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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.
Hi! I'd like to take a couple of minutes to talk about some recommended hardware for products that I use everyday with Rhino. First up is my mouse. You can see here, also on the screen or at the Microsoft web site. This is the SideWinder Mouse. It's actually designed for gaming, but it's got a lot of great features, which work well in 3D. It is an optical mouse, and that'll give you accuracy in tracking, but almost as important is the third button, which is also a wheel. It's the wheel that's used for zooming, and it's also used for clicking for pop-ups.
Next up is the video card. I'm going to recommend the Quadro FX line from NVIDIA and depending on your budget, we have the high end here. This is the Quadro FX 3800. Now both of these cards I'm going to show you are OpenGL workstation-class video card accelerators, and that's important. Some people think that gaming cards can do just as well, and that's not true, especially for larger, more complicated models. This one here, the FX 3800, is about 900 bucks. If that's not in your budget, you could also try the FX 580, which runs about $150-160.
The cool thing about some of the technology is this card would have been top of the line and over thousand bucks only about two to three years ago, and now you can get it for under 200 for the same performance. And finally, I'd like to talk about 3D navigators. This is the SpacePilot PRO made by 3D connection now owned by Logitech, and this is a six-axis controller, which allows you to zoom, pan and rotate, all with one input device. Normally, in Rhino, that would take three different keystrokes and mouse commands to accomplish.
This is their top of the line one with the LCD screen and kind of the mini keyboard that lets you do a lot of custom commands and macros. The one I use is this guy, the SpaceNavigator. This one is for anywhere between 60 and 90 bucks, and it's nice because it's pretty portable. You can bring it with you. Now let's take a look at how the Navigator works inside of Rhino. I've got mine right here. So, we have six axes of control, so that means we can zoom by pulling forth and back. We can rotate by turning the knob and we can pan by pushing side to side.
Let's see how it works. At first, I'm going to zoom in and out, back in, try a little rotate, and then we'll try to pan side-to-side. So, the cool thing about this controller is that you can do all three at once, which is not possible with the keyboard. Now, none of the products I've mentioned are absolutely mandatory; however, they're a huge boost to your productivity.
So, if you use Rhino everyday, it's definitely worth the investment.
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