Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Building the console case, part of Rhino Projects: Building a Gaming Console.
- View Offline
- In this first video we begin by blocking out the console case. But first we should cover some recommended practices for setting up your project file. Let's start from when we first open an empty Rhino file. Typically you would go to the standard toolbar and click on this icon for new. Here is the templates that have been set up. I'm going to be using small objects in millimeters but let's just check out what's involved. It definitely gives me the units but it's also important to know the accuracy or tolerance.
This is three decimal places of accuracy which is really necessary for small objects. But just for comparison let's look at large objects with the same in millimeters units. You'll notice that the tolerance is a little bit less .01 so not quite as accurate. Just want to point this out that you should probably pick the units you're going to be using. You can always change them later. It's very handy to start off with knowing the units so you want to make your design decisions kind of on an informed basis.
If you don't know your units then every time you type in a number it might be a little bit off and probably will be. Let's go ahead and cancel this. I've already using small objects millimeters so we're set up in that regard. That is setting the units and tolerance. Another thing I like to do is work on the origin that's really ideal for keeping things organized especially when you do transforms like a mirror. You want to be somewhere logical. I see a lot of beginners off to the side and they have to do a lot of work moving things back.
In that situation you just make an additional layer if you want to other design studies. Now this determined size suggestion here just will keep me on track so I can avoid making major changes in scaling up or down later on or actually at the end of a project which might be a real problem. In this situation I've just put a couple of dimension lines here that's the size I want my case. You can also just draw a couple lines or whatever. Just some reference points so you're not surprised that that object that you want to be 150 is all of a sudden 2000 units across and you have to do some major tweaking.
Finally I'm using these red access lines. I drew these and just put them on their own separate layer. This helps me kind of know where I am. I've also go this little north arrow to do the same thing. If I get turned upside down I kind of know how to get back. Before we draw anything another little brief overview. This is the work flow I'm going to be using. You might recognize this from other courses on Rhino but we're going to be building everything with curves to gain maximum control. That means were going to avoid whenever possible using these primitives.
Box. Sphere. Etc. Also we want to use 0 snaps that's this row down here at the bottom. We want to keep things accurate. Whenever you draw a curve unless it's organic and not that critical. W want to make sure end points snap to other end points otherwise when we make a surface you've introduced errors. Also when were in commands you want to make sure to look up at the command line. We'll do that in just a second here. This is the command line area. A lot of times people miss options that can make things better or faster.
Finally I want to recommend using organized layers. I've got only one design we're going to be pursuing today. But if I had multiple iterations, I would just repeat design 01 and have another design 02, design 03. What I don't recommend is having separate files because that can take a long time. Going back into previous files assuming you've even kept them to find a part, or a piece, or a detail and bring it back into the current file. I'd just make a later design 02, turn off design 01 and then continue.
All the original prior work is still there. It's a great way to work. It's especially useful for smaller files like the ones we're working on. Okay let's build something! I want to zoom out here a little bit. I'm going to start off by going to the curve drawing toolbar. Here's the rectangle command which can also be used for a square. Now it's asking for the first corner, and this is where most people would just start clicking and drawing. But we just talked about the command line options. I'm going to say I want to draw it from the center and also I want rounded corners.
It looks like with my intersection 0 snap on, I can start here. It snaps to those end points. I go out from the center this is really handy to get things perfectly centered for symmetrical operations. Now you can draw this anywhere you want. This is the eyeball technique. Instead I'm going to type in a number. I'm going to type in 150 here on the keyboard. That gives me an X value notice the only thing I can change now is the opposite direction which is the Y.
I'm going to type in 150 again. That will give me a sqaure. We've got the overall size but notice we've got some crazy curves here. It's waiting for me to do either a click for the rounded size or typing in a number for the third time. I notice I've got a note here radius=15. I'm going to type that number in right now. 1-5 enter. That's the key to building things fast. Is just looking for those command line options. We've saved ourself probably 12 clicks or more by coming back here and filleting two corners typing in a number, click click accept for all four corners.
Remember that tip to always check your command line to look for options to speed things up and make it more accurate. Okay let's extrude this into a surface and zoom out a little bit. Now you can start the command or pick the curve first doesn't matter. I'm going to probably jump back and forth here from time to time. We've got the surface creation toolbar, we've got the surface menu so we can use either of those interchangeably. Let's just go with this one extrude straight.
Now again we're in the same area where we can just eyeball this to whatever looks good. I do want mine to be exactly a cube so I'm going to type in 150. There is our very first surface. So just a recap here I've only drawn one curve I've used some of the command line options and I've extruded into a surface to an exact height. This is only a single curve and we've got some nice clean geometry here. Let's talk about making changes and this is the point of using curves.
This would be difficult to somehow scale or squash if you want to make it a different size. Since it was only two steps a curve and and then an extrusion we can always delete that and make these tweaks so much faster. I'm going to select this curve and hit F-10 that'll turn on the control points. If I need to make this a little bit narrower, I can just scoot these over I can pick an exact size. Notice though I've grabbed the whole group so there's no deformation there. This stays as a perfect arc. F-11 will turn those off.
Let's go ahead and re-extrude it. So I'm going to right click here. There's that command a few steps back. Again we can go to any size just visually or the eyeball method. I'm going to type in 150 so this is where you really get a huge benefit by using curves and you can just step back a command or two and make simple changes. Building with curves can really help you speed up your work as we just saw. But more importantly it allows you to make fast and easy changes.
If you believe that design is a process where it can always get better, that means changing it. Then this is the only way to go.