Section tools for architectural documentation

unhandled

#1

Any plans to improve on section tools and make it an integrated part of Rhino?

We need some good tools for architectural documentation and output. Construction drawings in a vector format.
Section tools is far from there, but maybe this could become the first building block. Needs a lot of work though.


Print layouts, sectioning and drafting - posts collection
Technical drawings - Is LAYOUT the best way?
Is there any interest in catering to the mechanical design people in V6?
(Dale Fugier) #2

@rajaa, you want to take this one?


(Rajaa Issa) #3

Hi Mortenengel,

Yes, we are currently working on SectionTools improvements and ways to integrate its functionality into Rhino.

When you mention that the current SectionTools is far from what you need, could you be more specific about the set of features you see necessary?

Here are some of the new features that I am working on for the next release:

  • Allow selecting solid vs void objects to factor in calculating sections.
  • Slicing: create solid sections with thickness.
  • Add more data to the reports.
  • UI and command flow improvements.

Thank you.


#4

Hi @rajaa,

Sure. Here are a few points:

  • would be nice is if the section tools would be more visual based like other rhino tools. Instead of just the menu bar commands. I think it could be integrated with cutting planes /which are easy to use) in Rhino although a jog section would be nice.
  • The sections should have the option of being created with an elevation background. So you see what is behind the cutting plane.
  • It should be possible to have hatches automatically created with styles (solid, line etc.) based on layers/parents/object.
  • Annotation inside the sections and plans would be great.
  • Control of line thickness for section and elevations.

I think these functions would be a good start.

Basically it would be great to have a 3d model that is a working model and then have all 2d drawings automatically generated from the 3d. So the drawings are always up to date based on the model.
Some of these features are available through the VisualArq plug-in but it would be nice to have the basics integrated in Rhino.

Hope this can be implemented without ‘too much’ work…

Thanks.


(Rajaa Issa) #5

Thanks for the feedback. Please see what you think about the notes below:

would be nice is if the section tools would be more visual based like other rhino tools. Instead of just the menu bar commands. I think it could be integrated with cutting planes /which are easy to use) in Rhino although a jog section would be nice.

Ok, sections created with SectionTools ARE clipping planes, but are hidden to spare the user the visual clutter, and also to provide functions to manage them behind the scenes. If you unlock the section layer and run “Show”, the section clipping plane shows. You can move or rotate it and the section will update dynamically. SectionTools is meant to make it easier to move, clip, view and align the CPlane. I can add an option to “show” the clipping plane. Is that what you are looking for?


The sections should have the option of being created with an elevation background. So you see what is behind the cutting plane

Now if you run stViewSections, you have an option to “SetView”. If set to “Yes”, then you will get the details behind the section as in the image. Is that what you are looking for?


It should be possible to have hatches automatically created with styles (solid, line etc.) based on layers/parents/object

Not sure what you mean. There is no “hatch property” that can be set for layers or objects.


Annotation inside the sections and plans would be great

Can you clarify? Is it not possible to do that now? One option that might be useful here is with stViewSections>SetCPlane=Yes. This can help you orient the active construction plane to your sections, you can then easily add notes, etc.
Also, if you create a dynamic 2D layout, result go into a new layer that you can use to add notes, etc. in the layout layer.


Control of line thickness for section and elevations

You can currently change the thickness when you set the “PrintDisplay > State=On”. See image. Is this what you need?


(Wim Dekeyser) #6

Hi Rajaa,[quote=“rajaa, post:5, topic:11559”]
Now if you run stViewSections, you have an option to “SetView”. If set to “Yes”, then you will get the details behind the section as in the image. Is that what you are looking for?
[/quote]

That sounds good. As the general purpose of sectioning is to created detail views on layouts, I suppose this should automatically create a named view that can be called from a detail.

That is correct and it is the feature request that I’ve voiced in the past as well. Objects and layers should have a property / collection of properties to set: X-section line type, X-section line width, X-section line color, X-section solid fill, and X-section hatch. All objects that reside on a particular layer (and that do not have a By_Object or By_Parent or so override) will automatically get these properties applied when a Clipping Plane intersects them. I suppose that for this purpose we can recycle the “Line Type”, “Print Color”, and “Print Width” properties that already exist, unless, of course, a user has curve entities on the same layer that he’d rather not have behaving like a cross section.

Again, as the purpose is to create details on layouts, would it be an idea to automatically place the dynamic 2D layout on a layout instead of in the modeling environment? It would then live on the layout itself, not in a detail.

See above [X-section properties]. It’s been a while since I’ve used SectionTools but I suppose that the cross section curves that are seen in your images are actual curve geometry. I have for the longest been hoping that Rhino didn’t have to create actual geometry, that X-Sectioning could be some display trick or something. We see that creating the actual geometry leads to a substantial slow-down when compared to detailing in parametric software where the details are obviously ‘just’ taken off the render mesh and not the underlying model. Also, in Rhino, the Clipping Plane gives us what we want () on the fly. So to the uneducated like myself it appears that pretty much is in place.
[(
) except for snapping and that often solids are not filled]

At any rate, that has been voiced before so I guess that it has been looked into and deemed not possible.

