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Grade Tool/Object - Enhanced Functionality Request


ericjhberg

Question

Since the ability to link grade objects became available, the Grade Tool has really become a workhorse for parameter based Site Model/DTM workflows. That said, it would be great if more functionality could be added to it/improved

  1. Make most of the Settings... available for editing directly from the OIP...particularly the General settings and ability to toggle between Elevation, Downward Grade %, Upward Grade %, Downward Ratio (rise/run), Upward Ration (rise/run), and Elevation Change.
    • Right now, you have to enter the extra dialog box anytime you need to reset a parameter for a grade object (that is for Downward Grade %, Upward Grade %, Downward Ratio (rise/run), Upward Ration (rise/run), and Elevation Change)
  2. Provide the ability to LOCK certain parameters once set. For example, after I set an object to use the Downward Grade at 2%, I want the ability to lock that parameter. Usually these are parameters that are set to compliance minimums, maximums, or best practices, and I never want them to change.
    • This functionality could become extra useful when connecting multiple Grade Objects, essentially allowing subtle changes at precise locations to ripple through a network and change throughout.
    • Obviously, this could case "breaks" in the parameters when everything is locked and the end result is that a locked parameter at the other end of the network can no longer be kept, but this is not too dissimilar from the mins/max settings in the Stair Tool.
  3. My biggest gripe with the grade tool (and other tools in the Site Model suite) are that the units cannot be controlled independently of the Document Units in the same way that Stake Objects function. This is a no brainer. Landscape Architecture in the US, with some exceptions, revolves around architectural scales for horizontal layout and engineering scales for vertical (i.e. feet and inches for horizontal, decimal feet for vertical). The Stake Tool already does this perfectly, just please extend that functionality to Site Models, Site Modifiers, and the Grade Tool...we've been waiting forever and there are no shortage of Wishlist Requests for this.

 

@Vlado @Eric Gilbey, PLA @Tony Kostreski @Bryan G.

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53 minutes ago, ericjhberg said:

Landscape Architecture in the US, with some exceptions, revolves around architectural scales for horizontal layout and engineering scales for vertical (i.e. feet and inches for horizontal, decimal feet for vertical).

I support everything you said except this quote.  In my experience around the US and abroad, the vast majority of Landscape, Civil, and Survey use decimal feet (or meters) for site work and engineering scales for plans.  We don't switch to feet/inches (or centi or millimeters) and architectural scale for depiction until we start detailing or doing enlargement plans that are more related to the human scale.  But we are landscape architects, a profession that wants to have one foot on the site and another in the architecture, while we seemingly refuse to standardize 🙂

 

I guess I have stuck with decimal feet as a basis of units in CAD and for layout dimensioning because they are simply easier for data entry, calculation for grading, and on site measuring.  When you factor in the engineers and municipalities are typically providing models in decimal feet which are geolocated, it just becomes more efficient.  Too bad the US isn't metric (though our federal projects are).

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On 4/22/2022 at 6:14 PM, jeff prince said:

until we start detailing or doing enlargement plans that are more related to the human scale.

 

Thanks @jeff prince for chiming in. I completely agree, but we since we eventually have all our details and human scale elements in the same file, we definitely need to be able to dimension things architecturally from the get go...and I don't like my ADA compliance details reading 2.8333 feet (34") or my horizontal width dimenions reading 5.00 (would prefer 5'-0").

 

If only we were collectively brave enough to go metric...life would be so much simpler.

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2 hours ago, ericjhberg said:

 

Thanks @jeff prince for chiming in. I completely agree, but we since we eventually have all our details and human scale elements in the same file, we definitely need to be able to dimension things architecturally from the get go...and I don't like my ADA compliance details reading 2.8333 feet (34") or my horizontal width dimenions reading 5.00 (would prefer 5'-0").

 

If only we were collectively brave enough to go metric...life would be so much simpler.

 

You realize you can work in decimal feet(or any unit for that matter) and display your dimensions however you wish right?

Vectorworks handling of units and input is another thing I appreciate over AutoCAD.

 

1030890862_ScreenShot2022-04-25at3_06_46PM.thumb.png.7e70645be89ac77e9979874379f617a7.png

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I do...the problem is this involves a new Dimension Style...and I need to apply it to hundreds of stock design details that are already mapped to Document Unit standards. I'm hoping to avoid that effort. Additionally, this shouldn't be the reason independent unit control in Site Modifers, Site Models, and Grade Objects can't/shouldn't be realized.

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And I thought of a 4th functionality I would love to see in a grade object...

 

4. the ability to create a curved line grade object. Currently you can do this with a Site Modifier used as a sloping contour, but it won't link to anything...oh wait...and a 5th

 

5.  Grade objects should be able to link with site modifiers as part of their network. This would create an amazing suite of interchangable site modeling tools.

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Posted (edited)

Some more development ideas:

  • Ability to change the size/look of the slope arrow. It quickly becomes chaotic when working in tighter areas, as seen in the picture below.
  • I often do grading 2D only and on sheet layers/printed drawings I typically only want to show a + symbol with the associated elevation. Currently I can't turn off both "show slope value" and "draw line" to show just the elevation value, and I won't get the + symbol.
  • A great feature that might seem silly but many find really useful in Novapoint is the ability to change the point elevation up and down with the scroll wheel. Together with the related interactive slope values this makes it super fast to tweak elevations in detail. Would love to see this integrated in VW.

 

image.thumb.png.651bdefc000f3d316365683fb2e9cab1.png

Edited by Anders Blomberg
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