality that many of us face in todays competitive marketplace. Maybe in your industry the profit margins are high and wide, but certainly with mine it is very tight and competitive.

Clients expect more and more for their money, and its usually with money less than last years budget.

You may be lucky enough to deal in estimates, finally submitting invoices that are above this, but in the industries I work with they want a quote, a fixed price taking into account the work required and you have to stick to it.

It's the same for my suppliers also. We expect and get a fixed price for the job and that is what we pay.

Not interested in the unexpected "problems" the job entailed such as system crashes, equipment malfunctions, etc.

A few missed hours or unexpected overtime working can kill any profit in a job.


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I think the biggest factor in the uneasiness that comes from most software of this type is this:

Though you're creating what is, essentially, a 3D representation of a building, or whatever - you're still required to manage, separately, the details; that is, you can create a wall and how it's made, and you can lay out a 3d building using "that wall", but if you cut through the wall in that building, it's not actually taking a cross section of the detailed wall. It's two separate things (unless I'm missing something) and I think people would breathe easier if the software did indeed allow for cutting through a wall and showing either a solid fill at the cut line, or detail consistent with the wall type.

I'm still new to VW and just getting into the second of the Architectural training CDs, so I don't know much yet, but I will say that I believe 3D will "really catch on" once the virtual building is, essentially, comprised of the same parts as its real-world counterpart, and can be assembled/taken apart in a way which represents it in this way.

Oh, and, of course, getting there has to feel like hand-drafting [Wink]



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