Still, I would much rather not have to deal with the extra layers and geometry that the cross sectioning functionality introduces [layer management isn’t that much fun in Rhino]. Could it be that this is kept entirely behind the scene - except for the fact that one can see it? So that way, the section curves would get their properties from the X-section properties that are set on the layer where the object resides (or object itself). One would be able to snap to the section curves (also a request that should be fairly high on the ladder by now), but not select or move or anything. If a user at some point and for some reason would like to do something else than to just illustrate / annotate / detail a 3D model, there could be an ExtractXSectionGeometry command that rips the curves out from behind the scene and places them into the 3D world.

cheers,
w


#7

Hi @rajaa,

Thanks for the response.

To the first example. No I don’t want a rendered background. And no 3d rendered section. I want a 2d drawing.
I want 2d vector lines. see image below. (example to left is Section Tools, example to right is sort of what I want (hatches that differ and the elevation in 2d lines).

Hatch properties based on object/layer/parent might be a new feature that needs implementing in Rhino.
This would enable hatches in sections to be set per individual layer so walls would be solid hatch, furniture a line hatch etc. Right now I can only chose one hatch style for the whole section.

Annotation. Ok.
But what is the dynamic 2d layout you reference to?

Hope this clarifies a bit.


#8

@rajaa,

Another option I have tried is to make a Rhino clipping plane and then by modifying the display mode creating a ‘drawing like’ section.
This can then be put in a detail view in layouts and printed.

The major drawback here is that the section cannot be output as a vector drawing but only prints as a raster image.


(Rajaa Issa) #9

@mortenengel

Rhino ClippingPlane
Can you explain why you needed to create a Rhino ClippingPlane in you last example? What stops you from using a section in the SectionTools in this case?

Vector 2D:
Can you explain why you need your drawing to be vector based?
Right now, you can also use stMake2D to extract the 2D outlines. Extracting the 2D outline dynamically can be time consuming process, but I can add that as an option when creating the 2D layout if you think it is essential.

Per layer/object hatch style:
As you know the HatchStyle in Rhino is a property of the “Hatch” object and is not a “curve” or “region” property by layer/object. This would be a new feature that I am not sure how much is it essential for the general user base. It would be nice to hear other users’ feedback about this point.
That is said, I completely understand the problem you have when sectioning through different kinds of objects and need different hatches that should dynamically update. The only workflow that I can think of in the context of SectionTools is to create multiple sections (same location) and select different set of objects depending on the desired hatch property. Would that be a workable option for you?

Dynamic 2D Layout
I was referring to what you create with stLayout command.


(Rajaa Issa) #10

@wim , Here are some follow up thoughts on your response.

Named Views
These are not created instantly, but are easy enough to create once you set and orient your view to a section using stViewSections. I suppose I can add a command to capture a section view and save as a named view. I’ll add to the TODO list.

Hatch Property Per-Layer
Please see the response above. I will add a wish to Rhino to add a HatchStyle to layers and curve-objects. However, hatches can also apply to regions (collection of curves), and therefore HatchStyle is not quite a one object property like color or material.

2D Layout creates a new Rhino layout page
There are some details to work out here. Do we need to create one page layout per section? What if the user wants to place multiple sections in one layout page? If you create a named view per section, then it will be trivial to place the sections in a layout page by setting the detail view to the section named view. One other thing is that the SectionTools layout is not always placed in a Rhino layout page. Many used create those and export for laser cutting after slicing a model.

Sections in display only
Sure. SectionTools is meant to be more accurate with extracted geometry that can be snapped to, exported, etc. An overlap between what Rhino Clipping planes is currently supporting, and SectionTools with a more or less, managed clipping plane set is probably where the new development should head.


#11

Let me chime in here. In general, Rhino is not a layout or graphics software. Neither should it be.
I agree that it needs basic layouting capabilities to throw out technical drawings. But architecture is also about visual appearance. Adding in textures, gradients, color fills and other extras is something other software such as illustrator or photoshop are more capable of. If you have a vector basis for those tools, it’s always preferable over pixel output.

I don’t have the current section tools so please excuse me if this is already implemented. For architectural sections to work in Rhino, we basically need a clipping plane that provides fills/hatches for cut away solids and a Make2D that is aware of the clipping and the generated fills/hatches. If section tools are meant to be any improvement over manual clipping+Make2D, all that should update dynamically.


(Rajaa Issa) #12

@HaLo,
As you probably know, sections generated by SectionsTools are nothing but managed clipping planes that produce geometry at intersections… clean and join curves, create caps, hatches… and also update with model changes. So this part is implemented. Ofcourse it also helps you manage the sectioned objects set, change location of sections, clip or un-clip, align to views, etc.

