Create Columns with Array

In this exercise we'll sketch a detail element - an I-beam column. Then use the Array tool to copy multiple items with a specific distance between them.

If you did not complete the last section, download and open the farnsworth03.axm file from the FormIt Primer folder.

Sketch the Column Profile

  1. Go to the Top View (VT) to view the plan image from above.

  2. Turn off the Floor 1 layer so that you don't snap to the Roof or Floor geometry we drew in the last exercise.

  3. Zoom into the upper left corner of the imported floor plan image so you can view the column in detail.

  4. Turn off the Snap to Grid (SG) feature (if you have it on). This will help with drawing detail lines.

  5. Use the Line tool (L) to make the following sketch using the specified dimensions.

  6. Turn off the Plan Image layer so that you can see the profile lines.

  7. Double-click to select the entire profile. Right-click and select the Mirror Tool (MI).

  8. Single click to select the orange center grip of the Mirror widget. Move it and click to snap to the mid point of the long edge.

  9. Single click the lower arrow and move it 90° clock wise. Snap it to the blue compass line. The result should look like an I-beam profile.

  10. Single-click off in space to commit the mirror command. Click Esc to clear the selection.

  11. Double-click to select one of the profiles. Hold down the Ctrl or the Shift key and double click the other profile. Both of the profiles should be in selection.

  12. Right-click to bring up the context menu. Choose the Join Geometry (JC) command to merge the two profiles into one.

  13. Once the outline of the profile is complete, the profile becomes a single face. Select the face with a single click.

Extrude and Array the Column

  1. While the profile is still selected, go to the 3D View (ZD) to change to a perspective view

  2. Zoom to your selection with the ZS command. You'll need to scroll zoom back as you're too close to the small profile

  3. Click to select the profile face, and click again to start the drag face operation. Start to drag the face up

  4. Turn on the Floor 1 layer. Click on the top of the roof to snap the height of the column - it should be 17' 8".

  5. Double-click to select the column. Add the column to Group (G).

  6. Double-click to edit the group and name it Column Tall and change the Category to be Generic Models from the drop down menu.

  7. Import the material Metal > Anodized – White. Next, paint the material onto the column group

  8. Click Esc to clear the paintbrush tool.

Array the Columns

  1. Go to the Top View (ZT) to view the plan image from above.

  2. Turn off the Floor 1 layer, turn on the plan image layer.

  3. Single-click to select the column group. Right-click and choose Array (AR).

  4. Use the following settings in the Array dialog: Length Between Copies, Linear, Number of Copies: 3. Press OK to close the dialog.

  5. Single-click to start the array. Move the cursor to the right, along the red axis. Hold down Shift to lock to the red axis.

  6. Start typing 22' to bring up the Edit Dimension dialog, then hit OK. Press Esc to clear the selection. You now have four columns 22' apart.

  7. Hover your mouse over the first Column and press the Tab key once. All four columns will be highlighted. Single click to select them.

  8. Perform another Array (AR) but this time make 1 copy and move the copies long the green axis to the south side of the building. Start typing 29'-5" to bring up the Edit Dimension dialog, and hit Enter or press OK to accept the value.

Create Unique Groups

  1. Go to the 3D View (ZD) to change to a perspective view.

  2. Turn on the Floor 1 layer if it is off.

  3. Single click one of the columns at the base. Hold down the Ctrl or the Shift key and select two of the columns next to it.

  4. Click to start moving the 3 selected columns. Press the Ctrl key once to create a quick copy. A ghost preview of the copy should appear.

  5. Single-click to place the new columns. Right-click the copied columns and select Make Unique (M U) - These columns are now associated with each other, and unique from the originals.

  6. Double click to edit one of the new groups and name it Column Short.

  7. Adjust the new columns by dragging the top face down to the same height as the lower terrace floor height. They should be 3’-2”.

  8. Using the plan image as a guide, copy the last short column so your result looks like this.

  9. Before moving on - make a new Layer called columns and put all of the columns on that layer.