Architect or SpotlightStructural member settings

Before the structural member is inserted, default parameters can be set in the Structural Member Preferences dialog box accessed from Preferences on the Tool bar. The parameters can also be edited for a selected structural member by clicking Settings in the Object Info palette; many, but not all, parameters can be edited directly in the Object Info palette.


To set the structural member settings:

Click to how/hide the parameters.Click to how/hide the parameters.




To create a custom structural member, leave the Unstyled setting. To use an existing object style from the resource libraries, click Style; from the Resource Selector, double-click a resource to activate it.

Convert to Unstyled

If a Style is currently set, select this option to convert the object to unstyled; the current values are retained, but all parameters on all tabs are set to By Instance to allow editing

By Style/Instance

A graphic indicates whether each parameter is set to By Style and given a fixed value or set to By Instance and editable in the dialog box. An object style may have a combination of both settings, to balance the need for consistency and flexibility.

By Style/Instance settings are established by the style and cannot be changed from the preferences or settings dialog box.


To edit the object style, see Editing plug-in object styles; editing the style modifies all plug-in objects in the file that use the style.

Structural member settings: Profile tab

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.




The Member graphic reflects the Member Type but not the shape.

Member ID

Enter the member ID

Structural Usage

Select the structural usage for informational purposes; select Other to enter a custom usage

Member Type

Select whether to create a steel, concrete, wood, or custom member

Select Shape

Opens the Select [Material] Shape dialog box. Click the Shape selector and double-click a structural shape to apply it. The available shapes depend upon the selected Member Type.

Specify the shape’s dimensions; the options vary depending on the Member Type selected.

If Custom Member Type is selected, you can select a custom 2D shape (one that you have created and saved as a symbol definition, in a file in the user folder).

To use a material resource, select Use Material, and select a material from the Resource Selector.

Material/Shape/Series/Size/Major and Minor Depth and Breadth

These static text fields display the settings from the Select [Material] Shape dialog boxes




If the structural member has an architectural or fireproofing cover, select which surfaces are covered, and set the thickness and offset of the cover for each surface

Use cover material

Uses a material resource for the cover; select a material from the Resource Selector

Structural member settings: Geometry tab

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.




All associations and end conditions are based on the centerline that controls 2D/3D representations; the alignment can be shifted to allow accurate placement of the member

Profile Rotation

Specifies an angle to rotate the structural profile about the member’s centerline axis

Axis Alignment

Select the axis alignment; the alignment graphic indicates where the axis alignment point is located

Offset Y’/Z’

Enter the offset, if needed


The elevation of the start and end points can be explicitly set, in reference to the story or layer


Enter the difference between the start point elevation and the end point elevation.

This parameter interacts with the Span, Angle, Pitch, and Length parameters that can be entered in the Data bar when a linear insertion type structural member is created and/or edited in the Object Info palette. Changing those parameters may also change the Height. See Reshaping structural members for more information about these settings.

Start/End Bound

Select the reference for the start/end point.

The elevation start and end bounds must be set separately for Column Insertion mode than for Linear Insertion and Poly Insertion modes.

Start/End Offset

Enter the start/end offset, if needed

Start Condition/End Condition

The offset, miter, and bevel of an end can be set manually or automatically derived from an associated structural member. Values entered for associated members apply as an addition to the automatically determined values.

Start/End Condition

Select whether to set the start/end conditions automatically by association, manually (custom), or to snap them to horizontal or vertical.

Start/End Offset

Set the offset, if needed to establish clean member connections; the offset is the distance to the end of the member geometry from the end of the centerline curve

Start/End Miter

Set a start/end miter angle of 70° or less

Start/End Bevel

Set a start/end bevel angle of 70° or less

Structural member settings: 2D Attributes tab

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.



Cut Plane


Use layer cut plane elevation

When the design layer cut plane is enabled (see Setting design layer properties), select to use the same cut plane elevation as the design layer

Cut Plane Elevation

When the design layer's cut plane elevation is not used, enter the elevation

Set Attributes by

Select whether to set attributes for the object in the Attributes palette, or by class, by line style, or by material (if a material is used).

Fills and line color may not be supported for line style.

Above/At/Below Cut Plane

If attributes are set by class or line style, select the class/set the attributes for the structural member. Structural members show uniform 2D attributes for the entire object, unlike other objects which can show separate attributes at the cut plane elevation.

Use center mark

Displays a center point marker at the end of the member; set the length of the marker and size of the gap, if needed. If attributes are set by class or line style, set the attributes.


Displays start and/or end caps for the member.

When the cap is turned off for an end that is associated with the edge of another member, a gap is drawn in the edge of the connected member.

Structural member settings: 3D Attributes tab

Click to show/hide the parameters.Click to show/hide the parameters.



Set Attributes by

Select whether to set attributes for the member and the cover by object in the Attributes palette, by class, or by material (if a material is used); if by class, select the class.

Creating structural members

Editing structural members

Concept: Material resources

Using materials


Was this page helpful?