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After the upgrade - Some questions on drawing sections
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* June 27, 2011, 02:11:21 PM
So far the new upgrade seems to have solved quite a few problems. I have resumed my project and am delighted that I can now draw a different plan for each floor of my building by creating horizontal sections that have a depth component to the section line. Although there's not much guidance in the User Manual, I have figured out through trial and error how the tool basically works, but there are details I can't understand.

There are 2 settings buttons in the lower left corner for the horizontal section tool. One is "2D Section/Elevation" and the other is "3D Section/Elevation". The tool works with "3D Section/Elevation", however the result is not useable for final architectural drawings, because it is actually a 3D chunk removed from the rest of the building (I'm not sure what is the use for this chunk: Anyone know?) What I need is an editable 2D drawing which shows everything within the two dimensions I have defined by the horizontal section line (so, for example, I can show windows on the floor I'm looking at, but not windows on the floor below). So I selected the "2D Section/Elevation". As one would expect, it asks me to select the section line and the 3D entities I want to cut, but when I hit the "Finish selection" button it does not prompt me to place the section in the drawing. Basically, nothing happens. I am not sure what is wrong here. Any ideas?

2) Assuming someone can help me solve the above problem, there is another one as well: The initial drawing produced from the 3D section tool is a single object on layer 0. Based on what I used to do with exploding viewports I decided that if this object is exploded it should break down into the original objects on the original layers and can then be turned off and on. However, if I explode the entity I get the following results: All objects which were not cut by the section (that is, have remained whole) have retained their original layer designation. All 3D objects which were cut by the section line are now on layer 0. It would take a lot of manual work to return all of these entities which landed on layer 0 to their original layer. Is there something I should be doing, like a setting or something, to make the entities retain their original layer information?

I also wonder if somebody can explain what is meant by the terms "Section line side" and "Section line height" in the properties of the section line. It seems to me they are counter-intuitive for a horizontal section. I would have thought that "height" was the distance in the Z direction for a horizontal section, but it is actually the distance in the X or Y direction, depending on which side you're looking at when cutting the section. Also, the distance you enter manually has to be entered as a negative for the positive axis direction and positive for the negative axis direction. I think this might have to do with how the current workplane for the section line was set, but I'm not sure what I was supposed to have done, since the instructions are so limited. How I did it is, I set a workplane by facet on the side of the building and then edited it to set it 10 feet away from the building. Is there some way to do it so that the manually entered dimensions match the direction of the world workplane?

« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 02:14:33 PM by Jordan »

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* June 28, 2011, 04:44:06 AM
#1
I've not used this particular tool very much since I do mechanical design, but I did dabble a little with it when it was first introduced.... so I'll give it a shot on answering your questions.

1. The 3D section tool allows you to create sections without having to cut up you model into smaller pieces. I use this feature a lot (the one in the mechanical toolbar) as it allow me to create 3D sections for rendering, while keeping the model intact. As for why it is not allowing you to place the section... I haven't a clue. I gave it a whirl this morning, and it allowed me to place the section.

2. This is just the way this works... I'm not aware of any way to change the section so that it has the individual layers.

3. Not sure why your Inside and Height are backwards. When I adjust the Height, it changes the Z axis of the Section Line... and the Inside Line changes the X.

Probably missed something in your questions.... the Architectural tools aren't my forte.

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* June 28, 2011, 01:36:37 PM
#2
Greg, thanks for giving me what you know.

I think the problem of side and height being backwards might have something to do with workplane orientation for the section line. I set my workplane 10 ft. to the left of the building (negative X direction in world space). I did this by using the workplane by facet tool to set the workplane on the left side wall in an isometric view and then doing a workplane edit to move the workplane in the X direction. Greg, when you created your horizontal section, how did you set the workplane? Maybe I need to do this differently.

Greg's post seems to support a hunch I've had for some time, which is that TC is a program for mechnical designers. TC has an admirable collection of 3D tools to create and manipulate a small set of geometric forms, but, frankly, there is little or no use for these in architecture. The architectural tools TC provided often seem like they were added as an afterthought and did not do all that they needed to do to finish the job. The architect user has to find ways to make up for the limitations. It appears to me that the program designers have little or no experience in actual architectural practice. They do not realize that there are visual standards which are the core of the practice and are still expected. I witnessed one lawsuit against an architect and his problems stemmed in part from using a popular 3D CAD program that automatically generated structural plans which had many omissions and were not in a format that could be understood by the contractors who bid the project. (Fortunately, this was not TC. I have to say about TC that it is a solid drafting program. This program in the courtroom couldn't even plot a floor plan to scale. It just made it fit the sheet!)

