rickwookie

Breaking 3D Molding Polylines

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Why is it so difficult, and in many circumstances impossible, to insert a break in a 3D Molding Polyline? Surely this is a longstanding bug. Often the only way I can do it is to convert back to a standard polyline, but then of course I loose all data in the 3rd dimension, effectively flattening my line. If I add enough breaks, I can then convert it back to a 3D Molding Polyline and then move all the points again, although this is very tricky too, but then if I find I'm just one edit handle short and need another break - boom, I'm back to square one!

 

Is there an alternative workaround to enable the routing of pipes and ducts through 3D terrain, where for example the depth (Z axis in plan view) has to change over the length to create a fall/run, but BOTH X and Y also vary, to avoid terrain obstacles?

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The only alternative I'd have is to separate it into pieces, just for the simplicity. Items that need to run vertically...just use a separate item, either a molding, or geo shape, p-solid, whatever. One thing I like about p-solids is the ability to specify height relative to terrain. Whether its a continuous 3d molding, or pieces, it's all got to be edited either way, right? 

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2 minutes ago, robdyck said:

The only alternative I'd have is to separate it into pieces, just for the simplicity. Items that need to run vertically...just use a separate item, either a molding, or geo shape, p-solid, whatever. One thing I like about p-solids is the ability to specify height relative to terrain. Whether its a continuous 3d molding, or pieces, it's all got to be edited either way, right? 

I've tried using long cylinders, and while their behaviour is more consistent, getting their ends to be in exactly the right place is also difficult because they don't have end edit handles, so you need to do some tricky maths to work out the "rotation" of the cylinder in 3-axes. Coupled with the fact that you don't appear to be able to set the rotation values as absolute values (only + and - delta steps from an unknown reference!), it's a bit of a nightmare.

 

I suppose what I really what to know is: Is not being able to add a break in the 3D Molding Polyline a bug, and if so, will it ever get fixed? If it's not a bug, what's the logic behind it?

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From my time playing with 3D moldings I found that when inserting a break it was best to go back to the same view type that I originally started to draw the 3D molding line in. Once inserted I would then flip to the best view to adjust it. Not sure it's a bug but the ability to insert a break seems to be dependent upon the view you are using such as plan versus an elevation versus 3D.

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My guess, and its just a guess, is that the 3d molding was designed (by Chief) to produce trim on a wall or roof edge. Maybe that's why it's not very user friendly for something like representing piping. In the screenshot below, I added a vertical segment and I get a messed up 90 joint. Seems odd. 

image.thumb.png.153c59f54aa56802549e0752a1160353.png

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1 minute ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

From my time playing with 3D moldings I found that when inserting a break it was best to go back to the same view type that I originally started to draw the 3D molding line in. Once inserted I would then flip to the best view to adjust it. Not sure it's a bug but the ability to insert a break seems to be dependent upon the view you are using such as plan versus an elevation versus 3D.

It only works until you have any depth (relative to that view) applied. Try it. Draw a Polyline in plan, convert to 3D Molding Polyline - you can insert as many breaks as you like - now select section of the 3d Molding Polyline and set its Z coordinate to something non-zero (maybe try setting a different Z value at each end to have it sloping up or down for extra "fun") - now try inserting a break...

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4 minutes ago, robdyck said:

My guess, and its just a guess, is that the 3d molding was designed (by Chief) to produce trim on a wall or roof edge. Maybe that's why it's not very user friendly for something like representing piping. In the screenshot below, I added a vertical segment and I get a messed up 90 joint. Seems odd. 

image.thumb.png.153c59f54aa56802549e0752a1160353.png

Is that one continuous line?

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Just now, rickwookie said:

Is that one continuous line?

yes

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2 minutes ago, rickwookie said:

It only works until you have any depth (relative to that view) applied. Try it. Draw a Polyline in plan, convert to 3D Molding Polyline - you can insert as many breaks as you like - now select section of the 3d Molding Polyline and set its Z coordinate to something non-zero (maybe try setting a different Z value at each end to have it sloping up or down for extra "fun") - now try inserting a break...

 

Agree, there are situations where the original view is not conducive to inserting a break, depends upon the lines direction. If I started the 3D molding line say in plan view then if a segment was vertical I would need to flip to a section view, however it seemed that the ability to insert a break varied depending on the section views camera position, front, back, left or right view. It seemed that whatever view you are in you need to make certain that when you click on the segment that the break is to be inserted that the segments end, start and center nodes display properly, if not this seemed to indicate that CA was not seeing the segment properly and the break insertion might fail.

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I insert my break in plan view, then edit the line length and coordinates. Obviously you have to know where the start and end of each segment is. I drew clockwise and keep the 'start' locked.

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2 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

Agree, there are situations where the original view is not conducive to inserting a break, depends upon the lines direction. If I started the 3D molding line say in plan view then if a segment was vertical I would need to flip to a section view, however it seemed that the ability to insert a break varied depending on the section views camera position, front, back, left or right view. It seemed that whatever view you are in you need to make certain that when you click on the segment that the break is to be inserted that the segments end, start and center nodes display properly, if not this seemed to indicate that CA was not seeing the segment properly and the break insertion might fail.

And since you can't rotate a section view once placed (another bug?) or from what I can see, place it with a specified numerical angle, trying to have it lined-up with the line section, when that section is off-angle, is nigh-on impossible!

