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This

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Contact Information

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Table of Contents

solidThinking Environment

1

Modeling Views

5

Console ...................................................................................................................

13

Selecting Objects

15

Working Modes

19

World Browser

25

Construction Tree

33

Transformations

43

53

59

Grids

61

Curves

65

Combine and Multi-Combine

77

Mirror .......................................................................................................................

81

Surfaces

85

Extrude

93

Skin..........................................................................................................................97

Loft and Pipe

105

Birail

113

Multisweep

117

Lathe

121

RadialSweep

127

Coons, 3Sides, and Curves Network

131

Fillpath and Surface from Curves

137

Blend Surfaces

141

Intersection, Make Manifold and Boolean Operations

153

Round

161

165

173

191

195

Backgrounds

213

Chapter 1

solidThinking Environment

solidThinking Interface Overview

To better understand the application, you need to familiarize yourself with the solidThinking user interface. This will allow you to keep the number of commands required to perform operations to a minimum.

The main elements of the solidThinking interface are shown in the image below.

Chapter 1 solidThinking Environment solidThinking Interface Overview To better understand the application, you need to familiarize

Across the top of the screen is the Application title bar. This area indicates that the solidThinking application is the active application and provides the name of the current scene you have open.

Below the Application title bar (or above it, as in the Mac OS X version) are pull-down menus. These menus provide access to the tools, settings, interface elements, and other parts of solidThinking. Most of the menu options are also accessible thru keyboard shortcuts and/or on-screen icons.

Along the left side of the default interface arrangement is the Modeling toolbar. The icons for most of the solidThinking tools are located here. These tools are also accessible through the Tools menu.

You can scroll through the icons by clicking and dragging anywhere in the palette with the right- mouse button on Windows or clicking and dragging while pressing the Command key on a Mac. You can also use the mouse wheel to scroll through the palette.

To see fewer icons in the Modeling toolbar, you can collapse each tabbed section, such as Transform or Curves, by double-clicking the Section Title tab. The effect of this action is shown below:

Below the Application title bar (or above it, as in the Mac OS X version) are

In some cases, the icon for a tool has a small arrow in the lower, right corner. These arrows indicate that many related tool icons are “stacked” beneath the icon that is visible. You can access these icons by clicking-and-holding the left mouse button on the top icon.

Below the Application title bar (or above it, as in the Mac OS X version) are
Below the Application title bar (or above it, as in the Mac OS X version) are

A fly-out panel is displayed with the stacked icons visible and ready to select. This fly-out remains visible until you select a tool icon or move the mouse away. You do not have to hold the mouse button down the entire time the fly-out is visible.

Tool-tips are provided for each icon in the solidThinking interface. These provide the title of the tool or icon in a floating, yellow box beneath your cursor.

Tool-tips are automatically displayed if you simply hover, or hold without clicking, the mouse cursor above the icon for one second. This also works inside the fly-out icon menus.

You can float or dock these panels by picking and dragging their borders according to your

preferences.

When floating, a toolbar displays its name and a close button in the title bar. If

you hide all panels, operations can still be performed by using the menu commands. layout, modeling views have the maximum space possible.

With this

Several floating panels are used in different phases of a working session. Learning the keyboard shortcuts allows you to quickly display or hide panels, thus improving your workflow. You can find the keyboard shortcuts in the solidThinking on-line help.

You can also choose different themes to change the solidThinking user interface.

From the Help menu, select Preferences to open the Preferences panel (for Mac users, select the Info > Preferences command). From the General tab, locate the User Interface section and select a different theme from the Theme drop-down menu.

Chapter 2

Modeling Views

Exercise 2.1: Orthographic Views

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to use orthographic views in solidThinking.

Step 1: Enlarge and reduce a view

  • 1. Double-click the title bar to enlarge your view and double-click again to reduce your view.

  • 2. You can also press the V keyboard key as a shortcut to enlarge and reduce the active view.

Chapter 2 Modeling Views Exercise 2.1: Orthographic Views Purpose This exercise illustrates how to use orthographic

Step 2: Activate a view

  • 1. To activate a view, click the title bar or click inside the view while holding down the right mouse button.

  • 2. Before inserting primitives, you must activate your view to define the orientation of your object.

Step 3: Pan using the mouse

  • 1. Click and drag the right mouse button to pan in any orthographic view.

  • 2. In the Perspective view, click and drag the right mouse button while holding down the CTRL key to pan.

