Custom Windows

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The usual way to create a custom window in the order of preference is:

1. Modify an existing similar Opening and then save it by using Add Product Code

2. If no similar Opening is available then use an existing Elevation Opening as a basis for creating a new Opening in the System Library

3. If there is no existing Elevation Opening then use Opening Shapes to form one and then use this to create an Elevation Opening in the System Library. Then Create a new Opening in the System Library based on this new Elevation Opening.

But what if there is no similar Opening, no similar Elevation Opening, and none of the Opening Shapes will create the shape of the opening you need?

There is one other option, although it is not a perfect option.

  1. Use Opening Shapes to get a shape that is as close as possible to what you need.
  2. Make sure that if you are creating a window that you include the Bead.
  3. Then Explode it.
  4. Erase the parts that you don't need and use shapes to draw the opening shape correctly.
  5. If it is a window and you want it to have a grill then delete the double line grills and replace them with single line grills. If you don't want a grill then leave the grill off. Openings created in this manner do not have the option of turning grills on or off or editing their spacing. What you see is what you get.

Seems simple enough, right? The problem is that if you were to convert this line drawing into an Elevation Opening and then create an Opening from that Elevation Opening there would not be any glazing in the window. Instead of glazing you end up with a Solid Surface.

To create the glazing we need to use a certain linestyle for the bead.

Edit one of the lines that make up the bead. This is the edge of the glass. Change the linestyle to the first dashed style, the one just after the solid line. Repeat for the rest of the beads.

Now you could stop here and create your Elevation Opening and then your Opening and this would work in 3D. The only problem is that when you generate your Elevations the opening will have dashed lines for the bead. This would be very noticeable when compared to the other openings.

So what I do is use Copy Block and create another copy of the line based opening shape. Then I delete everything but the bead. Change this bead to the solid linestyle. Then Move Block the solid bead to be exactly on top of the dashed bead.

So now you have your Shape based Opening Shape with a dashed bead and a solid bead to cover up the dashes.

Create your Elevation Opening and then your Opening and place the new opening in your drawing.

I said that this is not a perfect solution and that is because if you get up close to the opening in 3D you can notice some subtle differences between an Opening that was created from Shapes and an Opening that was created from Opening Shapes. But from a normal viewing distance the difference isn't noticeable.

As an example suppose I want to make an Arc Top Hung window. SoftPlan has Opening Shapes for a Hung window or an Arc Top Fixed but no Arc Top Hung.

Draw-->Detail-->Opening Shape-->Single Hung


Explode then modify with Shapes


Change bead to dashed linestyle.


Make a copy, erase everything except the bead, change the bead to solid, place on top of the dashed bead.

Create Elevation Opening, then Opening, and place in your drawing.


Bill is the owner and maintainer of

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