Creating a Trey or Coffered Ceiling Using Polyline Solids

Reference Number: KB-00201 Last Updated: 03-27-2015 12:02 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How can I use polyline solids to create a trey or ­coffered ceiling


There are several ways to create trey and coffered ceilings in Chief Architect. One easy method uses Polyline Solids and the Convert Polyline edit tool.  

To create a ­trey ceiling using Polyline Solids

  1. Open a plan in which you want to create a trey or coffered ceiling or create a new plan by selecting File> New Plan  from the menu. In this example, we use a single 15' x 20' room with a ceiling height of 121 1/8". 

  2. Click in the room in which you will create a trey ceiling to select it, then click the Make Room Polyline  edit button.

  3. With the room polyline selected, click the Convert Polyline  edit button. 

  4. In the Convert Polyline dialog, click the radio button beside Polyline Solid, then click OK.

  5. On the General panel of the ­Polyline Solid Specification dialog, change the Elevation at Top to 121 1/8", and the Thickness to 12", then click OK to close the dialog and finish converting the room polyline into a polyline solid. 


  6. Select Build> Primitive> Polyline Solid  from the menu, then click and drag to draw the desired shape of the raised portion of the ceiling in the center of the room.

  7. Select the polyline solid, select the Chamfer Lines  edit button and then select Set Chamfer Distance . Set your distance to where you would like it, and then select the Chamfer All Corners  edit button to adjust the size and shape of the polyline solid so that it meets your needs.

  8. With this second polyline solid selected, click the Open Object  edit button. On the General panel of the Polyline Solid Specification dialog, check the box beside Hole in Polyline Solid, then click OK

  9. Click on the polyline solid hole to select it, then click the Copy/Paste  edit button.

  10. Click once outside of your drawing to paste a copy of the polyline at that location. 

  11. With the polyline selected:

    • Click the Convert to Plain Polyline  edit button. 

    • Click the Convert Polyline  edit button.

    • In the Convert Polyline dialog, select Molding Polyline and click OK.

  12. On the General panel of the Molding Polyline Specification dialog, change the Height to 121 1/8", which is the ceiling height of this room.

  13. On the Moldings panel of the Molding Polyline Specification dialog:


    • Click the Add New button.

    • In the Select Library Object dialog, browse to the Moldings category to find a molding profile to display on the inside edges of the raised ceiling, then click OK to return to the Molding Profile Specification dialog.

    • Specify a Height of 12", which is the thickness of the polyline solid forming the perimeter of the trey ceiling.

    • Specify a Width that will produce a balanced looking profile.  In this example, 12" is used.

    • Specify an Offset of 0 and click the radio button beside To Top so that the profile's top height is set at exactly 121 1/8".

    • Click OK to close the dialog and finish converting the polyline into a molding polyline.

  14. Click on the molding polyline to select it, then click the Point to Point Move  edit button.

    • Click once on a corner of the molding polyline.

    • Click once on the corresponding corner of the polyline solid hole.

    • The molding polyline will move so that the two corners share the same position.

    • To make this task easier, make sure that Object Snaps , particularly Endpoint  snaps, are enabled.

  15. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera  from the menu, then click and drag a camera arrow in the room to see the results.