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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 will cover two of the three Solid Editing tools, focusing on edges and faces. These command allow us to move, rotate, and scale either a face or an edge, but as you might have guessed by now, these work best on simple solids and become limited on more complex forms. But you'll be able to create some pretty cool if warped forms in just a few steps. I'm going to zoom on the Perspective viewport here. I'm going to start with this box here, and see how close we can get to this referenced deformed box back there.
First focus will be on faces. I'm going to open up the Solid Editing Tools here, not quite there as a submenu, and so we're going to pull these down. So, here is where we'll find all the Solid Surface and Edge tools. I'm going to start off by splitting this top-face, so that I can make some extrusions and moves. So, I'm going to Split planar face. I'm going to select the top. Now I need to give it an axis on which I'm going to be splitting on.
I want to go down the center here. So, I want to make sure my midpoint is snapped on. Turn off anything else. That should find a midpoint of the edge there, and the same midpoint in the opposite side. It should be ready for an extrude. Let's extrude that face that has been split out of the top. Select it, right-click, and move it up. And let's snap back to this other geometry, so we can get as close as possible. So, that only extruded this half, because it was split.
You'll see the seam running down there. So, those could be joined later, or left alone if you want to do more modifications. Let's split this top one more time but maybe a little closer to the edge. So, in this case, I'm not going to be snapping to the midpoint. I'm going to use the sometimes dangerous Near snap, and I'll also do Perpendicular. So, let's start the Split planar face, select the top face, Enter. I'm going to pick a point right on here. Now if we don't have Near, it probably is not going to find this edge and I am going to be moving out in space.
You have to have some snapping on there. So, I'm going to use Near. I probably don't want Near for this other side. Perpendicular, although Near would let you although. I'm not going to go that direction, because it gets very limiting. So, we are going to try and keep this rectilinear for as long as possible. Another split was done. Let's extrude that split face upwards, select, right-click, and I'll just try to snap it to the background object. So, that covers splitting and extruding.
Let's try to move a face and see the difference between a move and extrude. Come around here. Now since I have merged these all together, they have the seam, so I can actually move this one face down here, and leave the adjoining face is alone, and that will be critical. So, I'm going to select the Move Face. We've a lot of options here. And then most of these icons look very similar, and so feel free to move around and let the tooltips pop-up and tell you. Let's Move Face.
Select and then Return. I want to be a little bit careful here. I'm going to first select the point to move from, and we can get out of alignment pretty quick. This actually probably wouldn't work. It's too distorted. So, I'm going to hold down the Shift, and move it out. Shift will be constraining it to an orthogonal direction. So, that worked just fine. You'll see the surface just extended. This got bent and that got extended with a new angle. So, that's the difference between a Move and Extrude.
The Move tends to pull other surfaces with it. The Extrude is a little bit more limited. Let's explore some edge commands. I'm going to select the Move Edge command over here. So, this will be an edge that is connected to those two faces but also onto the other two on the sides. And so this is a little bit tricky. In Perspective, it may not even work. So, I'm going to switch over to make this move in one of the Side viewports. The point to move from, I'm going to snap and then I kind of angle out.
And notice it's snapping to things beyond. So, I don't want that. I'm going to hold-down the Alt and the Shift. The Alt will turn off all the snaps. The Shift will keep it moving orthogonally. So, you're perfectly free to mix and match some of these Override Snaps. Go back to Perspective, so we've just moved that edge which is connected to two surfaces but also the two sides. Let's finish up with an edge scale. Here is the Scale edge.
We're going to pick this top edge here. Before I go any further, I'm going to double-check some of my snaps. I'm going to deselect Near. Because I want to be a little more precise and go to Mid with the End. Okay. I'm going to hit right-click to accept. I'm going to start in the center. That's the midpoint, and then the first reference point I'm just going to snap on the Eed, and then as you move inwards it's scaling down. As you're moving outwards it scales out. Well, it can definitely cause some problems if there is too much complexity along the other sides.
So, let's make them a little bit narrower. So, finally, if you're complete now, we have a lot of co-planar faces in this model, especially these two I'm seeing right here. We could merge them together. That command is accessed via the Merge all co-planar faces. So, that prevents us from having to go around and find any two pairs. It will find all of them for us in one command. So, select and right-click, and it looks like it's cleaned up just a little bit.
This is now one much cleaner, simpler surface, although we have lost the ability to move the parts above and below separately. So, sometimes you want to keep them split to allow for that. But this method of solid modeling is both fun and unfortunately pretty limiting. It does work great if you need low detailed blocks for relatively simple forms, like a mass model for a city scene. But you also rendered the problem of editing faces before the model gets very complicated, as the constraints of the interconnected faces will prevent major modifications.
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