An architectural building section (as differentiated from a detail section) is intended to orient the reader to the overall building concept. For clarity, the section is usually drawn with a thick line at the points where it cuts a building element. Then it's typical to show other building elements behind the section cut and they are drawn in various thinner lines. For this to happen in CAD, you should have at least a few layers so that line thickness can be applied. I understand that the mathematics involves creating and combining a 2D section cut and a 2D elevation. In TC we seem to be missing the 2D elevation function.

I went a little further with my experimentation after writing the above and I found that if I used the "Vertical Section" tool instead of the "Horizontal Section" tool, I finally got a 2D version of the floor plan. The resulting plan was oriented 90 degrees from the current view and upside down, but, hey it was at least there. The orientation is not such a big problem because it can be rotated around until it's correctly oriented on the world plane. However, the big problem is, as Greg affirmed, that all of the lines are on one layer. The only way I can use this is to explode it and manually move the lines to different layers. Unfortunately, I also noticed that none of the windows and doors are shown according to the 2D version of the window or door. So I also have to modify the plans to include door swings and decide whether I look stupid using the 3D version of the windows (cut so that each little mullion is drawn instead of the simple 2D line).

In earlier versions of TC, I felt I was wasting a lot of unnecessary time because I was utilizing the model only for exterior elevations. I could not use the model for floor plans if I had more than one floor because I had no way of controlling the depth of field for the camera and therefore the model plan showed the window openings on all floor levels. The floor plans and building sections had to be traced over in the model view with 2D lines, using many layers containing the line width data, text and dimensions. I then put each plan and section in a viewport and made a layer set for the viewport to show only the appropriate 2D info. I understood from the promotional material that new versions of TC could now create architectural sections and assumed that would save enough time to be worth the cost of the upgrade. Now I'm realizing that the plans and sections produced by the new section tool require so much modification, that it's probably not worth it. Too bad! I really want to like this new version.




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* June 28, 2011, 01:43:25 PM
#3
Jordan,

One thing you might want to try is the Drafting Palette to create your sections. V18 is capable... at least from my understanding, of using it for architectural work. Not sure if it will do what you're after or not... but worth a try.

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* June 28, 2011, 08:51:33 PM
#4
I just took a look at that, Greg. It seems to me that Drafting Palette has been around for awhile and I might have looked at it before. It does create a  crude section through 3D objects, but it is not really useful for architectural work because - unless I'm missing something - it offers no control over where the section is cut. I think it just cuts the section halfway across. It also apparently has no ability to show other objects which are in front of the cut line in the architectural model. One would have to draw all of these manually instead of taking them directly from the model you've already created.

The best thing I found for making building sections in previous TC versions was to set up a camera at the point where I want the cut line and aim it orthogonally in the direction I want to view. When you do this, nothing behind the camera shows up in the drawing, so the camera functions as a section cutter. Making a 2D building section drawing from the camera view is complex, though, because you have to name the view, make a hidden line view in a viewport (at a specific scale with the correct view name) and then explode the viewport to make it into a 2D entity. Once you have the exploded viewport, you can copy and paste it from paper space to model space and scale it back up to full size. The raw section drawing has so many lines on top of each other that it is hard to use as a section. I always trace over it with new single lines and then add text and dimensions to it. I sure wish the section tool worked because it would be nice to shorten the time it takes to do all of this.

Camera views work okay for making a vertical building section. Unfortunately they don't help with multi-story floor plans (horizontal sections) because there is no camera depth of field. You end up with a plan that has windows and doors from every floor piled on top of one another. In one project I overcame this by making a set of different layers for each floor, but this only works if you don't mind the line which shows up between floors on the elevations. Usually, you just have to draw the floor plans the old fashioned way.

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* June 29, 2011, 01:49:22 AM
#5
Jordan,

After you have created a view of your model using the Drafting Palette, can create a sectional view anywhere you want. There is a "Create by Viewline" tool at the top of the Drafting Palette.

The DP can also do a few things that the Section tool can't:

1. Created views change/update as you make changes to your model

2. The section changes/updates when you move the section line

3. You can have different colors for the different items in your model, and these can be hidden.

Item 3 above takes some thought and some work to do... but isn't really too bad after you get the hang of it.

Edit - Here is one of the drawings that came with TC in which I created a few DP objects... took less than a minute to do. Maybe this will be a little clearer than I was.  ;D
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 08:09:08 AM by GregT »

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