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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 movie, we'll be exploring some of the basic types of geometry, starting with Curves and Lines, doing a few samples of surfaces, and then ending with a few different types of Solids. It's just for practice. Let's begin by going to a brand-new file, File > New, and I am going to select the Small Objects - Millimeters. I'm going to do a lot of my work in the Perspective Viewport. Let's go ahead and maximize that by double-clicking the label. Zoom out a bit. Start off with one of the straight lines.
We have a Polyline and Line Segments. So, let's try right-click to do Line Segments. Take a look here now. This shape has individual segments that are touching but not joined, so that's the definition of a Line Segment. Let's go ahead and do a similar version called Polyline, which is the left-click option here. Now when we select this one, notice that all the segments are joined.
That's the only difference between Segments and Polyline. One nice feature is you can go ahead and join those together with a joint command, and it would become a Polyline or on the Polyline version explode those, and they'll become a bunch of individual segments - something to note because a lot of Rhino entities can be converted to another type. Let's do one of the built-in shapes. I am going to try an Ellipse. So, we are just going to define two axes. That's one of the preprogrammed shapes. Now let's try one of the Polygons.
So, a couple different kinds of Curves. Let's try some Surfaces next. Let me pick this first one from the menu. This is an Option to select either three or four corner points. I am just picking randomly, so after several points, it builds a surface across them. Let's try to build them with three points and just pick the original one you start it with. How about I click on this button and try one more type, and that's two point Plane.
So, this will make it a little more clean and square. All right. Next step: we'll make a few different Solids. I'm going to go over here and select the box, so we define the base, two opposite corners, and then just go up. It'll automatically calculate a vertical edge and you just press Enter. There is a box. We'll try one more. I feel like making a cone, so I select that object. Start off with the center, and if you are confused about what Rhino is asking for, always check the command lines.
We've got to several different ways to get started. Right now, it's asking for the base. So, we are going to click on the center. Define a Radius. Again, it looks the construction plane and forces us to go vertically automatically. So, that's an example of how to create each kind of entity directly by itself. Let's talk a little bit now about converting, because that's really the power of Rhino when we take a Curve and convert that into a Surface. A quick example of that would be a surface from a Planar Curve, or otherwise, curves that are flat.
We now have two entities there. There is a Surface, and there is a Curve along the edge. Okay. Let's extrude this surface into a Solid. So, select it, go to Solid > Extrude Surface and just select the first option. So, here you can see the difference between creating any one of the entities directly or from another type. Let's complete this demo with showing how a Solid could be converted back to its constituent parts of different planes.
We could use the Explode command, so now they are basically separated. So, it's very easy to create geometry, and just as easy to convert one type of geometry to another and back. So, we'll cover each type in greater detail in the following sections, but remember that Solids are very simple to create in a simple step, but you usually would want to start with a Curve for greater control and ability to modify.
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