July 16, 2015
The information in this article applies to:
I need to create 3D signage for a structure that I am creating. What is the easiest way to go about creating this?
There are a variety of ways to create 3D signage for your plans, including using objects such as polyline solids, 3D molding polylines, and symbols from the Library Browser.
In this example, we will use a combination of these features along with the 3D Standing Letter geometric shape symbols available in the Library Browser.
To create a sign backboard using a polyline solid
- Launch Chief Architect and Open the plan in which you would like to create the sign, or start a New Plan .
- Select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/ Elevation , then click and drag a camera arrow in the direction of your structure.
- Select Build> Primitive> Polyline Solid , then click and drag to draw a rectangular shape. This shape will become the backboard of your sign.
- With the polyline solid still selected, click on the Break Line edit tool, then click the edge to create a new corner edit handle at that location and two separate edges on either side of that handle.
- Repeat this process on the other side of the corner to place another diamond shaped edit handle.
- Select the corner's diamond edit handle, and drag it down to the lower break that you have created.
- With the 90° corner replaced by an angle, or miter, select this new angled edge and click the Change Line/Arc edit tool.
- Using the triangular Reshape Arc edit handle, click and drag the arc towards the interior of the polyline solid shape.
- Repeat this process for the remaining three corners of your polyline solid.
- Using the Select Objects tool, select the Polyline Solid and click the Open Object edit button to display the Polyline Solid Specification dialog.
- On the Materials panel of the Polyline Solid Specification dialog, select the "Polyline Solid" subcategory, then click on the Library Material button to choose a material for the back of your sign.
To create a frame using a 3D molding polyline
- Using the Select Objects tool, select the polyline solid.
- Click on the Copy/Paste and in Place edit button.
- A newly created copy of the polyline solid is created and will be selected. While it is still selected, click the Convert to Plain Polyline edit tool.
- The copy of the polyline solid will be converted into a plain polyline and will still be selected. With it still selected, click the Convert Polyline edit button.
- In the Convert Polyline dialog, select the radio button next to 3D Molding Polyline, then click OK to proceed to the 3D Molding Polyline Specification dialog.
- On the Moldings panel, notice that by default, a plain square molding is chosen.
- To choose a different profile, click the Replace button to select a more suitable molding profile from the library.
- For the purposes of our example, we chose the CR-03 chair rail molding.
- Next, go to the Materials panel to choose an appropriate material for the frame of your sign, then click OK to close the dialog and apply your changes.
To place 3D letters into the model
- Select View> Library Browser .
- In Chief Architect X5 and prior, navigate to Library> Library Browser.
- Browse to the 3D Text Bonus Catalog in your library browser and select Standing letters.
- Place each desired letter into the appropriate position in the view to spell out the name you want to create.
- Finally, don't forget to Save your work.
You can also import 3D lettering as symbols. Elefont is a popular program which allows you to create 3D DXF symbols which can be imported in to Chief Architect.