Friday, February 24, 2006

Getting DXF/DWG Imports to the correct Scale

Firstly, never import a dxf file into an existing drawing...
Then, when you import a dxf file and you can’t get the scale right, find an object that you know the size of, something with a dimension on it.
Measure that object after importing.
Select All
From the Menu Bar choose Modify > Scale Objects...
Rescale the drawing to suit using the Scale Objects command.
Select the options:
Scale Text
Entire Drawing
Enter the scale ratio as A/B where:
A= the original size of the object 
B= the size of the object in the imported file
Click on the OK button and the draw will rescale everything.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Drawing complex shapes

I had a phone call yesterday from a friend of mine. He was having trouble with the compose command. He’s tracing over the site plan with lines then filleting the corners and composing the shape.

I suggested to him that it would be a lot easier to use the Polygon tool to trace over the shape and then use the fillet tool, or use the 2D Reshape tool, to modify the shape to suit the site plan. It would be quicker and it removes the need to compose the shape at the end.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Have You Just Started with VectorWorks?

If you have just started with VectorWorks The next step for you is to practice VectorWorks every day. You learn VectorWorks by practicing it. I wish there was a magic way to learn, but there is not. Practice is the best thing that you can do. If you have the Essential VectorWorks manual, then work through it every day. Start off with the 2D exercises and practice these until you become fast. Then move onto the other chapters These will help you to make drawings and create the type of project information that you want. All the chapters in the manual are there to teach you a skill or a technique, that’s why it’s important for you to work through the manual.

Now you should work on a real project. Working on a real projects will put you under pressure to finish. This will help you to apply the skills that you have learned.

To improve your skill you should attend user group meetings and courses. The VectorWorks users that attend the user groups get better every month.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What Are Preferences?

What Are Preferences?
Preferences in VectorWorks are user choices that can change the way that VectorWorks appears to work, can change the way that drawings appear and can control some of the keyboard shortcuts.

There are two sorts of Preferences in VectorWorks, VectorWorks Preferences that affect all the files and Document Preferences that control settings specific to a file.

There are several preferences to choose from and the choices depend on your way of drawing. We will be covering Preferences in the first user group meeting this year, to be held in February.

Tip: The Right Mouse Button

I have been teaching a lot lately and one of the issues that I’ve noticed is how much faster you can draw if you add frequently used commands to the right-mouse click (ctrl-click if you only have one button). When you edit your workspace you will find two places to add menu items to the right mouse click:
Document Context where you right click away from everything;
Object Context where you right click on an object.

One of the commands I use a lot is Add Surface. I used to have a keyboard shortcut for this, but that means taking your hand off the mouse. I added this command to the right-mouse using the Workspace Editor. Now when I want to use Add Surface, I can right-mouse click and choose Add Surface straight away.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Why Upgrade to VectorWorks 12? (part 1)

I spent two days recently on-site with a client setting up their VectorWorks 12 and I was really amazed at the amount of customisation that you can do with VectorWorks 12. Most of the default resources can be edited so that they appear on every new project. For example, when you make stairs now in VectorWorks you can use a starter stair, one that has most of the setting the way you like. This stair (and many others) can be saved to a special folder and then it becomes available in every job. This means that you can create several stairs and have them available in every project. It will make it a lot faster for you to use the new stair objects in VectorWorks 12.

There are other reasons, and I’ll cover these as I have an example to write about.