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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 learn where all of the Rhino program options can be accessed and modified. These options can then be saved with your Rhino file or inside your computer software installation, so they remained in effect until changed later. Most of these are personal preferences, and can change to whatever kind of model you're working on, with one exception, and that is the Nudge setting. So, let's cover this Nudge setting first, and get it out of the way. So, first definition. By nudge, I mean I would like to use the four cursor keys on the keyboard: the arrows that go up, down, left or right.
Currently, I would select an object and would love to have that just move the object, but instead, by default, Rhino rotates the view. As I click up-down, left- right, you see it's panning. That doesn't seem like a big issue. However, when we go to one of the Ortho Viewports, we get a big, fat mass. This has now totally distorted the view, and it's unusable. So, I'm going to get this first fixed by right-clicking on the Viewport, go to Set View, and pick the same exact name, which is Right.
I'll straight it back up. Okay, so let's find out where the Nudge option is set. We can go to the Option button here, which is the little yellow gear at the top. As a refresher, we've got two sections, any changes made to this top-level, go with the file, so other people will see them on the open-end. And then the Rhino options are with your installation on your computer. So, the Nudge is located in modeling Aids under the Nudge section. We just want to make one quick change, put it back to the arrows.
Now we've got some additional control here, because we can give it three different steps. So, I'm going to do that right now. So, everytime I click on one of the arrows, I want to have it move one unit, and if I hit the Ctrl key, I want to go a smaller increment, and if I hit the Shift key, I'm going to go 10 times larger. Now if you're familiar with a lot of 2D applications, they use the cursor keys for moving things around. So, I like to have that same benefit here in 3D. So, I hit OK, and now we're going to watch the difference. I want to select one of the objects, go back to maximize, and as I click the arrows, it moves around in the scene much, much easier than dragging something, especially since I have the increment set, so I can always get stuff back to its original position.
I want to give you another example of why nudge is really handy, and that's for experimenting. So, I'm going to make a copy of this object, and then let's try something out, and see if it looks any better. So, I'm going to do an Edit > Copy and Paste, and then just nudge this away. So, let's try a quick Fillet and see if it looks as good as we think. I'm going to go to the Solid menu, and just Fillet the edge, and I'm going to pick a couple of those edges there.
Right-click to accept, or hit the Return key, and there is my little test. So, if it looks good, you're done. If not, you can delete the copy and just do another test. So, we'll use the shortcut keys this time: Copy, Paste, Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, nudge it over. And a lot of times, I'll make multiple copies, so I can copy that, paste it, and nudge additional copy over. So, this is 3D.
Remember, there is no charge for extra copies. Okay. Let's revisit the Option, Control panel again, click on the yellow gear, and this time, I'm going to modify the grid. I am going to zoom out a bit, so you can see it. Now the extents are just actually half of the grid, so it's from the origin out. So, that would be from this center 100 units. I have got the grid line set to every 1 millimeter, so if we zoom in, you can see there is a lot of lines.
I'm going to go ahead and change this really quick to every 10. Notice the grid updates pretty quickly. So, whatever you change it to, make sure your Grid snap is this same number as the grid spacing. Otherwise you'll be jumping to some point in between it, and you won't be clear where you are. I should've left that open, so we can continue at the same spot. The next item we'll take a look at is the colors on the screen. We can change the Background color.
It might be too bright for you, but this gives you a lot of options. After some experimentation, if you want to get back to the original situation, you can just click on this Restore Defaults button and that go back to the original. Okay, finally, I'd like to talk about Units and tolerance, because these are pretty critical to modeling accurate parts. So, we go up to the top here, part of the Document Properties. Right now, we've got the units set to Millimeters, and this tolerance is pretty important.
It is basically the accuracy of the data. So, here we've got three decimal places. So, that's pretty accurate. Now you can change the tolerance at any time. A word of warning: you don't want to do it in the middle of a file, or a halfway through a project. It's always best to set it upfront, and then you know that all the geometry in the scene is set to the same tolerance, and the reason is if you do operations from one part to another, if they have mixed tolerances, you could have lots of serious problems. So, to prevent even worrying about this, there is a nice new feature.
We'll close this, and we open up a brand-new file. Rhino gives us Template options. It's a brand-new feature. So, we could select, for example, Small Objects in Millimeters, which is what I'm working on, and it gives you a great little example here. This is a template file for building objects to size of a truck or a smaller, and they're going to be build to manufactring tolerances. So, if it's a hand-held object, this would probably work with no further changes, and you don't have to worry about updating the tolerance and causing problems later.
For larger objects, like maybe some architectural projects, you can go to Large Objects - Feet and again, there is a same example: the size of a truck or bigger, tolerance 0.01 feet. So, what I recommend is opening up one of these template files, selecting one of the presets and just work with that. So, the customization of the interface and settings let you adapt Rhino to your workflow. Except for this Nudge setting we discussed first, you probably don't want to change much, if anything, to the defaults.
Remember that any changes to this settings in the Document section are automatically saved to the file. Any changes to the Rhino section are saved to your computer, so those remain fixed until you change them manually.
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