Vectorworks / MiniCAD Tutorials

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1 Vectorworks / MiniCAD Tutorials Tutorial 1: Construct a simple model of a little house Tutorial 2: Construct a 4 view Orthographic drawing of the Model These tutorials are available as Adobe Acrobat 4 files. Students should download each file and do the tutorials in sequence. The purpose of the exercises is to provide practice in using MiniCAD / Vectorworks, especially in memorizing tool and command functions and the equivalent keystrokes. To do these tutorials effectively you will need to write or acquire the Overlay (MiniCAD) or Workspace (Vectorworks) to which they refer - it's described on the next page. The Overlays (and tutorials) were written on a Mac. Menu tools and commands on a Mac are accessed by a keystroke combination: the Apple key, which has a squiggle and an apple symbol on it (called the Cmd. key in the tutorials, for command ), and the given letter key. In Windows, the Command key is replaced by the Control (Ctrl) key. Have fun.

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3 MiniCAD / VectorWorks Tutorial #1 Work in a file named "LittleHouse.mcd. Be sure you have the layers "plan," "front," "side," "iso," and that your preferences, dimensions, units, and all other settings are as specified in the "Configuring VectorWorks / MiniCAD" pages. You can work with the reference grid on or off as you prefer. This exercise steps you through a number of the processes you will use to create a 3d model. You will begin to learn a number of keystrokes & commands; you'll need a correctly configured overlay / workspace to be active. You are going to create and arrange 4 rectangles that will be a layout template for the Front wall of a Little House. You will make the shapes, arrange them, and then "trace" them with the Single Line Polygon tool. Your objective is to reproduce what I did, except that I made a drawing for each step. You only need to make one drawing, which you will alter at each step. Drag it from place to place on the page. Work in the "plan" layer. 10'-0" STEP 1 Draw a rectangle (Tool: 1) and reshape (using the object info palette, "shape") to these dimensions STEP 2 3'-0" Duplicate (menu: Cmd or Cntrl D) that rectangle and reshape the duplicate to be 3' x 6' - 6" using the object info pallette 6'-6" STEP 3 STEP 4 14'-0" Use a line to find the centre of the space between the door opening and the end of the wall, so that you can locate the window 2d Select (tool: Q) the new small rectangle at it's bottom centre (screen hint pops on) - YOU WANT THE CROSS CURSOR NOT THE ARROW - and move it until it snaps to the bottom center of the big rectangle (screen hints). If screen hints isn't working adjust your Preferences and your Constraints palette. The small rectangle will be the door opening draw a line (tool: \ ) from the lower left corner of the door box to the lower left corner of the wall box. Select that line and move it to the upper left corner of the door box. Use Screen Hints. Also try: draw the line from the upper left corner of the door box to the upper left corner of the wall box, STAY CLICKED, and start back down toward the lower corner of the wall box. Keep the marching ants lined up and hold down the shift key, releasing the mouse button when you have the line in the right place. STEP 5 This line has a centre. so now you can duplicate the door rectangle, (Cmd or Cntrl D), and move (Q for 2d Select) the top centre of the duplicate - which will become the window opening - to the centre of the line

4 PAGE 2 STEP 6 Make the window rectangle 3' - 6" square (Object info Palette) STEP 7 Mirror and Duplicate (tool: I) the window rectangle on the centre of the door rectangle. Put the tool at the center of the door (screen hints), hold down the shift key to constrain the angle,, and drag the mouse straight up a bit. Remember the window has to be selected for anything to happen. IF IT JUST MIRRORED BUT DIDN'T DUPLICATE, SELECT THE OTHER BUTTON AT UPPER LEFT or use "F5" key to toggle between versions of the tool. You want "mirror and duplicate," not just "mirror" STEP 8 using the corners of this assembly of rectangles, draw a single line polygon (tool: 3) that incorporates all of them. see page 3 for a step by step explanation. STEP 8, completed It may take you awhile to get this. Work away at it until you do. When complete, go to the bottom of this page to continue... WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED MAKING THE "TRACING" DELETE YOUR ORIGINAL RECTANGLES - THEY WERE JUST FOR LAYOUT.

