Lineweight/Scale Question — Entertainment — Vectorworks Community Board

scale lineweights

Issue solved !!!! I had been drawing in TOP view rather than TOP/PLAN. this kind of thing happens when one doesn’t use the program that often. Thanks for looking, though.


I’ve installed VW 2017 on a new iMac with OS Sierra. Even though the box in ‘Preferences’ for scaling line weights is checked, the lines in my drawings remain constant.

Below are screen shots of approximately the same area to illustrate, along with the VW Preferences pane.

Any ideas?

Added Note:  When working with VW 2016 on my old Mac Pro with Mavericks OS the line scaling worked fine.


Edited June 6, 2017 by Brooklyn
Edited to indicate issue resolved.

I, too, agree with Dan. Trying to do something simple like scaling a layer should not require a multitude of edits to preserve the finished look of a drawing. However, the problem is not easily remedied by allowing lineweights to be scaled.

One key point that has so far been omitted in this thread is the inherent technological limit of available lineweights. From the beginning of the software as MiniCad, there have only been 256 available lineweights (0-255 mils). Even the metric weights are rounded off to the nearest mil in this range. (You can see this if you dump a metric drawing to a VectorScript text file and search for the PenSize command. The units are always in mils.) It’s nice from the programmer’s standpoint to have such a concise data structure to manipulate, but it severely limits the software from a draftsman’s point of view.

Lineweights over 127 mils cannot be doubled accurately, and forget about tripling or quadrupling the scale. The widths will clip at 255 mils. On the other end, small lineweights cannot be drawn below 1 mil. If an object is scaled multiple times, up or down, where lineweight clipping occurs, all relationships to the original lineweights are lost.

From a drafting perspective, consider having to draw circles with varying weights. Circles up to 255 mil lineweights can be drawn with one circle. But if one circle needs to be drawn with a 0.5″ line thickness, two concentric circles of 0.25″ need to be drawn, and their respective radii must be calculated and adjusted accordingly. Not the hardest of tasks, but it’s a real time waster. I’ve had to do it, and it ain’t fun. Don’t even think about scaling this up.

As a circuit board designer, lineweights are critical to doing exacting high tech work. Unfortunately, this software does not allow me to be as picky as I’d like. To get finished trace widths precisely etched in copper, it is necessary to plot lines 0.5 — 1.5 mils over the required finished copper trace width. The smaller the finished linewidth, the more critical this oversizing becomes. I can force the finished linewidths to the values I need to control my plots, but not inside VW. It requires an edit after the file is exported.

Katie, as to your comment {amp}lt;{amp}lt; A lineweight is an attribute assigned to an object. Scaling an object has no relation to it’s attributes such as line weight. {amp}gt;{amp}gt;, I could not disagree more. Although this is currently true with VW, it is not the way most draftsmen think. To cite a parallel that does exist in Vectorworks, the Scale Objects… menu allows you to scale, or not scale, associated text when scaling selected objects. Text is an attribute to an object, yet you let us choose whether or not to scale it. Why not lineweights?

This «feature», like the square drawing pen*, really needs to be updated to make VW an exemplary CAD package.

Raymond Mullin

* Square drawing pen — Sorry, I couldn’t resist bringing it up again. This QuickDraw hand-me-down should be abandoned. It’s hard to do precise work when the screen image is not what prints, and in some cases, is what prints but shouldn’t.

My instrument symbols are designed to appear to be the correct line wight when printed in 1/2″ scale. I am working on a 1/4″ plot in a large venue, and my instruments all appear too thick.

I thought the correct way to do this was to set my design layer to 1/2″ and set my viewport scale to 1/4″. However, this doesn’t scale the lineweights of my instruments. I also tried the «Scale Factor» under the advanced tab of viewport properties, but that doesn’t affect the lighting instruments either.

What is the best way to print correctly scaled lineweights in a reduced scale?



Line Weights — help please

Unless you change them in either of the two ways described by TuiWalker, line weights are an absolute, regardless of scale. So, if the scale of your design layer is 1:20, and you have a pen set to .18, it will still print at .18 even if your viewport scale is 1:10. IF you wanted ALL the line weights to print at half the width of their design layer width, you’d use the viewports Advance Properties {amp}gt; Line Weight Scale to change them.

In Section Viewports, you can additionally control line weights by setting one weight for the section cut plane, and another weight for everything beyond the section cut plane: Advanced Section Properties {amp}gt; Attributes {amp}gt; Attribute Class: select «Section Style» AND «Objects Beyond Section Plane» {amp}gt; Line Style {amp}gt; Use Class: (create and/or select a class with the desired line weight).

HTH! -Will

Jenni, I’m trying to figure out why you are asking this. I think it’s because you are zooming in to look at two 1 mil lines in your 1:200 layer, and they look fat and run together.

If this is the case, I think you are trying to show too much detail for a drawing at this scale. If you want to excerpt this drawing, and show a portion of it at a larger scale, use the viewport method, even without scaling lineweights. You can show a portion of your drawing at 1/4″ scale and the lines will still print at 1 mil, but will appear to be a lot thinner relative to the things you are drawing.

Remember that in VW lineweight is for the printer’s benefit. The line thickness is not like an object’s thickness, and is not interpreted relative to the size of «real» objects. As Pat points out, anything smaller than 2 mil won’t print consistently on even the finest printers.


Oh man, where do I begin?

I am using VW 11 — just 11, no architect, no add-ons, no nothing. Architect might help, but the well is posioned at this point and when we switch, there will be no tears shed. Oh, we have v12.5 (also not architect) but nobody uses it because whenever you try to pull an old file into 12 from 11, the program screws everything up. We still have people with 10 on our machines because theres a similar problem of upgrading files from 10 to 11. I’m sure when 2008 comes out, you won’t be able to upgrade your files either.

Bright Shining Example A: What frikin’ program does not have a stretch command?

No, really. Why is there no stretch command? We got vectorbits (which is actually BETTER than most other strech commands — but its not standard. Some other fed-up VW user invented the thing)

VW Hatches suck
VW not calling a layer a layer sucks — I get it, you aren’t ACAD, you don’t have to be contrairian for me to notice.
VW 3D abilities suck. They take too long and do too little.
VW Groups suck. And why does the group have a layer separate from the object within the group? You’ve just double the chances for things dropping off of prints.
VW Pull down menus and general organization is atrocious. Nothing is intuitive.

Now, I used and loved ArchiCAD. I’ve used and respected, if not loved ACAD. Our office may be going to Revit, and I will love that too — at least relative to VW Hell we are in now. We have layer bloat, file bloat and memory bloat. We have problems with office standards, but VW and its bizzare organizational (to use the loosest definition of the word organize) system only compound the problem.

ArchiCAD is twice the price but 10x the program. ACAD may be the standard, but its the standard for a reason — its not an obstinate program. To me, ACAD is like the qwerty keyboard — its not the most efficient, but pretty much everyone is used to it. To continue the analogy VW seems like a keyboard where they put half the keys on the underside of the keyboard and are touting that it takes up less space and is more efficient, but really its just a pain in the ass.

Vectorworks for entertainment design

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