Rhino 4 Essential Training
Illustration by Maria ReƱdon

Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces


Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

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Video: Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces

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.
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  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Recommended hardware
      2m 44s
  2. 19m 8s
    1. Understanding the three types of entities: curves, surfaces, and solids
      5m 51s
    2. Comparing Bezier curves, B-splines, and NURBS objects
      3m 35s
    3. Comparing isocurve surfaces and mesh surfaces
      4m 50s
    4. Setting measurement units and tolerance
      4m 52s
  3. 18m 16s
    1. Introducing the viewport
      3m 20s
    2. Using construction planes to anchor model design
      5m 27s
    3. Changing the way a model is viewed using shading modes
      3m 11s
    4. Navigating the viewport with pan, zoom, rotate, and reset controls
      3m 24s
    5. Exploring help options
      2m 54s
  4. 29m 48s
    1. Understanding Rhino's command philosophy
      3m 10s
    2. Using toolbars and docking buttons to a toolbar
      3m 33s
    3. Navigating the geometry menus using a "department store" analogy
      3m 35s
    4. Using the command line and status bar to get feedback
      4m 56s
    5. Modifying the nudge control and setting other preferences
      6m 54s
    6. Using the Properties window
      3m 1s
    7. Opening and saving files
      4m 39s
  5. 14m 24s
    1. Creating basic objects: curves, surfaces, and solids
      4m 22s
    2. Performing basic transformations
      3m 14s
    3. Selecting objects
      3m 37s
    4. Organizing a project using layers
      3m 11s
  6. 21m 18s
    1. Understanding lines and polylines
      4m 10s
    2. Building rectangles and polygons
      5m 12s
    3. Creating arcs, circles, and ellipses
      7m 8s
    4. Drawing freeform curves
      4m 48s
  7. 47m 36s
    1. Comparing different types of 3D surfaces
      7m 11s
    2. Extruding surfaces to create features in a model
      8m 58s
    3. Creating surfaces with lofts
      7m 49s
    4. Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces
      7m 42s
    5. Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw
      7m 49s
    6. Creating complex surface shapes using Network Surface
      8m 7s
  8. 46m 48s
    1. Introducing solids
      5m 42s
    2. Making solids with primitives
      5m 41s
    3. Extruding curves to create solids without primitives
      8m 59s
    4. Creating unique shapes with the union, difference, and intersection Boolean operators
      6m 46s
    5. Troubleshooting solids and Booleans
      8m 53s
    6. Editing with the solid edit tools
      6m 20s
    7. Creating and transforming holes in solids
      4m 27s
  9. 27m 8s
    1. Understanding Rhino's modeling aids
      3m 59s
    2. Working with the Grid Snap modeling aid
      2m 22s
    3. Using the Ortho modeling aid
      3m 4s
    4. Using the Planar modeling aid
      2m 4s
    5. Incorporating the Osnap modeling aid into your workflow
      6m 7s
    6. Understanding the Project and Smart Track modeling aids
      4m 42s
    7. Setting cursor constraints
      4m 50s
  10. 50m 14s
    1. Editing corners with Fillet and Chamfer
      7m 38s
    2. Trimming and splitting with curve Booleans
      5m 37s
    3. Moving and rotating objects with the Drag and Nudge tools
      7m 24s
    4. Copying and pasting objects
      4m 10s
    5. Understanding how Rhino uses Undo and Redo
      3m 42s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 21s
    7. Scaling objects
      6m 40s
    8. Duplicating objects using the Mirror command
      6m 36s
    9. Making copies and structured sets using arrays
      5m 6s
  11. 20m 37s
    1. Using the Analysis toolbar to understand characteristics of a model
      6m 14s
    2. Defining degrees of curve and surfaces
      6m 6s
    3. Using Rebuild and Change Degree
      8m 17s
  12. 26m 21s
    1. Measuring and labeling values on a model using dimensioning
      5m 22s
    2. Creating screen captures for quick proofs
      5m 16s
    3. Creating 2D views of a 3D model
      6m 44s
    4. Rendering a project
      8m 59s
  13. 22m 5s
    1. Preparing a model for prototyping by confirming that all gaps are closed
      5m 17s
    2. Using the "shelling" technique to create wall thickness
      10m 54s
    3. Exporting to the STL format for 3D printing
      5m 54s
  14. 14s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Rhino 4 Essential Training
5h 48m Beginner Apr 08, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding 3D terminology
  • Viewing a 3D model in Rhino 4.0
  • Manipulating objects with commands
  • Creating curves, surfaces, and solids
  • Applying transformations to 3D objects
  • Creating unique shapes with Boolean operators
  • Snapping to objects and planes
  • Defining curve and surface degree
  • Prototyping a 3D model
3D + Animation CAD
Dave Schultze

Using Revolve and Rail Revolve to create surfaces

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Rhino 4 Essential Training .

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Q: I'm noticing several differences between the options that author shows in the video and my copy of Rhino. For example, I can't select curves on the edge of a surface or turn on control point when vertically extruding a closed surface like an ellipse. Also, I do not get the Sweep option. I'm running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
A: This course was recorded on a Windows computer. As of February 2012, Rhino for Mac is still in beta, so it is not yet a full-fledged product. Wait until the full version comes out to see if these issues are resolved.
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