5 A: start at a corner,, and stretch the line to... PAGE 3 STEP BY STEP OF STEP 8... B: again when it says "Top Right" and drag to the lower right corner... E: it will say "Bottom Center" when you get there but don't : instead... D: drag your line up toward the center of the window rectangle C: repeat and... once you have step F, drag up and here and here...f: Drag back down to locate this point (use screen hints) - NOW - then drag back up to the bottom center of the window rectangle, and continue around the window G: continue to trace your way around the shape, single ing at each point and repeating the trick to get around the other window. double- when you return to your start point to close the polygon, which finishes the operation. The shift key will constrain the rubber-band line to an angle (including right angles) - which can be useful. again when you get here etc... and here RETURN TO THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 2 WHEN FINISHED

6 STEP 9 PAGE 4 Duplicate your wall (Cmd/Cntrl D). Drag the copy out of the way. Be sure you are in Front View (tool: O and on front view of little house at upper left.) Extrude (Cmd/Cntrl E) the wall to make it 3d. Set the extrusion at 4" in the dialogue box. RIGHT ISOMETRIC VIEW OF WALL AFTER BEING EXTRUDED 4" IN FRONT VIEW Get the 3d selector (O) and look at your wall in one of the isometric views - then a plan view - then a side view - then an isometric again. Try some rendering options. If nothing happens its because your wall has no "fill," so give it a solid fill and try again. Restore the rendering to wireframe and carry on... STEP 10 Be in Front view. Draw a plain rectangle (1) the same size as the wall (use the wall as a template - on the upper left corner and drag to the lower right corner. Screen hints now says "object" when you find the points, because the wall is now a 3d object. The rectangle that you drew will be the back wall of the house, which has no doors or windows. Drag it over to one side (Q for 2d select). Align the bottom of the 2d rectangle with the bottom of the 3d wall (move it from a bottom corner to contact the bottom corner of the wall, and then use the shift key and the dotted line to move it so that the objects are aligned. Extrude (Cmd/Cntrl E) the Back Wall rectangle in front view. (the same extrusion - 4") 3d Front wall 3d Back wall

7 PAGE 5 STEP 11 Still in Front view, draw a side wall, using different techniques Draw a 10 high x 9' - 2 1/2" wide rectangle. Convert it to Polygons (MiniCAD doesn't think of a rectangle as a polygon until you tell it to). It needs to have a peak in the middle. Define the height of this peak using the constrained dimension tool (Z), or a plain line ( \ ): starting from the bottom centre of your rectangle measure 15' - 4 1/2" straight up. Watch the length readout at the top of the window. STEP 11 15'-4 1/2" You can tab into that length box and type in a number - which takes three hands sort of, because you have to keep the mouse ed while you do it. You also have to type ' " for feet and inches. 10'-0" You can also draw a line of any length and change it to the correct length in the object info palette. 9'-2 1/2" STEP 11A That layout line is so that you have a point to hook up with. Select your rectangle. (Q and on it) Now type "W" and get the 2d reshape tool. A whole row of buttons appears in the menu bar. This tool has two options, 2d and 3d. You want 2d. The different option buttons do different things - move a point, convert from one kind of point to another, add a point, subtract a point. You will want to add a point, so select that button. Also notice that the black selection boxes on your rectangle have changed into a different kind of point. Find the centre point of the top of the rectangle. When the cursor changes, and drag - you will add a point and move it upwards: when it intersects with your layout (screen hints) you can release the mouse button. add a point and drag it to the layout point to create peak STEP 11A 15'-4 1/2"

8 PAGE 6 STEP 12 SWITCH TO SIDE VIEW and (Cmd/Cntrl E) the side piece Then switch back to front view If you extruded it in some view other than side view you can rotate it in a view that will make it appear correctly in side view, or you can do it again, or you can convert it back to 2d polygons (menu: Cmd/Cntrl Q). If you do this, you need to Ungroup (menu Cmd/Cntrl U) the result, and remove the piece you want from a number of other pieces and lines. You may need to re-do its attributes. There'll be an explanation of this later. The side wall in isometric view The piece will look like this in front view reshape if necessary to 4" thickness (extrusion) STEP 13 Clean up Get rid of everything except except your three 3d walls line up the bottoms of your 3 walls - try Align Objects command if you want, or just drag them FRONT VIEW BACK WALL FRONT VIEW FRONT WALL FRONT VIEW SIDE WALL

