Jump to content

Extrude along path not working 'as expected'


Recommended Posts

Workflow:

I'm converting my 2D polyline landscape edging to 3D.

I want the edging to be vertical in all places and to conform to the site model.

I thought extrude along Path would be the correct way to go.

 

  • Converted my 2D polylines to 3D polylines and sent to surface. This broke my Bezier vertex poly lines into many short straight segments - making curve editing next to impossible.
  • Also re-drew as nurbs curves thinking that I could edit the extrude path easier with a Nurbs curve as the baseline.
  • Created a 0.5"x6" rectangle.
  • Opened the Extrude Along Path tool
  • Checked the Lock Profile Plane. tool tip:"select this option to orient the profile plane to the XY plane at any point along the path" - VW HELP FILES: "Lock Profile Plane - Locks the orientation of the profile plane to the global Z axis, constraining the extrusion to be perpendicular to the XY plane"

 

Resulting extrude is not perpendicular to the XY plane.

          (see attached screen grab)

This is true for both the 3Dpolyline and the Nurbs Curve.

 

 

QUESTIONS:

  1. Are Nurbs Curves the preferred workflow for extrudes?
  2. What have I done wrong to not get a perpendicular extrude?

 

 

Display questions:

  1. - How do I get the Nurbs extrude to display smoothly? the extreme facet is difficult to work with visually. EDIT: I set my OpenGL setting to High to fix this.
  2. It appears that extrude along path is (like the regular extrude) not solid in top plan. Do I really have to convert all my edging to an Auto Hybrid in order to use it for documentation?

 

extrude-along-path.thumb.jpg.f02be0c929e22d26d08ec262da57ac50.jpg

Edited by hollister design Studio
Link to comment

So after reading through   @line-weight  very similar issue from way back in 2019 'whys my wall leaning over' I finally got my edging to work with EAP.

 

I noticed that you asked that the VW documentation on EAP be looked into.

Quote

 

 

*FRANTIC WAVING AT VW STAFF*

 

Is anyone from Vectorworks reading this?

 

The EAP command needs proper documentation. If this was all explained properly in the documentation it would save me and others spending literally hours working stuff out by trial and error when there should be no need to do so.

 

This was already requested in a thread in 2017, two years ago, the one I link to in the post above. As well as the one I posted a couple of days ago which no-one from VW has responded to.

 

I can assure you it's just as misleading as it ever was.

 

I too just spent half a day trying to figure out how to do a very simple operation. The official video on the help page is unclear at best and shows a 2D object automatically finding plumb as long as lock profile plane is checked.

 

 

 

For anyone finding this post later, I had to create a profile object that was in 3D AND snapped to the end of my path object AND rotated to be perpendicular to the path object. I then checked both Lock and Fix profile boxes.

 

With out all of those constraints I just got 'nothing' VW just didn't do anything or I got an error message that EAP had failed with no useful reason why. 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
25 minutes ago, hollister design Studio said:

So after reading through   @line-weight  very similar issue from way back in 2019 'whys my wall leaning over' I finally got my edging to work with EAP.

 

I noticed that you asked that the VW documentation on EAP be looked into.

I can assure you it's just as misleading as it ever was.

 

I too just spent half a day trying to figure out how to do a very simple operation.

 

 

 

It's completely infuriating, right?

Multiply that half a day by hundreds or thousands of confused users, and compare it with the time it would take just to write up the relevant help section properly.

Another example of this is NURBS curves:

 

 

Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

You are not alone 😉

Extrude along path in 3D is complicated, because you always have to check what objects you combine and how they are located in the 3D world. Together with the varios parameters of the tool I always need 2 or 3 attempts until I get the right combination and orientation. It's simply too much things that you have to keep in mind when creating an EAP.

I am more and more generally using nurbs as a path, since it's quite simple to span a workingplane perpendiculat to the nurbs curve and draw the profile as 2D object on that working plane. That way the profile is usually correcty oriented and EAP will work as expected. Whats more, it's easy to edit path and profile, since the path is always a nurbs and the profile always a 2D shape.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

EAP Is easy. Extrudes down the centre of the object so you move the profile so the back is on the centre see attached.

 

To adjust the profile you have to use the correct x,y or z to move the nodes otherwise using the far left it is not constrained and goes haywire.

HTH

I also only draw a polygon and drop the profile anywhere on the design layer and hit it and no probems.

002.PNG

001.PNG

003.PNG

004.PNG

Untitled1_v2020.vwx

Edited by AlanW
  • Like 1
Link to comment

Generally speaking CAD software documentation leaves a lot to be desired, especially for people who are new to specific functionality. Either the documentation is not fully descriptive (missing information, open to multiple interpretations, too short on details, confusing etc.) or non-existing on some things or shown related to one part of the software but not to another part where it applies too so that it is not clear it also applies to some other functionality/item as well.

 

E.g. with BricsCAD some very useful feature was described in the manual/help but only under the BIM section for only one specific object though it also applied to a similar object within the Mechanical functionality but it was nowhere to be found in the Mechanical section. Even if one would find it in the help it wouldn't be clear it also applies to something else as well where you actually would need it.

 

Vectorworks has similar parts in the help files that either have missing information or the description is so brief and general that it is not of much help.

