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In this tutorial, we’ll create an advanced assembly, which makes use of spacer components and advanced junctions setbacks, to create a two-course brick wall.
This example starts with two components already made: a full brick and a half brick.
First, let’s see why an assembly of continuous components doesn’t work very well here. The full brick component measures 8 x 8 x 16” long, with its origin at the lower left front corner.
Start a new assembly called Brick Wall, and add a component called Brick. Pick it from the model, keep it everywhere along the path, and make the spacing 16” exactly.
Here’s what happens when you draw out this assembly along a turning path. The junctions aren’t correct, and it would be rather complex to fix them in this arrangement.
A better solution here is to use spacers and spans. A spacer is a dummy component, between which the full brick components will run as spans.
The dummy component here will be three edges set to resemble a set of axes.
So that we can see these edges in color, edit the current style, open Edge Settings, and change edge color to By Material.
Now you can assign the red, green, and blue colors to the edges. The red edge helps to indicate the direction of the assembly path.
Make these edges into a component called Spacer. Also, create a layer for these spacers, so that they’ll be easy to hide later.
In a new assembly called Brick Wall, add this spacer as a component called Course 1 Spacer and pick it from the model. As before, the spacing should be 16” exactly.
Draw out the assembly so far, with a right and left turn.
For the first course of bricks, add a span - a component called Course 1 Bricks. Pick the full brick from the model, and its supports are the spacers.
Update the assembly, and the bricks look fine except at the junctions.
We’ll start to fix this by placing a half-brick at the right junction. This will be a component called Course 1 Right Half Brick, picked from the model. This component will only be at right corners. No offsets are needed. Update to see the half brick fill in its corner.
The left junction requires a few additional steps. First we’ll go back to the spacer component, and enter left junction setbacks to clear this corner. Check Use Advanced, and enter 8” for pre and post left setbacks. Updating creates the necessary spaces at this junction.
Scroll back to the right half brick, and add Course 1 Left Half Brick. This will appear only at left junctions, and remove the left right offset. Here’s how this corner looks after updating.
You can fix this with a simple 90 degree rotation.
Now let’s work on the second course of bricks.
Scroll back to the Course 1 Spacer component, and add a new component called Course 2 Spacer.
No Left / Right offset is needed, but add an 8.5” vertical offset, to leave a ½” space between the two courses of bricks. (We’ll want spacing between adjacent bricks as well, which we’ll do farther on.)
We also want to add a start setback of 8” so that the second course of bricks will be staggered. The junction setbacks will be changed later, but leave them for now. Update to see the new spacers.
For the full bricks that run between these new spacers, go back to Spans and add a new span of components called Course 2 Bricks, choose the new spacers as the supports.
Remove the vertical offset and update. The start of the wall looks OK, and we’ll fix the rest of the wall later by adding more junction components.
The second course needs to start with a half-brick. Go back to Components, find a half-brick from the first course, and add a new component called Course 2 Start Half Brick. This brick will appear only at the start, with a zero left right offset, 8.5” vertical offset, and 0 rotation.
Now we’ll make room at both junctions for corner pieces. Returning to the Course 2 Spacers, change the pre and post right setbacks to 8”, to make room for the corner brick that will go here. Both left setbacks need to be increased from 8” to 16”.
We now need new components to use at both junctions. Start with the right, drawing this piece, assigning it a new color for visibility, and making it a component called Course 2 Right Junction.
An important thing to keep in mind when creating component parts for junctions is that when junction setbacks are zero, only one component will be placed at the junction. Non-zero setbacks result in two components: one at either side of the junction. Because we only want one of these components, set the component axes to meet the point where the junction occurs, which means no setbacks will be needed.
Add a new component to the assembly, naming it Course 2 Right Junction, picking it from the model, and placing it only at right junctions. No Left / Right offset is needed, or setbacks or junction setbacks. Remove the component you created, and update the assembly to replace it within the wall.
For the left junction, create a similar corner component, named Course 2 Left Junction. Its red axis needs to follow where the path is coming from before turning.
The final assembly component will be Course 2 Left Junction, picked from model, placed at left junctions. No left right offsets are needed. Remove the component, and update.
Now all that’s left to do is to add spacings between adjacent bricks. This can be done in both spans, by adding a 1/4 ” start and end setback.
With these spaces, it’s now easy to see the spacer components. But you can use the spacer layer to hide them.
Open the assembly group, and place one spacer from each course on this layer. Then find the Course 1 Spacer component and re-pick from model, and do the same for the second course spacer.
Close and update the assembly, and now you can turn off the Spacers layer to hide them.
This brick wall looks nice along paths comprised of straight line and curves. And if you want to build it up to the height of an actual wall, simply make a copy 17” up, and enter the number of copies.
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