Continued from page 2
Part 2: Parasolids – The Impact of a New Modeling Engine
It is not necessarily clear to existing users that Nemetschek North America spent considerable time implementing this new modeling kernel into the Vectorworks 2009 release. Kernel technology is something that lies behind the software, powering its many features. But beyond the new features that are implemented here, the overall robustness of the 3D modeling in Vectorworks 2009 is considerable; and in the next few releases many more modeling functions will rise to the surface.
In this release of Vectorworks Architect 2009 the walls, floors and all miscellaneous objects are all driven by the new Parasolid kernel. Walls can now handle holes in them of any shape. And door and window symbols of complex shape can now also punch holes through walls. (see images 07-08 and QuickTime QT-03).
QT-03 – In this movie we can see how Wall objects can now handle complex holes cut through them. This process can be accomplished a few ways. Complex shaped window objects (symbols) can cut through walls as can pure openings like in this example.
There are several improvements to placing door and window symbols in walls. There are improvements to the offset placement of symbols in walls wherein you can now use a set of two reference points and a specified offset distance to set say, a door. It took a bit of practice to master this feature but once we figured it out we immediately felt its impact on being productive. (see image 09).
You can also use the Move Command to move symbols in walls by specifying an offset value. A handy preview button shows the direction of the move and this same feature applies to duplication of symbols in walls. This is a handy new feature and it works in round walls. (see image 10).
Other modeling improvements include the ability to unfold developable NURBS surfaces into a flattened 2D representation. This could be useful to architects creating custom furniture and lighting for their projects. Additionally, there are several new modeling capabilities and improvements more applicable to Vectorworks Designer and Machine Design. The 3D Power Pack tools have incorporated Parasolid functionality in tools such as: Creating Fillet Surface command, Stitch and Trim Surfaces command, Project tool, Loft Surfaces tool, and others.
Also in the area of modeling is the ability to generate much more involved roof geometry in massing models. This will aid architects in early schematics and urban design studies. And in the area of texturing of 3D models, users can now apply textures to individual parts of objects, beyond what was possible in Vectorworks 2008 and prior versions.
In total Nemetschek North America has implemented a substantial amount of the Parasolid geometry engine throughout the modeling functionality of Vectorworks 2009. By the time of the next version the company says the entire program will be Parasolid driven. What users may also not recognize is that Parasolid is also contributing to 2D generation, increasing robustness in multiple 2D areas.