Join Thom Tremblay for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing a T-Spline body, part of Fusion 360: Designing for Plastics.
- Edit Form is a tool that is used frequently when modifying T-spline bodies, but it is certainly not the only editing tool available. In this video, we will touch on a few of the modifications options available to get you started. I have my model open and to return back to the sculpt environment, all I had to do is double click on the form in the timeline. This will, again, return me to the sculpt environment. If I want, I can tell it that I'd no longer like to see this message so that when I re-enter the sculpt environment, I'm able to just re-enter the sculpt environment.
The edges, faces, and vertices have returned. Now, I want to add more detail to my initial shape. I'll begin by turning on symmetry. I'll select two faces next to each other and the green line will show me where the plane of symmetry is. If I start making modifications to one side, the other side will follow. The next thing that I'd like to do is I want to create a face that protrudes out in the middle or a series of faces.
To do this, I'll need to make a transition. So I'll go to the modify pull down, find the Insert Edge tool. And Edit Form or any of the tools, if you select an edge once, you will get that selection. However, if you double click, it will follow tangency and select all of the connected edges. Now, use the manipulator to drag the preview of where this new edge will be. If you wanted to, you could also be precise by entering a value. This value is a decimal form of the percentage of the adjacent face that the edge will be placed in.
For my purposes, I'll just click "okay" and now I have a new set of faces. I'll start the Edit Form tool, begin selecting faces in a row. You'll also notice that the yellow faces highlight on the opposite side of the symmetry plane so that when I make a modification, they all emerge. This will be the basic shape that I want, maybe use a little scaling to broaden the faces and already, I'm starting to get a different look.
I can select a different set of faces and start making a modification at the bottom and at the top. It's very easy to start generating a different look. Speaking of which, while I'm making a form, it always maintains a G2 continuity from face-to-face. However, there are times when you want something sharper. You want G0, you want the edges to be connected, but for there not to be a radius automatically placed.
To do this, I'll use the Crease tool from the Modify pull-down. I'll double click on this inside edge, that will follow all the way around. But what I'd like to do with the next edge is just select some of the edges to create a transition to a smooth face near the back of the shape so I'm able to generate that sharp look while still having a smooth transition where I want it. You'll see that this affects some of the scaling so, again, using Edit Form, and just experimenting with some of the sizes and some of the contours and some of the shapes.
I can also make another modification, maybe sharpening this transition at the bottom by using Insert Edge again. I'll grab just the single line, pull it up on to this face and just sharpen that up a little bit and you'll see the dramatic effects that this can have. From time to time, you can use the View cube to line things up, to allow yourself to just kind of clean up some of these transitions. Right now, the amount that this is jumping is starting to affect what I am trying to do so under the Grid and Snap settings, I can shut off Snap To Grid and for this tool, shutting off Incremental Move will allow me to now move in much more fine increments so I'm able to more easily affect just the portions that I want in just the way that I want.
Grab a couple of more points, make some adjustments there. The other thing I'd like to do is maybe lean this face back a little bit. To do this, I'll start Edit Form again or continue to use Edit Form, select the faces that I want to affect but the manipulator is just kind of in the middle of my selection area. Next to the display, I have the ability to set the pivot. So I'll set the pivot at the bottom and while it looks like it's ready to edit, right now it's still just setting the pivot so I can rotate what that pivot is so that it's aligned with the face and then use the checkmark.
Now I can use Edit Form to rotate the faces around the newly selected pivot. Let me get a side view. And I want to bring this bottom in, just a little bit. So I'll select these faces and use Edit Form, having the option to move along a plane or select the individual face makes it easier to control those transitions.
Now what I want to do is flatten this face out so that it's more parallel with the display panel that will be placed in it later. To do this, I'll use Edit Form again but I'll use a scaling option, where I'll select these faces. Once again, align the pivot to a general direction for the faces and then as I take a look at it from the right, I'll use the single direction scaling, which will either increase the curvature or decrease the curvature.
In fact, I can enter a value of zero to flatten as much of that face out as possible. And you'll see in a very quick, very easy way, we're able to create a relatively flat face, certainly for as experimental and freeform as we're working as we could expect. Again, any of these edges, any of the vertices can be modified and relocated. You can add some curvature to the outside edge here. Anything that you need to do.
In fact, to flare this out, to start thinking about draft, right now it's looking pretty good but we can also use the ability to grab an edge all the way around and scale, uniformly in all directions, to easily start building draft out if these faces were too parallel. So right now, I think I've got most of the shape that I want to continue with and start to add detail, so I'll finish the form.
Again, returning to the model workspace. Another thing to think about is that along with the tools that make it easy to modify this shape, Fusion 360 also supports copying these freeform bodies so that you can explore alternatives in parallel so you're not locked into one design. You can easily copy this, make modifications to it, and try other ideas.