Sections Tools Improvements

Hi all,
this is an excerpt from a longer post on Layout and Drafting.

I recall here to gain more visibility and to address this argument @rajaa which has done so far a very nice job.

Section Tools is a powerful tool which unfortunately looks almost frozen to 2017, It is the only Dynamic tool available for layouts. Here some suggestions for development:

  1. Layers state should be associated to section: When I update the section, I do not have to bother to toggle layers or select items again.

  2. Section Clips should remain always hidden.

  3. All Options could be managed through a dedicated panel where I can see/manage a list of Sections and their attributes or toggle an update.

  4. A panel like this would allow to drag and drop straight to a Layout (like suggested above), placing a detail view with correct orientation and Layer visibility.

I prefer to leave sections on their place in the model and compose my drawing with Layouts but, in case stLayout Command is used to place Sections on World XY plane:

  1. Placed Sections should have the option to be rearranged. A Layout need always some tweaks!

  2. There should be another Grip point option more than Center/Mid/Max . This is almost useless… If the object is modified and I update the section this is moved around, due to Grip point limitation. I think there should be a Zero Option related to Model Coordinates, say X=0 Y=0 for a Transverse Section which keep it always in place.



Thank you for your interest to improve SectionTools. You make very good points. Let me see if I get your points correctly:

Section layers are locked a creation. Are you asking that the layers maintain their “lock” state after updating the sections?

What do you mean by section clips? Are these the section geometry in 3D? Or you are referring to the clipping plane (which is always hidden unless you unlock the layer and show it)?


This might need a bit of clarification. Do you see a feature in Rhino that this panel can be modeled after? We do have drag and drop from the material panel. How do you see it work?

What do you mean by “rearranged”?

I’m not sure I’m clean on this one, can you show an example?

Hi Rajaa,
thanks for your prompt feedback!

Maybe I wasn’t too clear, will try to explain better my suggestions.
I edited my original post as well converting the list to numbered.
I will shorten below Section Tools to ST

I mean that a layer state should saved by ST and associated to each section. This way when I prompt for an update I do not need to restore manually all my layers and I am sure that all “original” elements are included and correctly shown.

Yes, I mean the clipping plane:
sometimes turn visible even if it’s locked.

This does not refer to any current feature in Rhino (and I haven’t much experience about material drag and drop) but was a mention from @mary about extending a concept discussed on Layout and Drafting thread to Sections as well.

I mean the ability to move Sections Placed on XY Layout.
Once placed they can not be moved to another location.

Sure, please see video at this link.
When I place sections on 2D layout I am asked to specify an option for the grip point to the bounding box center, minimum, or maximum.

If the sectioned objects are modified, in size or visibility the Layout Section can move a lot!
I suggest adding the option for a grip point related to the model coordinate, could be something like the intersection between Section Plane and X/Y/Z axis.

Is this clear enough? Do not esitate to ask for more info!

Hi @rajaa , did you had a chance to check this? I didn’t got any feedback.

I wanted to add a remark about move/refresh section which often loose association: I have to delete and place again the Section.


Can you give an example where this happens? You should get the sections correctly update with stUpdateSections.

Hi Raja, I just tryed to move a section, either by selecting from the model or from the list but nothing happens.
See this video
My only suspect is that having nested Section Layers into a parent layer could break association? I do need to organize Sections this way to keep my Layer structure clean.

I can send the file if needed by private message

Luca, I think it has to do with the way your are organizing your sections.
SectionTools uses specified structure/workflow where it creates layers for sections and places the ClippingPlane for each section(hidden). Layouts are created as sublayers. All section layers are locked by default, and should stay this way unless you need to add additional information to these layers such as text, etc. The plugin keeps track of locations of sections and objects to be sectioned and other attributes, then when you Update sections, it updates all the section layers.

This means that if I move a section created by the plugin I cause this to happen?
There should be the option to reorganize layers or nest them inside a parent layer.
Otherwise Layers Tab will be cluttered by lots of layers…

Luca, I’ll need you to help me understand what is needed here.

Currently the user can change the location of the sections layers, drag as sub-layers and rename the layers, and SectionTools update this data and recognize the new names and locations once you call stUpdateSections command. See the attached clip.

Can you be more specific about what other features you need supported here?

Hi Rajaa,
I do not understand in which way my section organization is different from your video example.
On my design I did just exactly the same steps as you, renaming some sections and nesting section layers inside a parent layer as you did.
I tried to replicate your example with a new file and it works fine.
The problem is that at some point this stop working.
It happened already on other files as well.
I post another video: Fr_08 has just been placed again and works fine. Other Sections have lost their association.

@luca4 there was a bug in older version that sections are not read correctly from older files. This was fixed in the latest release. Please let me know if you have files where sections are not recognized anymore and I’ll look into it.

Hi @rajaa ,this is one of them then!
there is a way to fix section or shall I delete snd place again?

If you opened that file in an older version and resaved it, then you’ll have to recreate.

Sorry but I do not understand, what do you mean by Older version?
Section Tool Plugin or Rhino?

Older SectionTools plugin (with the bug I mentioned above).

Latest version installed already.
Will try with this one

P.S. Did you had the chance to review my answer to your question above?

Especially this point.
This would be a big improvement to Section Tools

Hi Luca,
Are you using Rhino 6 or 7?
I’ll respond to your questions/suggestions shortly

Hi Rajaa,
using both but mainly Rhino v6 because most of my colleagues are still using 6.
Are there differences in Section Tool for Rhino 6 / 7?