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Rhino 4 Essential Training
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Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators


From:

Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

Video: Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators

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.
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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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Rhino 4 Essential Training
5h 48m Beginner Apr 08, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding 3D terminology
  • Viewing a 3D model in Rhino 4.0
  • Manipulating objects with commands
  • Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
  • Applying transformations to 3D objects
  • Creating unique shapes with Boolean operators
  • Snapping to objects and planes
  • Defining curve and surface degree
  • Prototyping a 3D model
Subjects:
Architecture Modeling Product Design CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
Rhino
Author:
Dave Schultze

Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Rhino 4 Essential Training.


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Q: I'm noticing several differences between the options that author shows in the video and my copy of Rhino. For example, I can't select curves on the edge of a surface or turn on control point when vertically extruding a closed surface like an ellipse. Also, I do not get the Sweep option. I'm running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
A: This course was recorded on a Windows computer. As of February 2012, Rhino for Mac is still in beta, so it is not yet a full-fledged product. Wait until the full version comes out to see if these issues are resolved.
 
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