Designing a Custom Drop-in Tub Enclosure

Reference Number: KB-01264
Last Modified: September 23, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I need to create a tub deck surround for a manufacturer's symbol I found. How can I achieve this?


In Chief Architect you have the ability to import a custom 3D symbol from an outside source. In this example we will be importing a tub from Kohler and using it as a drop-in tub for our bathroom.

Note: If you have the most up-to-date X7 Core Catalogs, Drop-In Tubs no longer require a cabinet to insert into.

To create the surround

The surround in this example is a simple base cabinet that is modified to fit your tub.

  1. Place a base cabinet in your plan by selecting Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet from the menu.

  2. Select the base cabinet, click the Open Object  edit tool, and on the General panel make the following adjustments:


    • Enter in a Height of 24".

    • Enter in a Width of 72".

    • Enter in a Depth of 36".

    • Enter in a Toe Kick Height of 0"

  3. On the Front panel of the Base Cabinet Specification dialog:

    • Delete the drawer from the cabinet by selecting it in the preview and choosing the Delete button.

    • Select the cabinet doors and use the Item Type drop down menu to change them to a Door Panel.

    • With the cabinet doors still selected, click Split Vertical. Select one of the newly split doors and click Split Vertical again.

    • Select Horizontal Layout then click Equalize.

    1. Lastly, select each Separation Vertical and click the Delete button to remove them before clicking OK to apply the changes to the Base Cabinet.

Now that you have set up your base cabinet you are ready to import your tub and add it to the cabinet.

To add the tub

  1. Click File> Import> 3D Symbol (3DS,OBJ,SKP,DWF,DXF) .

  2. Choose the file you want to import.

    Note: If you are on a Mac in X6 and unable to import skp files, then you can instead download DXF and DWG 3D symbols from Kohler.

  3. In the Import 3D Symbol dialog, which opens next, verify that the following settings are correct and click OK.

    • Fixture (Interior) is the selected Category.

    • There is a checkmark in Add Symbol to Library.

    • There is a checkmark in Show Advanced Options.

  4. When the import finishes you should be presented with the Symbol Specification dialog.

  5. On the 3D panel check Specify Origin and input the following settings to cause the tub to sink 1 inch into the countertop:

    • X Position: 0"

    • Y Position: 0"

    • Z Position: -20"

  6. On the Options panel, select Inserts Into Countertop.

  7. On the Materials panel select the sub-component and click the Library Material button to select an appropriate material for the symbol then click OK to apply the material and close the dialog.

  8. Now simply click on the base cabinet to place the new symbol and take a Full Camera  to examine the results.