This plugin creates a parametric rope out of a 3D path (NURBS)



The Rope object created with this plugin may be very complex in terms of facets created. It depends by the number of steps (revolutions), the number of strands (1, 2 ot 3) and the strand shape.

I strongly recommend to start with a small stretch, with a simple shape (triangle or square) and to keep the Vectorworks® 3D resolution to Middle / Low.

A Time field in the OIP informs you of the time elapsed in the last Rope reset / creation, so you can learn by trial, and when ready, substitute the Rope path with the final one.

Below a sample table with creation elapsed time while varying the section shapes and the step distance (rope windings) :

Ropes time creation at varying parameters

Let's draw it!:

Simply select the plugin icon Ropes tool icon from the tool's panel you have put it (see installation notes) and start to draw the path by clicking two or more points.

This tool has the same behavior (for creation and editing) as the NURBS Curve tool, see NURBS curves help topic on the official Vectorworks® help pages.

The OIP panel:

Ropes plugin info panel

Note: the plugin provides also a button to import / exchange the current curve with another you select on the drawing.
Since it is sometimes easier to create a complex 3D path by steps, combining more paths or interpolating points, this import / exchange button and its companion export path button are there to help you complex ropes.

Here below some examples / combinations you can achieve with this plugin:

Rope samples

Also, the Ropes plugin package comes with a Vectorworks® file containing some texturized classes, see a sample below:

Rope classes


Unpacking the downloaded zip file, you'll get a folder named Ropes [20YY], where [20YY] is the plugin's Vectorworks® version.

  • Move the folder "as is" inside your Vectorworks Plug-ins folder (app or user folder).
  • Restart Vectorworks.
  • Edit your workspace adding the tool Ropes tool icon Ropes to an existing palette (you'll find it in 3D category)
  • Save the workspace.
  • In the end you should get a new tool item Ropes tool iconRopes in the chosen palette.

    Here the official instructions (from help.vectorworks.net) for editing the workspaces:

    And here instructions to add a menu command:


    A limited version of the plugin is available for download.
    In this version some parameters are disabled, so the Ropes are limited to preset values.
    All other features are there for you to experiment all the possibilities.

    To unlock these parameters, just buy the plugin (with licence) from Gumroad®, see below.

    Get it Unlimited!

    Follow Paolo Marcuccetti's Gumroad®'s page where you can browse/buy my productions for Vectorworks®.
    Gumroad® shop page