Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book Review - Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual - Sixth Edition

Review by Neil Barman (
Jonathan Pickup's "Vectorworks Essentials Tutorial Manual", now in its 6th edition, is a deceivingly simple manual. It’s simple in that it will walk you (whether or are a new user or a seasoned user has never had any formal training the application) through from the very basics of drawing with objects in Vectorworks. It plays a great trick on you though, because while it may seem you are just doing the basics, you are actually learning to do 3D modelling and BIM at the same time. This is the beauty and power of the manual.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #092 - Modelling - Taper Face Tool

Duplicate Wall Style - I find the easiest way to create a new wall style is to duplicate an existing Wall Style. Then I just have to edit a few settings to get the new Wall Style.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #091 - Modelling - Taper Face Tool

Taper face tool - With Fillet edge. If your model has a curved edge on it, use the first mode (Tangent Edge) to taper the face. This mode will taper all the faces that join together.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #090 - Visualization - Edit Camera in Viewport

Edit Camera in Viewport. This is a reason that using a camera to make a viewport is so useful, you can edit the camera (which takes you back to the design layer) which updates the view in the viewport.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #089 - Doors - Door Opening

When you use a door as an Opening, you sometimes see thin lines on the edges of it. They are there to allow you to select the door (or window) and make changes.
To make the outline to be completely invisible, choose a class for the Interior Jamb, this is the class that controls that part of the door or window, then make that class invisible.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

podcast179 - Using Wall Styles with Textures in Vectorworks

You can use wall styles to control the textures. If you do this, you'll find that you can change all of the textures on the walls easily by editing the wall style. You can assign the texture to the Wall Component, or you can use the Class settings of the Wall Component, for changing all the wall components at the same time.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Book Review - Freakononics

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
How much do parents really matter?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #088 - Walls - Wall Core Component

Wall Core - Setting the Wall Core Component is important because it works with the Auto Join Walls, the Slab settings and the Core Component Control Line Mode. Ignore this and you will have to put in a lot more work, control this and you will be much more efficient.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Novedge Webinar #115 Creating a Building without Walls in Vectorworks

This is a webinar for Novedge, one of the largest online resellers of Vectorworks. The webinar looked at how to create a very quick 3D model of a building without using the usual architectural elements. During the webinar I create a building, cut holes for windows and doors, and create windows and doors to fill the openings. At the end of the webinar I use the model to create plans, sections and elevations.
It's tempting to think you're limited to walls, roofs and windows to create your models. Design the buildings you want by modeling with Vectorworks 2014. Jonathan shares his 3D modeling techniques for drawing up building elevations, sections, and plans. Using several approaches and alternatives, break free from tradition—Jonathan Pickup shows how.

Vectorworks Tip #087 - Modelling - Shell Solid

Shell Solid the store looks very easy to use, but it can be used to create complex shapes. Many people think that this tool is only useful for shelling out small objects. You can use this tool to shell out an entire model to create a building, or you can use it to create a thickness for a NURBS surface.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #086 - Visualization - Create Viewport from Camera

When it comes to creating a perspective viewport, using the camera is the fastest, most productive way to do it.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #085 - Windows - Window Settings

Windows, like doors, can be placed in a wall and like the doors, the first thing you should do it to check the preferences for the windows to make sure that the window you place has the settings you want. If you do this first, you will find that that the windows are consistent and easy to control. If you do this after all the windows have been placed, you will find it hard work to go back and edit all the windows.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

podcast 178 - Replacing Walls Quickly with Wall Styles

If you use wall styles, it is very fast to change the walls from one style to the other. Replacing. This allows you to copy the walls from one layer and then replace the wall style to get a completely different wall, but one that lines up with the walls above. This can make it extremely fast to create your foundation drawings. Watch the movie to see how it's done.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review - Free: The Future of a Radical Price

In his groundbreaking new book, The Long Tail author Chris Anderson explains why new technologies, particularly the Internet, have caused production and distribution costs in many sectors to plummet to an extent unthinkable even a decade ago. He shows how the flexibility provided by the online world allows producers to trade ever more creatively, offering items for free to make real or perceived gains elsewhere.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #084 - Walls - Replace Walls

