Adding slotted joints to your projects

Often there are times when you require a slotted joint in your designs.  Situations like connecting Fence Rails to Fence Posts or building custom Stairs, Rail Balusters, or any situation where you`re looking for a nice strong joint that won`t require a bracket, nail, or screw for support.

Slotted Joint

Slotted Joint

Above is the classic example.  In 3D Build Planner, there is currently no easy way to carve these sections out of your pieces.  However, that doesn’t mean there`s no way to get these into your projects.  Here`s a little trick that you can use in these situations.

Below is an example of two Fence Posts that we`d like to connect with slotted joints for the Fence Rails.

Fence Section - Before

Fence Section - Before

As you can see from the illustration, we`ve extended our Fence Rail an extra inch on each side to fit into the slot that we`ll be adding to each of our Fence Posts.  Problem is, 3D Build Planner won`t let us move the Fence Rail into the Fence Post to make the slotted joint.  This is because 3D Build Planner won’t let two pieces of lumber occupy the same spot, which makes sense, but doesn’t help us.

What we can do though is set 3D Build Planner to relax this restriction a bit, and allow us to move these pieces together into place.  To do this, we visit the Preferences Manager (which is the green check icon in the toolbar) and we’ll see the Preference Manager window  appear as shown below.

The Preferences Manager

The Preferences Manager

Near the bottom, find the ‘Check for Colliding Lumber’ check box, and un-select it, and press Save.  At this point, you’re free to move the Fence Rails into the Fence Post.  Make sure you set the Nudge Amount to inches or even sixteenths to make sure you get a nice flush fit.  You can use the number keys 1-4 to quickly change the Nudge Amount.  After you do this, this is what you should see:

Fence Section - After

Fence Section - After

As you can see, we now have a nice flush Fence Rail slotted into the Fence Posts.  Remember to turn the ‘Check for Colliding Lumber’ setting back on when you’re finished.

This simple technique can be used for Fence Rails, Custom Stairs, Sinking Fence Balusters and Railing Posts, and other items where inserting one or more pieces into others is needed.  This and many other tips and tricks is contained in the 3D Build Planner video section www.3dbuildplanner.com/videos.htm as well as in the Product Help Section and Quick Start Guide.

Happy Building

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