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Producing a smooth blend between surfaces

From: AutoCAD 2011 New Features

Video: Producing a smooth blend between surfaces

In this lesson were going to create the rear bracket for our wagon. While creating this part, we will learn how to produce a smooth transition from one surface to another. And we will also see that we can trim our surfaces using two-dimensional line work. On my screen I have got some polylines. I'm going to orbit my drawing a little bit, so you can see their context in 3D space. Generally speaking, I've drawn the lower edge and the upper edge of my bracket. I am going to start out by extruding this lower edge up. So I'm going to launch the Extrude command.

Producing a smooth blend between surfaces

In this lesson were going to create the rear bracket for our wagon. While creating this part, we will learn how to produce a smooth transition from one surface to another. And we will also see that we can trim our surfaces using two-dimensional line work. On my screen I have got some polylines. I'm going to orbit my drawing a little bit, so you can see their context in 3D space. Generally speaking, I've drawn the lower edge and the upper edge of my bracket. I am going to start out by extruding this lower edge up. So I'm going to launch the Extrude command.

I will select the edge and hit Enter, and then I'll pull this guy up 8 units. Let's zoom in on the top, up here I've got a closed polyline, and I would like to create a flat surface based on this geometry. To do that I'm going to come back to Create panel, and I'll launch the Planar Surface tool. This allows us to create a flat surface based on points that we click on screen, or by selecting an existing object. Since I have an existing object, I'm going to right-click, and select Object from the menu.

I will then select my closed polyline, and I'll hit Enter. This surface will now represent the top of my bracket. At this point I don't need my polylines anymore, so I'm going to turn that layer off. I am going to open up the Layer Properties Manager. Mine happens to be anchored to the interface. If yours is not, you can always type LA and hit Enter to turn it on. I am going to turn off the Surface Section layer. I'll let the palette collapse, and at this point I would like to create a nice smooth surface transition from the edge of this surface to the edge of this one.

To do that, I am going to use the Blend tool. We can find Blend in the Create panel on the ribbon. I am going to click to launch the command, and then I will select my first set of edges. I'll grab the three edges at the edge of this surface, and I'll hit Enter. Now I will select the second set of edges. I'll grab this one and this one and this one. Generally speaking, I am just was going to work my way around this object. Now I don't want all of them. I basically want to get these two sides.

When I am finished selecting, I'll hit Enter, and AutoCAD creates a nice transition between those two surface edges. Technically we are not done. We are in a Preview mode right now. We can still just the shape of this transition by modifying these settings. We have CONtinuity and Bulge magnitude. CONtinuity measures how smoothly our surfaces flow into each other. Let's adjust that setting first. I'm going to click to select. Basically we have three options, G0, G1 and G2.

G0 represents no smoothing. Basically it's an angular transition between the surfaces. G1 applies some smoothing and G2 applies the highest amount of smoothing. Now one thing to know. When we adjust our CONtinuity, we will be adjusting it twice. Once for the first edge, which is located right here, and then we will have to set it again for the second edge up here. I am going to select G0 first. Then I'll select it again for the second edge, and notice the difference. My surface transition is very angular.

Let's go back to CONtinuity. This time I am going to set each edge to G2, to get the maximum amount of smoothness. And you can see the difference. Let's talk about Bulge magnitude. This sets the roundness of the blend where the surfaces meet. And just like CONtinuity, we will have to set this twice. By default out Bulge magnitude is set to .5, and acceptable values are anything from zero to one. I'd like to have a pretty large curve in my transition from my first edge, so I'm going to set my Bulge magnitude to 1 and hit Enter.

And then I would like to have a nice tight radius on this upper edge. So I'm going to set the second Bulge magnitude to .2. And you can see the result on screen. Once you've dialed up your blend such that it looks exactly the way you want it, you can hit the Enter key to accept. Now at any point in the future, if you want to come back and change these settings, you can simply select this surface and notice we get a pair of grips. Generally speaking, we have one grip that controls each edge. I am going to select this one.

From here I can change my CONtinuity. I'm going to set this to G1, so we can see the difference. I will then select this grip, and I'll set this one to G1. When I am finished I'll hit my Escape key to deselect. You may be wondering how can we change our Bulge magnitude after the fact. Once again select the surface, and if you hit Ctrl+1 to bring up your Property Changer, right down here in the Geometry Settings, you'll find your start and end Bulge Magnitude. Notice we can also change our continuities from here as well.