Step 4: Pan using the Track icon

  • 1. Drag the Track icon with the left mouse button horizontally to move the view from side to side.

  • 2. Drag it vertically to move the view up and down.

Step 4: Pan using the Track icon 1. Drag the Track icon with the left mouse

Step 5: Zoom in and out using the mouse

  • 1. Click and drag the right mouse button while holding down the SHIFT key to pan in any view.

  • 2. You can also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Step 6: Zoom in and out using the icons

With the left mouse button, drag the Zoom icon vertically up or down to zoom the view.

Step 4: Pan using the Track icon 1. Drag the Track icon with the left mouse

Step 7: Zoom defining a rectangular area

While holding down the ALT key, drag the right mouse button in any view to set the first corner and release the right mouse button when you define the opposite corner.

Exercise 2.2: Perspective Views

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to navigate in perspective views.

Step 1: Orbit in the Perspective view using the mouse

Click and drag the right mouse button to orbit in the Perspective view.

Step 2: Orbit in the Perspective view using the Orbit icon

Click and drag the Orbit icon up and down or side to side to orbit in the Perspective view.

Step 3: Zoom in the Perspectiv e view using the Dolly icon 1. Click and drag

Step 3: Zoom in the Perspective view using the Dolly icon

  • 1. Click and drag the Dolly icon to move the camera forward.

  • 2. Drag it down to move the camera backward. This action does not change the viewing angle. Perspective distortions may result at the edges of the scene.

Step 3: Zoom in the Perspectiv e view using the Dolly icon 1. Click and drag

Step 4: Zoom in the Perspective view using the F.O.V. icon

  • 1. Click and drag the F.O.V. icon up to zoom in.

  • 2. Drag it down to zoom out. This action changes the camera field of view and increases the size of the point of interest by increasing the lens length.

Step 3: Zoom in the Perspectiv e view using the Dolly icon 1. Click and drag

Step 5: Zoom in the Perspective view using the Dolly and F.O.V. icon together

  • 1. Click and drag the Dolly/F.O.V. icons up and down to change your perspective view. This function combines Dolly and F.O.V.

  • 2. It is important not to confuse the Dolly with the F.O.V. function.

Step 3: Zoom in the Perspectiv e view using the Dolly icon 1. Click and drag

Exercise 2.3: View Modes

Purpose

This exercise illustrates visualizing objects in various modes. By default, the Wireframe view mode is displayed in each window.

Step 1: W (Wireframe), S (Shaded), C (Combined), T (Textured), or E (Environment)

Step 1: W (Wireframe), S (Shaded) , C (Combined), T (Textured), or E (Environment) 1. Click
  • 1. Click the W (Wireframe) icon to represent all objects in your scene in wireframe mode.

  • 2. Click the S (Shaded) icon to represent the shape of the objects and how lights illuminate the scene. The shading color is not the color of the object. The shading color depends on the layer color. Changing the layer color changes the shading color. To get more shading colors in your scene, you can create more layers and different colors for each layer.

  • 3. Click the C (Combined) icon to represent the shape color of the object in both wireframe and shaded mode.

  • 4. Click the T (Textured) icons to represent the material color and texture assigned to your objects. Also, the environment map (HDRI images) will be visible only in the Perspective views. By default, all objects are white. The Textured mode representation does not exactly fit the final effect; it aims to give you an idea of what to expect. The Textured mode requires the most time to refresh the display, but it can be very useful for previewing your scene before starting the rendering session. Not all materials, such as procedural materials and decal shaders, can be displayed in Textured mode.

  • 5. Click the E (Environment) icons to apply an environment map to your scene. The environment map is reflected on all models. You can select a different map to get a new result. Additional maps can be added to the EnvMaps folder of your solidThinking application.

Exercise 2.4: View Layouts

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to organize views in various layouts. By default, the four view options, Top, Perspective, Front, and Right, have the same dimensions.

Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the

Step 1: Changing the view layout

  • 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the Layouts dialog.

  • 2. Click the icon of the view you want to use. The panel closes and the views are redrawn.

  • 3. You can enlarge one view to fill the entire space inside the main window by double-clicking its title bar. Double-click it again to restore it to its normal size.

Exercise 2.5: View Detail

Purpose

You can adjust the level of detail in the visual representation of your scene using the View Detail panel, located on the View menu. You can increase the speed of modeling operations or enhance the detail quality representation of your objects.

