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Rhino 4 Essential Training
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Using construction planes to anchor model design


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Rhino 4 Essential Training

with Dave Schultze

Video: Using construction planes to anchor model design

In this section, we'll review the construction plane capabilities and logic inside Rhino. Note that Rhino refers to the Construction Plane as the CPlane for shorthand, but either term means the same thing. So, what is a CPlane and why do we use it? Well, without the use of the CPlane, you might not be able to model very much of anything, so that's how important it is. The CPlane is where all geometry is created by default, and that reason is important. Without a CPlane, Rhino would not know where you were clicking, because a point or object when viewed from the top- view might be at Z = 0, or Z = amillion.
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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 construction planes to anchor model design

In this section, we'll review the construction plane capabilities and logic inside Rhino. Note that Rhino refers to the Construction Plane as the CPlane for shorthand, but either term means the same thing. So, what is a CPlane and why do we use it? Well, without the use of the CPlane, you might not be able to model very much of anything, so that's how important it is. The CPlane is where all geometry is created by default, and that reason is important. Without a CPlane, Rhino would not know where you were clicking, because a point or object when viewed from the top- view might be at Z = 0, or Z = amillion.

So, let's take a look and build the few simple objects to demonstrate. So, just like the real-world, the Rhino interface is in 3D. We have three dimensions: X,Y and Z, and that is why we have three construction planes. These construction planes are marked by the grid on the screen. So, there is a CPlane for the Front Viewport, another for the Left or Right side and the third for the Top Viewport, which is also shared by the Perspective. So, remember, you can only see one CPlane at a time in each Viewport.

That's important, so the software knows where the objects will go. The CPlane is your default location for all functions like geometry creation, unless - here's the rule - you have a Snapping Override. For this first demo, I'm going to draw a freeform curve in the top view. We'll talk about curves in the 2D Geometry chapter. So, I'm going to select Freeform curve, and I'm just going to click some random points. So, you may want to check the Perspective View.

Note that it's perfectly flat and planar, and so that is the construction plane governing where all the points go, flat in the construction plane. Now, I'm going to make another freeform curve with one difference. I'm going to turn the Snaps on. These are covered in modeling aids, so I'm just going to turn on the End Snap. Draw another freeform curve on the Right view. So, note in Perspective that it is flat on the Right construction plane, except where it finds some geometry.

I'm going to go ahead and turn this Perspective View around a little bit, highlight the curve. And you can see how it's flat in some areas and then deformed in other. So, even if we drew this in the Right view, a side view, the curve may look exactly as needed; however, it's deforming in other directions as we've seen here. So, the best way to flatten that back out is to use another CPlane command located on the Transform menu, Project to CPlane.

Note that this command works best when the Viewport is highlighted, so in this case, we've got the Right Viewport highlighted, and we want to answer, Yes, delete the Input Objects. Now, note in the Perspective View, that line is now perfectly flat. So, this is a good solution to keep objects flat and planar if you want them, but then snap to other things forward and backwards. I'm going to go ahead and maximize the Perspective View here, and we're going to make some changes to the CPlane.

The starting positions of the CPlanes are just the file defaults. We can make changes to the CPlane at any time by right-clicking on the Viewport label, go to Set CPlane and we'll switch this view from where it is currently at the top to the Right view. We could now build geometry on that plane. Besides the three default positions of Top, Front and Side, we can also align to geometry in the scene. So, I'm going to go ahead and do that with this square here, floating at a funny angle.

Set CPlane, and I'm going to select To Object. So, notice how the construction plane flips over, and that will now allow me to draw a geometry at that same angle, as if it were flat. So, this square is probably a good example. I'm going to show you a bad example. Here's the circle. It doesn't really have an edge. So, if we were to use that for alignment, set the CPlane to the Object, then it goes off at some strange angle.

Probably the best object you can use for setting CPlanes is just a small plane in the scene. Here, I've got a piece of planar geometry. I'm going to set the CPlane to that, To Object. And now I can work up at that level. So, this is probably the best way to reset your CPlane just by having some geometry in the scene that you can visually see, and then it's perfectly aligned the way you want. So, the CPlane is one of the most fundamental modeling aids in any 3D software.

Rhino allows you to change a location and orientation of the CPlane for any view. But remember, you can only have one - no more, no less - CPlanes active per view. So, if the idea of moving or customizing the CPlane is a little too advanced for your comfort level, but it's always a good practice just to build objects centered on the origin. Then you can use one of the Transform commands to get it into its final position.

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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