9 PAGE 7 STEP 14 Assemble the walls 14A: Be in plan view: the wall pieces appear in plan now. With the 2d selector drag the side wall until it hooks up to the front wall (if you have trouble telling which is which - color code them) as shown below 14B: Duplicate the side wall and drag the duplicate to the other end of the front wall (2d select) Move the back wall - still with 2d select - and hook it into place as shown below Back Wall 14 A Side Wall Side Wall 14 B Side Wall Front Wall Front Wall STEP 15 Make a floor plane Still in Plan View draw a 2d rectangle using the outside corners of your assembled walls as a template. Convert this Rectangle to 3d Polygons: (menu: Cmd / Ctrl O (thats the letter O)) Color code your model so that you can distinguish it from the stuff on my layers Switch views to right or left Isometric. PLAN VIEW OF Floor plane - convert to 3d poly (in plan view)

10 PAGE 8 Connect the parts in a 3d view STEP 16 with the 3d selector move the floor plane until the circled corners connect I left this wall off so you could see the floor plane like this

11 PAGE 9 STEP 16 didn't work properly If you get some weird object with the parts not correctly aligned - the reason is that you didn't actually connect the corners when you put the parts together, or you didn't actually align the bottoms of all wall pieces when in front view. If this happened to you, you now get to assemble them in 3d. Be in an isometric view, get the 3d selector, and join the pieces up correctly. Screen hints says "object" when you are aligned on a corner, so you know you have joined the points. You can check your work by switching views. If screen hints isn't showing up, select "snap to object" again in the constraints palette (its keystroke is S) Yes, it is very irritating that 3d objects hop around the drawing and seem to disappear when you switch views. This is a feature of orthographic projection, of course. The workaround is to draw in the center of the page - which is at the center of the 3d grid (unless you changed that, which you shouldn't have).

12 STEP 17 Draw a roof piece: start by making a 2d side view of it. Be in side view PAGE 9 - use the unconstrained rectangle (2) to draw a 3" thick rectangle along one slope You need to cut an angle at the high end of your roof piece. First extend the piece as shown below. Draw a short vertical guideline (keystroke for line is \) up from the point of the side of the house. Make sure it is in front of the rectangle (Menu: Cmd / Ctrl F). Make it longer, so that it extends past the roof piece on both sides. 2d Select both the line and the roof rectangle, then "Clip Surface " (menu: Cmd / Ctrl =) so that the line cuts the rectangle. I left the scrap piece sitting to one side - you can delete yours, but leave the line for the next step. Extend the thin rectangle past the edges of the wall as shown: (you pick a length)... First: 2d select it, then get the reshape tool (W). Click on the center point of the end that you want to stretch longer, and drag. Keep it alighed to itself visually as you drag (this is not engineering), so be zoomed in fairly close to see what you're doing. Now mirror and duplicate the roof piece (tool or type "I " (the letter)) - check tool spot in menu bar and switch modes if it just mirrors but doesn't duplicate - use shift key to constrain mirror line to vertical - remember - it mirrors across the line you draw with the tool

13 PAGE 10 STEP 18 you should see something like this The roof piece will not be the right width - you'll need to enlarge it... STILL IN SIDE VIEW Extrude both pieces of the roof together a dialog box may appear: set the depth at 12" When you extrude more than one object at a time the objects are grouped into a single entity. You can Ungroup them if you want, but in this case you don't. STEP 19 IN FRONT VIEW stretch the roof extrusion to the right width Use the dimension tool (Z) to set two points as shown - - drag - tab into the length box on the menubar and set a length - drag - again. Try it once or twice if you need to Use the 2d Selector (you only want to change the roof in one view) - use the ARROW - not the crosshair - to stretch the center of each side of the roof piece until it hooks to your dimension points. 1'-2" 1'-2" You can drag the center of an extrusion to anywhere and only change the length of the piece: if you drag a corner, you'll change the whole proportion

14 PAGE 11 STEP 20 Make a door 2d rectangle in front view using the door opening as a template Extrude the piece, switch to plan view Reshape to be 2" thick and hook it to the back of the door opening Check placement in Isometric view, switch back to Plan 2d Select the door and use the Rotate Tool (U) to swing it partly open - with the object selected: (don't release) on the "hinge point" (whichever side you want to be the hinge side) drag to other end of object - release mouse button - drag again to set swing again when rotated to desired angle. Try it till you get it. You can play with a few fills and renderings on your finished house. It should still be on the "plan" layer The finished model of the Little House should look like this

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