Step 1: Increase performance with complex scenes

If you are working with complex models, choose a low level detail that allows you a faster representation of your scene speed modeling operations.

Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the

Low Quality

Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the
Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the
Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the

Medium Quality

Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the

High Quality

  • 1. Open a complex scene.

Step 1: Changing the view layout 1. From the View menu, select Layouts to display the
  • 2. From the View menu, select Detail. From the View Detail dialog, click Low.

Step 2: Increase or enhance the shading quality If you are working with a model and

Step 2: Increase or enhance the shading quality

If you are working with a model and need a higher quality representation and better visualization, choose the High level detail. High level detail slows down the redraw process.

  • 1. From the View menu, select Detail and click High.

  • 2. You can customize any detail setting through the Customize View Detail panel. From the View Detail dialog, click Customize to display the Customize View Detail panel.

Step 3: Increase or decrease the curve mesh representation

  • 1. Draw a sphere and click the S (Shaded) icon on the title bar of the Perspective view.

  • 2. From the View menu, select Detail. Click Customize from the View Detail dialog.

  • 3. Under Wireframe, in the Resolution field, insert the value 20 and click Apply or OK. Each surface entity is represented with 20 curve meshes. Apply allows you to change the representation of your scene without closing the window, while OK changes the representation of your scene and closes the Customize View Detail window.

Step 2: Increase or enhance the shading quality If you are working with a model and

Wireframe resolution: 4

Step 2: Increase or enhance the shading quality If you are working with a model and

Wireframe resolution: 20

Step 4: Increase or decrease the shading quality

  • 1. Open the file Shadingquality.st and click the S (Shaded) icon on the title bar of the Perspective view.

  • 2. From the View menu, select Detail. Click Customize from the View Detail dialog.

  • 3. From the Shading menu, select Texture.

  • 4. In the Tolerance field, enter the value 0.001 and click Apply or OK. Each surface entity has a higher shading quality.

Step 5: Increase and decrease the curve quality

  • 1. Draw a helix with these values: Bottom Radius: 10 Top Radius: 5 Height: 15 Turns: 10.

  • 2. Even if you choose the High level detail, the helix quality is not high enough. From the View menu, select Detail and click Customize from the View Detail dialog.

  • 3. Under Lines, enter 50 in the Resolution field.

  • 4. In the Maximum field, insert the value 500 or 1000 and click Apply or OK. All curves and curve mesh representations of surfaces will have a higher quality.

Step 4: Increase or decrease the shading quality 1. Open the file Shadingquality.st and click the

Step 6: Enable the transparent surfaces drawing mode

  • 1. Open the file Transparent-mode.st.

  • 2. From the View menu, select Detail.

3.

Enable the Transparent surfaces check box. The entire scene in the Shaded view mode looks transparent.

The level of detail you can reach without compromising the redraw performance depends on your hardware configuration and your video card. You should avoid increasing the level of detail too much if your hardware is not powerful enough. Moreover, changing the visual representation of your model does not affect its geometry in any way.

Chapter 3

Console

Exercise 3.1: Interacting with the Active Command

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to interact with active tools using the Console. You can find the Console at the top of the workspace, near the pull-down menus.

Chapter 3 Console Exercise 3.1: Interacting with the Active Command Purpose This exercise illustrates how to

Any parameter requiring numerical input can either be set through the keyboard or specified by working interactively in any view with the mouse. When you enter XYZ coordinates, values can be separated by a comma (1,1,1). However, they cannot be separated by a dot, as a dot is used for decimals. The spacebar cannot be used as it will end an operation.

Step 1: Starting the Console

  • 1. Click Circle or select Tools > Curves > Circle > Circle: Center, Radius. The Console awaits your keyboard or mouse input.

  • 2. You cannot interact with the Modeling Tool panel until you complete all console requirements.

Step 2: Escape the Console prompts if you select the wrong tool

  • 1. Click Circle or any other tool.

  • 2. To escape the Console prompts, press the ESC key to cancel the tool. The Console closes and the circle is cancelled.

Step 3: Skip all current prompts in the Console

  • 1. Click Circle or select Tools > Curves > Circle > Circle: Center, Radius.

  • 2. Hold down the CTRL key and press ENTER. Default values for the circle are assigned.

  • 3. In the Circle: Center, Radius panel, enter 0, 0, 0 for the position and enter 1 for the Radius dimension. By doing this, you skip all the subsequent prompts for the current command.

