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In Rhino 4.0 Essential Training, author Dave Schultze shows how the 3D NURBS-based modeling tools in Rhino 4.0 are used to engineer products from toy robots to full-sized aircraft. This course concentrates on using Rhino 4.0 for industrial design and rapid prototyping, with a review of common 3D terminology using specific examples. Along with a comprehensive exploration of the Rhino interface, the course includes an introduction to building 3D objects with Rhino's three primary entities: the curve, the surface, and the solid. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this video, we'll explore the use of Rhino's preprogrammed 2d shapes, focusing on the polygons. The generation of these shapes is very similar to building them manually, except that Rhino automates their creation by combining every option into a single command. For example, a square might require steps for each side, a join and then a move to get it centered. The preprogrammed square does it all in one command. Since this instructor is recommending that you build 2D curves first and then generate surface through solids second, your familiarity with the range of Rhinos built-in 2D shapes is a huge boost for both accuracy and productivity.
Fortunately, they are all extremely well- labeled and organized. So, let's begin. I'm going to go ahead and maximize the Top viewport by double-clicking on its label, so we'll do most of the work there. For the first example, I'm going to the Curve menu > Rectangle and just draw a simple Corner to Corner. First click is one corner: second click is the opposite. Let's try to do that again with a little more accuracy. So, I'm going to repeat the command by using a right-click anywhere.
I'm going to select one corner. Now before I picked the second one, let's use the numeric input to get more accuracy here. I'm going to go ahead and type in a width of 15. Now check the cursor. It is constrained to that 15-unit width, and it is waiting for the other dimension. So, I'm going to go ahead and type in 25, and there is now a rectangle. It is exactly 15 x 25 units. I'm going to try this command one more time to show you a really nice option.
I'm going to right-click and before I start, I'm going to go ahead and pick the Center and Rounded, two options that will save a huge amount of time. So, now we can click on a point, and that is the center of the geometry. I can type in numbers, but for this example, I'm just going to click randomly. Now as I move, it's automatically generating Fillets on all four corners and with this feedback, I can tell exactly how big the are, so I can click anywhere to eyeball it or type in an exact number with the keyboard 4 and get a four unit radii on all four corners.
Let's switch to Polygon. You'll find these on the Curve > Polygon. I'll just pick the first one, Center, Radius. I'm going to try a 8 sided polygon or hexagon, so I'm going to select 8 and just draw it here anywhere. Notice it comes out to one of the vertexes. So, if I hold down the Shift key, it will go out to 90 degrees or up at 90 degrees, but I may want to have that flat edge facing the 90 degrees.
So, let's try the next option, right-click to repeat. We're going to select Circumscribed. So, I'm going to pick a point anywhere here. Now as I come away, it is in the center of the edge. If I hold down the Shift key to make it Ortho, it keeps it 90 degrees. Okay. Let's try a Polygon that's shaped like a star, Curve > Polygon > Star. I'm going to change the Number of Sides here to make something a little more interesting.
Let's go ahead and double that to 16. So, I'm going to just select an empty spot for the center and we have an option for two different radii. We have the Corner, and the next click will be the inside of that Star, so that's a lot of lines and a huge timesaver. I'm going to go back and switch to the Perspective viewport by double-clicking on the Top view and just double- clicking on the Perspective viewport. I want to start the Polygon command one more time. Curve > Polygon > Center, Radius and let's take a look at some of these options here.
We've changed the Number of Sides. We know what Circumscribed is. Let's try the AroundCurve option and see what happens. First, we're going to select one of these curves. We're going to pick a point at random to start the Center of the polygon. That is now centered on an angled curve and drawn exactly perpendicular. Let's try it on a curved line and repeat the command with a right-click. Let's go back to maybe 8 sides, select the AroundCurve option, so I can place it anywhere along here.
I've got a point that happens to be there so I'm going to snap to that. Come out. I can now type in a radius. 8 Sides is okay. Click to accept, so there are two polygons drawn Around Curves but perfectly perpendicular. The huge variety of shapes are powerful and yet pretty darn easy to use, but too often people, forget all of the great options because they don't look at the Command line. In the case of the rectangle command, it's especially helpful to center the shape and then round all four corners at once.
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