 

Those writing the help files for rather technical (e.g. CAD) software are often the programmers who know all the details on how to use it and often don't realize that adding some additional (not too technical) information would make things much more clear for the end user.

 

Writing good documentation is not just a skill but also a bit of an art, though it seems it is a lost form of art these days with online help systems etc. that are making it too confusing/cumbersome to find the right information.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
8 minutes ago, Art V said:

 

Vectorworks has similar parts in the help files that either have missing information or the description is so brief and general that it is not of much help.

 

Those writing the help files for rather technical (e.g. CAD) software are often the programmers who know all the details on how to use it and often don't realize that adding some additional (not too technical) information would make things much more clear for the end user.

 

Writing good documentation is not just a skill but also a bit of an art, though it seems it is a lost form of art these days with online help systems etc. that are making it too confusing/cumbersome to find the right information.

 

Thing is, in this case, the missing info documentation has been highlighted to VW multiple times since at least 2017, and they choose simply to ignore it.

 

Someone at VW spending a few of hours adding some info to the relevant section would save countless hours/days of frustration on the part of many many users. They don't have to reprint a manual - it's online, and the lack of info persists through each new release of VW.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
11 minutes ago, line-weight said:

Thing is, in this case, the missing info documentation has been highlighted to VW multiple times since at least 2017, and they choose simply to ignore it.

 

Someone at VW spending a few of hours adding some info to the relevant section would save countless hours/days of frustration on the part of many many users. They don't have to reprint a manual - it's online, and the lack of info persists through each new release of VW.

This is downright ignoring the issue by VW and not a good thing to do. Good documentation is essential, not just for users to succeed but also to keep users wanting to use Vectorworks.

 

If people run into such issues too often they'll think the software is not good enough and will start looking for alternatives which in the end hurts Vectorworks (and in the long run those of us who are happy with VW because it will undermine VW's bottom line if the number of users decline).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
1 hour ago, line-weight said:

 

Thing is, in this case, the missing info documentation has been highlighted to VW multiple times since at least 2017, and they choose simply to ignore it.

 

Someone at VW spending a few of hours adding some info to the relevant section would save countless hours/days of frustration on the part of many many users. They don't have to reprint a manual - it's online, and the lack of info persists through each new release of VW.


But that would undermine the training side of the business 🙂

You have to admire the elegance of it all.

  • Like 2
  • Laugh 1
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Art V said:

...Generally speaking CAD software documentation leaves a lot to be desired...

Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" had some beautiful pages on manual writing.

 

Good documentation really shows the commitment to quality -  something that software developers just don't seem to understand.

Link to comment

I know the people in the Documentation department for VW and they definitely do care. 

 

Just mentioning something in this forum is not the same as " the missing info documentation has been highlighted to VW multiple times since at least 2017, and they choose simply to ignore it."

 

Just like other bugs, if there is something wrong with the docs, file a bug report. I would bet you get much quick response from the Doc team than from the programmers. Changes to Docs don't have unintended consequences or require QA testing.

 

https://www.vectorworks.net/support/bugsubmit

  • Like 2
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

I know the people in the Documentation department for VW and they definitely do care.

 

I don't doubt that - the failure is in getting issues that are repeatedly mentioned in these forums passed on to the people who can do something about them. We used to have JimW on here who would make sure that happened. When he left, multiple people requested that someone replaced his role (regardless of whether his role was formalised or just someone going beyond the call of duty) and this was ignored and has not happened.

 

I'm fed up with being told to submit bug reports when I've already spent my own time explaining problems here - the process is tedious, time consuming, and puts all the work on the paying end user, instead of the company providing the defective product.

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment

I often find that I have complicated paths that I just cannot get the correct result in an EAP process. Items like compound curved paths in three dimensions. My solution has always been (after a few attempts anyway) to divide the piece up into useable sections and then perform the EAP process. 
 

Typically that means I am creating the objects in a similar fashion to how they would be created in the real world. Often that process is quicker than trying to make the entire EAP work correctly. 

Link to comment

Yes, the EAP could use some updating and options to help us create profiles that stay vertical when traveling 3D curves.

I have to use lofts with nurbs to get curbs and walls to follow terrain, which has it's own problems sometimes 😞

Not that it helps this discussion, but I made a tutorial file for EAPs on a flat curve that some might find helpful.

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
On 7/19/2021 at 10:29 PM, line-weight said:

I'm fed up with being told to submit bug reports when I've already spent my own time explaining problems here - the process is tedious, time consuming, and puts all the work on the paying end user, instead of the company providing the defective product.

Keep it simple, when filing a bug report for things like this just fill out the minimum required information and put in a link to the respective forum thread. That should give them a good idea of the problem and how many others are running into it as well. (And if applicable how frustrated the users sometimes get out the issue).

 

That way you don't have to repeat everything all over again.

 

That being said, my experience is that the more detailed a bug submit is, the more likely it is that it will get tackled. Though the time it takes to solve the issue always remains a guess as it depends on severity, number of users affected, complexity and priorities.

(Un)fortunately, depending on point of view 🙂 , I'm one of those people who always runs into issues/bugs and/or shortcomings in documentation so the nice folks at the support department don't have to worry about getting bored.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...