These are all the different section shapes that can be used to draw profiles :

I - Profiles

C - Profiles (Channels)

L - Profiles (Angles)

T - Profiles (Tees)

Built-Up Profiles (Plate Girders)

Hollow Sections ( Circular, Square, Rectangular)

Flats / Bars / Rounds

Cold Formed Profiles(Purlins and Side-Rails)

Floors (Plate and Grating)


Custom Shapes - User Defined

Elements Library

Plate with PolyLine , Lowering a Member, Corrugated Sheet Sections, Miscellaneous, Add to Elements Library, Add to Custom Shapes Library

Selecting any of the above will bring up the Select profile dialog, but based on the icon that you selected a different tab will be pre-selected.

There are 3 ways to draw profiles in Parabuild :

  1. On model line with this dialog - Simply select all of the model lines on which you want to draw profiles.
    With the model line option, profiles can be drawn on the following line types:
    • Line
    • Arc
    • 2D PolyLine
    • 3D PolyLine
    • Spline
    • Parabuild helix - Command : PrB_Helix  
    • Parabuild 3D polyline, which has a bit more flexibility with regards to arcs in 3D than the AutoCAD/BricsCAD 3D polyline. Command : PrB_3dPoly

       Note that Polylines, Arcs, and Splines should be 'open-ended'. This command will not work with circles or rectangles. Also the model lines should never be self-intersecting.

  1. Choose 2 points with this dialog - The user is prompted for the first and second points, after which the above dialog and options are displayed. The points may be placed anywhere on the drawing.
  2. Alternatively, using a different tool entirely called the Context Modeler

Select Profile

We will explore all of the options in this dialog :

The top of this dialog lists the profile Groups, which correspond with the toolbar icons.

The left side column lists the Types contained within the specified group - the radio button, when activated, will display the available sections of the specified type.

There are options to add to, or edit the library. See Editing the Profile Library

Morph 2 Sections

With the Two sections checkbox checked, you may morph 2 Profile sections.

To do this, you must begin by drawing the profile the normal way - once the selected profile has been drawn, the Profile placement dialog will appear enabling you to enter the second profile.

A prerequisite for this function is that the two sections have the same number of segments. Otherwise, a logical sequence cannot be created; The transition is being made from segment to segment (a segment is a section of straight line or curve section of a PolyLine)


Profile Properties

Below the profile section you may enter 4 properties that the new profiles will receive. To avoid typing these values each time, they may be entered as standards by using the Parabuild settings > Global tab

Add new profiles to a macro

These settings are relevant if you wish to add the new profiles to a macro. This is useful if you wish that the profile stays dependent on the model line with which it was drawn. If the model line changes, the profile will modify automatically. It is the macro that keeps the link between the line and the profile intact.

After the profile is drawn, the following dialog will appear, offering the following options:

Profile placement

  • Disconnect the link between the member and line - With the checkbox Unchecked,  the profile will be constrained to the line. That is to say, the member cannot be moved independently of the line. See Constrained Profiles
    With the checkbox activated, the member may be moved independently of the line - but only after closing this dialog, at which time the disconnect will happen.
  • With the Profile section DropDown menu, the user is able to change the profile section - while selecting Other, the user is able to select a profile from another group.

  • The Section displacement enables the user to select the appropriate displacement point on the member, this may be done by activating the appropriate radio button, or selecting an option from the drop-down menu.

  • It is possible to match the rotation of the member to another part by manually selecting a reference plane
  • The Current UCS option allows you to let the profile follow the current UCS's inclination.
    To make this feature possible, Parabuild draws a new coordinate system object on the current UCS location.
    The macro will link the profile(s) rotation to this coordinate system. The coordinate system object should only be deleted when the macro that links the 2 objects is deleted, otherwise the profile placement rules inside the macro are broken.

  • With the checkbox 'Switch direction' activated, the user is able to switch the direction of the member on its axis.

  • With the checkbox 'Create profile on one segment of the PolyLine, the user is able to select the applicable segment.

  • Use the Select point on section button to choose an endpoint or midpoint on the section directly :

    This method is based on the segment number of the section.
    So when you change the size of the section from HEA200 to IPE300, the displacement stays valid and will be updated for the section's new sizes.
    However when a new section is chosen with a different shape, then the segment number will point towards a different edge. This will happen when you change an I shape to a channel shape, for example.