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Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses

From: Rhino 4 Essential Training

Video: Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses

In this video, we continue to explore the use of Rhino's preprogrammed 2D shapes, but focus on the curvy ones, which includes arcs, circles and ellipses. The generation of these shapes is, again, fully automated, but the difference from the polygons is you would rarely want to build these manually, and they do not explode into individual segments. It's worth noting that in this section, there are options for every possible variation, but they're probably only a few that will make sense to you. I'm going to start off by opening several toolbars here, so I'm going to use the commands for a bit. So again, we click on the icon and then next click on the title bar there and drag, so it just stay open. And open up the Circle, click, drag and move and the Ellipse. Zoom in here.

Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses

In this video, we continue to explore the use of Rhino's preprogrammed 2D shapes, but focus on the curvy ones, which includes arcs, circles and ellipses. The generation of these shapes is, again, fully automated, but the difference from the polygons is you would rarely want to build these manually, and they do not explode into individual segments. It's worth noting that in this section, there are options for every possible variation, but they're probably only a few that will make sense to you. I'm going to start off by opening several toolbars here, so I'm going to use the commands for a bit. So again, we click on the icon and then next click on the title bar there and drag, so it just stay open. And open up the Circle, click, drag and move and the Ellipse. Zoom in here.

Start off the basic Arc, which is just from your Center. Define a start point. I'm just going to eyeball this here. I am going to hold down the Shift key to constrain it to 90 degrees, and then rotate around to look at any angle or again, type it in at any time, 65 degrees. Next Arc will be this Tangent to several Curves, very handy. So we're going to just pick the curve, and it's anywhere at first, and I pick the second curve anywhere, and then we can pick the points where it's intersecting and notice that there are several solutions. It can jump around inside and out, or even flip the other way.

So, I'm just going to move up here. It's asking for a Third curve we can snap to. We don't have to do that and we can also type in a radius at this point as well. So, you have to go over to the Command line. Click Radius. I'm going to just type 15. Arcs also give you several solutions here. It could go both ways, so right now it's just waiting for me to click on one side or the other. so this is the tool you'll probably use the vast majority of the time.

One more variation is this three-point Arc here, so we're going to just start off by clicking on two End points and then without even worrying about the Radius, you just pick somewhere along that curve for its maximum variation from the other two, or you could type in radius. That is always available. Let's take a look at some of the Circles. I'm going to zoom over here. The most common Circle creation method is with the Center, Radius, just snap that intersection, just eyeball the first one, pretty straightforward.

Now let's get a little tricky. I'm going to create a circle that's Tangent to 3 existing curves. So, we'll pick anywhere along these three. By the time you pick the third one, there is only one solution. So, that's Tangent to 3 curves, one is a circle, two are arcs. Let's try with some straight lines - same commands. I'm going to right-click, pick these guys anywhere and again, there's only one solution. And here is kind of a specialized circle creation method, but it's pretty cool, the way it works.

This is called Fitting Points, so you have to have points in the scene. Now if I want to snap to this End point, I'm going to have to go ahead and create a point there, so that's pretty straightforward to do. I am going to go over to the main toolbar here, select that Point entity and just snap one there to End the line. It's that easy. So, I'm going ahead and start this command one more time. Fit the points, just select those group and when I'm done, I hit Right-click or Enter, so it's taken the common center, that's the center of the circle, and then average the distances away.

Let's check one more way to create some circles around other curves. We just did this recently with the Polygon command. However, with Circles, you will probably be doing these far more often than Polygons. For this, I'm just going to stay with the standard Circle command, which is the one you'll see here on the main toolbar, and it's not just buried and customized as the other guys. I'm going to explore some of these options though, so we've got what looks like 5 or 6 different ways to create it. I'm going to select AroundCurve, select this straight segment, and we'll just snap to that point. We can draw out.

I am just going to click randomly for radius. And so that's pretty nice. It figures out the exact perpendicular angle, which actually is pretty easy for a straight line. Let's try it on that curved segment, Right-click to repeat. Circle command, select the AroundCurve option and select this arc over here and start anywhere. Notice my cursor tooltip is giving me dynamic feedback, so you can kind of eyeball and get close. But if for some reason you have to match another dimension elsewhere in the file, you could type I need 5.5, typing that in the Command line in top, Enter.

So, that's a specific diameter. We'll do one more Circle. We're going to select the Tangent to 3 curves that show how you can use it with only 2 and get some extra options, so I'm going to select this arc here, this curve line there. Now it's asking for a Third curve somewhere else. Instead, I'm just going to hit Enter to use the first two, so let's undo that with Ctrl+Z and try it one more time. I'm going to select the Circle, Tangent to 3 curves, pick the first one, second one, and you can dynamically move around or this time, I'm going to type in an exact radii.

You have to check the radius option, type in the new number, and there's the solution. So, you're using the Fit to 3 curves but only having two, and then you type in a radius. Let's check out some Ellipses. I'm going to zoom over. I'm going to start off with the most basic ellipse command, which is from the center, and then to edges. Start off with the center, one of the axes and then define the second axis. That's the most common.

