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Rhino 4 Essential Training
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Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw


From:

Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

Video: Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw

In this video, we will investigate the Rail Sweep commands: the One Rail and the Two Rail Sweeps. Both kind of sweeps can create surfaces that are either mechanical or organic. Mechanical surfaces have sharp edges and flat surfaces, while organic surfaces are very smooth and flowing. So, we'll take a look at both kinds of surfaces for each of the Rail commands. Since our robot is mostly mechanical, we'll take a little short detour and demo some of the sweeps that are organic. Let me maximize this Perspective window, turn on some organic lines, and let's check out, first of all, the One Rail Sweep.
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  1. 4m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    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
      14s

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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
Subjects:
Architecture Modeling Product Design CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
Rhino
Author:
Dave Schultze

Using Sweep Rail to create a 3D claw

In this video, we will investigate the Rail Sweep commands: the One Rail and the Two Rail Sweeps. Both kind of sweeps can create surfaces that are either mechanical or organic. Mechanical surfaces have sharp edges and flat surfaces, while organic surfaces are very smooth and flowing. So, we'll take a look at both kinds of surfaces for each of the Rail commands. Since our robot is mostly mechanical, we'll take a little short detour and demo some of the sweeps that are organic. Let me maximize this Perspective window, turn on some organic lines, and let's check out, first of all, the One Rail Sweep.

I'm going to use this curve as the rail and the other curve as the profile. We find it underneath Surface menu > Sweep 1 Rail. Let's select the rail and then the curve, right-click to enter, hit OK. We'll take a look, so it's a pretty organic shape from two simple curves, but you know that the shape is somewhat limited because it has to follow that 1 Rail.

So, it's almost like the second edge along the top is an exact duplicate of the one below. So, to avoid that situation, there is the Two Rail Sweep, where each of the rails could be completely different, and I didn't mentioned before - we can have multiple profiles along there, that are also of different shapes. Let's start the Two Rail Sweep under the Surface menu, select the rails, then the Profiles. Hit Enter.

I'm going to take a look here. So, it's a much more organic shape, with a lot more power and control involved. However, if you think that this is going to be a little too complicated, judging by the isoparms on the surface, we can go ahead and say make is Simple, and then hit the Preview. Notice those isocurves are far fewer. So, what's happening is that it's following the constraints of the Rails and the Profile curves, but kind of simplifying and averaging the surface in between.

So, if it looks petty close, as I've mentioned before, Simpler is always better. Okay, now on to the Mechanical Sweeps. We are going to start off by working on the antenna. I just got a memo from the antenna department that our prior design was not passing the tests. So, they've had to take this enclosure and raise it up vertically. We're going to have to make up the difference with this profile here. Now for lot of zooming and panning sometimes you'll need to reset. So, the way to do that is select an object and go to Zoom Selected.

That will bring it back and recalibrate everything, okay. We've also mentioned before that we can use an edge, wherever it appears, as if it's a curve. So, let's start the command and see how that works. Surface > Sweep 1 Rail. I'm going to select this edge and in this cross section, hit Enter. It's pretty straightforward. There's not too many options. I'm going to go ahead and hit OK. And we'll kind of zoom around here and make sure it worked all right. This is another reason I like to work in the Perspective Viewport.

So, it looks like it went around nice and clean, and there is no twisting or pinching that can sometimes happen. You will also note, if I select this surface, it goes through. So, that's another technique I practice. You can always trim things back. I don't try to make it exact the first time. So, you'll notice that goes way inside, very easy to trim. We'll worry about that later. Next up: we have the Claw. This will be built in the center just to make it easy, and once this shape is complete, we'll move it over to one of the sides for the hand and then mirror the other copy.

Now I got another memo. It looks like these washers, or caps were on sale, so they have bought quite a few. I'm going to have to use those to build this next piece of geometry. So, let me go back to the four Viewports. We can talk about this shape here. Turn the control points on with F10. If we zoom in, you can see how that was constructed. Notice anytime two control points or more are close together that's an area of higher detail. Farther part tends to be smoother. So, that was drawn from the Right viewport, and if you look to the Front viewport, we just made a slight rotation of it because you can tell it has an angle, and then it mirrored the other side.

Turn of the Control point with F11. We're going to go back to the Perspective and maximize it. And we'll start off with the simplest shape here. There is a straight line. I'm going to use that just to see how it looks. Surface > Sweep 2 Rails. We've got these two profiles here, a Cross Section curve there, Enter, just say OK and we'll take a look here. So, it's a pretty involved surface. We could also cap that closed with another command, but I'm going to save that for the next step here.

I'm going to get rid of this, hit Delete. Direct your attention to these curves, top and bottom. So, I've talked about this before, but it's worth mentioning. This is what is called the Prefilletize. I've added some corner radius already built in. So, that adds some detail right, off the bat. We don't have to go back later and fill its surfaces or solids. Another way look at it is we have a kind of backup plan, if it doesn't look the way we intend.

So, I'm going to repeat the Surface > Sweep 2 Rails, then I'm going to pick both of these cross section curves. Starting and ending just to gain a little more control, hit OK, and let's take a look - so, a much more sweet-looking shape here. Now I talked about Capping that. So, let me show you what I recommend on this. We have an edge and a curve both, right along there, and it defines a flat plane.

So, we've visited this command before. Let's pay one more visit, Surface > from Planar Curves. So, I'm going to select this edge here, closing edge there, hit Enter. So, you can tell, as we've discussed before, we've got isocurves, one each going in each direction, meaning the surfaces as simple and clean as possible. Okay. We'll save the other side for later.

I'm going to do one more Two Rail Sweep, using the same technique where we can use an edge in place of a curve. Surface > Sweep 2 Rails, so here is the first rail or edge, second and then the cross section curve is basically these several segments and arcs connected together. Hit Enter. I answer OK and then zoom back. So, that's an excellent way to close off forms and use geometry that was given to you by others, or there are constraints that you need to work by.

So, as you can see, the one and two rail sweeps can do quite a bit. Remember, even if you are building mechanical geometry, you still want to keep all of the curves involved as simple as possible. Also, keep in mind that you can always add extra profiles if the surface is not generating as expected.

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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