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Using the Tools in Model Builder to Create Your New Project

Now that you have decided the building you are going to make, it is time to learn how to use all of the tools that you have at your disposal to turn your idea into a finished building ready for its new home on your scale layout.
Model builder features a broad selection of tools to help you create the ultimate model building, from a small shed to the biggest back drop city with only a small amount of time invested in learning how to use the software

Menu Options

Under the "File" menu you will find options to save your work, print your new layout or finished outer skin along with setting up Model Builder, adjust your page setup and setting up your printer. If you want to import your own line drawings or graphics this is where you will find the option to do so.
      • Edit is similar to most programs; it allows you to undo or redo an operation. The copy and paste functions are here as well.
      • The Selection menu offers you the functions of duplicating an object as well as selecting and deselecting items such as windows for adjusting them and lining them up.
      • The Layout menu is for zooming your project view in and out for a closer look to ensure placement of details as you create your print. It also allows you to work with the background while you are adding features to your new model.
      • The Plans menu is for working with the layout line drawings, you can use this menu to adjust the size of your building to better fit your needs, when using this feature all dimensions are adjusted to the size you choose keeping everything in proportion. You can also move the diagram within the page to allow for a better fit when it is being printed.
      • The Arrange menu allows you to move details into the background as you place them so that you can layer individual items such as doors and windows to create the exact image you want. You can also use this menu to align multiple windows, doors and other features evenly within your wall as well distribute them equally. This is a great feature if you are creating a building that has multiples of the same items.
      • The Units menu is perhaps one of the most important ones in Model Builder. You can set your working rulers to read in one of five different ways. The first two measurements are for printed size, in other words they are an exact measurement of what is on your printed paper, inches or centimeters. This can be important when trying to see if your design will fit on one piece of paper or not.

        The second section of the units menu is designed to show you actual dimensions if you were building your model as a life size building, this is a great way to get a feel for your new creation. For most people it is much easier to visualize a wall that is 30 feet long rather than one that is only a few inches long when they are designing a building.
      • The Thumbnail menu allows you to see a preview of the item you are looking at in close up detail to make sure it is what you want to add to your project. You can then add it to your project directly from here or remove it if you do not like it.
      • The Help menu contains links to the Owner's Manual, a number of great project ideas and a section on basic model building techniques. There is also a link to the image library where all of the available images in Model Builder can be seen on one page.

The Tool Bar

Under the main menu bar you will see in the top left corner a small window that shows the scale you have chosen to work in, you should always double check to make sure that you are working in the correct scale. Below this is the
      • Object Dimensions window, here you can change the dimensions of a selected item directly by inputting the size you want, the screen will automatically adjust to the new size once you press enter. There is also a selection to enable you to maintain aspect ratio; this keeps the length and width of your object in ratio to one another, so that your pictures do not become distorted. If you want to increase height or width independent of each other, you can uncheck this box to do so.
      • The Drawing Mode allows you to add sections to your materials using the crop and paint mode. You can add extra sections of siding or change the length of windows by adding more panes of glass while still maintaining the original size of the individual panes. You can also create duplicates of your finished item to place on your project. If you need to make an item bigger or smaller and stretch out the pattern such as a board you would first use the crop function to select one board from the material and then use the stretch function to make that one board as big or small as you need it while still maintaining the original pattern just in a larger size. By dragging the images onto your working palette and using the tools available, you can create a building to suit your every need. You can layer different items such as windows and doors to give each building a unique appearance, allowing you to see the finished result and make any changes long before you print it out.


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