Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Hi, I'm George Mastry, and today we're going to take a look at how to create dovetail joints using intersect faces. Now, you may not be familiar with the intersect tool, but what it does is that it allows you to use an object as a cutting tool. So actually, let's go ahead and take a look at a simple example so you can understand the tool before we use it. So if I pan over in my scene, you'll see that I have this cylinder and a plane.
Now, I'm going to use the plane to cut the cylinder, but before I do that I will need to group the plane, because if I actually just position the plane over the cylinder, and I don't do it correctly, I'm going to get weird things because the faces are going to snap together. So let's go ahead and just select that plane, right click, and do a make group. Now that it's grouped it won't stick. So let's go ahead and move that into place, and if we want, we can rotate this just a little bit to make this a little bit more interesting.
Now to do intersect, all we have to do is explode that group, so we have raw geometry, select all that geometry, and then right click, intersect faces with model, and when I do that, you'll notice this little edge comes up here along that intersection, and if we look at this in x-ray mode, you'll see that we have actually another face, and if we use our erase tool to get rid of that original plane, you'll see that that face still is in place, and we could actually use our erase tool to delete this top edge, and that will actually leave geometry.
So if we turn off x-ray you can probably see this a little bit better, and I can select that face and reverse it if I need to. So what we did was we used a plane to cut this cylinder in half. Now we can do the same thing here with this. So I'm going to go ahead and create a cutting tool from this pattern. Now before we go any further, you do need to draw things very precisely to use this sort of tool to create a dovetail.
My boards are all one inch depth, and my dovetails are exactly one inch as well, and hopefully this will make everything line up and work properly. so the first thing I want to do is actually create a cutting tool. Now, I have my pattern, but I really need to turn this into a tool. So I'm going to select his face and use push-pull to push it out in geometry. Now, I want to make sure that this is bigger than one inch. The actual size isn't that important. It can overlap this quite a bit, and then I'm going to select this and make group.
Now before I actually position this, I'm going to actually draw some additional detail on my board to make sure that I can snap to the board and also so that I have a good, clean cut. So I'm going to draw detail exactly one inch in. Now this is a one inch dovetail, so I'm going to draw a rectangle that's one inch square, and the just use my line tool to create additional geometry that is exactly one inch from that front edge.
Now this might not be needed, but it does tend to help the cut a little bit. So now that I have this, I have this group, and I can actually position this in place. So if I snap to endpoint there, you can see I can actually move that so that it overlaps and actually having it overlap is pretty good. So this is actually going to be moving along the red axis, so that way this is still exactly one inch in, and now that I have this in place, I'm actually going to do one thing before I actually do the cut, and I'm going to select my cutting tool and do a copy, and then I'm going to do an explode of that cutting tool, select the cutting tool and the board, and then right click, intersect faces with model, and now that I have this, I should be able to just get rid of my cutting tool.
So I'm going to go ahead and delete this, delete this, and what's left is the geometry that's been cut, and we can now use our eraser tool to get rid of the rest of that detail, and you can see now we're getting out dovetails, and here we go.
So now I've got one half of the equation. Now remember, I copied my cutting tool, so all I have to do now is do an edit, past in place, and I will have that tool. Now before I do anything, I'm actually, I'm going to go ahead and select that board, and right click and do a make group, and then just move that out of the way. Now I'm going to move that along the red axis. It's still a line, but it's out of the way. So now I have the cutting tool, but I do need to make it kind of a complimentary cutting tool, so I'm going to go ahead and basically reverse this.
So I'm going to ungroup it, explode it, and then I'm going to take this plane, and I'm going to reverse it. So I'm going to select all of this, hit delete, and now I've got this, and I'm just going to draw a rectangle that snap to those edges on the other side, and you can see that now I'm getting that compliment, and then I'm going to erase all of that, and then I also have some edges in here that I need to get rid of, and now I have this cutting tool.
So I'm going to go ahead and just push that into place, and I'm going to do one more thing. I'm going to actually extend these out just a little bit. So again, I have a little bit of overlap. So this'll be the tool that cuts this. Now, we're going to do the exact same thing we did before. I'm going to select this, and group it, and then I'm going to, again, draw a one inch depth line around here. So I'm going to start with a square that's one inch, and then just use my line tool to go all the way around.
And now that I have this in place, I should be able to position it. So I'm going to select this corner here, snap it to that one inch corner there, and so now we've got this one inch into this object, and again, that'll just make it line up so that when we actually fit these together we'll have the proper depth. So let's explode our cutting tool, select everything, right click, intersect faces with model.
So now that I've got that, I should be able to select these, delete them, and then get rid of the rest of this cutting tool here, and now let's use our erase tool. So in this case, I want to erase these here, and now that we've got that you should see how hopefully this all fits together.
There we go. So now I've got this and this. So I want to make sure I group this so that nothing sticks. So I'm going to go ahead and do make group, and then I'm going to move this, in fact, I can probably snap that to that, and now we've got a very nice dovetail joint. So hopefully this makes sense as to how intersect can work to cut geometry away and create complex shapes.
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