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In this tutorial, we’ll see how to create an assembly comprised entirely of profile members.
The goal is to create an assembly that approximates this sample cavity wall.
This wall consists of five parts: foundation, brick, insulation, masonry, and flashing. In our final assembly, these five parts will each be a separate profile member.
Create five layers for the profile members you’re about to create, and add the five materials to the model.
When building an assembly, there are a few simple rules of thumb to follow.
First, you want to set up your assembly assuming that you’re facing toward the direction of the path the assembly will follow. In this example, the sample wall is oriented toward the positive red direction. For the assembly we’re about to create, we’ll orient the parts the same way for convenience. But regardless of axis or orientation, when setting up the various parts of the assembly, the negative or positive values of offsets and setbacks are determined by you standing at the start of the path, facing toward the direction of the path.
Second, it’s important to determine where the placement point will be for the assembly as a whole. Each profile member will have its own placement point, and offsets and setbacks for each profile member will be based on the distance between a profile’s placement point and the assembly’s placement point.
In this case, we want the placement point to follow the front bottom corner of the brick. So while the current sample wall has its foundation at the origin, our assembly will have the foundation and flashing below the origin.
Third, assemblies should be built from the bottom up. It’s possible to use any order while adding profiles, but in most cases, stacking from the bottom has the most logical flow.
So we’ll start with the foundation.
You could trace the foundation cross-section, or just copy the cross-section face. To copy, first open the foundation group, select the face and copy it, then close the group. Paste the copied face in blank space, and leave it selected so that it will be identified as a new profile.
Open the Assembly dialog, and at the top, name this assembly Cavity Wall 1. A description could be added as well.
Then in the Profile Member tab, click the plus sign to add the first profile member.
Naming is important with assemblies. If you keep the default names, things can get quite confusing as assemblies become complex. So this profile member name will be Foundation. Then click Edit Profile to define profile properties.
In the Profile Dialog, click the plus sign, and name this profile the same thing: Foundation. Its placement point will be Top Right. Set the material and layer set up for the foundation. Then click OK to return to the Assembly Dialog.
Back in the Assembly Dialog, we need to adjust the Up / Down offset, since this part of the wall sits below the assembly placement point. In this example, the vertical distance between foundation and brick is ¼”. So the offset will be -¼” since the foundation placement point is below the bottom of the brick.
If Global is checked, this offset will be maintained even when the assembly follows a sloping path. Left / Right offset can remain at zero since the foundation and brick are flush.
Start and End setbacks don’t apply here, since these control where along the path this member will start and end. All parts of this wall will follow the entire path, so we don’t need any setbacks.
The foundation profile face isn’t needed anymore, so delete it.
Next add the brick by clicking the plus icon again. Note that by default the current profile member is automatically duplicated and stacked on top of the previous profile member, which comes in handy, for example, for identical rails of a fence. Name this profile member Brick. The name of the previous profile, Foundation, is listed below the profile name.
Click Edit Profile.
We don’t have this profile in the model yet, so use the Rectangle tool to trace around the brick cross section, then select the face. This sample face doesn’t have the correct height needed for the final assembly, but we’ll fix that.
Click to add the profile, name the profile Brick, and set the placement point to bottom right. Set the material and layer as well. For dimensions, break the aspect ratio and change the height to 10’. Click OK.
The Up down offset for this profile is assuming that the brick sits on top of the copied foundation profile. But the actual bottom right corner of the brick matches the assembly’s placement point. So change this to zero.
Now you can erase the profile face, and test what you have so far by clicking Build. It looks good so far, with a little gap where the flashing will go.
The insulation is next. If the brick profile is showing in the Assembly Dialog, and you add another member, that will go on top of the current brick. So scroll to the foundation profile, then click Add. Name this profile insulation and click Edit.
You could trace the profile as before, but say you already know the insulation dimensions: 1 ⅞” by 10’ . Draw this rectangle on the ground and select it. Then add this rectangle as a profile named Insulation, with a bottom right placement point. Set the material and layer.
To calculate the Left / Right offset, the distance from the insulation corner to the front of the brick is 6”. This distance has to be negative since it’s to the left of the brick.
The Up / Down offset is zero since it’s on the same level as the brick.
Erase the insulation face on the ground, and build the assembly to check.
Add the next member, called Masonry, and edit its profile. Since this is another rectangle, like the previous insulation profile, you can change the profile name to Masonry, break the aspect ratio and change its width to 7 ⅝”, and set material and layer.
The distance to the front of the brick is 8 ⅜, so enter this as a negative Left / Right offset. Enter zero for Up / Down though it’s not exactly correct - we’ll fix it later.
The last member is the flashing. You could trace or build this profile, but let’s say the flashing was built from a profile already exists in the model.
To get this profile, open the Profile Dialog, click Get Attributes, and click the flashing profile member.
The profile has a bottom right placement point, and its material and layer are already set. Click Build and draw out another flashing profile member.
Back in the Assembly Dialog, add the final member called flashing. To pick up its profile, click the current profile name.
Then with the eyedropper click the flashing profile member - either the one already in the wall or the one you just added.
The offsets need to be measured from the lower right corner of the entire profile. For Left / Right, the distance is positive 3/16”, and for Up / Down it’s -¾”.
Let’s test out the complete assembly. All parts look good and the flashing is located correctly. But the masonry is hovering above the foundation because of the incorrect offset.
So scroll back to the masonry member, and change its up down offset to negative ¼”. To implement the change, select the entire assembly, and click Apply Assembly Attributes.
Another thing to change is the junctions; this type of wall would have butt joints. To make this change, editing the masonry profile, the insulation profile, and the brick profile. The foundation member can be continuous.
With the wall is still selected, apply the changes.
Because each profile member is on its own layer, you can easily look at each profile individually.