  • 4. You can change your circle (or any other object) at any time by modifying its parameter in the Modeling Tool panel.

Step 4: Reactivate the Console

Sometimes, the Console may be inactive and you will not be able to insert numerical values or press the ENTER key to confirm values. Let’s see when this could happen.

  • 1. Click Circle.

  • 2. Confirm that 0, 0, 0 is the default position of the circle by pressing ENTER.

  • 3. Click the Modeling Tool panel or the World Browser. The Console is inactive and the highlighted text is unselected.

  • 4. Press ENTER to confirm the Radius of 1. The Console is still open, but you cannot interact with it.

  • 5. Press 1 to change the radius value from 1 to 2. Also in this case, you cannot interact with the Console. To reactivate it, choose one of the following procedures:

Click or double-click inside the Console.

With the right-mouse, click in any view.

As you can see, the Console is active and the value is highlighted.

  • 6. Press ENTER to confirm the default radius or press 2 to change the radius value and press ENTER.

Chapter 4

Selecting Objects

By default, when you start solidThinking, the Object mode is active. As a result, you do not need to activate a working mode to select or apply transformations to objects.

Chapter 4 Selecting Objects By default, when you start solidThinking , the Object mode is active.

For multiple selections, pick objects while holding down the CTRL key. The CTRL key can be used to deselect an object. An object can also be selected within the hierarchy browser by simply clicking on its icon.

Colors Used in solidThinking

To represent the status of an object, solidThinking uses the following colors:

Blue: Objects are not selected. Blue is the default layer color. Red: Objects are selected. Magenta: Entities are selected.

Dark green: Non-selected objects that are involved in the Construction Tree of the selected object.

Exercise 4.1: Selecting and Deselecting Objects

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to select and deselect objects.

Step 1: Select an object in a view

To select an object, activate the Object mode icon and select one of the following methods:

  • 1. Click the object in any view. If the Wireframe view mode is active, click on its edge. If the Shaded view mode is active, click on its surface.

  • 2. Within the hierarchy browser, click the name of the object. Edit mode or Object mode can be active.

  • 3. For multiple selections, pick the objects while holding down the CTRL key.

  • 4. Hold down the mouse button and drag in the view to select any object included in a selection box.

Step 2: Deselect an object

  • 1. Activate the Object mode and click in an empty place in any view.

  • 2. If you select more than one object and you need to deselect an object without deselecting the others, hold down the CTRL key and click the object you want to deselect.

  • 3. If Edit mode is active, clicking in an empty place in any view does not deselect selected objects. In this case, you must switch to Object mode and click in an empty place in any view.

Step 3: Select an entity/entities

  • 1. In the Top view, draw a cube as shown in the image below.

  • 2. To select a single entity (and not the whole object), pick it while holding down the ALT key.

  • 3. To select more entities, hold down the ALT and the CTRL keys and pick on its surface.

  • 4. If the Wireframe view mode is active, click on its wireframe.

  • 5. If the Shaded view mode is active, click on its surface. It is easier to select entities in the Shaded view mode.

Step 1: Select an object in a view To select an object, activate the Object mode
Step 1: Select an object in a view To select an object, activate the Object mode

Step 4: Select an entity/entities from the hierarchy browser

  • 1. In the World Browser, click the + symbol to display the entities of your object and click on any entity.

Step 4: Select an entity/entit ies from the hierarchy browser 1. In the World Browser ,
Step 4: Select an entity/entit ies from the hierarchy browser 1. In the World Browser ,

Note:

You cannot delete an entity if the selected object is part of a construction history. If you

press Delete, the entire object is canceled. If the object is not a part of a construction history

and you press Delete, only the select entity is cancelled and not the entire object.

Exercise 4.2: Selecting Points

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to select and edit points.

Step 1: Select a point

  • 1. Select the Edit mode and click the point.

Step 4: Select an entity/entit ies from the hierarchy browser 1. In the World Browser ,
  • 2. Picking a new point automatically deselects any previously selected point. Picking can be performed in any view, 3D view included.

  • 3. To represent the status of a point, solidThinking uses the following colors: Blue - Point can be selected. Yellow - Point is selected. When you apply a transformation to some selected points, these are displayed in blue, but in a smaller size.

Light Green - Point is not selectable and is visualized (in a smaller size) to enable snap to point.

