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Creation Tools

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These are the tools that create new graphic objects in the 3D modeling space. Each of these tools is activated by clicking once on the tool icon. Most of these tools are "momentary", which means they turn off at the end of each use. The Block tool and the Poly-wall tool are "sticky", meaning they stay active until another tool is selected. The Block and Poly-wall tools are unique because they are self-extruding, fully-3D tools, whereas the other creation tools are combination 2D/3D tools which require a separate drag operation to extrude their objects into solid forms. When the tool turns off, the crosshair is automatically ready to extrude the 2D object if appropriate, or to move to whatever else is next.

Single Line Tool

Drag with the 3D crosshair to draw a single line. A line can be drawn on any plane, by using the option key. After each line drawing operation, you will be returned to the Selection tool (that is, the Selection tool only will be active). Lines can be extruded by dragging on an object handle with the Selection tool, to become 3D surfaces.

Rectangle Tool

Draw a 2D rectangle by dragging from a first corner to the diagonally opposite corner. This creates a "flat" unfilled object, which can be turned into a solid by extruding it (done by option-dragging perpendicular to the plane of the rectangle with the Selection tool).

Arc Tool

Draw a circular arc by dragging from the center of the arc radially outward to the corner of a square containing the arc. This creates a 2D unfilled object, which can be useful as-is, or turned into a solid if desired by extruding it (by option-dragging perpendicular to the plane of the rectangle).

Circle Tool

Draw a 2D circle by dragging from the center of the circle radially outward to the corner of a square containing the circle. This creates a 2D unfilled object, which can be useful as-is, or turned into a solid if desired by extruding it (by option-dragging perpendicular to the plane of the rectangle). The smoothness of circles (and arcs) is controlled with the Layout menu Preferences > Circle Faceting command.

To draw an ellipse, first make a circle, then drag on a corner handle to stretch it to the new shape.

Polyline Tool

Draw multi-segment lines, known as polylines. Click the mouse to start a polyline, then move the 3D crosshair to the desired location of the next vertex, and click to place a vertex, creating the first line segment. Click again to place each additional vertex, each time completing another segment. To finish the polyline, either click once on the starting vertex to end and close the polyline, or double-click for a last vertex to end the polyline leaving it "open", with its ends not connected. While in the midst of drawing a polyline, typing command-z will undo just the last vertex. After you've ended the polyline, command-z will undo the whole polyline.

Polylines can be drawn in any working orientation, and then pulled out to form extruded objects by option-dragging on a bounding-box handle perpendicular to the plane of the polyline. It is possible to create non-planar polylines, by dragging with the Option key (the Alt key for Windows) to move the working plane while drawing the segments, but non-planar polylines may behave strangely.

When selected, poly-lines and extrusions created from poly-lines show selection handles at the corners of a "bounding box". With Reshape mode (see Special Editing Tools, below) extruded objects may be re-sculpted in three dimensions.

Text Tool

In DesignWorkshop, the Text tool allows you to place text in the mark-up overlay. Click on the drawing where you want the text to register. A dialog box will open. Type or paste text into the box, then click OK to place the text on the drawing. If the text does not appear how or where you want it, Undo, change style settings if necessary, and then click on the drawing to place the text again.

This text will print with the rest of a rendering. An annotated drawing can be saved as an image file using the File menu Export > PICT function. This is useful for quick design notes, or to put captions on images you are printing directly from DesignWorkshop.

Block Tool

Create cuboid blocks. The Block tool and the Poly-wall tool create solids directly through a 3D drag operation. Drag a rectangle in the main crosshair plane, then without releasing the mouse button, option-drag out the third dimension of the block. Plain blocks can form many basic architectural elements, such as building masses, walls, and floor and roof slabs. Blocks can be resized by dragging on their corner handles with the 3D crosshair. Blocks can easily be reshaped by dragging on their mid-edge handles, without using the special Reshape mode, to provide a variety of forms (gable, hip, or shed roofs, for instance).

Poly-Wall Tool

Create a mitered string of blocks. Draw a starting block just as you would using the Block tool, then, after completing the first block, position the 3D crosshair at a location for the far top corner of the second block, and click there to create that block. Continue to click once to place each additional block in the string, and then double-click to end the string of linked blocks. You can change the height or slope from segment to segment by shifting the height of the crosshair (by option-dragging) before clicking.

Poly-walls are useful for quickly building walls on a plan drawing, in site development, and in elevation working orientations. They are also used in drawing the sectional profile of forms such as vaults and domes.

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