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Capping Parapet Wall?


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What is the easiest way to cap a parapet wall with the exterior wall finish (I don't need to model an actual metal "cap" in this case)? I'm familiar with the wall end cap tool, but is there similar functionality for the tops of walls? Attached screenshot will illustrate the situation.

Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 11.34.22 AM.jpg

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See attached. To make an EAP (extrude along path) first draw the profile, then draw the path, then select both objects and select the command Model>Extrude Along Path. You then select the path object and voila. One note, you almost always need to Edit the Profile after creation in order to get it aligned as desired. 


In the attached image, the cap is an EAP. This took me less time to create and adjust than it took to write this reply 😉


I always advise that you create a discreet Class for the Cap, then way you can easily choose to have it show or not in various views and viewports.


Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 4.49.04 PM.png

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If the capping is not a distinct material/object but instead the outer finish of the wall wrapped over the top - as per @girwin 's original post - then another option might be to create the parapet from two Walls - an inner + outer one - and use a Slab for the top surface. This way you can show the same components in the capping as you do the walls, + the whole thing is auto-bound together.

This isn't something I've ever done, I just saw it mentioned here + thought it sounded like a good workaround if you wanted to faithfully represent the actual wall construction in section.

With Slabs you can very easily add/remove/wrap components wherever you want + it's a shame you can't do the same with walls yet...


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I take different approaches depending on material being used. 


If it's a brick on edge coping I'll use a wall style with its own brick on edge texture. If it's a precast concrete coping that I want to model the profile of accurately I'll either use an extrude along path or separately modelled precast coping units. And if it's an aluminium coping that I want to model the profile of accurately I'll use an extrude along path.


However EAPs can be complex and temperamental objects to deal with, so the most common approach I use (most of our buildings have aluminium copings) is to model copings as a solid subtraction:

  1. I trace a polygon over the wall in top/plan
  2. Use the Offset Tool to offset the polygon by how much I need it to overhang the wall on each side
  3. Adjust any ends as required
  4. Then do another inner offset by the thickness of the aluminium (e.g. 2.5 mm)
  5. Extrude the first polygon by the depth I need (75 mm usually)
  6. Then extrude the inner polygon by the same amount minus thickness of aluminium (e.g. 72.5 mm)
  7. Then do a solid subtraction.
  8. I'll make this into a Auto Hybrid for the top/plan view and then into a symbol so I can control its height by Story Level.

This is no good if you want to accurately model profiles that are ridged, weather struck or have prominent lips, but I generally don't need this level of detail in my models; that's what details are for. The advantage of this approach over EAP is that it makes it far easier to make changes while also providing a good enough representation in sections at 1:50.

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7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

but I generally don't need this level of detail in my models; that's what details are for.

Excellent point Christiaan. I see far to many times that someone is trying to recreate reality at a huge time penalty rather than model enough to present the intent. The model is not reality. It is a communications tool.

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If you just need the top covered, another relatively quick way to do it for walls that are all at the same height is:


Top Plan

Select a Wall.

Edit:Select Connected Objects (and make sure only the Walls you want to cap are selected.

Modify:Convert:Convert Copy to Polygons.

OIP:Set Plane to Layer Plane.

Set View to an appropriate 3D view.

Set a Working Plane on the top of the wall.

Switch back to the Selection Tool.

The Polygons should show as selected. If not select them.

Set View to Top (not Top/Plan).

OIP Set Plane to Working Plane.



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