  • 4. For multiple selections, pick points while holding down the CTRL key.

To choose a range of points, from the currently selected point to the clicked point, hold down the SHIFT key.

Hold down the mouse button and drag in the view to select any point included in a selection box. To force a selection box, even if you are over a control point or another hotSpot (thus avoiding to activate a translation), hold down CTRL + SHIFT and drag with the mouse.

Exercise 4.3: Selecting Groups

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to organize your scene by creating groups. Groups can help you organize your scene when you have a lot of objects. You can group objects that have the same material or are in the same construction tree. This helps you quickly find them in the World Browser

Step 1: Select a group

  • 1. To select a group, click Group mode and pick an object that is part of a group. The entire group is selected.

Light Green - Point is not selectable and is visualized (in a smaller size) to enable

When you are in Group mode, you cannot translate an object or a group by clicking and dragging in the view. It is still possible to apply any transformation by activating the appropriate tool. A group can also be selected within the hierarchy browser by simply selecting it.

Chapter 5

Working Modes

By default, when you start solidThinking, the Object mode is active so you do not need to activate any working mode or apply transformations to objects.

Chapter 5 Working Modes By default, when you start solidThinking, the Object mode is active so

Exercise 5.1: Working in Object Mode

Purpose

In Object mode, you can translate, rotate, and scale objects.

Step 1: Move objects in Object mode

You can move objects using one of the following methods:

  • 1. Pick one or more items (objects or points) and drag.

  • 2. Click Translate,

Chapter 5 Working Modes By default, when you start solidThinking, the Object mode is active so

, or use the T keyboard shortcut and drag your items (objects or

points). You can also select Tools / Transform / Translate.

• When you drag an object, you can see the distance in the Modeling Tool panel.
• When you drag an object, you can see the distance in the Modeling Tool panel.

When you drag an object, you can see the distance in the Modeling Tool panel.

Even if you can translate items by picking and dragging, it is better to use the Translate command instead. Using Translate avoids moving unintentionally coincident objects.

Note

When you use Translate to move an object, do not move the Pivot hotSpot (the yellow point) unless you need to define a different origin.

Step 2: Modifying objects

You can modify objects by choosing one of the following methods:

  • 1. Changing a parameter in the Modeling Tool panel while either the Object mode or Edit mode is active.

  • 2. Modifying interactive points or hotSpots only in Edit mode.

Exercise 5.2: Modifying Parameters

Purpose

You can modify the parameters of any object by changing values in the Modeling Tool panel.

Step 1: Modifying parameters

  • 1. Open the file working_modes.st.

  • 2. Be sure that the Object mode is active.

  • 3. In the Perspective view, select the sphere.

  • 4. On the Modeling Tool panel, change the radius by moving the slider or by typing the value in the Radius data field and pressing ENTER.

Exercise 5.3: Modifying objects interactively

Purpose

You can modify some parameters of any objects interactively in any view.

Step 1: Modify objects interactively

  • 1. In any view, select the sphere.

  • 2. In the Application toolbar click Edit Mode. You can quickly switch from Object mode to Edit mode by pressing the spacebar. The hotSpots of the Sphere are displayed in blue.

  • 3. Position the mouse cursor over a hotSpot. A yellow tab displays its name. In this case, you can modify radius and start/end angles by clicking the appropriate hotSpots and dragging them. Hotspots can be associated with any parameter. They can be control points, vertices, or isoparametric curves on a surface. Some can be dragged while others may only be selected.

Step 2: Select items (objects or points) in Edit mode

  • 1. Press the spacebar to switch to Object mode. Learning to use this shortcut can dramatically improve your workflow.

  • 2. If the Edit mode is active, you cannot select or deselect objects in the views, unless you use one of the following methods:

Click on the object in the World Browser.

Hold down the ALT key and click on an item.

Otherwise, you must switch to Object mode and click any object.

When you switch to Edit mode, not all objects display hotSpots. For example, if you select a combined object and you switch to Edit mode, no hotSpots are displayed. In this case, the only way to modify objects is to go back to the Construction History and modify the original objects. To learn more about Construction History, see Chapter 7.

Moreover, you cannot translate, rotate, or scale objects if Edit mode is active. In Edit mode, you can translate, rotate or scale points. To learn more about translating, rotating, or scaling points in Edit mode, see Chapter 8.

Exercise 5.4: Group Mode

Purpose

Working with Groups helps you to organize your scene, especially when you need to assign materials to more than one object.

