Exterior symbols

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Bill M
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Exterior symbols
SoftPlan Version:
2014 Plus

Been trying to get the bugs out of the  new computer but it's time to get back to drawing.  I have a couple of questions about exterior symbols.  

First, I am making an assumption that some are added to elevations and not floor plans.  Is this correct.  I know I have added gable vents on visible line drawings before but haven't gotten fancy at all adding exterior items.  

Second, I am also assuming that exterior symbols for 3d rendering are made using solids, given the necessary texture and then saved as the symbol.  Example being wood gable trusses or decorative brackets such as those imitating exposed rafter beams as seen on craftsman style homes.  I will also assume the same process would apply to interior symbols.

Is there a section/chapter in the manual that addresses this?  Thanks for any input.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Symbols

Hey Bill. It really depends on what you are wanting to accomplish and what tools you have at your disposal.

For 3D symbols most anything can be made directly in SoftPlan but many times other tools such as Sketchup can make the 3D model process easier and faster.

2D symbols are a simple matter of just drawing them out and converting to a symbol or taking an existing symbol, exploding it, making changes, then creating a new symbol.

Since the questions you are asking are very broad perhaps we could take the approach of being more specific and taking it one chunk at a time. Many of the items you are wanting may already be included in SoftPlan. Vents, for instance. SoftPlan has a variety of vents that you can insert into your drawing and they will automatically show up in 3D and when you save your elevations they will be already in the 2D as well.

If you will break your questions into smaller chunks with more specific requests you can receive answers to more accurately reflect your needs. The more specific the better. For instance someone asking "I want to learn how to create a 3D symbol of a bracket. Here is a dimensioned drawing showing how the bracket would look. How could I crate this bracket in both 3D and 2D using just SoftPlan?" Specific questions like that will give you better results than someone who says "How do I make a bracket?".

The following may give you some of the answers you seek and at least give you a starting point:

Craftsman Columns

Import a Sketchup File

Proper Orientation of Sketchup Models

Using Sketchup Models in SoftPlan

Adding Symbols

Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Bill I'll get some specifics

Bill I'll get some specifics together in a day or so.  Seems a bug has invaded the old body.  I have created and used a number of 2d symbols over the years so that is not something I'm unfamiliar with.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Bill here are a couple of

Bill here are a couple of photos of what I'm asking about.  Wooden trusses in one and the brackets under the eaves in the other.

 

 

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Custom Symbols

1. Draw in 2D
2. With snaps turned on trace over 2D drawing using Solid-->Polygon 3D
3. Edit each 3D Polygon and give it a proper height. For instance if you are creating a truss that the thickness would be 5 1/2" then give the polygons a height of 5 1/2".
4. Display in SoftView and verify that the 3D is correct. Adjust as necessary.
5. From within SoftView select File-->Export-->2000 DWG. Give it a name and save to Desktop. The name needs to be unique for each item you create this way because this will be the 3D model that a new Symbol will reference.
6. Switch back to the 2D drawing.
7. Select File-->System Options-->System Library
8. Make sure Symbols is selected as the type.
9. Select an existing library or create a new one for your custom symbol.
10. Select Wizard
11. Enter a name for your new symbol then select Next.
12. When asked "Is the plan view symbol you want to add to the library on screen?" select No. Select Next.
13. On the Link to 3D Symbol page select Import 3D Symbol. Browse to the 3D model you saved on your Desktop and select it. Select an existing library or create a new library to store the 3D symbol then select OK. Select Next.
14. Observe the views displayed. If the orientation of the model is correct then select Next. If not then select No. Select Next.
15. If the orientation was not previously correct then follow the pages and select the correct views until the orientation is correct. Once you reach the last orientation view verify that the orientation is correct then select Next or if it is not correct then select Back to correct the orientation.
16. If you wish you can assign textures to the model then select Next.
17. Verify that the dimensions are correct then select Next.
18. Set your reference position and any other options you want that apply to your specific situation. Select Next.
19. On the Symbol Preview page select Generate. Select Next.
20. Select Finish.
21. Insert your new symbol and adjust offsets as necessary to place at the proper height.

