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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 look at the different ways to Open or Save as well as Import and Export. Along with this, we need to plan a little bit ahead, or at least be aware of a file's file size and required Tolerance. Fortunately, the latest version of Rhino makes this much easier. Let's take a look at the File menu and look at some of the options here. I'd like to recommend you start with File > New, because of this excellent interface here. We have Template Files. So, instead of worrying about the objects, units and tolerances, they are already preset here in these Template Files.
I'll mention this in just a little bit about how you can create your own Template Files as well. Next step is your basic Open. That would for Rhino files. Save everyone is familiar with. Save Small is a great little feature of Rhino. I want you to take a look at the Viewport here, and this surface information is actually occupying space. It's the fact that you can see shading instead of a Wireframe View. It's occupying approximately half or even up to three quarters of the file size. You don't really need that shading information except it's nice to see.
So, if you are worried about sending a large file to somebody, you could actually go to File > Save Small. It'll throw away that shaded information, and then when you open it up on their end it regenerates it. So, many times you can e-mail files it would otherwise be too large. Next step is Incremental Save, which is a great thing to know about. As your file gets larger and larger, there is always the chance of a corruption or a crash. So, instead of saving as a new version every half hour, let's say, you could just use this command, Incremental Save.
It'll take the current version of the file's name and index it by one. So, if you are working on city scene and you use Incremental Save, it will be City Scene 02. The next time you do it, it'll be 03, 04, 05 and so on. So, this can make a huge difference if there was, for example, the power went out, and the file you've been working on for many weeks got corrupted when Windows crashed. So, you don't have to worry about that anymore. With Incremental Save, the current version could get corrupted. You just restart Rhino when the power comes back on and open up the prior version.
So, if someone's backing up with Incremental Save every half hour you've lost, at most, 29 minutes worth of work, not the month you've been working on the project. So, we have to Save As just for changing name, and then here is the Template option I discussed earlier. So, this includes not just the units and the tolerances, but it could also include the same geometry you want have in every file. For example, you are working on a project, and you need a title block or a 3D geometry in the same spot in every file. So, that's why you save it as a template.
Next up, we'll talk about the Insert command. This brings in some 3D geometry from an external file and then lets you place it wherever you want. So, in this example here, I've got a city scene. I am going to bring in a new building that someone maybe worked on the next desk over. There is a quick preview of what it looks like. For placement, I am going to go ahead and type 0, so that it will register its origin with my origin. And there it comes in exactly as it was created in the other file.
So, we'll do one more here. Insert, pick the second one, hit OK. This gives you the option to put it anywhere you want just by dragging or snapping. I am going to go ahead and type 0 one more time. Zoom back out. So, there is file data from external files perfectly synchronized into like a master file. You can Export the entire file or just one object selected. Let's go ahead and do that. Pick one of these buildings. File > Export Selected.
So, a tremendous amount of options here. We can export in earlier versions of Rhino and then pretty much every 3D file format ever created is available here including, some of their 2D file formats. I recommend using STEP or step file format. That will maintain the full NURBS accuracy, and that will be fully editable in the other software. IGES is probably little more common but much older, and that has some limitations. A lot of things that are joint end up being unjoined or exploded and much more difficult to work with.
So, go with step if you communicate with other people doing 3D. So, all these features and options for Import and Export will definitely be more than you'll ever need on the average project. But it's great to know you can conceivably share your work and collaborate with anyone else, regardless of the software they are using. But tell them to get Rhino.
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