Scroll down below the video for the written version.
In this video, we’ll use some of Profile Builder’s preset profiles and assemblies, to demonstrate the basics of what the extension can do.
Start with a model of a room like this one, including at least two door openings. The entire room should be a group.
To open the Profile Dialog, choose Extensions / Profile Builder / Profile Dialog, or click the first icon the Profile Builder toolbar.
The profile shape that appears is either a default preset, or the shape you most recently used. To see more preset shapes, click the Profile Browser icon.
Then click the Sample Folders icon.
This opens a folder called Profile Examples, which contains a selection of several types of profile shapes. Choose the profile called Base.
This profile now appears in the Profile Dialog, and its width and height are listed.
To make the profile easier to see, change its height to 12” and press Tab. Because Width and Height are linked, the width updates as well.
The red dot indicates the placement point - the point of the profile that will follow the profile path. For a base molding, the Bottom Left placement makes sense, because this point will follow along the edges of the floor.
To add the base molding to the room, click the Build icon.
Along the floor of the room, start on the right edge of a door opening, and click points in a clockwise direction, to define the profile path. The molding is added as you click.
In order to end the first part of the molding at the next door opening, click the point where the molding is to end, then Press either the Esc key, or the Return or Enter key.
Then pick up on the other side of the doorway, clicking points until the next door opening is reached. Press Esc or Enter again to finish.
Each section of molding is created as its own group. These objects created from profiles are called profile members.
For the crown molding, search again in the same sample folder and load Architrave1. Keep the placement point at the bottom left corner, and as before, change the height to make the molding easier to see.
Click Build again and start clicking clockwise points along the ceiling. This molding is placed above the top of the wall.
You could finish, then undo and start over, but you can also change the placement point while the preview is showing. Pressing the Home key toggles the placement point, so press Home until the placement point is Top Left, which appears both in the Profile Dialog and on the profile preview itself.
Continue clicking along the path, and the entire profile updates with the new placement.
If you click an incorrect path point, you can easily go back as many steps as needed by clicking the Delete or Backspace key. And when you have just one more segment to go, and you want the profile member to be a closed loop, right-click and choose Close the Path.
The direction of the profile path is important. When you go clockwise while facing toward the direction of the path, the left placement point is on your left. This means that if you undo the crown molding and try again going counter-clockwise, left and right are switched.
When the profile faces the wrong way, click the Mirror icon to reverse it.
Now the crown molding faces the correct way.
Just like with SketchUp’s Follow Me tool, in Profile Builder you can manually drag along a path like we just did. Or you can select the path in advance. Undo the crown molding again, then open the room group for editing. With the Line tool, trace over any edge to add a ceiling face.
Select the ceiling face, and use Ctrl or Cmd X to cut it. Then close the group and use Edit / Paste in Place to bring the ceiling back, this time outside the group.
Keep the face selected, so that its edges will be used as the profile path. Toggle off Mirror, then click Build along Path.
This creates the entire profile member all at once. Erase the ceiling face to make the molding easier to see.
You can also select in advance the edges of the path. Keep the same profile to use for a chair rail, and press Home to move the placement point back to Bottom Left. In order to create the chair rail 3’ from the floor, set the vertical offset to 36”.
To make the next steps easier to see, erase or hide the base molding groups.
Edit the room group again, and Shift-Select the edges along the floor. In this example, there are three sets of connected edges, to accommodate the doorways and windows.
Copy these edges, close the group, and paste in place. Now when you click Build Along Path, both chair rail profile members are created, starting 3’ from the floor. This multi-path extrude is something you couldn't do very easily with the Follow Me tool.
In this example, one profile member is correct, but the others are facing inward instead of outward. For any profile member that need to be mirrored, right-click on it and choose Profile Builder / Reverse Selected.
In addition to 2D profiles like we just saw, Profile Builder also works with assemblies. These are customizable, parametric objects composed of profiles and components, such as fences, walls, railings, roadways, or stairs, that can be placed along a 2D or 3D path.
Create or download a SketchUp model like this one, with a piece of 3D terrain In this example, the border around the yellow surface is where a fence will go.
Click the Assembly Dialog icon.
Then open the Assembly Browser to the Samples Folder, to see some examples. Choose any fence, such as the picket fence.
Assemblies have a variety of options you can set. In this example, the two profile members are the top and bottom fence rails . . .
. . . and under Component there are the posts.
Keep all of the default settings.
To select the path, first double-click the yellow surface, then Shift-click the surface to unselect it, which leaves all of the edges selected.
Then click Build Along Path. The fence is placed, following the 3D path.
You can now make changes to this fence. In this example, the overall height was changed to 6’.
For another change to the Components, change the post spacing to 6”.
With the fence selected, click Apply Assembly Attributes.
The new attributes are applied to the fence.
Or you can replace the fence altogether. Go back to the library without saving changes, and pick a different fence, such as the lattice.
Select the existing fence and apply assembly attributes again. After a few seconds, the previous fence is replaced with lattice.
Assemblies and all of their options will be covered in later tutorials.