Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating Line Drawings for a Section (Vectorworks 2010 and earlier)

When you want to develop your drawings in detail, you can use your 3D model to start the process by converting your model to a line drawing. Then you can add details and information to the model.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vectorworks Workshop Sessions for February 2011

Every month the Vector-workout Subscription has a series of online workshops. In February, the main topic is to draw a swimming pool, with steps and a border as a series of 3D objects and apply these to a site model. 

The aims of the sessions are to gain an understanding of 3D modeling and how this can be used with a site model to create cut and fill.

There are Beyond Beginner sessions that will be looking in detail at screen plane, layer plane, and working planes. Working planes are becoming fundamental to working in 3D and these sessions will answer all your questions.

You have to be a subscriber to attend these online sessions. Book here...

archoncad Newsletter February 2011

We have posted our latest Vectorworks newsletter on online,  and it includes an article about Training to Build Your Business.

You can find all our newsletters here, online, under archoncad newsletters...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Short Vectorworks Manuals List on

We have been busy at work, making it easy to find our training manuals. Today, we added 5 manuals to the short manuals page:
  • 010 Dealing With Complex Roofs
  • 015 Site Modeling
  • 017 Creating a Solar Study
  • 025 Creating a Room Finish Schedule
  • 040 Modeling and Creating Drawings for a Joinery Unit
Roofs can really slow users down if they do not understand how flexible the standard Vectorworks roof is, there is so much you can do with it. In this tutorial we will look at a couple of roofs, and see if we can make the standard Vectorworks roof do want we want. Then we will look at using the roof face command an how we can use this to make the roof we want. I will show you a technique for making it faster, and we will look at roof framing and creating a truss roof.  This manual comes as a PDF and is 29 A4 pages. 

A site model is a way of looking at 3D data (spot levels or contours) in a way that allows you to see complex 3D models and 2D representations. VectorWorks uses the 3D information to create the models based on the data to help you understand the 2D and 3D nature of your site.

We will edit our site model to make it suit the existing site better, then we will change the site using site modifiers, 3D loci and landscape walls. 

When you are designing a building or landscape feature, you may be concerned about the affect of your structure on the surrounding buildings and landscape. Some of my clients have been asked to provide evidence that the building design does not adversely affect the neighboring properties. 

What is a solar study? In basic terms, it is where we use to VectorWorks to show where the sun is coming from and where shadows fall. In architectural terms, we would use the solar study to check the shadows from our building and how they affect neighbors. We worked on one project several years ago, where the client was worried about shadows from surrounding buildings affecting their tennis tournament. We had to model the surrounding site and apartment buildings to make sure that during June, there were no shadows on the Number 1 Court at Wimbledon. Solar studies are common with large buildings, and we hear from several clients now that solar studies are expected from by some councils for domestic projects. This manual comes as a PDF and is 16 A4 pages. 

You can use VectorWorks to create a room finishes schedule. You could use another program to do this, like Word or Excel, but then you would loose the link from the plan and room names to the room finishes. Vectorworks uses a space object to store all the finishes information. This manual will help you learn about space objects and how to use these to assign finishes to the object, how to edit the room finishes, and how to  to create the schedule of finishes. This manual comes as a PDF and is 15 A4 pages long. 

This is a case study on making a joinery unit. We will model the joinery unit quickly, to create a concept drawing. Then, we will create a detailed model that will give use all the parts to make the unit. We will use classes to control visibility, and we will use viewports and sheet layers to create the panel drawings. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Controlling Massing Model Graphics

You can control the graphic on a massing model, but you can not use the Attributes Palette. The graphics on a massing mode are controlled by the classes on the massing model. 

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Vectorworks Course for Museum and Exhibit Designers - be quick

I have a course for exhibit and museum designers staring on Tuesday this week. So, there is nit much time if you want to get started. There is a blog that tells you all about the course.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Setting Attribute Defaults in Vectorworks

The Utility menu at the bottom of the Attributes Palette can be used to set and recall default attributes, as well as other useful things.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Creating a Drawing from a Joinery Unit in Vectorworks

I'm well into my notes for this month's CPD Manual for my subscribers. We are looking at drawing a commercial joinery unit form scratch, and using the model to create drawings.

The aim of the manuals is to show how fast it can be to create a 3D model for the display unit. After all, it is made out of sheet material, so it will be quick to draw and extrude. With Vectorworks 2011, there are really fast ways to model the unit, using working planes and the Push/Pull tool.

After playing with the model, we can use viewports to create the drawings. If we edit the model, the viewports are easy to update.

We will be drawing this and discussing the best methods for creating the model online.

If you are a subscriber, book now...

If you want to be a subscriber, join here...

Training First, or Work First?

I have been contributing to a discussion on upgrading to Vectorworks 2011. I suggested better training, and the responder said, work first, then training. Another responder suggested training first, then work, because when you get busy you do not have time for training.

A few years ago, before the recession, the number one reason from clients for not training was a lack of time. Yes, they would love to be more efficient, yes, they would like training, but they are just too busy at the moment. When thing quiet down, then they will have time for training.

Now that we have a slow-down and clients have more time, they do not have the money to invest in training. So, now I hear clients saying that they need to get work in first, then they can afford training. I can see it now, when they get enough work in, they will say that they do not have time for training.

My answer is to get the training now.

What about the cost? Well, you can read the blogs, no charge. You can watch youtube movies, no cost.

You can join my Vector-workout Subscription. The monthly change is very reasonable, about the same as a meal at a mid-range restaurant. There are 36 back issues to read, that should keep you happy for a while, and a new manual and online training each month.

Subscribe here...

archoncad newsletter January 2011

I have posted my newsletter for January 2011 to all the users that I have on my list. If you didn't get the newsletter, you can see read it here...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Make 2011 the Year of Training

At this time of the year, my wood shed is empty (it is summer here now), and it is time to cut fire wood and stack it in my wood shed ready for the winter. It always makes me think about how to train my clients better, because I know they need the training before they can use the new skills.
This year, I had to re-build my wood shed. The old shed was really old, and made out of sub-standard timber. So, it has rotted over the years. I have put off re-building it, but I can't any longer, it was falling to pieces. This year was a good year to re-build, nearly all my wood was gone, so the wood shed was really empty. I have re-build the shed with 4"x4" treated timber and I installed a gutter to remove most of the rainwater that used to pour into the shed. 

Now it is time to cut fire wood and fill up the wood shed. We will not be needing a fire for five months or so yet, so why cut the wood now? The wood needs to dry to be useful, and it needs several months to get really dry, so it burns well. 

What do this have to do with Vectorworks? It is an analogy about training. You need to get training ahead of the time you need it. You need to practice your new skills to get better at them. When you need these skills, they will be practiced and honed to a sharp edge. 

I have taught a lot of people, not always Vectorworks. Those that practice between sessions make fantastic progress, those that don't struggle. Always, they need the training before it can be useful and they need practice before they become effective users. 

Make this year the year you put training as a priority. Make your yourself more valuable by building your skill level. I can help. I have manuals, coursesonline support, and an amazing subscription service to help you. 

Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Make 2011 a great year for you, your family, and your business.