Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Analyzing the controller form, part of Rhino: Designing for Consumer Electronics.
- Before we do any 3D work, let's jump ahead and take a look at the finished model, and then outline our strategy to build it. For the overall form we will be using Rhino's most powerful command, the SURFACE from CURVE NETWORK. We'll also need to cover some of the startup settings I have covered in other Rhino courses. Ok, I'm going to zoom in here so we can read this a little bit better. I've already set the units into millimeters, and the tolerance at .001, so I know what to expect. I'm also going to do a lot of work, if not all of it, on the origin, which make things easier to do mirrors and other operations.
I also have a very good idea of the rough size here. To do that, I drew a rectangle on the ground plane, and I put some dimensions here. So I know that it's 228 mm by 171. You definitely want to have a good idea before you get started, so as to avoid huge scaling at the very end of the project. And finally, I've drawn some axes lines here, those are the red lines you can see on the AXIS layer, and I use those a lot for positioning and mirroring. So this can be very helpful too, if you want to draw some of those in your scene.
Ok, let's talk about the requirements for building a surface from a curve network. We're looking at the final model right here, at least of the overall case. So, in general, you're going to need 2 sets of curves, and they go in two different directions. And each of these sets need to match, for example, they're either going to be all open, or all closed. But, at least one of the sets should be open. So you can have one open, or two open, but you cannot have two closed. That can be a little bit tricky, and we'll get into more detail about that coming up.
Finally, you should always try to have these two sets of curves when they cross at 90°. So if I zoom in here, we will see the isocurves going in two directions as mentioned, and typically these are 90° crossings. I'm going to go ahead and turn off the Model layer, and also the DIMENSION layer, so we clean this scene up a bit, so here's all the curves, with the exception of these straight lines here at the end. These are construction lines, we'll talk about those later. So I'm going to refer to these as, the two directions, as one long, and the other is the short direction.
So, these four curves going in the long direction, you can see that they're open. That's kind of why I have the construction geometry here, I want to make sure it doesn't have any pinches or openings. So I use these straight lines to make sure they come together cleanly. Now going in the opposite direction, are the closed profiles. So that will be referred to as the short direction, only because they just look a little bit smaller than the other curves, and it's easier to remember. And I'd like to mention, kind of a critical note here at the beginning of the course. It's highly recommended you get your specs on all of the internal stuff, like PC boards, batteries, and all the switches you're going to be using.
However, we will be ignoring all of these engineering requirements, for this course, in order that we focus on the design modeling of the exterior. This SURFACE from CURVE NETWORK command may seem a little intimidating at first, but it really helps you build shapes no other command can do. Once you master it, all the other Rhino commands will seem that much easier.
Want to build a matching console? Check out Rhino Projects: Building a Gaming Console.