Creating and Using Templates

A template is a design that appears behind the active design. It let's you see differences between the current design and an older design. It's also a guide to help match up one design with another and it is especially helpful for making two-part designs. Templates are used as part of patterns, which will be covered in a later tutorial.

Open a Template

The simplest way to get a template is to open an existing design by selecting menu item Template-Open Template. Any .lmd file can be opened as a template.


In the Background

This image shows how the template (outlined in orange) appears behind the active design (outlined in black and blue).

Matching a Design

This series of images shows how the active design can be adjusted to match a template. The second red square from the bottom was moved to a spot on the template where two blocks join at a point.


The lowest square was dragged to the lowest point on the right of the template.


The circular dots were then moved as needed so the blue line hides the orange line. Now the active design has the same bottom shape as the template.


Next insert a bead by right clicking anywhere in the Front Window and selecting Insert-Bead-Above.


Drag the upper red square of the new bead to the point where the bead and the top block join together.


Now move the circular dots so the blue line hides the orange line.


Drag the top red square to overlay the upper right tip of the template.


Move the circular dots so the blue line hides the orange line. The template is still present in the background but is mostly covered by the active design.

In this example, we completely matched the template but in real life you wouldn't do that as you could simply open the template as a design by using menu selection File-Open Design.

Creating a Template

Instead of opening a template, you can create one from the active design. Select menu item Template-Make Template from Design.


Since the template is an exact copy of the active design at this point, it's not obvious there is a template underneath because it is hidden by the design.


If you click on the Front View toolbar icon Scale All and click on the grid to make the design larger, you can now see the template.

Swap the Design and Template

The template can be made the active design by choosing menu item Template-Swap Template with Design.


What was the active design becomes the template and the template becomes the active design. The image shows that after the swap, the smaller version is now the active design. By swapping back and forth, you can individually modify both the template and the design as you work.

Making a Two-Part Design

If you want to make a multi-piece design, like a box with lid, templates can help you match up the parts.



We began with a new cylinder by selecting menu item Actions-New Cylinder.


Click on the Front View toolbar icon Scale All and click on the point 1.25,3 to make the cylinder larger.


Move the circular design dots to the location shown.



Hollow the box by selecting menu item Action-Hollow Model.


Flatten the lip by first clicking on it, then right click anywhere in the grid and select Straighten Dots in Selected Block.


Make a template from the box.



To make the lid, create a new design similar to what is shown.


We want to move the template down so the box is beneath the lid. Select menu item Template-Move Template Location.



The box is 3 inches high. We want the lid to fit into the box 0.5 inches. So we move the box down 2.5 inches.


Select the lowest block then select the menu item Actions-Insert Block-Below two times to add two new blocks at the bottom of the lid.


Move the second from the bottom red square left of the third from bottom red square.


Move the bottom red square up 1/2 inch. Also move it to the left so it fits within the interior of the box. Note that the active design always sits at 0, so as you raise the lower dot, the bottom of the lid will move down to stay at zero.


Right click anywhere in the grid and select Straighten Dots in Selected Block. Select the flat rim right above it and do the same.


Swap the templates by choosing menu item Template-Swap Template with Design.


Move the template (which is now the lid) up 3 inches, the height of the box.


The two part design: the lid as the template and the box as the active design. Note that the 3D view only shows the active design.


A 3D render of the individual parts and the assembled box.


Lathe Magic Products are designed by Rich Schafermeyer
© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.