Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Aligning Model Fill Patterns Follow-up

There have been a few posts out on the web regarding aligning model patterns and Ian recently posted this nice little post on aligning patterns using the Align command.

What I would like to do is go a little more in-depth on aligning (modifying) model patterns using a few different methods.

The first, which Ian has described, is using the Align tool. This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get an edge of a model pattern in-line with an edge of any another object. You typically just select the edge of an object (or line, or reference plane, etc.) that you want to the hatch pattern to align to, then tab through to get to the hatch line you want to align, select it (left-click it) and it’s aligned.

The next method is using the Move tool to move your pattern lines to a new location. This works great for moving ceiling grids or cmu/brick patterns to have a new “origin”. You can select end points, mid points, etc. of a model pattern line and move it to where-ever you want.

Another method is to use the Rotate tool. Many use this method to rotate the ceiling grid lines to be something else besides what they originally come in as. (Side note…if you ever wondered how the ceiling grid lines aligned themselves when you place a ceiling, they align themselves with the longest wall’s orientation.)

You can also use dimensions to locate your model patterns. This opens a whole bunch of opportunities to modify the model pattern location. Lock a line a certain distance away from another object, move the pattern a certain distance away from another object, etc. A great way to re-center your ceiling grid (or to keep it centered on a grid line) is to use a dimension and equal it out. Keep the equal constraint and it will stay centered between the walls.

The last one (at least that I’m going to talk about here) is using the Rotate tool….yes, the Rotate tool again. Have you ever tried to align a vertical pattern line in elevation on a curved wall… you can’t use the align tool or move it horizontally. So how do you actually get it to move horizontally?? Yep, you guessed it, the Rotate tool. But you’re probably thinking, how is the Rotate tool going to help me in elevation? This is where you have to utilize two open views, an elevation and plan view. With both views tiled (Window->Tile), go to the elevation and place a reference plane vertically where you want the vertical pattern line to be and one where pattern line currently sits. Next, tab through until you can select the pattern line. With the line selected, go over to the plan view (click on the title bar to activate that window), and then select the Rotate tool. Place the origin (or make sure it’s placed) at the center of the arc (or circle), then select a point on the reference plane that represents the pattern location. Once you have the first point selected, select a point on the reference plane that represents the new location. Now, go back to your elevation and there is your pattern re-aligned. The video below shows the process.

If you have any other methods you would like to share, let me know and I’ll post them (with credit or course).


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, it saved me today. Any ideas on aligning a horizontal pattern ling on a curved wall?

Dwane Lindsey said...

You’re welcome, glad it saved you some time! As for aligning a horizontal line on a curved wall, you should be able to tab to a horizontal line of the surface pattern and then move it vertically using the Move command.

matt said...

This is great, but it doesn't seem to work with stacked walls. Am I doing something wrong, or is this just a limitation of this method?

Dwane Lindsey said...

You should be able to move, align, rotate patterns in a stacked wall. You may have to tab over the pattern line to select it, and then move, rotate, align, etc.