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In this video, we’ll look at three assembly features not already covered in previous tutorials: setting assembly height, layer and material control, and assembly part stacking.
The Assembly Dialog has a field at the top for overall assembly height. In the case of this cavity wall from the Samples folder, the total height is 12’.
To reduce this height, you can enter 8’, click Apply, and update.
This height change has affected only those objects that extend above the vertical midpoint of the assembly’s bounding box, so the grade beam and base flashing remain unchanged.
For another example, we’ll change the height of this picket fence. The guide line represents the vertical midpoint of the entire assembly.
When the height is increased from 2’6 to to 4’, everything above the mid-line rises up 18”. There is no scaling or distortion as a result of height change - the top stringer remains the same size, and the top of each picket remains as it was.
The post components were replaced with Post#1 components, which reflect the new height.
For another demonstration of how the midpoint affects height, here’s another fence assembly. The wires are spans, and the top wire has this Up / Down offset. Of the seven wire spans, four are above the midpoint and three are below.
Increasing the height raises the top four wires, leaving the lower ones in place. For the wires that were raised for the new height, their Up / Down offsets have increased.
Start over with the original fence, and this time reduce the height to 2’-7”. The top four wires move down, resulting in uneven wire spacing.
The midpoint now is here, with four wires above.
If you increase the height to 3’7 now, those four wires move up accordingly, at their current configuration.
For these crash barrier assemblies, the assembly midpoint falls within the rail profile member.
Increase the height and update one of them. The bottom of the rail remains in place, while the profile member itself stretches vertically to accommodate the new height.
For this fence assembly, increasing the height by 1’ raises the top of each post component, as well as the higher spans which are profile members. However, spans that are sub-assemblies remain unchanged, in this case the inner posts and rings.
If you want to change this sub-assembly, you need to edit it and increase its height by 1’ as well. Then go back to the main assembly and update again.
Keep in mind that some assemblies may give you unexpected results when height is changed. This fence has component spans, and all points in these new components above the assembly midpoint rise up, resulting in rather odd looking spans.
To fix this, you’d need to edit the span components themselves, and move down the necessary edges.
Layers and Materials
In previous tutorials, we’ve seen how layers and materials can be assigned to profile members. Layers and materials can also be assigned to assembly parts, either while the assembly is being built, or after the fact.
In this example, a layer is added for the pillar components. Open the assembly, select one of these components, and place it on this layer.
When you turn off this layer, only this pillar is hidden. The other pillars aren’t on this layer yet.
Open this pillar for editing, and change its materials. The materials for all other pillars update as well.
In order to set the same layer for all pillars, find it in the Assembly Dialog, and repick from the model the pillar on the correct layer.
Now when you update the assembly, all pillars are now on the Pillar layer.
You can also change the material and layer of a profile member span the same way.
In this example, we’ll see how Profile Builder’s stacking feature makes it easy to build an assembly that’s comprised of stacked parts, without having to manually enter the correct offsets for each part.
There are four profile members that make up a roadway cross-section: the sub-base, base, road surface, and road line. These are spaced apart vertically, but in the final assembly, all assembly parts will be stacked atop one another.
Create a new assembly called Roadway, which will be comprised of these profile members. The first will be the sub base, which can be picked from the model. The placement point is at the bottom middle.
When you add the next profile member, a copy of the first one is placed directly on top.
Rename this as Base, and pick the base profile from the model.
Now the third profile is a copy of the second one, which can be renamed and replaced. The same is done for the last profile. Now the assembly is ready to use.