I am going to leave these settings the way they are, so I will close my Property Changer and then I'll hit Escape to deselect my surface. Let's try something else. I'd like to go to our right side view, so I am going to click the right side hot spot on my ViewCube. And then I'm going to zoom in on the lower end of my bracket. Then I'll go back to the Layer Properties Manager and I am going to turn on a layer called Surface_Trim. On this layer I've drawn some geometry that I would like to use to trim this surface. In AutoCAD 2011, surfaces can now be trimmed.

To trim this surface I'm going to come up to the Edit panel and launch the Trim command. I will then select my surface and hit Enter. I'll then select my cutting edge and hit Enter. And then I'll click to select the area I'd like to trim. When I am finished, I'll hit Enter. Let's turn on another layer. Once again we'll go back to Layer Properties Manager. This time I am going to turn on the Surface_Hole layer. Let's use the Trim command to drill a hole in our surface. Once again I'll launch Trim. I'll select my surface and hit Enter.

I'll select my cutting edge and hit Enter, and then I'll click the area I'd like to trim. When I am finished, I'll hit Enter. Now I have one more hole I'd like to put in this bracket and that's up on the top edge. So I am going to come over to the ViewCube and I'll click this small triangle to switch to a top view. Let's zoom in on the top of the bracket, and once again, we will use the Trim command to remove this hole. Trim, I'll select my surface, and hit Enter, cutting edge, Enter, and then I'll click to remove the surface.

I am going to zoom out a little bit. Let's adjust our view in 3D space. Now that our part is finished, I'm going to turn off some unnecessary layers. Let's go back to the Layer Manager. I'll turnoff all of these layers that start with surface, and finally let's save this part so we can use it later in our finished assembly. I'll go to the application menu. I'll click Save As. Let's go to the Exercise Files folder. We will open up the Finished_Parts directory and I'm going to save this as rearBrackets_finished.

This completes the geometry for the rear bracket. In this lesson we learned how to use the Blend tool to create a smooth transition from one surface to another. We also learned that we can control the appearance of the transition using settings that adjust the continuity and Bulge magnitude. Finally, we learned that our surface objects can be easily trimmed using two-dimensional line work.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD 2011 New Features
AutoCAD 2011 New Features

39 video lessons · 4091 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 28s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 14m 2s
    1. Adapting to the updated Drawing window
      4m 4s
    2. Introducing the Navigation bar
      5m 28s
    3. Accessing the web-based help system
      4m 30s
  3. 27m 36s
    1. Understanding the new visibility controls
      3m 5s
    2. Selecting objects that have similar properties
      3m 24s
    3. Creating new geometry based on existing objects
      2m 20s
    4. Making selections when entities overlap
      4m 11s
    5. Applying transparency to objects
      5m 44s
    6. Controlling text alignment within linetypes
      8m 52s
  4. 16m 38s
    1. Automating the creation of geometric constraints
      5m 35s
    2. Applying constraints to text rotation
      3m 8s
    3. Using the updated Parameters Manager
      7m 55s
  5. 38m 40s
    1. Streamlining hatch creation
      5m 56s
    2. Editing hatch objects dynamically
      4m 36s
    3. Editing polylines using multifunctional grips
      6m 14s
    4. Creating splines using fit points or control vertices
      10m 30s
    5. Editing splines using intuitive grip menus
      8m 17s
    6. Using the JOIN command to connect contiguous geometry
      3m 7s
  6. 18m 56s
    1. Exploring the updated 3D working environment
      6m 50s
    2. Simplifying the creation and editing of solid models
      5m 59s
    3. Introducing new tools to edit mesh models
      6m 7s
  7. 1h 25m
    1. Introducing surfaces
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding associative surfaces
      7m 9s
    3. Creating composite models using surfaces and solids
      9m 3s
    4. Producing a smooth blend between surfaces
      7m 20s
    5. Trimming and extending surfaces
      10m 55s
    6. Projecting geometry onto a surface
      5m 29s
    7. Filleting the edge between two surfaces
      6m 37s
    8. Creating offset and network surfaces
      8m 45s
    9. Pushing and pulling surfaces into freeform shapes
      10m 52s
    10. Analyzing surface continuity
      6m 15s
    11. Assembling the composite model
      10m 40s
  8. 22m 2s
    1. Introducing the new Materials Browser
      6m 10s
    2. Applying materials to an assembly
      6m 2s
    3. Customizing render materials
      5m 17s
    4. Creating a high-resolution image
      4m 33s
  9. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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