Video: Create a Plywood Detail Component Family
Drafting fill patterns are intended to be consistent when printed. This means that they cannot be rotated. When detailing plywood you often actually need the fill pattern to rotate, but since the plywood fill pattern is a drafting pattern it will not rotate.
You can create a custom fill pattern for specific rotations of plywood, or you can create a line-based detail component for plywood detailing. You can use the line-based detail component to draw plywood at any angle.
- Start by creating a component from the Detail item line based template.
- The template starts with a 4’ segment which is a bit large for a detail item, so select the reference line and use the temporary dimension to change the size to 1’-0”.
When you place the detail component, you can draw the length you need. Changing the length in the family just makes the detail easier to work on.
- Now add the lines running the length of the detail. Use the Line tool and draw one line along the horizontal reference plane.
You can control the thickness and appearance of the line by modifying the Subcategory property. The ends of the line should lock to the reference planes automatically. If it does not, use the Align tool to lock the end point of the line to the reference plane.
- Use the Offset tool to create additional lines representing the layers of plywood. (Select different Subcategory values to control the offset lines.)
- Now you can add the pattern used to represent the plywood. Use the Line tool to draw diagonal lines between each layer.
- Create an array of the diagonal lines using the “last” selection on the Options Bar.
The number of items in the array is not important at this point; you set the number value later using a parameter and a formula based on the length.
- Use the Align tool to constrain one of the points of the diagonal lines to the reference plane on the right. You may have to move the 2ndset of lines back into position if they shift when aligned.
- To control the number of elements in the array with a parameter:
- Select one of the members of the array.
- Select the dimension indicating the number of elements in the array.
- On the Options Bar, use the Label tool to add a parameter to the array.
- Make this an instance parameter because the value is going to be based on the length of plywood needed for the detail.
- Open the Family Types dialog to create a formula to control the array value.
- Create a formula using the Length parameter divided by the spacing you want between each set of diagonal lines. Then add 1 to the total. (You increase the number by 1 because the array value must be greater than 1 or it will produce an error.)
- Now load the detail component into the project and place it where needed. The component can be placed at any angle and it will represent the plywood pattern correctly.
Use this same technique to create different thickness plywood details. Use these elements only in detail views where plywood is needed because using many arrayed elements in a project can impact performance.