 

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Thanks Bill, I'll look into

Thanks Bill, I'll look into this soon.  That bug is still hanging on.  I am going to say the same would apply for the brackets?

yvongonthier
yvongonthier's picture
Custom symbol for vent

Great info Bill

I created a 3D symbol as per your information above for a precast civic address block, a 16" x 16" x 4" deep precast concrete with the contour and numbers raised. Works great. Now, is there a way to link this 3D symbol to a vent?

Thanks

Bill Wimberley
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Link to Elevation Opening

Link the 3D symbol to the Elevation Opening for the Vent.

yvongonthier
yvongonthier's picture
Thanks. Had a brain freeze.

Thanks. Had a brain freeze. Was trying to link it directly thru the vent symbol.

yvongonthier
yvongonthier's picture
Vent symbols

I created my 3D symbol (1rst picture) which I exported as a DWG version 2000 while in Softview and went thru the wizard setting the proper orientations and textures. Created the 2D symbol and linked the 3D to it. Works perfectly. Then, in the Elevation Openings, linked the 3D dwg symbol to the vent detail which appears in the 3D preview as a solid beige box. When I generate my elevation (2nd picture), it comes out as a black box. The only thing is when I go in the 3D symbols of the vent library, my symbol appears to be lying down while the others are standing up. Any ideas?

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
3D Model

The symbol wizard sets the orientation that a 3D symbol will be. It does not actually make any changes to the 3D dwg file. It just makes it so that it shows up differently based on your selections in the wizard. So in other words, the symbol was created laying down and it remains so even though it has been added to a symbol.

If you want to actually rotate the 3D model it will take another step. After going through the wizard and creating a symbol that has the model standing up export it out to DWG again. This time the model will be standing up.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
This is one of those things I

This is one of those things I didn't get to work on the past couple of months.  I'll have to look at this one again over the next week before I start new projects.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
I have been able to attempt

I have been able to attempt this now.  One problem I'm having is the thickness, depth or however you want to define it being different from one section to the other (top image).  The top part appearing as a square (top image) is the straight 90° part of the truss shown in the second image.  In the edit dialog where I think I could change this is gray and doesn't allow change.  I can move it to line up over the beam of the truss but haven't been able to change it any other way.  Thoughts?

 

 

Bill Wimberley
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3D Solids

Bill, I can't really tell what you have going on there without seeing the file. Can you attach the file so I can take a look?

Bill M
Bill M's picture
I have attached the file Bill

I have attached the file Bill.  I traced the truss from the elevation drawing using 3d polygram command.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
3D Polygons

I see several things going on here.

First, let's understand the difference between drawing a 3D model that is laying down vs one that is standing up.

Some models can be created standing up. See the video by Wayne deGroot for an example that uses 3D Solids to create a Craftsman Column. This type of model is created by using various solids stacked on top of each other. The stacking is controlled by the Offset. Offset refers to how high the bottom of the object is from 0. So you could have a cube stacked on top of another cube by adjusting the offset of the second cube so that it equals the height of the top of the first cube.

Other models must be created laying down flat. The beamwork you are creating is an example of this type. You make these using 3D polygons and other solids to basically draw an elevation view of the model. You then adjust the "Height" of each object to give it a thickness. And you adjust the "Offset" to specify how far the bottom is from 0.

So in the case of your beams you would give all the components the same height, say 8". And you would give all the objects an offset of 0".

Once you have all the components created you should be able to see the beams laying flat on the ground when viewed in 3D. Then you go about creating a symbol as spelled out in #5 above.

The problem you are having is that you have different heights and offsets specified for each component as if you are trying to create a stacked model rather than a model that is laying out flat.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for the explanation Bill.  I actually viewed the video on the Craftsman column in the past few days and have created my own in the past.  The video did take me further than I had been going however so very informative to me.  

I was attempting to "put them (truss parts) in the air" and as you see drawing up and down instead of flat.  I'll give this a try again. 

Thanks again.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Bill any clue why SP will not

Bill any clue why SP will not allow me create a new post?  I have watched the video a couple of times this morning while running SP.  I have created a new library for my posts and when it comes to choosing the one step it does not allow me to select the post but instead goes directly to the dialog and asks me to create a name for the post. I have tried this several times with the same results.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Posts

Hey Bill. "Posts" don't use the Symbol Wizard. The purpose of the Symbol Wizard is to allow you to correctly orient a 3D model that may have been created with solids or imported from another source. Also you will notice it is called the "Symbol Wizard" not the "Post Wizard".

