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Extracting Curves From Solids

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Tutorial provided by Nemetschek North America
September 25, 2003

This VectorWorks 10.5 tutorial explains the basics of extracting curves from a solid:

  • Setting Up the Modeling Units
  • Creating a Block
  • Blending Edges
  • Hollowing Out the Block
  • Extracting Curves
  • Creating the Groove

Setting Up the Modeling Units

This tutorial works in inches. To set up the units for modeling distances in inches:

1. Select Page > Units.

2. In the Units dialog box, select Inches from the Unit Name list. All distances entered for designs will now be in inches.

Creating a Block

1. Double-click the Rectangle tool from the 2D Tools palette.
The rectangle object properties dialog box opens. Enter the following settings:

2. Click OK to place a rectangle in the center of the drawing area.

3. Extrude the rectangle. With the square selected, click Model > Extrude. In the Create Extrude dialog box, enter 3” for the Extrusion value. Click OK to create an extrude object.

Blending Edges

1. Select View > Standard Views > Right Isometric.

2. Click the Fillet Edge tool from the 3D Tools palette.

3. Click on one of the vertical edges of the block. The Fillet Edge Preferences dialog box opens:

4. Enter 3/4” for the Radius, and then click OK.

5. Holding the Shift key down, select all of the vertical edges of the block. Each edge turns red as it is selected.

6. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar.

Hollowing Out the Block

1. Click the Shell Solid tool from the 3D Tools palette.

2. Click on the top face of the block. The Shell Solid Preferences dialog box opens:

3. Enter 1/4” as the Shell Thickness, and then click OK. The top face of the block is highlighted in red (alternatively, select it from the Select Faces dialog box).

4. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar to create the shell.

Extracting Curves

1. Click the Extract tool from the 3D Tools palette, and select Extract Curve from the Mode bar.

2. Holding the Shift key down, select all of the top inner edges of the block.

3. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar.

4. Select Organize > Ungroup.

5. Select Tool > Compose.

Creating the Groove

1. Click the Ellipse tool from the 2D Tools palette, and then select Circle by Radius from the Mode bar.

2. In an unused area of the drawing, create a circle with a 1/8” radius.

3. Holding the Shift key, select the circle and the red NURBS curve created earlier.

4. Select Model > Extrude Along Path. The Extrude Along Path dialog box opens:

5. Use the arrow buttons to select the NURBS curve as the path object, and then click OK.

6. Holding down the Shift key, select the block and the extruded-along-path object.

7. Select Model > Subtract Solids. The Select Object dialog box opens:

8. Use the arrow buttons to select the block, and then click OK to create the groove.

9. To render the model, click the Light tool from the 3D Tools palette to insert a light source, and then select View > Rendering > OpenGL.

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