Exercise 2.4: Space: Plan & Sections in CAD

Firstly I tried to create my floor plan using vectorworks software. I tried using object templates for sink and toilet but later decided they didn’t quite represent the physical items present.

The above is a snip of pdf saved from vectorworks, soon after I deleted the object templates.

I found the software hard to follow, not very intuitive and help explanations used dry language that I found hard to understand. For example I never discovered how to delete part of the line that’s crossing another line (in my example below the wall lines are still present in the doorway, I never discovered how to delete them in vectorworks). I also struggled with saving / printing it to scale 1:20, after measuring my print out the dimensions were a little smaller… The jpeg of drawing below was saved as scale 1:1 in settings, when I was trying to save it in 1:20 I was getting a tiny blob of a floorplan on A4 sheet.

Vectorworks plan drawing

After I couldn’t finish my drawing to my satisfaction, I decided to change software to Autodesk. I found it easier to follow and find help. The only task I’m not sure how I completed on my drawing was the arches for door and cupboard door. There were too many options I tried all of them, I think in the end I drew circles and snipped them to the current edges. Here is my plan completed in Autodesk. Saved as scale 1:1 on A4 but when printed it was still slightly smaller than should have been in scale 1:20. The small blob of a plan was saved with scale set as 1:20. I must admit I was losing my mind over the scaling and printing settings at this point.

Then I moved to my section drawing. Again I created a simple line drawing. In both plan and section I was measuring the dimensions from one object to another by either creating a line of or a rectangle in those dimensions, snapping it to required spot and then snapping my object to a specific point on rectangle or to the end of the line. When doing the section however I decided to create a green rectangle depicting maximum dimensions of the toilet. Here I discovered that my hand drawn section was missing the top of the toilet (flushing system cover).

Then I decided to help myself with some more guidelines, this time in red. The toilet shape was complicated with the angles etc, I found it much easier to draw with that help. I’m not sure if that what my toilet elevation looks like as it’s impossible for me to see, but I’m satsfied it is close enough.

When creating digital section drawing I also realised that my hand drawn section wasn’t showing sink waste pipe and it should have. I included that detail in my digital drawing.

I asked other students how they manage scaling and someone told me they set the scale at the start. So I set the scale at 1:20 when starting work on my section. When I printed it it was still a little bit off, ceiling height was 2 – 2.5mm shorter on the printout, which would give up to 50mm difference in real life. I’m not sure if that’s acceptable, but somehow I don’t think so… I’m happy with the details I created on the sink and tap, and this time the towel warmer is more to scale than on hand drawn section, it was easier to create and amend all details on the computer. Here’s my finished bathroom section A created in Autodesk software, I deleted all my ‘help/guide’ lines and rectangles prior to saving the final version. I also discovered more errors as I uploaded the image here and consulted it with my hand drawn version (the width of the room was wrong. I think I included the wall thickness. I realised it’s wrong by the position of the mirror against towel warmer. I also missed the wall past window opening, all amended).

Bathroom Section A

Lastly I realised that section is worthless without the plan with section line and direction on it. So I went back to my plan drawing and drew section line in red (after carefully measuring on my hand drawn plan where the section line should be on digital one). Here it is:

Reflection on the task:

What a task it has been! I spent 7 days trying to learn vectorworks and creating just a plan and then created all the drawings in just 2 days in autodesk software. I created the drawings in 2d, just simple line drawings, using only 1 layer for now. I realize the process would have been even faster if I was more proficient with the software and extruded the dimensions of each object into 3d, then the section would have been generated by the software at a click of a button. Also once I get more proficient and start using layers I can have guide lines layer that can be switched on and off at a click of button.

I learnt that when doing the survey one should make note of all dimensions, make bigger drawings of details so dimensions can be written clearly and referred to later. I still had to go back to my bathroom and measure some more details that I just measured and drawn in previous exercise. I realise going back and forth won’t be possible when working for a client (unless they allow me to camp on site ha!ha!).

Also when creating digital drawings I discovered errors in hand drawings, and hand drawings helped me discover digital errors.

It is much easier to include small details digitally. For example the door frame is sticking out 2mm off the wall, I included it (not that anyone can see it) but there were other details that otherwise were hard to capture and measure when hand drawing to scale (such as taps or towel warmer).

Also 90 degrees and other angles are much easier to create and be sure they are what the should be.

CAD software is a great tool and I’m looking forward to getting to know it better.

During this and the previous exercises I also learnt that I need a whole new bathroom. I wanted it since moved here but now that I drew it I know exactly whats wrong with it – too long bath tub, too little storage, towel warmer should be radiator and shouldn’t be in a way of the door, hence the whole refit and reconfiguration is needed. When I get more proficient with software I shall design my own bathroom, I’m looking forward to it.

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