A lot of times, you will probably have a opening where you need to fit a shape like an ellipse into, so we can define it by the corners. So, we just snap it the opposite corners and then, finally, may have an area available where you know just one of the diameters, not the other, so you can select those. You can snap to it. I'm going to hold down the Shift key, so I constraint that to 90 degrees and I just select anywhere or, again, type in an exact value. At this point, it's worth mentioning that there is a common mistake that will happen many, many times as you learn the software, and that's when you've unexpected results.

It just means you probably forgot to read the options available on the Command line, so do a quick undo with Ctrl+Z and start the command over. This technique is very simple and may include just going a little bit slower and reading it another time. It sounds easy but will serve you extremely well in most situations.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Rhino 4 Essential Training
Rhino 4 Essential Training

67 video lessons · 16838 viewers

Dave Schultze
Author

 
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  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Recommended hardware
      2m 44s
  2. 19m 8s
    1. Understanding the three types of entities: curves, surfaces, and solids
      5m 51s
    2. Comparing Bezier curves, B-splines, and NURBS objects
      3m 35s
    3. Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces
      4m 50s
    4. Setting measurement units and tolerance
      4m 52s
  3. 18m 16s
    1. Introducing the viewport
      3m 20s
    2. Using construction planes to anchor model design
      5m 27s
    3. Changing the way a model is viewed using shading modes
      3m 11s
    4. Navigating the viewport with pan, zoom, rotate, and reset controls
      3m 24s
    5. Exploring help options
      2m 54s
  4. 29m 48s
    1. Understanding Rhino's command philosophy
      3m 10s
    2. Using toolbars and docking buttons to a toolbar
      3m 33s
    3. Navigating the geometry menus using a "department store" analogy
      3m 35s
    4. Using the command line and status bar to get feedback
      4m 56s
    5. Modifying the nudge control and setting other preferences
      6m 54s
    6. Using the Properties window
      3m 1s
    7. Opening and saving files
      4m 39s
  5. 14m 24s
    1. Creating basic objects: curves, surfaces, and solids
      4m 22s
    2. Performing basic transformations
      3m 14s
    3. Selecting objects
      3m 37s
    4. Organizing a project using layers
      3m 11s
  6. 21m 18s
    1. Understanding lines and polylines
      4m 10s
    2. Building rectangles and polygons
      5m 12s
    3. Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses
      7m 8s
    4. Drawing freeform curves
      4m 48s
  7. 47m 36s
    1. Comparing different types of 3D surfaces
      7m 11s
    2. Extruding surfaces to create features in a model
      8m 58s
    3. Creating surfaces with lofts
      7m 49s
    4. Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces
      7m 42s
    5. Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw
      7m 49s
    6. Creating complex surface shapes using Network Surface
      8m 7s
  8. 46m 48s
    1. Introducing solids
      5m 42s
    2. Making solids with primitives
      5m 41s
    3. Extruding curves to create solids without primitives
      8m 59s
    4. Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators
      6m 46s
    5. Troubleshooting solids and Booleans
      8m 53s
    6. Editing with the solid edit tools
      6m 20s
    7. Creating and transforming holes in solids
      4m 27s
  9. 27m 8s
    1. Understanding Rhino's modeling aids
      3m 59s
    2. Working with the Grid Snap modeling aid
      2m 22s
    3. Using the Ortho modeling aid
      3m 4s
    4. Using the Planar modeling aid
      2m 4s
    5. Incorporating the Osnap modeling aid into your workflow
      6m 7s
    6. Understanding the Project and Smart Track modeling aids
      4m 42s
    7. Setting cursor constraints
      4m 50s
  10. 50m 14s
    1. Editing corners with Fillet and Chamfer
      7m 38s
    2. Trimming and splitting with curve Booleans
      5m 37s
    3. Moving and rotating objects with the Drag and Nudge tools
      7m 24s
    4. Copying and pasting objects
      4m 10s
    5. Understanding how Rhino uses Undo and Redo
      3m 42s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 21s
    7. Scaling objects
      6m 40s
    8. Duplicating objects using the Mirror command
      6m 36s
    9. Making copies and structured sets using arrays
      5m 6s
  11. 20m 37s
    1. Using the Analysis toolbar to understand characteristics of a model
      6m 14s
    2. Defining degrees of curve and surfaces
      6m 6s
    3. Using Rebuild and Change Degree
      8m 17s
  12. 26m 21s
    1. Measuring and labeling values on a model using dimensioning
      5m 22s
    2. Creating screen captures for quick proofs
      5m 16s
    3. Creating 2D views of a 3D model
      6m 44s
    4. Rendering a project
      8m 59s
  13. 22m 5s
    1. Preparing a model for prototyping by confirming that all gaps are closed
      5m 17s
    2. Using the "shelling" technique to create wall thickness
      10m 54s
    3. Exporting to the STL format for 3D printing
      5m 54s
  14. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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