3D Modeling Special Interest Group – November 2016

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In this session we want to look at a few disconnected 3D modelling challenges. The first one was how to create a complex table leg, something like a Louis XIV table then we had a question about creating a specific kitchen cabinet that had to be designed to fit walls that were not 90° apart, and finally we looked at creating an outdoor fireplace.

Topics covered

  • 00:12     one of the users decided it was time to give me a real test and so they wanted to know how I would create a Louis XIV table leg. This is a leg that curves on both front sides and it also has a clawfoot. The answer is to divide the subject into two parts: the main part of the leg and the clawfoot. There is more than one way to do this, originally one of the users tried using a front view, drawing the shape of the leg and then extruding, then changing to the right view drawing the other elevation extruding that one and then finding the intersection of the two components (Intersect Solids)
  • 02:25     in this exercise we have decided to use loft surface to see if this will create the shape that we want. We have created a series of rectangles that represent the cross-section through the leg at different elevations. Once these have been converted to NURBS they can be lifted to the correct elevation, and then we can use the loft surface tool to create the 3D shape. We spent a lot of time ensuring that we get the correct location for these rectangles. It is vitally important that you do otherwise when you loft surface you will not get the shape that you want.
  • 11:47     the loft surface may not be exactly what you’re looking for, so you can use the Create Contours command to create sections through your object. This command will give a series of NURBS curves through the object which can then be manipulated. After manipulating these NURBS you can loft surface again to get a modified shape.
  • 14:40     an alternative would be to model this leg using subdivision modelling. You could perhaps start with a square extrusion convert that to a subdivision model and edited to create the leg.
  • 15:37     one of the users wanted to create a kitchen cupboard that had an angled back. Because of the angle between the bank and the right carcass, the standard base cabinet could not be used, so the cabinet has been created from scratch using simple rectilinear extrusions. In order to create a quick carcass, a solid block was created and then Shall Solid was used to cut out the inside of the carcass. With the inside of the carcass created, we used automatic working planes along with a simple rectangle to create the first door. This second door can be created as a mirror of the first one. One of the problems with creating extrusions is that they do not present as a solid object and a Top/Plan view, but there is a technique that will do that, Auto Hybrid. The auto hybrid command will take your 3D objects and will automatically create a 2D portion for you.
    24:33     there is a discussion here about using Auto Hybrid. In order to explain how auto hybrid works with things above and below the cut plane, I created an outdoor fireplace.
  • 33:26     when you use some 3D tools in Vectorworks (taper face, fillet edge, et cetera) they cause 3D objects to lose their history. There is a sometimes work around that you can use to bring back the history, which is to ungroup the objects. Here is an example using Fillet Edge to change the shape of an object and then using ungroup to remove the filleted edges and restore the original object.
  • 35:27     how to use classes to control the graphic style of the auto hybrid object. I have classes stored in my standards that make it easy to create my classes for auto hybrids. Whenever I need to create an auto hybrid I can easily import the classes I require. Some of the users wanted to know how I was able to create these classes and store them in my standards folder, so we discussed how to browse for classes that you require and how to store these into the default library, making them available whenever required.
  • 43:19     a brief discussion about interiorCAD XS. This is a very powerful addition to Vectorworks, but it is not free. Some users would like to see a specific monthly manual next year on using interior CAD XS.
  • 47:51     the discussion moved back to talking about auto hybrids and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

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