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In this video, we will explore fillets and chamfers and how they can be used on literally every type of entity, from curves, to surfaces, to solids. If you are not familiar with the difference between the two, a fillet is a rounded or curved corner and a chamfer is a straight or angled corner, wherever two curves or edges meet. So, let's get started. We have got this head profile already prepped for an extrusion, but I am going to recommend that we fillet the curve first. This is a concept I call "prefilletize." So, we are going to go to the Curve menu before we extrude and fillet those corners to round them off.
Notice we have lots of options, but we will leave those alone for now. I will start picking a couple of the corners. I am going to highlight this fillet, so you can see that it has not been joined, and it's also not quite the size I like. So, I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to undo it and start over with a different number. Curve > Fillet Curves. This time after I change the Radius to 7, I am going to go ahead and put Join=Yes, so I won't have broken parts.
I am just going to click the two sides, and it now fillets them to the new radius and joins it together. So, it's a nice little trick. I am going to go ahead and right- click on the mouse to repeat and just continue all the way around. Click each side. So, that's prefilletize. Let's go ahead and extrude this into a three-dimensional shape using the Solid menu, so that we get caps on both ends. Solid > Extrude Planar Curve > Straight, select and hit the right-click to accept.
I am going to go ahead and type 30 to get it as a precise distance. So, now we have got something with fillets in one direction but not the other. So, let's go ahead and use the Solid Fillet now, because it is part of a solid entity, and fillet this edge. One thing to look out for is to make the second fillet smaller than the first, going the other direction. This fillet was 7, so that is our new maximum.
I am going to try doing a larger one, just to show you what happens. I type in 8, which is bigger that 7. Select the edge, right-click to accept, and let's see what happens. This is why you can't be larger that the radii you are going around. You get crazy geometry. I am going to hit Ctrl+Z to Undo. Repeat this command again. Solid > Fillet Edge > Fillet Edge, and now we are going to use a number that is smaller. I am going to try 3, definitely smaller than 7.
Select the edge, right-click twice to accept. So, this is guaranteed success every time. Do the first fillet with the curve, the second fillet smaller, and you should never have any problems. I am going to continue and fillet the back edge of the head. So, right-click to repeat, select, and then hit right-click or Enter. And it's pretty clean and tight. Let's explore chamfers.
We are going to make some adjustments to the body here. I would like to have chamfered corners there, so let's explore the Curve menu > Chamfer Curves. With Chamfer, we have two dimensions, so let's go ahead and make the front the same. I am going to change this from 1, 1 to 5, 5. Select Join=Yes, so we don't have to do that later, and then pick the two corners. I am going to try that on the other front.
If I select them, it's all one piece, because Join was set to Yes. Let's go ahead and try it on the back with two different numbers. Curve > Chamfer Curves. I am going to select the Distances now to change it. And it's helpful to remember first versus second, so I am going to go 5 first, 10 second. Why that's important is I want to make sure that the 5 dimension is along the side and the 10 is along the back, so I have to pick it in the exact same order that I entered it. So, 5, 10, and you can see the difference there.
It's very easy to pick them in the wrong order. So, I am going to right- click to repeat, 5 and 10 there. Let's go ahead and extrude this into 3D. I am going to zoom out a bit. Select, going back to the Solid menu and Extrude Planar Curve > Straight. Now we will use a Solid Chamfer option. This is a little bit buried. It's under the Solid Fillet, and there is the Chamfer option.
I am going to pick a new distance. Instead of 1, I am going to type in 2. Remember, 2 is smaller than the 5 here, and then we have 5 and 10 going the other direction in the back. So, you can pick the edges one by one. A lot of times I like to rotate the view and just draw a box around it. Right-click to accept. And there you have it. Let's talk about filling now with a surface. We have done curves and we have done solids and I also discussed the relationship between surfaces and solids and how it's actually a fluid state.
So, this copy of the head, which is about halfway done, is a solid, because it has got multiple surfaces joined together, so you would use one of the Solid commands on it. I am going to go ahead and convert it to a group of surfaces with a simple Explode command. So, now we have three separate pieces of geometry: the front, side, and back. Go ahead and delete the back. We don't need this for the test. We will do a Fillet along this edge but using the Surface menu.
Surface > Fillet two Surfaces. Radius is 3. So, I will change that. And then just pick the two surfaces that are in the vicinity. Note that the two surfaces were filleted but not yet joined. I am going to undo that. Note that we have the back open and the front. Just to show the relationship between surfaces that are unjoined versus joined, suddenly becoming solids, and you can use those commands. So, I am going to pick the front and top, use the opposite of Explode, which is Join.
They are now connected along that edge, so when I select the whole thing lights up. And let's try to do a solid. Even though the back is open, you have multiple surfaces joined together, so you have satisfied the definition of a solid. Solid > Fillet Edge > Fillet. It's currently set to 3, which we will go ahead and use. Right-click to accept. There you can see, the Solid command works on a group of surfaces joined, which are therefore polysurfaces, but it's not entirely closed. The Fillet and Chamfer tools are very easy to use, which is nice since you will likely be spending a lot of time using them.
Remember the two practice tips and things will go much easier. Number one, try to prefilletize, meaning make the fillets on your curves first. And number two, when filleting solids with corners, create the bigger fillets first and then the smaller fillets later, so they flow over the first ones.
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