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In this tutorial, we’ll see how to set profile attributes, and how to change attributes of existing profile members.
We’ll demonstrate profile attributes with a profile of an exterior wall. In Top view, create a rectangle of any size. Select the rectangle and create a new profile called Exterior Wall. Set the width to 12”, then unlock the aspect ratio, and set the height to 12’.
Now you can erase the rectangle.
The available material and layer attributes are based on what’s defined so far in the model. In this example, the only available material is the default material, and the only available layer is Layer0.
In order to assign the exterior wall its own material, that material needs to be added to the model. One way to add a material is to create a temporary face and paint it, with brick in this example. For PC users, another way to add a material is simply to right-click on a swatch and choose Add to model. Add two materials to your model.
Erase temporary faces, and the materials are still stored in the model, as you can see by opening the In Model materials.
Back in the Profile Dialog, both materials are now available. In this example, the blue brick is selected.
Layers work the same way. In the Layers window, click the plus icon to add a new layer named “Exterior Walls.”
Now you can find and select this layer in the Profile Dialog.
Change the placement point to Bottom Left, click Build, and create a set of walls.
Because the default junction style is Continuous, the entire set of walls is a single group. And you can see in the Entity Info window that this group is on the Exterior Walls layer.
Even though the walls are a group, Profile Builder assigns the group a name identical to the profile name: Exterior Wall. With SketchUp’s native tools, only components are assigned names, not groups. This naming helps when searching for a specific group in the Outliner, which we’ll see a bit farther on.
There are two other junction style options. Switch to Miter-Joint, and draw out a new set of walls. The results look similar, but in this case, each wall is its own group.
The third junction style is Butt-Joint. Rather than create a new set of walls, we’ll the first set to have this junction type.
Select the first set of walls, click Butt Joint, then click Edit member properties.
The only property to change is Junction so check only that box, and click Apply.
Now these walls are individual groups with squared-off edges. This type of junction is particularly useful for carpentry models, in which each board would be its own squared-off group.
The last attribute type is Extrude Mode. The default setting is Normal, which adds an edge at each profile member junction.
If you change the Extrude Mode to Follow Me, and go back to the Continuous junction style, the results will emulate what you’d get with the Follow Me tool, meaning no co-planar edges between junctions.
Edit Member Properties can be used to update any existing profile member with some or all of the properties currently set in the Profile Dialog.
Change the profile material to the other brick, and add a vertical offset of 4’.
Selecting only one profile member from a set of walls, and click Edit member properties. You can choose only Material and click Apply, which will of course change just the material, and not the offset. Or you can choose both Material and Y Offset. Or just click All to accept all attributes currently in the Profile Dialog.
The material and offset of the selected member are updated.
A profile member can also be changed to have a different profile altogether. Open the Profile Browser, open the Samples folder, and choose Jersey Barrier. This profile comes with its own concrete material, and goes back to Layer0.
Select the one-group set of walls, edit, and change just the profile. The profile changes but everything else stays the same - same material, same layer.
Edit again, and this time choose all properties. You now have concrete jersey barriers on Layer0.
The difference between extrude modes can also be seen when using 3D paths. In most cases, Normal is the ideal extrude mode, such as in this example of a rectangular profile and a spiral path. With Smart Path Selection to define the path in advance, and with Normal extrude mode, here’s the result after Build along path. The profile remains consistent and does not twist along the path. Hidden edges make it easier to see how each section progresses to the next.
With Follow Me extrude mode, the profile member does twist along the path. These results are exactly what you’d with the Follow Me tool, with the rectangle meeting the profile at its lower left corner.
Another example is a circular pipe profile along a complex 3D path. With Normal extrude mode, you’ll get some twisting.
With Follow Me, the twisting is gone.
For a more practical example of profile editing, let’s start with this model of a simple floor plan.
Draw a generic rectangle for the exterior wall profile, select it.and create a profile called Exterior Wall. Unlock the aspect ratio, and set the dimensions of 6” x 11’. For placement point use Bottom Left. Keep junctions continuous and use Normal extrude model. Then click Build and trace around the walls. The entire set of walls is one group, and there will be dividing edges at each junction.
In this example, the wall thickness isn’t adequate - it should be 12”. We can change some other attributes as well.
The only materials on the list are those already in the model. So add a brick material to the model. Create a layer for exterior walls as well. Set both of these in the Profile Dialog, and change the profile width to 12”.
Select the wall group, click Edit Member Properties, and choose All to cover all the different types of property changes. After clicking Apply, you should have a thicker wall, brick material, no extra edges, and the walls are on their own layer.
When you open the Outliner, it’s easy to find the group containing the profile member from among the other items on the list.
Imagine a much more complex model than this one, and it’s easy to see why naming groups is helpful. The Filter option can be used to locate groups by name.
Keep in mind that if you make any changes to these walls using SketchUp’s native tools instead of Profile Builder, the parametrics of the profile members will be lost. An example of this type of change would be editing the wall group and adding edges for cutting openings, or using the Paint Bucket to change materials.
Profile Builder has its own editing tools, which do maintain profile member parametrics. One example is the parametric hole-cutting tool, which will be shown in a later tutorial.