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Custom (symbol) truss and fixture rigging


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I tried to look for a post concerning the topic but couldn't find one.


So the problem is that I have created a custom truss structure with basic drawing tools and lighting pipe and after converting that to a symbol fixtures won't attach to the pipe anymore. How is this done correctly?


Thank you in advance!



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

open the resource manager, right click on the symbol and select attach record from the context menu. You may need to import a truss symbol into your file to make sure that the truss record is available to attach to your custom symbol

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for your help but I still can't get it to work.



-I made custom structure with basic shapes and lighting pipe

-selected all and went on to create a symbol

-selected symbol from Resource manager and chose attach record and it gave me the option to attach rigging info so I chose that


Still in top view when I try to attach a fixture to the custom structure the fixture won't attach or link to the pipe. The fixture will snap to center of the pipe but the height is always 0 regardless of the pipe's height when viewed from the side. I tried to name the structure as a position but didn't help either and I never get the fixture to connect to that position. When moving the structure it won't move fixtures with it.


So could you please elaborate a bit more? Thank you in advance!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

can you post your file?

your description doesn't provide enough detail  to give you an accurate answer.


The only point that is definitely wrong is you have attached the wrong data record, for Spotlight to recognize that the symbol is a truss object you have to attach the 'Truss Record' data record to the symbol.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I've had a quick look at your file,

The main issue is that the bounding box of the symbol is interfering with auto connect detecting the pipes inside it

Instead there are 2 options that may work for you depending on your final objective

  • remove the pipes from inside the symbol, insert the symbol on a design layer, then reposition the pipes correctly, run the create symbol command and use the convert to group option. This will save the symbol as a group which can be inserted in the same way as a symbol but after insertion you can ungroup it to access the pipes.
  • Another option is to use the workflow that Mark Doubleday demonstrates in this webinar. Although it is primarily focused on setting up objects and positions for use with schematic views it provides an excellent workflow for creating custom catwalk lighting positions, since everything is relevant whether you plan on using schematic views or not
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Thank you for your instructions! I will try this during the week.


Side note: I am probably too inexperienced with the core of the software to understand why it is so, but for a novice it sure seems way too complicated to be very efficient. I mean if the shapes and rigging things don't talk to each other very well without aforementioned workarounds I'm just wondering, in 2020s when almost every production include customised structures to some degree, could there possibly be an easier way in the future to shape and construct things you can hang fixtures on... I am not sure if my way of thinking is any better than any other but for me how I first did it seemed the most intuitive. Just a thought and not intended in any way to criticise your efforts, on the contrary I appreciate all the help I've gotten from you all! Thanks!



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