It can sometimes be non-trivial to correctly solve planes in a layout, and bay windows can sometimes be among the most difficult. Part of the reason can be due to the uncommon necessity to include planes of a yet unknown pitch, but even beyond this, there are sometimes other rather unintuitive steps required, depending on the situation.
Consider the structure below. As you will observe, there are three distinct bay window styles, and each will require their own method of solving the necessary planes. In this article I will give some guidance on the methodology, and hopefully that will assist in your understanding of how to input such plane configurations and others in the future.
As you can see here, I have laid in the planes which will be necessary. Notably, several plans are marked with a "?". These planes were added with an "unknown" pitch. When adding such planes, you can use a "?" in place of any pitch number, or can also use "u", for "unknown".
In order to solve these planes and the others around them, we will first need to solve their pitch using the "Solve Plane Pitch" icon on the planes toolbar. As stated above, there may also be other steps needed to allow us to do even this.
Let us begin on the bay window labelled "A", since this will be the simplest to resolve.
First, click on the "solve plane pitch" button, and then select the two "?" planes as instructed below, then press enter.
By default, your tool should be selected on the option to select the planes which define a peak point, though it can be changed at the bottom of your screen to also allow the choosing of a ridgeline or a peak point itself.
In the case of this particular bay window, we will select the other three planes in it to define the peak point. When we press enter, we will be presented with the "Define Heel Height" dialog.
More details about the various options here can be found in the software documentation, but for our purposes in these examples we will be choosing to "maintain overhang length and adjust heel height". We will then click "ok", and then click on any non-vertical (and not unknown) plane to define the overhang height, and our planes should be solved. It will be easy enough to solve the other planes in the bay now that our unknown planes are known.
If we take a moment to compare the plane information we will notice that the pitch and heel are both different from our other planes which were entered with a given pitch.
As mentioned before, that was the simplest of our three examples. Let us move on to bay window "B".
If you attempt it, you may notice that if you try to solve for the pitch of either of the unknown planes in this bay window by selecting the adjacent planes, it will not even permit you to proceed. The information that can be gleaned from just these two adjacent planes is not sufficient to find the pitch of the unknown plane.
For this bay, we need to do something a bit unexpected. We need additional planes in our bay window, but without any more walls to add them to, we will instead need to place them onto reference lines. What we will want to do is create two cad lines outside of the bay window, at a width apart equal to the width of the bay window, which are perpendicular to the known plane in the bay. See the image below for reference. Here, the lines have been trimmed short for the sake of tidy-ness, but technically this is not necessary, as long as their position left to right is correct, and their orientation is correct.
We will now add a new plane to each line by selecting to add a plane and then right clicking on the layout, to change our placement option to "Add to Reference Line". We can use the same pitch as we are using elsewhere on the layout, but the following should work even with a different pitch. We will add the planes to the inside edge of the reference line so that the arrows of the planes will be pointing towards one another.
We are now ready to solve for the pitch of the unknown planes. Click once again on "Solve Plane Pitch" and select both of the unknown planes. We will select as our planes which create the peak our original known plane, and then our two new planes. We will once more select the option for "maintain overhang length and adjust heel height" in the dialog box and click "ok".
This time, even if our option to automatically solve the planes was selected, the planes will not be able to do so. We will need to solve the planes ourselves. It may once more not be intuitive how to do this.
The plane in the middle of the bay is simple enough, it simply closes on each of the previously unknown planes on either side of it. For the unknown planes, they will solve on the middle plane, then on whichever of the "satellite" planes is directly above it, and then on the primary plane over the house (which I have here only on the upper left corner wall). The reason for closing on this last plane will be more obvious later.
Now, to solve the "satellite" planes. We will close each satellite plane on whichever unknown plane it resides above, then on the satellite plane opposite of it, and then also on the primary plane over the house. Ordinarily, we would click on the plane we are solving to close it fully, but if we do this we will get an aberration of sorts, as seen below.
Instead, after we have clicked on the aforementioned planes, we will want to right click on the layout and choose "Close Against First Line". You will see that this will solve the plane appropriately. Do the same with the other plane and we will have all of them solved as seen below.
In actual fact, bay window "C" is not very different than "B". The principle of creating additional planes to solve against is all the same. Once again we will create some cad lines outside the bay window and at an equal width, and then add planes to them. The only difference, in fact, between this bay and the one we have just completed is that there are two additional unsolved planes. But notwithstanding, we can still select all four planes when using the solve plane pitch tool, since our planes which define the peak are once again the central, known plane in the bay and the two which we have added. When we follow the same steps as listed above, with a couple more for solving the internal two of the unknown planes, we will have the completed bay window seen below.
The remaining planes can be solved in a fairly traditional manner, and so that completes our house!
The principles used here can be employed to solve other bay window variations as well, so this should give you a solid foundation to solve such planes in the future!
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