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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 take a quick look at some of the commands found on the Analysis toolbar. These are very helpful when receiving a new model from someone else, and you need to check or match some of the sizes. However, the Analysis tools can be just as available for own models. For example, when you haven't worked on the project in a while and forgot what you did in certain areas. Take a look up here at the menu. All the commands will be found under Analyze. I am going to go ahead and open up the Analyses toolbar and dock it. So, we are going to by right-clicking on a blank area. These are all the toolbars available. Select Analyze.
And then just go ahead and dock it, just to make it a little bit quicker and easier. Another reminder along the way. I always keep the curves that have generated all the surfaces in the file. You can always move them to another layer later, but these are extremely helpful for checking sizes or regenerating geometry. So, there is no need to get rid of them. Let's maximize the Perspective viewport, and we'll start of with the Analyze Direction. We've talked about this previously. This is very helpful when you have problems with trimming or even Boolean operations.
So, it will tell you which is the inside direction and the outside direction. So, let's pick a couple of objects, right-click to accept. And that's as expected, so everything is working fine there. And right-click to finish. Now, let's switch over to the front view. We'll double-click that and maximize by double-clicking again. I'll go in Wireframe. I am curious about the angle between these two antennas, so we'll go up to Analyze toolbar and determine the angle.
Now, it wants the start of the first line. It's a little bit helpful to make it consistent between the two line. So, I am going to snap to that endpoint. It'd probably be better to turn everything else off. So, just the End snap. So, there is the first point, and the end point is up there somewhere. The second line, I try to keep it consistent, so I'll go back to the same beginning origin. It tells the angle is 59.9682, just as I was guessing.
Here I am going to jump back to the Perspective view. I want to try and look at some radii on this model. This is especially important if you have a detail that has already been done, and you need to match. For example, what is the radius here? I have another object that needs to be in the same set of products, so we'll check the radius. It's pretty good about finding any curve out there. You can see the actual number right there by the cursor, at 7.0, go ahead and click.
Then it gives us the diameter and radius up at the top. Let me try that again. So, we can snap to almost any arc that it can find, including parts of a sphere. So, it looks like it's snapping around the midline, giving us instant feedback of a radius of 2. Now, the next radius check is probably the best trick yet. Many times you are trying to match certain details and it was very easy to snap to these curves here or the edges of the eye there.
But how do you determine the radius on this shape? There is no curves, and the edge is going along the other way. We don't have anything to calculate the radius from this direction. So, we are going to do one more command here. I'll go to the Curve menu > From Objects > Extract Isocurve. So, as you know the surface is technically infinitely smooth, and there is isocurves pretty much everywhere. So, we can just make a copy of one of those at any time. So, I am going to select the surface. Looks like I have picked the wrong surface, try it again. There we go.
So, this is coming up in the correct direction. If it wasn't, you just flip the toggle option here. You can see you always have two directions in any surface. It's kind of a guess which is the U Direction and which is the V Direction. So, that's why you have a toggle in most of these commands. So, we can just extract this anywhere. I don't need to snap it anywhere particular. Right-click when we are done. It's still selected. I can go back to Radius and instantly it tells me that there was a Radius of 3 units and Diameter of 6.
Okay, one more analysis. To do this we are going to zoom down to the feet. This next command works the best on organic and curved surfaces. This is under the Curvature Analysis. We are going to select Environment Map. So, it wants us to select a couple of objects. I am just going to pick everything down here in the viewport. Right-click. So, what we get is an environmental reflex map, meaning it's as if this is a shiny object in an environment reflected by the picture you have selected.
But we can change the image pretty quickly and easily. There is one called Tru-Sphere. This is very popular with car designers or boathull designers, where they need to get tremendous amount of detail and feedback. Why this is so useful is you can see discontinuities. You can see the surface change direction abruptly, and that will tell you that it's not as smooth as you thought. So it's an Analysis tool that helps you make surfaces smoother or find flaws before you go much further. And of course, it's fun to look at.
One nice little factor here is we can add objects by selecting this button. It just puts more objects in the reflection set. Like I said, it's more effective on the curved surfaces, not that useful on the flat surfaces. Hopefully, these Analysis commands will reduce or eliminate your concern when modeling quickly. Too often, beginners will slow down as they worry over the size of each component. With the Analysis commands, you are free to design and model with more focus on the form and proportions, and less on the actual dimensions.
These dimensions can be derived at anytime, so no need to stress unless you like to stress.
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