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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 focus on the Boolean operations. If you've never heard the word Boolean, it's not a Cajun dish, but it's better described as math with solids. This process involves taking two or more solids and then either adding them together, subtracting them or differencing them to get a new resulting single solid. It's really as simple as subtracting equals punching holes and addition equals welding stuff together. Let's take a look. I'll switch my viewport here to Ghosted so we could see all the intersections of the various geometry.
I am also going to turn off the robot. I am going to focus all of our attention on to the jet pack at first. Okay, the location of the Booleans, it's on the Solid menu and note that it's here down towards the bottom. That means it's going to be using existing geometry to create these final surfaces. We can also find it on the main menu here. So, we will just slide that out and dock it. Let's start off with some Boolean addition, and merge some of these forms together. I am going to select Boolean Union.
I am going to pick just these three shapes. And then you hit Enter or right-click when ready. You'll notice it happens pretty quick. So, we have merged all of these shapes together--no overlap anymore. And it is all close together, one single shape with no openings. Let's try that again with this bracket. We made this earlier and we ended up mirroring the two halves. Let's go ahead and select both of those and then do a union to see what happens.
So, notice it's taken that face they had in common and merged it together, so that the resulting overall form includes both shapes. I am going to do a few more and what's really nice about this command is we can pick a lot of stuff. Okay. Let's see if that works. Right-click to accept, and there's the resulting shape. I am going to switch quickly back to Shaded just so we can see. So, no more intersection and there is still one clean shape, so that's the union or addition Boolean.
Let's take a look at the Boolean subtraction where we remove one part from the other. I am going to focus on this text. I'd like to have that punched into the surface. So, we will go ahead and select the Boolean Difference. Now it's really easy to pick this in wrong order, so I developed a memory aid, and I call it the Mother Bites the Baby. So, what I mean by that is pick the part that's larger and you want to keep first, then pick the part that's going to be subtracted second.
It doesn't always have to be the biggest and the smallest, but the first one you select should be the one you want to keep. So, I am going to select the overall tanks here as the first, Enter, and then the second will be the text. Select right-click to accept. That's the way to get it to work. And we have a nice little deboss there. Now at this point, people think that you can put one surface inside of another. That's not the case.
You'll notice in every single situation so far we have had overlaps, and that's critical. Let me show you an example. Turn on Demo layer. I am going to come around here and go back to our Ghosted viewport mode. I am going to select this object so we can zoom in. This is a Zoom Selected. So, here's what a lot of people try when they first start with Booleans is to have a smaller copy inside of the other one. However, since there's no overlap or intersection, this will not work.
So, the process you want to look towards doing is cutting them and then resulting with two halves or shells. If you think about it, this is the way things are manufactured. So, it's actually got a basis in reality. You would never manufacture something this way because it is completely enclosed. However, this whole process is called Shelling. We'll cover this on a later chapter. Let's take a look at the final example. This is called the Boolean intersection. Probably the least useful, but we'll take a look.
I am going to pick the surface's first set, right-click, second set, right-click. So, we end up with only those volume that was common both parts. So, it's a little abstract way to think and so I rarely use that, but it's definitely an option if it works for you. Now, there's a final twist that let's you cycle through all of the options, whether it is union, subtraction, or difference. So, I am going to turn robot back on, and then I am going to select this pipe, and then Zoom Selected.
So, we could difference it the way we have done the text on the back. However, it's a very tricky to pick because this is a pretty small piece of geometry and we'd have to pick it somewhere internally, and it'd be very challenging to do so. So, I am using a command called Boolean 2 Objects, which is a right-click here. Also located on the Solid menu there. This just allows to cycle through all the Boolean options with a visual display of each.
So, we just pick any two objects. So, I am going to pick that pipe and the box. Now, it's gone ahead and done one of the Boolean operations. Here's the Union, and you can read this in the command line. If that's what you want, you'd just right-click or return to accept. However, I am going to hit the other click to show other options. That's definitely not it there. This is the one we want. This is A-B. Let me cycle through one more time. And there's B-A, so actually it's just four completely unique solutions.
Inverse intersection, there's the first union, intersection, and this is the one we want, so I am going to right-click to accept. If we go back to Shaded mode, we can check it out. It's a great way to get details on almost any shaped surface, from almost any shaped curve. So, these Boolean operations almost always work great on shapes that are simple, clean and closed, but you will probably run in the limitations with these commands, especially as your model becomes more organic or complicated.
It's best to think of the Booleans as an early or even interim process for most modeling projects, unless of course you only want a sphere or a cube.
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