In this tutorial we’ll take a closer look at circuits and how to use them. But before that let’s see something really basic.
Moving stuff around
Inevitably you have to move devices around on your drawing to make room for yet more devices. This is easy. All you have to do is take the Vectorworks Select tool and drag your devices to where you want them. Their connections follow. Try it now.
Obviously when connectCAD re-routes connections to accomodate a device move, the software cannot read your mind and sometimes you may find you need to change the routing to look better. Rather than play “guess where the connect will go” like Visio, connectCAD does re-routing in a very simple way. We take the view that you should be in control, so here’s how you do that.
Reshaping connection lines
Circuits behave just like polylines, so you can use the Vectorworks Reshape tool 1) to manually re-route connections. It’s so useful that we’ve included it in our standard tool palette. Also double-clicking a Circuit automatically enables Reshape mode.
Reshape has various option modes 2) that let you move, add, and delete vertices, and also change their type (corner, bezier, spline, radius and fillet). You can find more detail on this in the Vectorworks online help.
Circuits have 3 basic types:
- Polyline – like the ones we’ve been drawing so far
- Rounded – as above but with arcs on the corners
- Arrow – labelled arrows showing where each socket is connected too
Arrow Circuits are handy to use when a polyline Circuit would be visually too complex or where it would cross over too many other lines causing confusion. Arrow Circuits comprise two separate objects 3) the Arrow, and 4) the ReverseArrow. The Arrow is a Circuit object and the ReverseArrow functions as an indicator of the destination of that Circuit.
Rounded Circuits are generally used to denote “busses” or “multi’s”, where a number of Circuits connect two devices.
Circuit type during Connect
If you know for example that you want to place an Arrow circuit you can choose this during the connect operation. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. Have a look at our video.
Take the Connect tool and click on an output, move away to begin. Now if you press the ‘2’ key on the keyboard the line changes to rounded, and if you press the ‘3’ key it changes to an arrow. Change your mind as often as you like, and to finalise the Circuit just click on an input.
Changing Circuit type
You can change Circuit type after you’ve placed simply by selecting the circuit and clicking on the Circuit Type pop-up menu. Give this a try.
Time for a break?
In the next tutorial we’ll have a look at devices in more detail and see how you can edit and modify them.