Creating an Isometric Cutaway View of a Floor System

Reference Number: KB-02726 Last Updated: 11-11-2013 07:54 AM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Lite


I need to create an ­isometric cutaway view of my floor system with radiant heating.  How can I create this in Chief Architect?



To create an isometric cutaway view of your floor system, we'll start in a new plan and generate some of the basics we'll need for the view.


Starting your basic floor system cutaway plan

  1. Start a New Plan , draw in a basic four-walled enclosed room, then mark the front wall as Invisible.

    For the purposes of our example, we created a 40' x 30' structure, with the Invisible Wall being at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Next, select Build> Floor> Build Foundation

    For the purposes of this example, we will leave these settings at their defaults, so click OK, then choose to Derive new Foundation plan from the 1st Floor plan, and click OK once more.

  3. Go to Tools> Reference Floors, Up One Floor to return to Floor 1, then select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Floor Overview .

  4. Once the view has been created, select 3D> Isometric Views> Top Front Right View .

  5. Finally, select Window> Tile Vertically  so that you can see both the 2D floor plan and 3D isometric view tiled side-by-side.

    • You can also use the keyboard shortcut for tiling the views by pressing Shift + F6.

Now that our basic floor plan has been created, with the foundation and floor framing generated, and we have the isometric view tiled with the floor plan, activate the floor plan view.


Creating rooms with different floor finishes

  1. Select Build> Wall> Invisible Wall , then click and drag to connect several segments, enclosing a room space in the room, similar to what is shown in the image below.

  2. Once this room has been created, select the newly created room, and click on the Open Object  edit button to display the Room Specification dialog.

  3. On the Structure tab of the Room Specification dialog, click on the Floor Finish button.

  4. In the Floor Finish Definition dialog, click in the Thickness field for Layer 1, then use Delete button to remove this layer, and click OK.

  5. Click OK again in the Room Specification dialog to apply this change, and observe the change this has made in your tiled 3D view.

    In the 3D view, you may want to Zoom In  on the area of the room to see this area more clearly.

  6. Repeat this process to create another room, open its Specification dialog, and this time remove the remaining Foam Underlayment layer in the Floor Finish dialog.

Now that you've created your rooms and deleted each of the Floor Finish options for your cutaway, you are ready to create molding polylines to model the tubing.


Creating molding polylines for the radiant floor tubing

  1. In your floor plan view, select Build> Trim> Molding Line , then click and drag to create a molding polyline the shape of your radiant tubing.

    Helpful Hint: A quick and easy way to change a straight line segment in a polyline in to an Arc is to select that segment, and use the Change Line/Arc  edit tool.

  2. Select the newly created molding polyline, and click on the Open Object  edit button to display the Molding Polyline Specification dialog.

    • Click on the Moldings tab and click on the Add New... button to display the Select Library Object dialog, and navigate to an appropriate molding for your tubing, then click OK.

      For the purposes of this example, we will use the Round molding, with a Height and Width both set to 1/2".

    • On the General tab, set the Molding Polyline Height to 1/4".

    • On the Materials tab, choose an appropriate material for the tubing.
      For the purposes of our example, we choose an orange material.

    • Click OK when you have finished making changes in this dialog.

  3. Once you've closed out of the dialog, with the molding polyline still selected, click on the Multiple Copy  edit button, then the Multiple Copy Interval  edit tool for General Objects.

    For the purposes of our example, we will leave this set to 24" for General Objects and click OK.

  4. Click and drag to the right to create several copies of this molding polyline across the room which are evenly spaced.


  5. You can then select these molding polylines individually and adjust their edit handles to match the jagged edges of the room you've created.

Now that we have the basic cutaway created, it is time to generate our floor framing.


Building Floor Framing

  1. Activate the 3D camera view, then select Build> Framing> Build Framing .

  2. On the Foundation tab, under ­Subfloor for Floor 1, place a checkmark next to Build Floor Framing and click OK.

  3. Select Yes when prompted with a Question message that states, The layer "Framing, Floor" is not displayed. Do you want to turn on the display of this layer in the current view?

  4. Finally, select 3D> Delete Surface  to activate this tool, and click on the strip of siding beneath the floor as many times as needed to delete these wall layers until you can see the floor framing.