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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 review the wide variety of ways in which you can draw with 2D lines, of which there are stunning variety. But first, it is important to note the difference between a line, also known as a line segment, and a Polyline. A line is simply a separate line or segment that is not joined to another line, while a Polyline indicates two or more lines have been joined. A cool aspect of this process is that you can easily change from individual segments to a Polyline via a Join command. And of course, you can go the other way and convert Polyline to a group or segments via the Explode command.
Let's see where they are located. It's on the Curve menu, Line and we will start off with just a Single Line, where all we're inputting is two end points and we are done. Let's try the Line Segments, Curve > Line > Line Segments. Let's draw a simple shape. Right-click or hit Enter when you're done. Let's check these out. So, even though they are sharing end points there is no connection whatsoever.
Let's try another version of this called a Polyline, where they will be joined. I'll draw a similar shape, and highlight it to take a look and note that they're all joined together, because they share one end point at each line. I'm going to further demonstrate this how the joining works. I've got two lines here. They cross, so there's no end point showing whatsoever. So, if I try to select both of them and do the Join command, the shortcut button over here is the icon that looks like a puzzle piece.
They will not join. Here's another example, where we have got four segments all sharing one end point there in the center. So, I just told you earlier you can only have two lines connected where they share one end point, so let's see what happens here. So, I'm going to use the Join command. And the command line tells me that four curves have been joined into two open curves. So, let's see what's going on by selecting. So, we were not able to do any more joining except for one line and one end point.
I'm going to go ahead and open up this Polyline icon, so we have some more options here and just leave it open, and zoom into this area. So, in addition to the Straight Lines and the Polylines and the Joining, we have a lot of other operations. For example, we could draw a line from its mid-point. This is very handy for doing construction lines. So, wherever select is the middle, and then it draws lines out both directions. You can hold down the Shift key so it stays in a 90 degree ortho fashion. One of my favorites is the Line Perpendicular from, so let's try this on the arc.
We just pick anywhere on that arced curve then draw away, and it maintains this perfect, perpendicular angle at all times. There are a lot of line commands where you can connect two entities. For example, we have got Tangent and Perpendicular or Perpendicular to Two Curves, so let's try that with the circles. Pick on the first circle, second circle, and then it connects exactly where the perpendicular angles are.
One more demo here: let's do tangent of both of those curves. So, it asks for the first curve roughly near the tangent point and then the second curve. So, it's a pretty accurate calculation, and you don't have to do any math at all. There are lots of more options available, so feel free to explore the tool bar. The ability to start drawing without extensive preplanning is my favorite feature of the Rhino software. The ability to convert one type on entity to another type and back, repeatedly, with no loss of accuracy is a huge boost to learning the software, not to mention your modeling efficiency and project workflow.
This fluidity is one of the hallmarks of Rhino and is almost always available when constructing other types of entities as well.
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