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Hanging Points on Truss


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

You should be able to hang lights directly on the truss chords both at insertion and when moving them later (drag and drop).


The insertion/connection highlight shows that a valid connection between the objects has been created and should activate whenever a object (light, speaker etc, etc...) is close enough to the truss or pipe to establish a connection between the load object (light, speaker, etc, etc...) and the structural object (truss or pipe). When inserting a light or other object you should see a greyed out insertion preview of the object as well as the red connection highlight, the preview shows exactly where the object will be inserted and the red connection highlight tells you that the object when inserted will be connected to the truss or pipe.There was an issue in earlier versions of Spotlight where auto connect would snap everything directly to the truss center line and you would have to move it afterwords, but this was fixed a while ago (one of the 2019 service packs I think).


If you are finding that lights and other objects are only inserting on the center line of the truss there are a couple of possible causes

  • It may be that you need to change your snapping options in the snapping palette. With auto-connect you don't need to have 'snap to object' active to attach an object to the truss. Snap to object will often get confused by the truss geometry (too many possible snapping points) and can make it harder to place the object in the correct location.
  • Check the auto positioning settings in the Spotlight preferences, the pick radius may be set too small, so that it only displays the highlight when the object is too close to the center line of the truss
  • make sure the Center line tick box for the truss is not checked in the OIP, this is potentially another snapping point if you are using snap to object.

The only objects that have to insert directly on the center line of a truss are bridles and hoists, as this is required by Braceworks.


Just reread your question and realized I made a mistake in understanding what you are wanting, 2 possible solutions if the above options don't help are

  •  use the simplified truss geometry, which displays a simple bounding box of the truss without any of the diagonals or chords visible, which should allow you to insert directly onto the edge of the chord easily. this is controlled by the Rigging-Truss-Simplified class, make sure you turn of the Rigging-Truss-Truss class at the same time, otherwise both geometry sets will be snappable
  • The second option is to try embedding a NURBS curve in the truss symbol, this excellent webinar by Mark Doubleday that is in the linked forum thread, shows how to do this for pipe symbols. Doing this may have a performance impact on larger file though!


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@jcogdell thank you very much for this.


Pick radius fixed it, but I will be trying the NURBS to make it easier on the rest of the guys helping with my files.


In case anyone comes across this while having the same problem, the immediate fix if you're in a real rush is Insert on centre line > move 3D > move by increments of half your truss width in whatever direction;) NOT recommended good practice, obviously, but if the fussing around is the difference to your getting the plot to the riggers in time, don't be shy.  I just did that for a week.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
On 11/7/2020 at 1:49 AM, A.D.K. said:


In case anyone comes across this while having the same problem, the immediate fix if you're in a real rush is Insert on centre line > move 3D > move by increments

You can also do this  directly in the object properties without having to use the move 3D command, just select the fixtures (or any other object) and in the appropriate coordinate field add the desired offset by using '+' followed by half the truss width (or any other offset desired)

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