When you use wall styles, you can use the Object Info palette to replace the wall style. When you replace the wall, you can choose how the new wall style aligns with the old wall. This means that you can duplicate walls and replace them with the new style, making them line up the way you want.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #083 - 3D Modeling - Taper Face tool

Introduction In the past, you would have to make an oversized object in order to cut a portion away. With the Taper Face tool, You can create the object and then taper the edges that you want. I think this is a much faster way of editing your 3-D models.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #082 - Visualization - Fine Tune Camera

Once you have the camera selected, you can use the Object Info palette to Fine Tune the Camera. This opens a dialog box where you can change the height, angle, and position of the camera. When you adjust the camera, the view updates so that you can see the changes.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #081 - Viewports - Class settings on Design Layer Viewports

When you set up design layer viewports you have the option to choose all of the classes that you want to be visible, or you have the option to use the current documents class settings. You may be confused by what this really means.

Monday, May 12, 2014

podcast 177 - Wall Styles

Some users question my use of Wall Styles. They tell me "surely it's quicker to make walls unstyled, it saves all that messing around with the dialog box." Wall styles are for making sure that your walls are created consistently, ensuring that wall thickness, wall height and classes are consistently applied. When it comes to texturing, using wall styles is much easier. Watch this short movie on using wall styles.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review - Blink

Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?

I have now read this book several times, I'm always amazed at how much I learn each time I read it again. I thoroughly recommend this book, especially if you get the audible version where you can listen to it as you are driving.


Friday, May 09, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #080 - Walls - Wall Placement Mode

A lot of people don't use this mode for placing walls, but it is extremely useful as it allows you to place the wall by using structural component of the wall, rather than using the exterior or interior cladding of the wall. Many architects and designers like to place the wall by the structural component, and this is the mode that allows it.

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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #079 - 3D Modelling - Twist Tool

This is a great tool for twisting your 3D objects, There are other ways to make a twisted object, but there aren't any other ways to twist an existing object. This tool makes it so quick and easy to change your objects.
Check out these Special Interest Groups on 3D Modeling...

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #078 - Visibility Palette - Activate Cameras

The Visualization palette shows all the cameras in the design layers. This allows you to activate (or select) the cameras. If you activate a camera, it’s the same as double clicking on the camera, so it sets the view for you. This means that you can use this like a saved view.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

3D Model Special Interest Group - April 2014

This is the first session from a new Special Interest Group. There have been requests to have more 3D Modelling, and this is the result, a special group just to look at 3D things. These sessions are suited to Architects, Landscapers, set designers, exhibit designers and anyone that wants to learn more about 3D modelling.

Vectorworks Tip #077 - Doors/Windows - Ceiling Class

Doors have a class for the Reflected Ceiling Plan. This class is used to show the wall line above the door. Sometimes, when you place a door, you still see the line where a wall was. Often this is the class called Ceiling-Main. When you turn this class off the line of the wall disappears.

Monday, May 05, 2014

podcast 176 - Placing Doors and Windows Accurately

Some users do not know how to place doors and windows accurately, so they place the door, then move it to the correct location. This is the slow way to work. If you knew the fast way to do it, you would be more accurate, you would speed up your work, and you would find Vectorworks easier to use.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Book Review - Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

There are a range of shops around the world that focus on providing cheap products. The challenges that everybody wants a bargain, but does that I can come at some other cost? For example, where I live there is a store whose slogan is "everyone gets a bargain." But there is a hidden cost of this.The death of the small mom-and-pop stores is one of those costs. The cost of the loss of our manufacturing facilities is another cost.

This is a very thought-provoking book about the cost of cheap products, and I thoroughly recommend it.


Friday, May 02, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #076 - Walls - Wall Styles

It's important to use Wall Styles. You can store Wall styles in your library, making them easy to use from the pop-up menu from the Tool bar. Once you have saved the wall style in your library, you can use them on all your projects, saving you a lot of time.
For more information, have a look at this blog...

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Vectorworks Tip #075 - IFC - IFC Viewer

There is a lot of talk these days about Building Information Modeling (BIM). Part of BIM is being able to share your Vectorworks file to other consultants using different computer programs. The technique for sharing your model is to export your model as IFC. When you give your IFC model to a consultant it's a good idea to check the model using an IFC Viewer. There are a few free IFC viewers available. One of them is Solibri ( .
For more information, have a look at this blog post...

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