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4 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

If I started the 3D molding line say in plan view then if a segment was vertical I would need to flip to a section view,

You can create a break in plan view, keep the correct end locked and edit the length to zero, then adjust the z-axis coordinate. You probably know that already...just saying it.

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1 minute ago, robdyck said:

I insert my break in plan view, then edit the line length and coordinates. Obviously you have to know where the start and end of each segment is. I drew clockwise and keep the 'start' locked.

You'll now find that in plan view you can' no longer insert a break on the segment that raised (or lowered) from zero height.

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1 minute ago, rickwookie said:

And since you can't rotate a section view once placed (another bug?) or from what I can see, place it with a specified numerical angle, trying to have it lined-up with the line section, when that section is off-angle, is nigh-on impossible!

You can of course create reference lines perp to that molding line to drag a section camera, however I think the key to editing the 3D moldings is to inherently know all your coordinates. Or at least its a big part of it.

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I avoid the 3D molding polyline like a virus.  

 

As an alternative...I sometimes just use a molding polyline in plan view...adjusting as needed, then...turn it into a symbol where you can "stand it up" by rotating the molding on it's X-Axis.  

 

Yea...sometimes you have no choice but to use a 3D molding polyline...but this tool is a PIA. I wish Chief would improve it as there really are some places where it can be very useful.

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1 minute ago, rickwookie said:

You'll now find that in plan view you can' no longer insert a break on the segment that raised (or lowered) from zero height.

That's right. First, you'd need to adjust that segment off vertical, then break, then readjust the desired segment to vertical.

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1 minute ago, rickwookie said:

And since you can't rotate a section view once placed (another bug?) or from what I can see, place it with a specified numerical angle, trying to have it lined-up with the line section, when that section is off-angle, is nigh-on impossible!

 

Yes, that's a major problem if your molding is not symmetrical. CA needs to purchase a more sophisticated compound miter saw.

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2 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

 

Yes, that's a major problem if your molding is not symmetrical. CA needs to purchase a more sophisticated compound miter saw.

But to place a section camera, draw cad line on the desired random angle molding edge, rotate the line 90 degrees, and drag a section camera along that line. 

 

What the heck are we talking about here anyhow? Exactly what is @rickwookie drawing anyways?!

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Just now, robdyck said:

That's right. First, you'd need to adjust that segment off vertical, then break, then readjust the desired segment to vertical.

I've tried variations of this, whereby I "temporarily" set a segment I need to break to have zero Z value in plan view, insert the break, then try to "put the segment back" but of course there is then a problem - it's now two segments! So now I can't just re-inset the two Z values at each end, because I have to use ball-ache maths to calculate the Z value of the new intermediate point. This isn't the worst part, since that point will be getting moved anyway (the entire reason I would need to put a break there), but what is a problem is that when you put the other two ends back "where they were", Chief seems to have a mind of its own as to what then happens to the two segments that branch off of those two ends, i.e. they don't orientate themselves back where they were before!

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1 minute ago, robdyck said:

But to place a section camera, draw cad line on the desired random angle molding edge, rotate the line 90 degrees, and drag a section camera along that line. 

 

What the heck are we talking about here anyhow? Exactly what is @rickwookie drawing anyways?!

Underground pipes in terrain.

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1 minute ago, rickwookie said:

I've tried variations of this, whereby I "temporarily" set a segment I need to break to have zero Z value in plan view, insert the break, then try to "put the segment back" but of course there is then a problem - it's now two segments! So now I can't just re-inset the two Z values at each end, because I have to use ball-ache maths to calculate the Z value of the new intermediate point. This isn't the worst part, since that point will be getting moved anyway (the entire reason I would need to put a break there), but what is a problem is that when you put the other two ends back "where they were", Chief seems to have a mind of its own as to what then happens to the two segments that branch off of those two ends, i.e. they don't orientate themselves back where they were before!

And I misspoke: it seems like you can't "break" the segment. I think if you want to add a new segment in the middle of one, you've gotta back them all up! Pieces, man, pieces!

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1 minute ago, rickwookie said:

Underground pipes in terrain.

What about elbows and fittings? I mean, if you're gonna do it, do it right!:lol:

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Just now, robdyck said:

What about elbows and fittings? I mean, if you're gonna do it, do it right!:lol:

Trenchless moled Polyduct doesn't have too many elbows tbh. :P

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All I can say is that you can create some fairly complex 3D molding lines. Just takes a while to find the right combination of needed views and when to use the lines DBX to make adjustments via coordinate entries.

 

This railing system was done using 3D molding polylines.

1251223274_CommercialRailing2.thumb.png.c4724f29307745f974d170c6f930653d.png

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41 minutes ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

All I can say is that you can create some fairly complex 3D molding lines. Just takes a while to find the right combination of needed views and when to use the lines DBX to make adjustments via coordinate entries.

 

This railing system was done using 3D molding polylines.

1251223274_CommercialRailing2.thumb.png.c4724f29307745f974d170c6f930653d.png

Impressive as that is (and I mean it, it's great!), none of the moldings you have there appear to be off-axis, so they would be reasonably easy to break and edit using a parallel section views (although it's annoying that you would even have to do this and not just be able to break them in plan view!). If for example your stairs were flared (got wider) at the foot, then suddenly you'd find it near impossible to insert a break in those rails on that stair section.

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