Sections Tools Improvements

This is really useful but it is still dependent from Saved Layer State to be really effective.

I have not experienced yet Clipping Planes showing like it used in the past.
It happened nevertheless that Sections layers get unlocked by themselves when I trigger visibility of parent layer.
Running stLockSections was not locking them

Hi @rajaa
I experienced again SectionTools loosing connection with Sections already placed on design.
That is:

  • Check all section layers to be locked
  • Check for abnormal layer names (like Layer 01 we found created in "bad " files)
  • Check layer state to correspond to the same it was during Section creation
  • Check there is no hidden object
  • Trigger Section update
  • Check list of Sections available to be updated (all there, any Ghost sections)
  • Start updating
    ST update skips all sections and deletes all geometry inside section layers.

I think that, in order for ST to be useful and reliable, ClippingPlane’s management should be always under the curtain with no risk they show or interfere with design.
I do not have to check manually each time that layers remain locked and ST’s Clip planes remain hidden

I don’t know if this may help but I am experiencing some continuous disappearing of Clipping Planes placed on my design (different layers than Section tools).

Can you please give an example where I can repeat what you are experiencing at my end?
Regardless of the Lock state of sections, they should update correctly the content that is related to the sections. The only issue with unlocked sections is that you might accidently delete the section geometry or the section clipping plane.
It is possible that the layer state plugin you are using might be interfering with SectionTools.

If your section layers are locked, then you should not have this problem.

Noted :slight_smile:
I do see the point of separating sections content into sublayers that you can set separate properties for. Trying to think of a good way to do that, perhaps set up a layer named SectionTools, with sublayers that you can set the attributes for. When sections are created with Attributes=ByLayer, it looks for the SectionTools layer and use the attributes of the sublayers. I’ll have to experiment, but does that sound like a good workflow or do you have something else in mind?

I’m excited to be discussing this with you!

I have a couple of ideas, and I respectfully request/suggest the option to choose either for each new Section.

  1. Set Custom Default Object Attributes for each of Crv, Hatch, and Srf, (in the same way you’ve apparently chosen “Display=Black, Print=Black, and LineThickness=0.5” as the default Layer attributes) - The idea being that when you Create any new section, the attributes for each of these objects is automatically assigned, instead of them inheriting the layer’s attributes. (eg. I use Green, Black, 0.5 for Crvs, Orange, Black, 0.05 for Hatches, and White, White, Hairline for Srfs)

  2. And then close to what you’ve suggested. I’ll add a screengrab here to illustrate, but yes, pretty close to what I do. I have a Layer called “Sections” (but of course SectionTools works too :upside_down_face:) and then (tho I have ito do it manually for now) I put the ST (eg. A-A) I create in that Parent Layer. Then I have a template of subfolders (crv, hatch, srf) with preset attributes - then it’s: SelCrv, ChangeLayer to “Crv”; and then with each of Hatch and Srf objects for the section A-A. Ad nauseum. (Layer tree screengrab below)

I use each of these workflows at different times, sometimes both in the same model - though I would say if I could only have one, I’d probably choose #1 - though either way, having a Parent Layer “SectionTools” that all of the ST Layers fall under would be a windfall for either option!

“Haze” is another thing that would be dandy! It’s a semi-translucent plane that obscures objects beyond the distance of the section’s focus. Would love to discuss that, too!

Very interested in hearing your thoughts, and I know of some set designers who would be over the moon to see these features a reality! Please feel free to let me know if something needs more explanation. I’d love to do whatever I can to help make ST even more useful!

Oh, and the “hidden” layer is b/c any time I use “ShowAll”, the “SectionHints” all show up again. So I just dump them in those “hidden” layers.



Thank you for sharing the details.
What would be a good way to set the attributes for sections?

One idea is to use a special layer named SectionToolsAttributes for example (can be set in the template file). If SectionTools finds one, it uses it to set the layers properties for the sections. This way the user can change the attributes at anytime, and when a section is created or updated, it looks for the attributes and use them, else just set to the Rhino default later attributes.

That’s an interesting possibility. If this were the case, would the Sections objects (i.e. crv, hatch, srf) actually be PLACED into those layers - no longer in their own individual SectionLayer (i.e. A-A, B-B)? Or would that STAttributes layer only serve to notify SectionTools of the attributes to use? In other words, is that a third version, separate from the ideas I had enumerated above, or the mechanism to make them happen?

The idea of being able to globally change the attributes is great, but obviously not if all sections’ crvs are in one “crvs” layer, etc.

  • Two ways I’ve thought to input the default attributes (if it’s possible with the way you have to code ST) has been:
  1. Another set of options in the Command line called something like DefaultAttributes, which then that brings you to the sub-command line (or whatever it’s called) where you could specify the Crv Hatch Srf attributes – and these will be the default until they’re changed.

  2. An option from within the SectionTools dropdown menu up at the top, where you can go and set the attributes before you even create any sections.


No, they would be placed of course in their layers. Those are just for attributes purposes and if the user delete the SectionToolsAttributes layer and its sublayers, then ST would default back to Rhino Layer defaults.

This is also possible, but it will be a long commandline and may not be as intuitive

Yeah, that idea of the attributes layers sounds good! Assuming it could be locked, and still work?

And would having the clipping and hints refer to the Off layers help keep them invisible do you think?

Hello! Are you aware of how the VisualArq section attributes work? There is a dedicated subcategory in the properties panel after the plugin is installed.
If these were generalized by McNeel itself, it would be very elegant. Every plugin (also yours), plus, in the future, the inbuilt clipping planes would then use those.
Using layers as.a replacement for such properties sounds a bit hacky.

1 Like

you are right. Adding the attributes to ClippingPlanes properties is more appropriate.
I’ll look into it more closely.


FYI - that’s what the VA section attribute panel looks like:

Makes perfect sense like so. Maybe something like this can become the ‘standard’ in Rhino.

1 Like

This is great. +1

For what it’s worth, if the palette idea would take longer, personally I’d be happy with the Layer fix for now until that was ready to go.

Hi @rajaa Does the new release include what we’ve been speaking about here, or not yet?


Not yet. All features that will change the file I/O will be in the next release.

1 Like

Big +1 from me. I would like the ability to easily and accurately overlay section layouts on top of each other. Bounding box datums make this a bit cumbersome and the inability to move a layout after creation makes it impossible to correct afterwards.

Also, updating all layouts from within a Layout deleted all the stLayouts and section lines.

PS. I love that the attribute user text of the objects comes through to the layouts. Can these be references to the objects user text rather than copied to the section?


I occasionally accidently do a StUpdateAllSections when i am in the block editor,This creates copies of the section(i assume) and offsets my sections.

Is there a good way to revert?

CTRL+Z doesn’t seem to do it.
If i go back into the block and delete sections it deletes them al.


Can you please share an example with step by step on how to duplicate? This will be a great help.