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In this video, we’ll look at the auto assemble feature of Profile Builder.
We’ll start with the familiar cavity wall example. But this wall is not an assembly, rather these five individual groups are all profile members, ready to be made into an assembly.
We’ll use the auto-assemble feature of Profile Builder to quickly create this assembly. Auto assemble works for a set of profile members as we have here, and it can work with components as well, which we’ll see farther on. Spans cannot be created via auto assemble.
The workflow is to create a prototype of the assembly first, using profile members and / or components. Then the final assembly is created based on that prototype, with perhaps a few small tweaks.
There are a few criteria that need to be met for auto assembly:
- All profile members need to be running in the positive red direction.
- The origin placement is important: as always, the assembly path will start where the origin is. And all offsets and setbacks will be calculated relative to the origin.
- Any positive or negative start or end setbacks, for any profile member or component, will be included in the assembly. In this example, the flashing has a -2” setback at either end.
- For objects to be included in an auto assembly they must not be inside of groups or components. In other words, objects must be individually selectable with the Select tool.
Creating an assembly from these profile members is easy. Select all five profile members and click Auto Assemble from Selection.
A new assembly is created from these objects, which should be assigned a name.
Each of the five profile members is included, and they are given generic names. You can see the profile used for each, so each profile member can be renamed accordingly.
According to the profile member placement, the brick profile member, with its bottom right placement point, should be at the origin. So the start setback and all offsets for this member are all zero.
The insulation has been given the correct Left / Right offset, and the flashing has the correct negative start setback.
At the end of the path, the flashing is the profile member that extends the farthest, so this is given a zero end setback.
The other four profile members have positive 2” setbacks to match. Sometimes auto assemblies need some manual adjustment, which in this case means fixing the flashing end setback to -2”, and correcting this value to be zero for the others.
Draw out this assembly along this path, the start and end setbacks are correct.
If you want the grade beam to start before the path and end after the path, you can assign this profile member identical negative setbacks, and update.
For an example of an auto-assembly that includes components, let’s look at this industrial railing. The three profile members are blue, and the three components are yellow. The current post spacing is listed here.
For the yellow posts to be recognized as repeating components in the assembly, they have to be at identical spacing, and you need to select at least three of these before assembling. Any components that don’t repeat at least three times at identical intervals, such as the two at either end, will be included in the assembly as start-only or end-only.
Select everything and auto-assemble. Rename the top rail profile member, which correctly has 5” start and end setbacks, and a 3-6’ vertical offset.
The bottom rail is similar with a lower vertical offset, and the kick plate is located correctly as well.
The post component is listed at the exact measured spacing, at intervals and start and end, but not at junctions.
To assign a max spacing, you need to go in and enter this manually and check Max. Posts are now included everywhere along the path, including junctions.
The handrail end component is listed only at the end, and the start is only at the start.
Draw out this new assembly, which has all of its parts created correctly.
Note that if repeating components aren’t spaced identically, they won’t be placed at intervals. In the original set of components, move one post slightly to the side.
Select and auto assemble again. Now the first two posts appear only at the start, and the last two only at the end.
For another example of an auto assembled fence, this model has identical end post components at the start and end, two rail profile members, and spindle components spaced at 4”.
The rail profile members extend into the posts, so use Extend or Split to bring them to the post sides.
Select everything and auto assemble. Rename the top and bottom rail profile members, whose start and end setbacks, and vertical offsets, are correct relative to the origin.
The spindle component has the correct spacing and start setback, and you can change the end setback to match the start.
End posts were recognized as the same component, with one at the start and end, but not at junctions.
Draw out this fence, and it looks good except that it could use end posts at junctions.
So add them in and update.
Note that in this example, the component axes are set so that the positive red direction follows the assembly path. The best practice is to set up components this way, but auto assemble can adjust if the axes aren’t oriented this way. Rotate the post at the end 90 degrees.
After auto assemble this time, the start and end posts are separate components. The post at the end was automatically rotated.
Auto assemble can be very handy when putting together complex assemblies. As an example, this crown molding is comprised of 4 separate profile member groups. The groups are placed so that the origin will follow the ceiling line.
Auto-assemble, and with no adjustments needed, the assembly is ready to use. Select the path along the ceiling, and build.
Or for another example with components, here’s a pipe rack comprised of profile members and components. Each tower is a component, with its origin at the bottom midpoint and red axis along the assembly path. Each pipe is a profile member.
The auto assembly finds all nine pipes, all with zero setbacks. And one component was found - the tower, with start and end setbacks that allow for a slight pipe overhang.
Here’s the assembly along this path, which needs some adjustments at the junctions.
Here’s the updated assembly after switching to max spacing for the towers, with 10’ junction setbacks.