Advanced Modeling

In our Farnsworth House exercises we've focused on basic modeling tools like Sketching, Drag Face, Move, Array, and Offset Face. We've also covered the essential workflows involving Groups, Layers, Materials and Levels. In this section we'll introduce you to the Advanced Modeling tools Sweep and Fillet

If you did not complete the last section, download and open the farnsworth05.axm file from the FormIt Primer folder.


Use the Sweep tool to create a cornice along the roof.

  1. With the Rectangle (R) tool, create a 6" high by 4 5/8" profile at any corner of the roof.

  2. Create another Rectangle (R) profile that is 2" x 2".

  3. Single click to select the line between the profiles. Use the Delete key to remove the line - this creates a single outline.

  4. Select the Sweep tool (SW) from the Advanced Modeling menu.

  5. The Advanced Geometry toolbar appears in the upper left corner of the canvas with helper text instructions.

  6. Single-click to select the face you just drew. This will be the profile you want to sweep.

  7. The Advanced Geometry toolbar changes once you select a face. Now it is prompts you to select a path for the sweep.

  8. Single-click to select the top face of the roof. The tool infers the edges of the face as the path. The sweep is created after picking the roof.

  9. Double click to select the entire cornice element. Group (G) the cornice. Edit the group and name it cornice.

  10. Paint the cornice group with the material Concrete > White to match the roof. Add the cornice group to the roof layer.

You need to adjust the height of the columns to end in the cornice. Edit one of the tall column groups, select the top face, and bring it down to the correct height. You may also need to adjust the location of the columns so they are flush to the slabs. Now is a good time to make these minor adjustments


Now you'll learn the Fillet tool to create a rounded edge to give a softer look to a piece of furniture

  1. Turn off the roof layer so you can see inside the house.

  2. Create a 4' x 7' Rectangle (R) in the North East corner of the house. Select the face and extrude it 1'-6" high.

  3. Select the Fillet tool (FI) from the Advanced Modeling tools in the Action Tool Bar.

  4. Change the default fillet value to 1" in the dialog that appears.

  5. Single-click the top face of the bed. The fillet is created automatically after selecting the face.

Groups Tree

Instead of editing the group to name and categorize it, let's use the Groups Tree which allows you to quickly conduct multiple model management tasks.

  1. Double-click to select the entire bed. Add the bed to Group (G).

  2. Click the Groups Tree icon from the palettes on the right.

  3. If you select the bed group in the canvas, it will highlight in the Groups Tree list (the opposite is also true, if you select a group in the list, it will highlight in the canvas).

  4. You can double-click the name in the list and change it to Bed - all instances of the group will update - in our case there is only one.

  5. While the Bed group is selected in the list, you can set the category to Furniture from the drop-down list at the top of the Groups Tree palette.

Merge Edges, Smooth Edges, and Selection Filtering

We'll now hide unwanted edges on our furniture, to give it a smoother, softer look.

  1. Double-click to edit the group. Select the entire bed with a double-click. Right-click and choose Merge (MG) from the context menu.

  2. Use the Selection Filter to constrain a window selection to only pick-up Edges.

  3. Drag the mouse from the upper left to the lower right corner to perform a window selection. Window select the arc and edge at each corner of the bed. Hold down Ctrl or Shift to add to the selection set.

  4. Right click and choose Smooth Edges (SE)

  5. To make these edges visible again, single-click to select the top face of the bed, right-click and choose Facet Smooth Edges (UE).

  6. Change your Selection Filter back to include Faces and Groups again. Turn the roof layer back on. Your Farnsworth house model is coming along nicely!