Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Should you draw Elevations in 2D or 3D?

This month the online user group is looking at creating drawings. When we get to the part about drawing elevations and sections, there is a lot of discussion about whether you should use the 3D model, or use 2D drawings for the elevations. 
If your 3D model is fairly accurate, then you should use it to make the elevations. There is always a lot of discussion about BIM and elevations is an area where you get the advantages of the 3D model. This does mean that you have to model most of the things you want to see in the elevations. But that shouldn’t be too hard, after all Vectorworks does have tools to make site models, floors, walls, roofs and doors and windows. You can draw complex roofs that curve and custom made balustrades if you want to use the 3D modeling tools. So why would you NOT use the 3D model to draw the elevations?
As a friend pointed out to me this morning, 2D elevations are familiar. We have been drawing 2D elevations for such a long time, it’s hard to think of other ways. I was taught 2D drawing before CAD came along, and I sometimes find myself falling back to the 2D elevations on some projects, mainly because it’s familiar. But is it better?
If the building changes, the 3D elevations can be updated quickly, but the 2D elevations have to be manually edited. Some people say that they more over the line weights with the 2D. That might seem to be true, but the 3D elevations can still have extra lines, hatching and notes added to them.
Try the 3D elevation method. It might be strange to start with, but it will be more effective in the long run.

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