Step 1: Create a group

  • 1. In any view, select all objects that you want to make part of a group and choose one of the following methods:

Use the shortcut CTRL + G to group all the selected objects.

Choose the Selection > Group menu option.

From the World Browser, click the Group icon to group all selected objects.

Step 1: Create a group 1. In any view, select all objects that you want to

Step 2: Select groups

If you create a group in Object mode, you can select one object at a time and not the entire group.

  • 1. Click Group mode and pick an object that is part of a group. The entire group is selected.

  • 2. When you are in Group mode, you cannot translate an object or a group by clicking and dragging in the view, but it is still possible to apply any transformation (translation, rotation, and scaling) by activating the appropriate tool.

  • 3. You can also select your group within the hierarchy browser by clicking it.

Editing Parameters and Points

Editing Parameters and Points Parameter and point editing allows you to modify the position of the

Parameter and point editing allows you to modify the position of the object’s control points (for a NURBS primitive) or vertices (for a PolyMesh), even if the object is the result of a Construction Tree.

To enable point editing, click Point edit or use the ALT + spacebar shortcut.

When you switch from Parameter edit to Point edit, you must also activate the Edit mode to see and manipulate an object’s points. You cannot delete or add points when Point edit is active.

When in Point edit, the Multi Edit panel is automatically invoked. Transformations can be applied using the standard transformation modeling tools: translate, rotate and scale.

The Multi Edit modeling tool panel contains two buttons to remove the editing from the currently selected points (Un-edit selected) and from all points of the currently selected objects (Un-edit all).

Important note: When you edit points of primitives or objects that are involved in a construction history you must switch to Parameter edit. Otherwise, when you try to edit an object, you will not be able to modify interactively or adjust parameters in the Modeling Tool panel.

Chapter 6

World Browser

The World Browser allows you to view and organize objects in your scene. You can navigate in your scene using the World or Layers.

Chapter 6 World Browser The World Browser allows you to view and organize objec ts in

It is important not to confuse the World Browser with the Construction History.

The World Browser allows you to view all objects in your scene.

The Construction History allows you to view and navigate the construction history of the selected object.

You can float or doc the World Browser panel by picking and dragging its upper border and positioning it anywhere on the screen.

You can also resize your World Browser to obtain more space while you are organizing your scene.

Exercise 6.1: Navigating the World Browser

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to customize the World Browser.

Step 1: Resize the World Browser

  • 1. Drag the border up or down to resize the World Browser.

Exercise 6.1: Navigating the World Browser Purpose This exercise illustrates how to customize the World Browser.
  • 2. Add more space to the World Browser.

Exercise 6.1: Navigating the World Browser Purpose This exercise illustrates how to customize the World Browser.

3.

Drag the World Browser beside the Modeling Tool Panel to add more space.

3. Drag the World Browser beside the Modeling Tool Panel to add more space. 4. Hide
  • 4. Hide the Construction History to add more space to the World Browser.

3. Drag the World Browser beside the Modeling Tool Panel to add more space. 4. Hide

Step 2: Hide the Construction History

  • 1. Right-click in an empty area anywhere in the World Browser (not in the Construction History).

  • 2. Select Show/hide C. Tree to hide your Construction History. If you hide your Construction History, you can get more space to organize your scene.

Step 3: Display the Construction History

  • 1. Right-click in an empty area anywhere in the World Browser.

  • 2. Select Show/Hide C. Tree to display your Construction History.

Step 4: Rename objects – method 1

  • 1. Open the file Browser.st.

  • 2. Select the Sphere icon in any view. The sphere becomes red, and its icon in the World Browser is red.

  • 3. From the World Browser, click once on the Sphere icon Surf #1, then click and hold the mouse button down on the object name. The text becomes editable.

  • 4. Type Mysphere and press ENTER to rename.

Step 5: Rename objects – method 2

You can also rename an object in this way:

  • 1. Select the Sphere in any view.

  • 2. From the World Browser, click once on the Sphere icon Surf #1, press the F2 key, type Mysphere, and press ENTER to rename. You can also rename groups using the same procedure.

Renaming your objects in the World Browser is very helpful to locate them immediately.

There are many ways to customize your objects in the World Browser. You can disable and enable selecting objects, hide and show objects in views, group and ungroup objects, as well as other useful operations. These items are explored below:

Step 3: Display the Construction History 1. Right-click in an empty area anywhere in the World

Step 6: Hide an object in a scene

  • 1. Select the Prism in any view or its name from the World Browser (Surf #4).