There is a make 2d in ST (stMake2D) that takes into account the clipping plane, but it does not dynamically update. Make2D is a more time consuming process, and I did not think it was suitable to support in a dynamic setting. This might change in V6 and we can create the sectioning layout with the elevation behind it dynamically.


#13

@rajaa

Rhino ClippingPlane
Can you explain why you needed to create a Rhino ClippingPlane in you last example? What stops you from using a section in the SectionTools in this case?

The clipping planes are easier and more intuitive to use than ST.
Also They display the elevation behind the section cut and the displaymode can easily manipulate the appearance.

Vector 2D:
Can you explain why you need your drawing to be vector based?
Right now, you can also use stMake2D to extract the 2D outlines. Extracting the 2D outline dynamically can be time consuming process, but I can add that as an option when creating the 2D layout if you think it is essential.

Architects need to be able to make vector drawings. To send to collaborators, export to another CAD package or Illustrator or just print at high resolution.

Per layer/object hatch style:
As you know the HatchStyle in Rhino is a property of the “Hatch” object and is not a “curve” or “region” property by layer/object. This would be a new feature that I am not sure how much is it essential for the general user base. It would be nice to hear other users’ feedback about this point.
That is said, I completely understand the problem you have when sectioning through different kinds of objects and need different hatches that should dynamically update. The only workflow that I can think of in the context of SectionTools is to create multiple sections (same location) and select different set of objects depending on the desired hatch property. Would that be a workable option for you?

I think there is a lot of workarounds using make2d. That’s what most people do now. But it requires a lot of manual fiddling around with drawings. And you have to repeat this long process every time you make a revision to the 3d. That’s the whole point that we would like to avoid.
So the sections and plans should be dynamically updated based on the 3d.

Dynamic 2D Layout
I was referring to what you create with stLayout command.

Ok. We just need the features previously described.


Print layouts, sectioning and drafting - posts collection
#14

Hi @rajaa

Found these videos of other 3d app layouts that illustrate quite well what I’m talking about:

Inventor:


Solid Works:

Revit:

ArchiCAD:


(Wim Dekeyser) #15

All, I’m changing the category of this one from Plug Ins to Rhino for Windows to make sure we reach also those who have Plug Ins muted…

Hi @rajaa, some more feedback from me.

I do not necessarily see why we need an alternative UI for dealing with sections. I find it very easy to handle the current ClippingPlanes because they behave just like other Rhino planes and Rhino has good tools to handle creation, placement, and transformation of those.

That question gets asked a lot. I must be doing something fundamentally wrong. How does one get crisp, high quality line work out of Rhino?

To me, that would mean adding another 50 or so layers to the document. I understand that I could move these under a parent layer that I collapse and therefore wouldn’t need to see all the time but I really hope it doesn’t have to come to that.

Not to curve-objects. To solids. I understand that an hatch is an entity on its own and has its own properties. And of course that should remain like that. The ClippingPlane per today creates a curve and a plane and the wish is just that it also should create an hatch in the same way. The plane receives its properties from the parent solid, as should the hatch.

My ultimate wish is that sectioning for illustration does not create any new geometry (other than the clipping plane). And if it absolutely does have to do that, that it stays away from the 3D modeling space.

Yes, exactly! But I urge you to separate those two completely different needs. Illustration should be quick and not necessarily perfect but output for further production should be 100% exact and therefore can be expected to take some time to generate. The making of “production curves” should be a step 2 command, an ExtractSections from step 1 which is to set up the sections.

Thanks for listening!
w


#16

Very well said (all of it)!

Philip


(Rajaa Issa) #17

Thank you all for continuing to take interest in this discussion. It is very important to us.
Just a couple follow up questions on your points:

  • Do you expect the clipping section to clip through all visible objects, or should you be allowed to select the objects to clip/section?

  • When you hide objects, do you expect to see the sections still? I have seen many users create sections, then hide the solid objects check the stacked floor plates for example.

  • The vector output, is it only for printing and export, or do you see it essential on the viewport view as well?

  • I get the comment about adding hatch styles to solids, but should we also add “line-style” to surfaces so that once sectioned, they are represented with that style?


(Wim Dekeyser) #18
  • ideally we’d have a “clipping object” in addition to the current clipping plane. The object could take any shape and only clip what gets intersected. I’m sure that an “excluded object list” would come in handy when using the infinite clipping plane.
  • when you hide an object, the section is hidden.
  • vector is only an issue for print and export as far as I can see.
  • line-style and line-weight would be icing on the cake!
    Cheers, Wim

#19

I think it’s worth pointing out that those videos are setting up a comparison between Rhino which costs less than $1000 for a license and software packages that are priced in the $4000 range.


#20

I just hit the like button, but that’s not enough. This is all so spot on.

I have repeated the cycle of using a clipping plane, finding it not robust enough, opening section tools, getting frustrated, then going back to the clipping plane…

Man, I really want simple clean vector sections with BG linework in rhino.