Using Polyline Solids

Reference Number: KB-02925
Last Modified: June 17, 2020

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I need to create a custom object, what tool should I use?

Mirror created using polyline solids hanging on the wall


A Polyline Solid is a generic, 3D shape that has a specified thickness. They can be oriented either horizontally or vertically and are useful for creating custom details anywhere in your 3D model.

A horizontal polyline solid can be created in floor plan view, or any 3D view, by selecting the Polyline Solid tool and then clicking and dragging to draw a rectangle.

A vertical polyline solid can be created in a cross section/elevation view in the same manner as in floor plan view. The polyline solid is placed in front of any objects visible in the view. If no objects are behind, the polyline solid is placed one foot in front of the camera.

Polyline solids can be edited the same way as other closed polyline-based objects.

In this article, a custom shaped mirror will be created. See the Related Articles section for other items that can be made with polyline solids 

To create and edit the shape of a polyline solid

  1. From the menu, select 3D> Create Orthographic View> Cross Section/Elevation Cross Section/Elevation icon and create an elevation view.

    In this example we are working in a new, blank plan.

  2. From this new elevation view, select Build> Primitive> Polyline Solid Polyline Solid icon then click and drag to create a rectangle.

    A rectangular polyline solid.

  3. Click on one side of the rectangle to activate that side, Notice that the edit handle on that side is now larger than the other sides. The active side is the side that will move when modifying dimensions.

    In Chief Architect X10 and newer program versions, the active edit handle can be a different color than the rest. By default it will be red. This can be changed by accessing the Colors panel located in Preferences.

    Selected edge is red.

  4. Use temporary or manual dimensions to resize the rectangle to a basic 24" by 24" square.

    Resizing using the temporary dimensions.

  5. Next, click CAD> Lines> Draw Line Draw Line icon the click and drag to draw four lines across the square 6" from the sides as shown:

    4 reference lines for the polyline solid.

  6. With the Select Objects Select Objects icon tool active, select the polyline solid.

    Polyline solid is selected

  7. On the edit toolbar, click the Break Line Break Line icon tool use the Intersection Snap Indicator  Intersection Snap Indicator icon to help place the breaks precisely where the lines intersect the polyline solid.

    Placing a line break.

  8. Continue making break points at all intersections.

    All break points placed.

  9. Using the Select Objects Select Objects icon tool, select the top edge of the polyline solid and click the Change Line/Arc Change Line/Arc icon edit button, then use the small triangular edit handle on the edge of the arc to increase the arc's height until it is 6" tall.

    Convert edges to arcs.

  10. Continue using the Change Line/Arc edit button to convert the middle sections of each side to arcs of 6" in height.

    Increase arcs to 6 inches in height.

To cut a hole in the polyline solid

  1. Select CAD> Circles> Circle Circle icon from the menu, and using the CAD line intersections within the polyline solid, click and drag to draw a circle.

    Drawing a circle.

  2. Select the CAD circle and then click the Convert Polyline Convert Polyline icon edit button.

  3. In the Convert Polyline dialog, select Polyline Solid and click OK.

  4. On the General panel of the Polyline Solid Specification dialog, check the box next to Hole in Polyline Solid and click OK.

    Select Hole in polyline solid

To edit the thickness and material

  1. Using the Select Objects Select Objects icon tool, select the polyline solid. then click the Open Object Open Object icon edit button.

  2. On the General panel of the Polyline Solid Specification dialog, set the thickness to 1/2".

  3. On the Materials panel, select the Polyline Solid sub-component and click the Select Material button.

    Change the material of the new polyline solid shape

  4. In the Select Material dialog, search for Mirror.

    Searching for the mirror material

  5. Select the Mirror material, click OK to close the Select Material dialog, then click OK on the Polyline Solid Specification dialog to apply your changes.

To add a label to the polyline solid

  1. Select the polyline solid and click the Open Object Open Object icon edit button.

  2. On the Label panel, select Specify Label and then type in what you would like displayed for the polyline solid's label in the text box below.

    Specifying the label of the polyline solid

Additional examples using polyline solids

Bookends created using polyline solids


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Gingerbread fachwerk architecture

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