Using Molding Polylines to Create a Column

Reference Number: KB-02791
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I need to create a custom column shape, what tool can I use?


A molding polyline is a profile shape that is extruded along a polyline path. The profile shape can be one that you have drawn, or it can be one that was included with the Chief Architect library. As their name suggests, molding polylines are great for adding moldings to a room, but the tool is versatile enough to be used for so much more.

Custom columns can be made by creating a molding profile and extruding the profile along a closed shape. Use the CAD tools to create a custom molding profile that is the actual height of the column you wish to create and half the width minus 1/2" (the molding will be extruded around a 1" square or circle). See the "Creating a Custom Molding Profile" article in the Related Articles section for more information on creating a custom molding profile. 

For this example the following molding profile is used:

To extrude a molding profile to create a column

  1. While in plan view select CAD> Boxes> Rectangular Polyline  from the menu.

    Using a CAD circle instead of a square will result in a round column.

  2. Click and drag to create a 1" square. Use dimensions to resize the square if necessary.

  3. Using the Select Objects tool select the square and then click the Convert Polyline  edit tool.

  4. In the Convert Polyline dialog choose Molding Polyline and click OK.

  5. In the Molding Polyline Specification dialog which opens next go to the Moldings panel.

  6. Click Add New and browse to the custom molding profile in the User Catalog.

    • Notice that the height and width match what was used when the profile was created.

    • Remove the checkmark from Extrude Inside Polyline.

  7. Go to the Materials panel and specify a material for the column.

  8. Click OK and take a camera view to see the results.

Tapered columns can also be made by using a custom molding profile such as:

There are many objects that can be created using an extruded molding profile. Here are some examples: