Locked to a Reference Plane?

May 18, 2011

In an effort to reduce file sizes and bridge staff 3D family construction inexperience and time limitations on projects we often use 2D symbolic line representations of kitchen equipment in lieu of full 3D families.  One of our staff happened to create a 2D family of grouped lines that was somehow locked to the reference level of the family that is used as the finished floor.  Here are things to look for when this happens and how to break the lock.

1.  Check to make sure the group is not locked to the reference level.  Click on the group and look for the lock symbol. Click on the lock symbol to toogle between locked and unlocked.

2.  Was the family constructed using model lines?  If so they were referenced to a specific plane when created.  Select all the 2D lines and use the “Edit Work Plane” button in the tools bar found under the Modify Tab.  Upon selection the program will prompt you to I.D. the reference plane you want them associated with so make sure you have a reference plane in place you want to use as your target.

To unlock the group use the mirror function and mirror the group about another reference plane.  Sometimes a parallel reference plane won’t work so try a 45 degree reference plane to mirror about.  Of course this will change the orientation but once it’s unlocked you will be able to rotate it and lock it to another reference plane.  In our particular case the staff member wanted to lock to a reference plane they could control the height of with a parameter.  Also be aware that if the group of lines was locked to reference planes to control type properties of length and width mirroring out of plane, as would be the case with the 45 degree reference plane, will unlock these control properties.

This mirror trick also works with 3D extrusions and sweeps in families and in the in-place families in a project that have been associated with a reference plane for construct purposes.  Once you free the 3D form you can delete the original locked version of the shape.

Reference Free in 2 & 3D

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