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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 cover how to generate surfaces via the Revolve command. Fortunately, the Revolve command is just about the most intuitive command going, in the sense that it's very easy to predict what the outcome will look like before you finish it. So, let's take a look. I'm going to switch over to the Ghosted View, so we can focus on this neck. Now you notice that parts are going inside the head and inside the body. That's a completely legitimate way to model.
I never worry about where the intersection will occur. I just make stuff whatever size is convenient, and I can trim them back later. There is actually two Revolve commands. We'll start off using the standard one. We find it with the Surface menu under Revolve. Now, here's a tip that's pretty important. I make sure that there is an Axis Line. As opposed to picking the curve itself here, the axis will guarantee that this will spin and revolve cleanly.
So, I'm going to use this vertical axis and snap to one end and then the other. Notice as I start moving around, it's asking me what is the beginning angle, and then it will ask me where the end angle is. You can bypass all of those questions and confusion if you just select FullCircle. So, it will complete it 360 degrees from wherever it is back to where it is.
So, here's the result. It looks pretty clean. Let's try another Revolve up on this antennae at the top. I've got a profile here. I go to Surface > Revolve. I'm going to select the same axis. I can cheat a little bit. I can click down here so I know that it is exactly touching. Otherwise, you'd would want to zoom out and select the opposite end of that axis just to make sure.
Then I'll just say FullCircle, and just to make sure we can visualize this a little bit better, I'll go back to the Shaded mode here. To access this menu, you would right- click on the Viewport label and select Shaded. I'm thinking that looks a little too symmetrical, so let's just get rid of this and try one more variation. I'm going to select and delete, and you'll see an ellipse here. We're going to use that. Let me try the next Revolve command called Rail Revolve.
You start off by picking the profile. The rail is the track it's going to go around, and the axis is same as the other command. So, I'm just going to pick the same two points. The result is a nice, clean surface that is no longer symmetrical on that one axis. It follows the track. Okay, some more tips on the Revolve command. Those were pretty simple examples. We're going to turn on a few more demos here.
Let me zoom back out, and if you're admiring the shoulder design, let me show exactly how it was done. You don't always have to create solids or surfaces and trim them to each other. You can make some pretty complicated forms with the Revolve profile. So, let's try recreating this shoulder, all these various pieces here join together. Surface > Revolve, select the curve, accept, and let's select the axis. I'm going to hold down the Shift key here, but I'm pretty sure that I've locked onto that axis line.
Go ahead and say FullCircle. So, it's pretty nice, the amount of complexity you can generate just from a series of very simple curves or fillets or chamfers. In this case, I've got pretty much everything. Let's delete that and just take a quick look. This is another tip I recommend. I call it the pre-filletize where we add in fillets, details, grooves, part lines or chamfers, wherever needed, and then create the Revolve.
So, if it doesn't look exactly like the way you want it - no problem. You throw that one single surface away and just make the tweaks to the curve. It's a much better workflow than chopping and slicing larger surfaces. It's very hard to go backwards when they're so complex. Let's take a look at some other situations that occur pretty frequently. I'm going to zoom into this with my Zoom Selected option, and you'll, see right off of the bat, it's not quite touching. This actually happens a lot when you build stuff a little bit quickly or are not careful with your object snaps.
So, I'll take a look at what you might notice and then how to fix it. I'll just do the Revolve one more time, click, Return, and I'm just going to select this point and the end for the axis and then select FullCircle. So, here is one of the two situations. We'll either have an opening, or if this curve went past the axis, you'd have some sort of balloon neck type of pinch or pucker - easy to fix.
Let's go ahead and delete this. It can be as simple as turning the control points on. I'm selecting the object, F10, and just drag and snap to that end point. Turn the control points off with F11, and just repeat the Revolve command, snapping the two endpoints, FullCircle option. So, even though this was a curve, I revolved it. As long as that curve hits the axis at both points, that is a solid; you've defined a solid.
It's a closed entity. Now one further tip: I'm noticing here this is pretty sharp, and a lot of the times you'll want this to be a perfectly smooth end. So, many people ask, 'How do you do that?' Over here, you've successfully completed it. You don't see any pinches whatsoever. Simple trick - we're going to delete this and do one more adjustment. It's a little bit easier from the Front Viewport. So, I'm going to switch over. You do need to turn the control points on.
Here is a condition you need to look out for. Whenever a line hits perpendicular, you'll have no seam. So, here is your axis, and this is hitting perpendicular, so it's a nice flat cap. The reason we're getting a pinch is the last two control points are at an angle. One quick way to do this is draw a Construction Line. I'm going to snap it to the end, and I could just draw anywhere. It's not that important. Then drag this over and snap it. That's the key. The last two need to be in a line.
Switch back to Perspective Viewport; Ctrl+F4. Control points off with F11, and I'm going to repeat the Revolve one more time to see how it looks. We'll select the Curve, Enter, Revolve Axis at same two points and then FullCircle option, so if you come back around to inspect, that is a perfectly smooth, continuous surface form. So, the Revolve commands will generally work their best when using an Axis Line, so try to get in a habit of creating that Axis first.
It's only a single straight line, so no excuses. You can then use the Osnapping modeling Aids to verify that your profile curve hits the axis exactly where you want it to hit.
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