What are 3D Molding Polylines and how can they be used?
The 3D Molding Polyline tool is much like the normal Molding Polyline tool but more flexible. A molding polyline must be drawn in plan view, so one advantage of 3D molding polylines is that you can draw them in elevation or section views and create vertical moldings. Another advantage of 3D molding polylines is that they do not have to be coplanar, meaning that a given edge can go in any direction in all three dimensions.
The following image illustrates three objects; each derived from a similar shape using a polyline solid (left), a molding polyline (center), and a 3D molding polyline (right):
In this article, an oblong mirror will be created, and a custom frame will be generated using a 3D molding polyline.
To create the mirror
Navigate to 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation from the menu, then click and drag towards the wall that will have the mirror.
Select Build> Primitive> Polyline Solid , then click and drag to create a rectangular polyline solid.
In this example the polyline solid is 2' by 4' in size.
Using the Select Objects tool, click on the polyline solid to select it, then click the Open Object edit tool.
In the Polyline Solid Specification dialog that displays next:
On the General panel, set the Thickness to 1/4".
On the Materials panel, select the Polyline Solid component and click the Select Material button. Browse to or search for a "Mirror" material, select it, then click OK.
Click OK again to close the dialog and confirm the changes.
With the polyline solid still selected, click on the upper edge to make this the active edge.
The edge of a polyline based object that has the largest edit handle is the active side. All other sides will have smaller edit handles.
Select the Change Line/Arc edit tool to convert the upper edge to an arc.
Click the Make Arc Tangent edit tool. In the Radius of Tangent Arc dialog that appears, click OK.
Repeat steps 6-7 for the lower edge
To create the frame using a 3D molding polyline
Using the Select Objects tool, select the polyline solid, then navigate to Edit>Copy and Paste in Place .
With the new, copied polyline solid selected, click Convert to Plain Polyline edit tool.
Next, click the Convert Polyline edit tool.
In the Convert Polyline dialog that displays, choose the 3D Molding Polyline option and click OK.
Note: 3D molding polylines can also be created by navigating to Build> Trim> 3D Molding Polyline, then clicking and dragging in your desired view.
In the 3D Molding Polyline Specification dialog which opens next, click on the Moldings panel.
Notice that a square molding profile is already chosen. Click Replace and browse to a more appropriate molding.
In this example, the CA-24 chair rail profile is used.
Set the Width and Height of the molding to be the thickness and depth of the frame desired for the mirror.
In this example, the Width is set to 5/8" and the Height is set to 3".
Specify any other properties such as the profile's rotation and offset.
The ability to reflect a molding profile is not available in X12 and prior versions.
Select the Materials panel to choose an appropriate material for the molding profile, then click OK to close the dialog and confirm the changes.
Take a Camera view to see the results.
Consider blocking the polyline solid and the 3D molding polyline together so the mirror is treated as a single entity. To learn more, please see the "Creating an Architectural Block" resource in the Related Articles section below.