Cool tricks with the Layout Wizard

Today we’re discussing cool things you can do with the Layout Wizard in 3D Build Planner.  The Layout Wizard is used to add multiple pieces based on an anchor piece.  For example, you want to add several Fence Posts spaced 4 feet apart as measured as center to center, the Layout Wizard can do that.  Here’s another example where you don’t know the spacing.  I have a 5 foot Fence Rail and I want to add my Fence Boards to it,  problem is, I don’t know how much privacy I want, how many pieces I need, or what the spacing between each piece would be.

Here’s where the Layout Wizard really shines.  This second example happens quite a bit.  Adding Fence Boards is one example where you might not be sure how much privacy you’d like or what the spacing would be for each choice. Maybe you’re adding roof pieces to a Pergola and again, you’re not sure how many pieces to add or what the spacing would be for each.  This can be quite time consuming to figure out by hand and a real pain.

Two Slotted Fence Privacy Options

Two Slotted Fence Privacy Options

If you know the measurement you need to span, such as the length of the Fence Rail, you can use the Layout Wizard to add a certain number of pieces and calculate the spacing when you’re happy with the choice.  So how?  The Layout Wizard works by copying an anchor piece and adding more pieces just like it.  So if you were adding Fence Boards, you would add the first Fence Board using the Joint Wizard, and if you were adding Pergola roof pieces, you would add the first roof piece with the Joint Wizard.  Remember, the Layout Wizard will copy the first piece, so if you’d like to add mitres to the ends to make it look nicer, now is the perfect time to do it, on the first piece.

Adding The First Piece With The Joint Wizard

Adding The First Piece With The Joint Wizard

Next, start the Layout Wizard by pressing the Layout Wizard icon, and the Layout Wizard will be shown:

The Layout Wizard

The Layout Wizard

Once the Layout Wizard appears, select your anchor piece, and add it to the Layout Wizard by pressing the ‘Select Piece’ button.  Next, tell the Layout Wizard that you’re measuring ‘Outside to Outside’ since you’ve measured the span to fill.  Note, you may need to reduce your measurement by a sixteenth or so.

At this point, select the direction you’d like to add pieces in, and select option 2 under Layout Options.  Tell the Layout Wizard the measurement of the span you’d like to fill, and tell the Layout Wizard how many pieces to add (sometimes there’s not enough room) and press ‘Add’.  If you’re happy with the pieces you’ve just added, you can press the ‘Note Spacing’ button to record the spacing amount in the Project Step Notes section.  If you’re not happy with the outcome, simply press ‘Undo’, alter the number of pieces, and try again.

Fence Boards Added With The Layout Wizard

Fence Boards Added With The Layout Wizard

In this fashion, you can experiment with the Layout Wizard until you find the right number of pieces to suit your taste and then save the spacing amount with the ‘Note Spacing’ button to record the spacing in the Project Step Notes section.  This saves tons of time trying to figure out how much privacy is enough and what your spacing calculation would be for each option.

Happy Building

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