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Exact Modelling, modifying, snapping, streching exactly to 2D dwg- intersections?
show user profile  strangby
Hi all!
I am a newbie to 3DS Max. But I have many years of AutoCAD and Microstation experience, both 3D and 2D.
What I find very strange and frustrating in 3DS Max is that it seems hard to model an architectural building with exact millimeter accuracy, and modify the created walls by snapping them exactly to linked 2D drawing walls.

For instance an office with many rooms, corridors, toilets, stairs etcetras. I am not used to model a building without exact millimeter tolerance. And I am used to modify a wall very easy by selecting a wall and then strech it an snap to an exact 2D intersection point for instance. My colleauges that are more experienced with 3dS max than me agree with me that 3DS max is not a good program if you want to model a building exact. But 3DS max is very good in rendering, lighting , materials, and animation etceras.

So we normally do workaround when we model a building exactly. We create the 3D model in Microstation first, and then we import it in 3DS Max and do the final materials, lighting , rendering and animations.

But it seems so stupid to first model a building in Microstation and then do the final materials, rendering etceras in 3DS Max!!
But until we find out how to do the modeling in 3Ds Max , as easy and exact as we do it in Microstation, we must do it in this way.

Does anyone have any tips/trix how to model in 3DS Max as easy, quick and exact as you can do it in Microstation ?
And how do you modify a wall , by streching it to a linked 2D drawing intersection ?
And how do you create a wall from scratch by snapping to a 2D dwg drawing walls intersections?

I apprecciate any tips/trix you got!



read 3040 times
3/24/2009 7:23:47 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 7:23:47 AM)
show user profile  Chris123643
i import an autocad drawing to max, rotate the elevations... make sure the units are correct, then use splines to snap to your autocad drawing and extrude them up.


read 3031 times
3/24/2009 7:36:47 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 7:37:46 AM)
show user profile  Mashedpot8er
Hi There. I disagree with your collegues. I build everything in max and always have done. I do however import plan and elevational dwg's from autocad to work from. I generally flick between max and autocad when building. I use autocad to measure etc. Its just a matter of finding a work flow that works for you I guess.

I'm not by any means saying that max is as good at snapping etc as autocad because it isn't. But there are usually workarounds. You can't snap to intersecting lines, i usually just trim one to be able to snap to it.




Cad Monkey


read 3028 times
3/24/2009 7:38:25 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 7:38:25 AM)
show user profile  strangby
Thank you very much!! That worked perect!!
Do you also know how to do best, if the 2D drawing is changed. If for instance the building has becom 2 meter longer, or if walls have been moved?
Can you strech the created walls in 3Ds Max , to new 2d Drawing ? or is it better to create new walls from scratch ? (I hope not)



read 3021 times
3/24/2009 7:56:32 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 7:56:32 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
First make sure your units are set up correctly in customise-->setup units-->system units. Then, to stretch a wall over convert the model to an editable poly through the right click menu or add an edit poly modifier, go into vertex mode, select the verts that make up that end of the wall, choose from the drop down list on the top toolbar, then click the move tool then type in r2 or r2000 (depending on the units you are using, or a negative value if appropriate) into the appropriate axis at the bottom. The r tells max to add the value to the existing one (r = relative) rather than moving it to world co-ords.

[edit] or do that below ;)




read 3013 times
3/24/2009 8:02:40 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 8:04:45 AM)
show user profile  Chris123643
import the new drawing in, line it up correctly, then convert the wall to an editable poly and use the snaps to strech it to its new dimension.


read 3010 times
3/24/2009 8:03:20 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 8:03:20 AM)
show user profile  strangby
Thank you very much!! :-) I have to praise you all in this forum!! I have never experienced such fast and good replies before in other forums! Now I feel much more happy do begin working with 3DS Max! I will try you last suggestion tomorrow. I don't have time today.
Thanks again very much!
read 3005 times
3/24/2009 8:08:02 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 8:08:02 AM)
show user profile  johan21
Yep, max can be accurate - its not autocad but it can do the job.

Make sure you understand or know about:

1. The use pivot point button previously mentioned
2. The selection lock toggle (space)
3. The various snaps that are available
4. Grid settings
5. The effect of the 2D snap, 2.5D snap, 3D snap
6. The transform type in box (press F12), which is duplicated at the bottom of the screen

I like working accurately, and I use a combination of these and am generally a happy camper.

If you're doing walls etc there are a series of primitives available in max: AEC extended walls, doors and windows that might interest you and make some things easier, but they're generally considered toys.

read 2990 times
3/24/2009 8:40:00 AM (last edit: 3/24/2009 8:40:00 AM)
show user profile  Mashedpot8er
Wow Mr G. Never knew that about adding r to the transform dialogue. Thats special.




Cad Monkey


read 2964 times
3/24/2009 2:53:09 PM (last edit: 3/24/2009 2:53:09 PM)
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