Editing 3D objects


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Just got X9 and using it for shopfitting design, most objects are created from new which is very time consuming.

When I create a polyline and create the profile I require, then convert to a Polyline sold, I have no problems,

but when I try to edit the panel faces/profile on the same object, I can only access limited editing tools. 


Spent hours trolling training videos and the blog, with no success, need some help.  



Untitled 4.plan

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Unfortunately CA is not really designed for that type of modeling, the ability to create or edit complex 3d symbols is very limited. Suggest posting some examples of the types of objects you are attempting to create as there may be methods other than the one you are using to accomplish this.

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I would look into learning SketchUp, then importing your creations into Chief. Plus, the Trimble 3D Warehouse has lots of shopfitting components already created that you can download/modify/import. Then, learn the limitations of Chief's Symbol paradigm - it will save you lots of time and frustration when setting up the Symbols to achieve what you want. Chief can do a good job of creating the interior shop environment, but it's not so great at creating the components.

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I personally think most non-organic/free-form shapes are actually pretty easy to model in Chief once you're familiar with available tools and methods.  As Graham said though, it would help to see an example of what you're trying to accomplish.  It would also help to know a little more specifically what you're currently having a problem with.  In addition, it would be good to know how you plan on using the object(s) in your design. 

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Thank you all for responding and happy to provide further information which may help me/you as follows:-


I am of vintage age ( 73 ) been in office & shopfitting for 30years and up todate have engaged the services of Interior designers to 

undertake my design work, but have always had the desire to undertake "hands on" aspect of  design & documentation myself and 

having a background in building construction complements this strategy.      


Recently have been successful in the office fitout side, producing quality 3D documentation in corporate fitouts using CA, but this is

primarily due to the fact that a lot of the fitout components lend itself to CA, such as partitions, ceilings, office furniture, seating etc etc.

and in addition to the above, have also produced some good 3D documentation for residential renovations. Hopefully I can resolve

some of the issues below, before I start exploring other CAD products to supplement CA, 


On the shopfitting side, there is much more 3D detail to be developed from scratch and hence my plea for help and attached a floor plan

of a shop that I am using as an example and comment with regards to several components as follows:-


I created a tiered magazine gondola display in the centre of the floor as an extrusion, saved it as a symbol which required only one view

which I did in a "cross section", but have yet to mount this on a drawer fixture.  I know this can be developed from or CA's standard

cabinet unit so all good there, it can be stretched to any length as well.


I have also created "slatwall" paneling which is wall mounted and basically is a timber panel with aluminium inserts for mounting display

fixtures, again have saved this to my library as a symbol and it can be stretched either end to suit any length.


Where I have come to a brick wall is a section of slatwall paneling required at each end of the above magazine gondola where I need to 

edit an object on several faces. Initially I started in a "cross section" view and built the panel as an extrusion, but once saved as a polyline 

solid, the ability to edit other faces is not available. Even if you start with the face panel and save it as a "polyline solid", then the end 

section can't be edited, ie you only have one face available, is this correct??.


Have attached the Shop plan which shows the tiered magazine gondola and the slatwall panel destined to be at each end of the gondola.           


Hoping the above info is sufficient, but let me know if you require any further info, 


Regards NeilofOz    







Newsagency Plan.plan

Untitled 4.plan

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Not quite sure I understand either but it seems like you could just treat the components like you would cabinets and combine and edit them as you like.  You could also combine them and make a new symbol but that would make editing more complex depending on what type of things you need to edit.




Again we would need more specifics but you can convert your extruded slatwall to a solid and then explode the solid and you will be able to edit all the faces. Just not sure what you need to edit.

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Hey Neil,


As Glenn and Chop pointed out above, we really need more details if you want a usable answer.  There are probably 100 different methods that could be utilized and the best approach really depends on the finer details of what you're trying to accomplish and why.  A few pictures of something that looks similar to what you're trying to do might help.


It's also important to try and use the correct terminology so that we're all on the same page.  For example, here are a few of the Chief terms that might come into play here, some of which you haven't been using quite right which only increases our uncertainty as to what answer(s) to give you:


Polyline:  This is the basis for many objects in Chief and is really just a group of 1 or more connected line segments.  There are open polylines and closed polylines.  A closed polyline can be converted to a solid object such as a polyline solid...


Polyline Solid:  This is a closed polyline that has essentially been simultaneously converted to a Face (see below) and then extruded along either the X, Y, or Z axis (depending on where you drew it).  It is essentially just extruded perpendicular to your viewpoint.  Since it's just s simple extrusion, only the depth of that extrusion and the original extrusion profile can be edited.  For example, an extrusion drawn in a right side elevation view can be extended/shortened left to right in plan view, can be extended/shortened in a front side or back side elevation view, but its profile can only be manipulated from one of the 2 "ends"...either from a right side or left side elevation view.  It CAN be further manipulated from any view though if you convert it to a Solid (see below).


Solid:  This type of object can be manipulated from any direction but is no longer an extrusion so changing its shape can be a bit trickier.  It's probably one of the single most powerful tools at your disposal though once you learn to use it.  It can also be exploded into individual Faces...


Face:  This can be used in a general sense to describe a facet of any given object or part thereof, but its also a very specific (and unique) tool in Chief that can be used to draw a zero thickness face.  It snaps to a number of objects in 3D space, and can be further extruded and revolved to form a solid.


Symbol:  Any object or group of objects in Chief can be converted to a Symbol.  Doing so creates a whole new object with certain "intelligent" behaviors but it also essentially freezes the geometry so that it can no longer be manipulated except for stretching and resizing.  



Anyway, that's just a very brief primer. 




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8 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

For example, an extrusion drawn in a right side elevation view can be extended/shortened left to right in plan view, can be extended/shortened in a front side or back side elevation view, but its profile can only be manipulated from one of the 2 "ends"...either from a right side or left side elevation view.


Just a little more on this.

In a 3D view, a polysolid can be manipulated in all directions - but the editing axis is dependent on what face you select.

In Michaels example, if you select the top (or bottom) face, you can change the depth (remember it was drawn in a right side elevation).

If you select the front (or back) face, you can only change the height or width. 

If you select a side face, you can only change the depth. 

Quite often it is easier to edit in 3D than in an elevation or plan view.

In a 3D view, you can still use the Tab key while dragging a face to precisely move the faces using the  Enter Coordinates dbx.

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Fellas, worked all weekend and finally came up with a good result, see attached:-


The end panel on the right was my first try using a solid square section for the ali channels, on the left side I show ali channels and this was achieved from a single plain view which made it easier to design, store and retrieve for future use. The trick for me was to first establish a framed perimeter which defined on where/how other objects could be positioned and this was done by starting with the perimeter edging which was required to conceal the edges of the channels, from there it all fell into place. Being a novice with cad, the learning process will be a longer than I expected, but every component is building knowledge f or the next challenge.


Thanks for the help todate, Neil.

Gondola Ends.jpg

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