2.

Click the Hidden in- interactive views icon.

  • 3. Click in an empty area to deselect it. When you hide an object, solidThinking hides it from rendering also. When you use one of the operations above, the status of the object changes. Also, its icon in the World Browser changes. This helps you to individualize the object easily.

2. Click the Hidden in- interactive views icon. 3. Click in an empty area to deselect

Visible objects

2. Click the Hidden in- interactive views icon. 3. Click in an empty area to deselect

Hidden object

Step 7: Visualize a hidden object

The only way that allows you to reselect and visualize a hidden object is to select it in the World Browser.

  • 1. From the World Browser, select Surf #4 that has a hidden icon.

  • 2. Click the Hidden in the interactive views button. Renaming objects helps to individualize them in the World Browser. You can still modify your objects even if they are hidden in view, in rendering, disabled, or shown as a bounding box only.

Step 8: Hide objects in rendering

  • 1. Select the Prism in any view or click on its name (Surf #4) in the World Browser.

  • 2. Click the Hidden in rendering views icon. When you render your scene the prism will not be rendered.

Step 9: Display objects in rendering

  • 1. From the World Browser, select Prism (Surf #4).

  • 2. Click the Hidden in rendering icon.

Step 10: Create a group

  • 1. While pressing the CTRL button, select the Sphere, Tours, and the Cylinder in any view. The three objects and their icons turn red in the World Browser.

  • 2. From the World Browser, click the Create group icon.

Step 11: Add objects to a group

  • 1. Select the circle in any view.

  • 2. From the World Browser, drag and drop its icon, Curve #3, into the Group folder.

Step 10: Create a group 1. While pressing the CTRL button, select the Sphere , Tours

Step 12: Remove objects from a group

  • 1. Click the + sign to expand the Group #1 folder.

  • 2. Select the circle, Curve #3, within Group #1.

  • 3. Drag and drop Curve #3 on the World icon or in another group (do not drop it in an empty area).

Step 13: Ungroup an existing group

  • 1. Click Group from the World Browser. The group icon becomes red.

  • 2. From the World Browser, click the Ungroup icon.

Step 14: Disable picking objects

  • 1. Select the object you want to disable.

  • 2. Click Disable. The object is still selected.

  • 3. Click in an empty area to deselect it. The object cannot be selected in any view.

Step 15: Enable picking disabled objects

As with hidden objects, to reselect and enable a disabled object is to select it in the World Browser. To individualize which objects are disabled, activate the correct status filters.

Step 15: Enable picking disabled objects As with hidden objects, to reselect and enable a disabled

Click the Status filter pull-down menu and select Picking/B.Box.

This pull-down menu allows you to decide which kind of information you want displayed in the World Browser.

If you select Picking/B.Box, the World Browser displays only the icons of objects that are not selectable or that use a bounding-box display.

If you select Visibility, the World Browser displays only the icons of objects that are not visible in the interactive views or in the rendering.

If you select Shadows, the World Browser displays only the icons of objects that do not receive or cast shadows.

From the World Browser, select Surf #4.

Click the Picking disabled icon again to enable it.

Step 15: Enable picking disabled objects As with hidden objects, to reselect and enable a disabled

When you choose another Filter status, remember to switch it to Visibility. Visibility is the default Filter status.

Chapter 7

Construction Tree

The solidThinking Construction Tree amplifies the power of all of the tools. You can manipulate both the parameters and the points of all objects freely. It allows you to replace source objects within the Construction Tree with immediate reconstruction. It is also possible to collapse the Construction Tree, so is removing the history from an object. See the solidThinking User’s Guide for more details on the Construction History.

Chapter 7 Construction Tree The solidThinking Construction Tree amplifies the power of all of the tools.

It is important not to confuse the World Browser with the Construction History.

The World Browser allows you to view all objects in your scene.

The Construction Tree allows to view and to navigate only the Construction History of the selected object.

Exercise 7.1: Understanding the Construction Tree

Purpose

To better understand how the Construction History works, let us take a look at this simple example.

Step 1: Using the Construction Tree

  • 1. Open the file C-history01.st.

Exercise 7.1: Understanding the Construction Tree Purpose To better understand how the Construction History works, let

In the World Browser, there are three objects: a curve and two solids. The Construction History helps understand how these solids are created.