Posts are a little different. The are assumed to already be standing up so there is no need to go through the entire process of the wizard. You simply select the 3D model and enter all the appropriate information and you are done.

Now if you are trying to make something like the craftsman columns that are shown in Wayne's video then you need to make it a Symbol rather than a Post. Even though Posts are technically Symbols they are a very specialized type of Symbol. Just like an Opening or a Cabinet are technically Symbols they are special purpose symbols and made and used a different way. If you want to call your new Symbol a post you could always place it in a symbol library named posts.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
I think we got going two

I think we got going two different directions here Bill.  smiley  I got the truss done and saved.  I have to assume that these would have to be produced per project and there is no way to make them where they can be edited?  This was produced for the front porch as you can see in the 3d here. I also added it in two gables but as you can see they really don't work there.  Also it is sitting on the posts I am wanting to save.  I was indeed trying to save the post as a symbol in my own post library but it would never let me draw a square around it as Wayne did to continue.  

This drawing was originally drawn in v13 pre rendering days so symbols are everywhere.

 

 

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Upload file

Bill, I would really need to see the file to be able to tell what you are talking about. What you are calling a "post" might be a post, might be a symbol, might be a bunch of solids stacked, might be some combination of all of the above. But in any event, I don't understand why you can't make it into a symbol. You should be able to just select File⇒System Options⇒​System Library, make sure the type is set to Symbols, select One Step, and draw a box around the "post" to create the symbol.

And yes, it is correct that you would need to make a different symbol for each gable. Trying to use the same symbol for different size gables will cause the symbol to stretch out of proportion.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Bill I shared this drawing

Bill I shared this drawing with you in the cloud.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Symbol

Hey Bill. I opened the project and created a symbol, no problem. What are the exact steps you are taking that is preventing you from creating a symbol?

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Bill I go into system library

Bill I go into system library, then open it in the library configuration where I have created mplanPOSTs folder.  I highlight mplanPOSTs as the place to put the symbol and it highlights "one step" under create symbol but not the wizard button which would allow me to highlight the post.  I click "one step" and it opens a create post dialog.

 

 

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Post vs Symbol

Hey Bill. You are selecting "Post" as the Type rather than "Symbol". The "Symbol Wizard" is only available when you are creating entities of the type "Symbol". You can create a library within Symbols called Posts or whatever you want to call them.

If you wish to create a "Post" rather than a "Symbol" you would select Post as the Type and fill in all the information that pertains to the Post such as width, depth, height, pad specifications, etc. If you have a 3D file such as a DWG or SKP already saved you can link the 3D file to the Post. There is no import wizard associated with Posts like there is for Symbols.

In other words, leave the Type set to Symbol and you can then use the Symbol Wizard.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Ah, makes sense now.  I ran

Ah, makes sense now.  I ran through a trial on it and will create some other std. posts that I normally use.  I would assume (seem to do alot of that) that once the symbol is created that it can be exploded, changed and saved as a different one?  Thanks for the help on this Bill.  Solved several things for me on this one thread.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Got it worked out on the post

Got it worked out on the post Bill, thanks.  Question for you on the truss.  Is there any way to have it act as a beam.  The reason I ask is I have the roof done and put the truss in place.  I end up editing the roof in another area of the house but since the beam is no longer in place where I put the truss the roof there changes as well.  Is this one of those places where all changes need to be done before a final rendering can be done?

Bill Wimberley
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Beam

Just put a beam there too. Edit and make it hidden so it doesn't print. On the Common tab for the beam uncheck Extract in Model so it doesn't show in 3D and elevations.

Bill M
Bill M's picture
This is what I did but didn't

This is what I did but didn't hide the beam.  I wondered if it could be hidden but hadn't looked. Thanks Bill, this one will probably go to archive now. wink

Bill M
Bill M's picture
Should have known I couldn't

Should have known I couldn't keep quiet on this thread.  

I have to assume rafter tails would be created the same way?  I'm wanting to design a craftsman style home complete with the rafter tails.

Bill Wimberley
Bill Wimberley's picture
Rafters

You couldn't use regular SoftPlan rafters? Just throw in your rafters, make sure Roof Framing is turned on in the Extraction Options, remove soffits and fascias from the roof edges.