Profile Builder 4: What I would like to see

A few features that I would really like to see in the next profile builder release. I know, wishing is much easier than making but these guys have made some amazing things in the past so I wouldn’t be surprised if they could actually do it!

(disclaimer: I took the liberty to make a hypothetical release of “PB 4” but this is just to create a more convincing visual, I have no connection to the team, nor am I aware of an oncoming release)



Add random materials to different components on assemblies;

Random rotation besides spacing and offset;

Follow me operations that can keep profile always vertical (like eneroth’s upright extruder);

More options for intersections.

It’s a great plugin! Great!


Thanks for starting this thread! We are always looking for feature ideas for the next version.

Glad to see you are fan!


For multi-material profiles how would you, as the user, want to be able to specify what edge of the profile uses what material, and what about UV control? It starts to get quite complex so we recommend that you use Assemblies to accomplish what you are trying to achieve with a multi-material profile.

Do you see use-cases for this other than roads? I would be interested to hear about when a multi-material profile is more suitable than using an assembly.

Indeed I am a great fan and PB is one of my main tools in my every day work.

I have zero programming knowledge so I will just talk from a user’s point of view:
One way could be to
-create an extrusion along the x axis
-put your materials on the extruded faces using native su tools
-make it a group and select it
-then press a button (something equivalent to the “auto-assemble”) and PB creates the ‘multimaterial profile’

The uses are many: I work in concept design and my workflow varies from interior decoration to master-planing. many times I have used assemblies for things that could use the ‘multimaterial profile’:

  • roads (I think that alone would be enough)
  • anything with coloured grooves
  • picture frames
  • railings
  • fabrics with different colour front to back
  • reflective belts
  • (for marinas) at the edge of the deck, you have a plastic ‘belt’ which is screwed with aluminium stripes.
    -for classic or arabic architecture: corniches whith embelishments which could be portrayed with texture instead of geometry (VERY USEFUL!!!)
  • virtually any assembly which does not have components but only profiles, could be replaced by that.

This frame, could be achieved with a very simple profile and one or two textures, creating a rich result with minimal geometry.
for later editing after the creation, instead of editing a single surface profile (as you do now) you could be led to a basic extrusion (it could have the same length as the biggest dimension of the profile) which again, you can edit with native texture tools and PB will use those UV’s to update the entire profile path.

But for starters: giving the ability to rotate the material 90 degrees (second picture)I believe can be achieved very easily without any restructuring of the UI and it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. 50% of the times, after I create an extrusion with a given material, I either have to assign a second material with the same texture rotated, or for simpler paths, I do it manually to keep the material count low.
there is nothing more boncus than a wood column with the wood lines vertical!

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nice ideas, i second them :slight_smile:

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More assemblies in warehouse would be nice, or a user base of shared assemblies,


These are perfect suggestions, that mirror mind exactly, material orientation & vertical orientation control would enable enormous productivity gains. noice one:+1:

There was a thread on sketchUcation requesting user contributed content submitted. I contributed (a very simple contribution), how many others did?

I was not aware of that, pretty slow at Sketchucation these days, so most likely not the best place unfortunately.
Maybe Mind sight studios can host a library of assemblies and profiles which users can also contribute to, that way they can be tested so we are not getting broken or badly constructed assemblies.I love using assemblies but not great at creating good ones, and very slow figuring them out, so if I find one close to what I need I can tweak it to fit my needs.

Mind Sight Studios could have a private collection on 3D warehouse for licensed users,


Private collections or models are private, we all would be using the same email/Trimble ID to access them?

I’m sure many of you have seen “Smart Profile for Sketchup”. Granted they are not free but there are some interesting selections including a street and highway profiles (assembles?).

Smart Profile

Gumroads site

So there are some options there.

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Please help me in the right direction here. Are these profiles for purchase to:
a) work with Profile Builder 3, or
b) for use with an extension called Smart Profile?

From the images it seems like it is a), unless it is a knock-off (cough-cough) of Profile Builder 3.

@Julian_Smith, I believe the answer is “a”, I’ve not used them. From watching the videos I’m guessing they are assemblies, but I don’t know. I think in one of the threads I’ve seen, Dale Martins (Whaat), gave them a plug.

I’m enjoying this thread.
We have seen a lot of requests to create assembly libraries. This is quite challenging because everyone designs things to different standards and specs all over the world. It seems nearly impossible to create libraries that would be useful to everyone in all parts of the world.

So instead, we have tried to create systems where users can make their own assemblies for their own specific use-cases. We also support the idea of user-created libraries that are sold. As you can see above, it’s being done already. I encourage others to do the same. PB has thousands of users and it could be a relatively easy way to earn some money.

We are strongly considering creating libraries as well, but are unsure whether they should be free or an extra charge. It takes some skill and effort to create high-quality assemblies. We need to understand better who is using our product and what their needs are. Do people want walls? Railings? Fences? Structural? Mechanical? Electrical? Kitchen? There are so many use-cases for the plugin and assemblies. Your input is appreciated

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People want content enabled libraries. Real products that you can buy. Molding factories for starters.
Wall systems. (Prefab) concrete fundation systems.
Etc etc
Perhaps a featured assembly catalog in the 3D Warehouse? @psaal? :smiley:

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Dale’s right. It’s application- and region-specific. The best thing is to provide generics and the tools to adapt them to your purposes I think.


I also agree. Every assembly I see isn’t fit for my needs. So, where I would bet would be on improving assembly creation easiness and more advanced options for distribution and extrusion.

I’d also like to see some sort of feature where assemblies connect with each other either by solid boolean operations.

A few more suggestions:

  • Could the Extend/Split tool work with Assemblies, same as Profiles? It’s much nicer than going into the assembly, editing the profile, and exiting again. I find it saves lots of time on profiles.
  • for multiple material assignment, one idea to implement it is to have the user assign materials to the profile edges. Then your extrusion algorithm would take materials from the edges. This would reduce the need to build complex assemblies for many applications.
  • open profiles, that form closed shapes when the path is closed. For example, you could define a profile for the edge of a table, a rectangular path for the tabletop, and end up with a complete tabletop.
  • for railings, the ‘from middle’ layout currently places a component in the center of a given span. Can there be an option to put a gap in the centre instead? For any architectural application (curtain walls, railings, columns, etc…) having a space in the middle is almost always more visually pleasing - like the greek temples!

Thanks for developing this amazing tool, I use it all the time.