A number of tools are available, enabling you to take full control of the editing operations that you wish to perform.
The Replace graphics tool and the Stretch tool can both be used without first making the component editable, but to perform other operations you must first make the component editable.
Replace graphics is a feature that lets you replace the appearance of a component with the graphics of a different component. This feature could prove useful if you are provided special symbol from the manufacturer or you have already drawn it using AutoCAD or Trimble SketchUp. You can then perform this operation in a few simple steps.
To replace the graphics of a component, follow these steps:
- Insert an AutoCAD object, SketchUp symbol, or create a Custom Shape, which is to take the place of another object.
- Click the Replace Graphics button.
- Select the AutoCAD object, SketchUp symbol, or Custom Shape; a green outline is shown.
- Continue to select the component to be replaced; a blue outline is shown:
- In the Replace options dialog, you can adjust the alignment and the size to either use the alignment and size from the inserted symbol, or keep the size and alignment of the symbol being changed:
- Click the OK button when you are finished. The appearance of the component is replaced with the graphics of the reference component:
One of the tools that you will probably use the most is the Stretch tool. You can stretch an entire component to make it larger or smaller, or perhaps increase the spacing between the shelves in a bookcase using this tool. Automatic cutplanes are inserted to maintain symmetry during stretch, but you can manually add your own cutplanes. You do not have to make a component editable to stretch it.
To stretch a component, follow these steps:
- Click the Stretch button.
- Move the mouse pointer to the drawing area in either the 2D or the 3D view. The mouse pointer snaps to different parts of the component, and CET uses a red plane to show where you can stretch:
- Click once where you want to begin the stretch.
- In the properties box, you can change the following properties:
- Length / Width / Height - The overall length, width or height of the finished object.
- Length change / Width change / Height change - Length/width/height that is being added or subtracted from the original object.
- Auto depth planes - How many auto planes are activated for symmetrical scaling.
- Center - If the item stretches in one way or both. If you do not turn on any Auto planes or insert any cutplanes (explained below), the component will scale evenly. We have used this feature in our example with the pull handles.
- Split mesh -
- Move the mouse pointer, without holding down the mouse button, to stretch the component to the desired size, or type in the new size:
If the symbol snaps to undesired lengths, hold down Shift to override snapping capabilities.
- A new red indication is now attached to the mouse pointer letting you repeat steps 3-5.
- When you are done, press the Esc key on your keyboard or move the cursor outside the drawing area to release the Stretch tool.
A cutplane works as a divider between different planes.
For example, this can be useful if you wish to alter a bookcase by adding some space between the shelves while keeping the shelf thickness. Or, as in the example below, when you want to heighten a storage tower while keeping the drawers the same size.
To insert a cutplane, follow these steps:
- Click the Make editable button and then click the component that you wish to modify. The component turns yellow and is now editable.
- Click the Cutplanes button.
- Move the cursor to the drawing area in either the 2D or the 3D drawing view. The cursor snaps to the component, and a blue cutplane is visible.
- Move the cursor over the component to get the cutplane in the right position. You can select the X, Y, or Z axis in the properties box. You can also use the space bar on your keyboard to change the direction. The Remove option is for removing an existing cutplane. When removing cutplanes, the tool will turn red instead of blue.
- Click once to add the cutplane. A new cutplane is attached to the cursor. Keep adding the cutplanes you want.
- When you are done, press the Esc key on your keyboard or move the cursor outside the drawing area to release the Cutplanes tool.
- Continue to stretch the component as needed.
A workplane is represented by the dotted orange outline around an editable object. This determines the direction of the axes (X, Y, and Z) on which a symbol can be edited. By using the Workplane tool you can adjust the workplane for a certain component. You can, for example, insert a diagonal plane as opposed to the default horizontal and vertical planes.
To insert a workplane, follow these steps:
- Click the Make editable button and click the component that you wish to modify. The component is now editable.
- Click the appropriate Workplane button; there is a 2D tool that operates on the X and Y planes, and a 3D tool that operates on the X, Y, and Z planes.
- Move cursor to the drawing area. The cursor snaps to different places on the component, and a blue workplane is visible in the 3D.
- For the 2D tool, select two points on the component to determine the new angle of the workplane. Click once for each plane:
For the 3D tool, select three points on the component that you want to match your workplane to. Click once for Yaw, Pitch, and Roll.