Using Ramp Figures to Represent Tilted Details in SCARM

With the releasing of SCARM v. 1.5.0, a new figure was introduced in the program – the Ramp. The basic usage of the Ramp figure is described in its name, but it can be used also to create various tilted details in SCARM layout designs.

The Ramp figure is located just above the Roof in the “Figures” panel. When used, it will be drawn like a Rectangle with one dashed side in the 2D Editor and will represent a ramp in the 3D Viewer where the dashed line in 2D shows the raised edge of the ramp:

If the Height property of the Ramp figure is set to negative value, the ramp in the 3D viewer will be inverted:

And here comes the trick – you can use a group of one normal and one inverted ramp side by side (below left). When both ramps are properly aligned, they will look as one tilted detail (below right).

You can then stack several grouped normal/inverted ramps one over another, where each upper group is shifted aside (below left). And when you align them in both horizontal and vertical directions, you can get your first tilted object (below right).

The shape of the composite object depends on the shape of the base ramp. The tilt angle of the composite object depends on the relation between the height of the base ramp and its orthogonal side dimension.

Using this trick, you will be able to create any tilted details with rectangular base section for your SCARM layouts, like the sloped beams in the bridge below.

See also
How to work with figures


One thought on “Using Ramp Figures to Represent Tilted Details in SCARM

  1. Having played with creating sloped truss members I can honestly say getting this to look right is a brutal process. I have a few tips I can share that make it at least a little bit easier.

    1. You’re typically working with tiny pieces, so you’ll need to set your tolerances to the minimum allowable, which I think is 0.039″. This is done in Tools>Settings>Edit

    2. Using the snap-to “steps” is the only way to survive this process and have your creation look right. Making the first block a size that lines up with the hidden snap-to allows you to copy and paste the next block, do the inversion and then have them line up edge to edge properly. If you don’t do this step you have to resize each block to get it aligned with the previous one, and that gets away from you fast. I HIGHLY recommend getting the size RIGHT so you cut/paste/invert/move….NEVER re-size.

    3. This one is the BIG DEAL: Once you get the first slope/counter-slope pair perfect, select them both and make them a GROUP. Then you can copy/paste the GROUP, adjust the vertical position to the top of the previous group (right-click Properties) and then overlap them properly (they should essentially snap to the right place if you did step 2 above).

    4. You don’t have to adjust the GROUPS north/south on the page exactly because once you’ve got them properly offset stacked left to right you can select the whole assembly and use right click>ALIGN to get the north/south alignment correct (align top or bottom).

    5. Final bit: group/copy/paste is your friend here. You can group-groups as well, so put two blocks into a group, c&p, group again, c&p, rinse and repeat. Pretty soon you’ve got long pieces you can simply copy and reorient for other members in your piece. Then if you want to chop them down for shorter members, you simply ungroup and start peeling off pieces until you get the length you want.

    Hope this helps.

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