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Create a collection of swept bodies sharing a profile, arranged end-to-end. The Frame collection of tools also includes:

Cut list icon Cut list - Create a cut list of all the segments in a frame with their characteristics. This operation also creates an open composite part for the collection.

Frame trim icon Frame trim - Trim segments as ordered groups.

Tag profile icon Tag profile - Attach metadata to a sketch defining a segment's cross-section.


The Frame tool requires a Profile sketch outlining the profile of the frame itself, in a Part Studio. Also required is a sketch of the path the Profile sketch follows to create the frame, in a different Part Studio (or you may select from supplied sketch profiles). The Profile sketch may be in a Part Studio in any document, including the document that the path sketch is in, but it must be in a Part Studio different from the one containing the path sketch.

The Frame tool must be deployed in the Part Studio containing the path.

In the Part Studio containing the sketch that forms the path of the frame to be created:

  1. Select the Frame tool in the toolbar: Frame tool icon

    Frame dialog

  2. Activate the Sketch profile field. The Select sketch dialog opens. Select the location of the frame profile:

    Select sketch dialog

    You can select profiles from:

    • Current document - Select a profile from the Part Studios listed. The profile sketch must exist in a version; if no version exists you are prompted to create one.

    • Other documents - Select a document to which you have permissions, from which to select a profile. The profile sketch must exist in a version. If no version exists you are prompted to create one.

    • Frame profiles - Select from these standards: 8020, AISC, and ANSI. For more information on these profiles, see Frame profiles.

      Select a type, size or profile, and a configuration (if necessary or desired) for the Frame profile.

  3. When you have a profile selected, click Done.

  4. In Selections field of the Frame dialog, select the frame path in the current Part Studio. Frame paths can be curves of a sketch, vertices of sketches or parts, or faces or edges of parts. Paths must be selected in a contiguous fashion.

    You can also select a face of a part, to use the edges in place of a sketch, or select edges of a part.

  5. The frame is centrally aligned along the path, but you can select a different alignment from the set of points that appears along a segment:

    Frame centrally aligned along the path

    Central default, above

    Frame aligned to the lower edge

    Outer lower edge selected, above

  6. Merge tangent segments is checked by default and creates a composite part from the segments tangent to each other. Uncheck this box to leave the segments as individual parts.

  7. Optionally, set an angle for the frame (or use the manipulator to drag to a setting).

  8. Optionally, select a corner type: miter, butt, coped butt, or none.

  9. Optionally, select a corner override: to select one or more corners to which to apply a different corner type.

  10. Optionally, select to limit frame ends: to trim either the starting segment or ending segment to a plane, face, or part.

  11. Click the green check mark when satisfied with your frame specifications.


You can set an angle from the normal plane for the frame to be rotated. Use the directional arrows to flip the orientation of the angle:

Example of a frame with a 45 degree angle

Frame with 45 degree angle specified, above.

Corner types

Select the type of corner to use where the frame segments meet:

  • Miter

    Miter corner type

  • Butt - Use the arrow that appears to flip the direction of the butt

    Butt corner type

  • Coped butt - Use the arrow that appears to flip the direction of the coped butt

  • None - Leave the corner open (unfinished)

    No corner type selected (open, unfinished)

Corner overrides

Override the selected corner type for a specific corner or corners. Select the corner to override and specify the new corner type to be applied:

Example overriding a corner type Example overriding a corner type

The bottom left corner has been selected for an overridden corner type. You can click the arrow to flip the direction of the butt corner type in this example.

Limiting frame ends

Select Limit frame ends to trim either the beginning segment or the ending segment of the frame to a particular face or part:

Example showing the segment before the Limit ends is applied

The image above shows the segment before Limit ends is applied.

Limit frame ends in the dialog Example after Limit ends is applied

The image after Limit ends is applied, above.