  • 2. From the Top view, click the left cylinder solid 1. active.

Make sure that the Object mode is

From the Construction Tree, we know that this object is not a free-form object, but a simple primitive created with solidThinking.

  • 3. Select the other object, solid 2. From the Construction History, we know that this object is not a primitive or a revolved object, for example, but an object created with the Extrude command.

Step 2: Read the Construction History of an object

  • 1. At the top of the Construction History is the name of the selected object and its history.

2. Solid 2 is created using the Extrude tool. 3. The name of the extruded curve
  • 2. Solid 2 is created using the Extrude tool.

  • 3. The name of the extruded curve is Curve1.

  • 4. Curve 1 is a circle.

Step 3: Modify objects that are involved in a Construction History

For instance, if we need to modify the radius of the solid, we must go back in the history and select the circle. If we select Solid 2 from the Modeling Tool panel, we can access the extrusion parameters, such as height and sections and not the radius value of the circle. For this reason, to change the radius, we must navigate the history and select the circle to modify its value.

  • 1. Click Solid 2 in any view to select it.

  • 2. Within the Construction History, click the circle or on its name, Curve1.

  • 3. In the Modeling Tool panel, change the Radius value from 5 to 7. Never cancel objects that are involved within a Construction History. For instance, if you cancel Curve1, Solid 2 becomes an empty object. Remember that each Modeling Tool creates the resulting object from the input parameters and object. If one source object is deleted, the resulting object remains in the browser but does not contain any valid entity. If this happens, you can undo the operation or replace the source object with another one and the object becomes valid.

Exercise 7.2: More Complex Construction History

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to edit an object with a Construction Tree.

Step 1: Add a trim to the solid

We will add a Trim operation to our solid, making the history of the objects more complex.

  • 1. Open the file C-history02.st.

  • 2. Click the Trim solid icon near the Trim icon.

Exercise 7.2: More Complex Construction History Purpose This exercise illustrates how to edit an object with
  • 3. The Pick curve: prompt is displayed. Click the Rectangle in the Front view.

  • 4. The Pick surface: prompt is displayed. Click Solid 2 in any view. What happened to Solid 2? solidThinking hides Solid 2 and creates a new copy with the trim operation. This means that we have two solids: the extruded one and the trimmed one. The extruded solid was automatically hidden. When we use modeling tools, such as Boolean, Intersection, Shell, Round, and so on, a new copy is always created and the original one is always hidden.

Step 2: Navigate an object’s history

To better understand what happens when we trim an object, we must navigate its history.

  • 1. Click the Trimmed solid, Surf #3, in any view to select it.

  • 2. Within the Construction History, click the Extrude Modeling Tool or on its name, Solid 2.

  • 3. In the Modeling Tool panel, change the extrusion Length value from 10 to 13.

  • 4. If you need to change the radius again, click the circle or on its name, Curve1.

  • 5. In the Modeling Tool panel, change the Radius value from 7 to 5. Even if source objects are hidden, they can be modified as any other object.

Exercise 7.3: Replacing Objects

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to replace a profile with another profile

Step 1: Replace an object within a Construction History

  • 1. Open the file Replace01.st.

  • 2. Click the Lathe tool.

Exercise 7.3: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to replace a profile with another profile
  • 3. The Pick Profile curve: prompt is displayed.

  • 4. In the Front view, click Profile 1.

  • 5. The Rev. axis start prompt is displayed.

  • 6. Press ENTER to confirm.

  • 7. The Revolution axis direction: prompt is displayed.

  • 8. Press ENTER to confirm. If you did not click Profile in the Front view, the revolution direction could change. Select the Z axis from the Modeling Tool panel if this happens.

Step 2: Replace the profile with another profile:

  • 1. Select the glass that you have revolved.

  • 2. From the Modeling Tool panel, select the Replace check box and click Profile 2.

Exercise 7.3: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to replace a profile with another profile
Exercise 7.3: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to replace a profile with another profile

Exercise 7.4: Replacing Objects

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to correctly replace the source object with a new one.

Step 1: Replace a source object in an inexact way

  • 1. Open the file Replace02.st.

  • 2. Select the object Surf #3 in any view.

  • 3. From the Construction History, select the Lathe object Surf #2.

  • 4. From the Lathe Modeling Tool panel, select the Replace check box and click Profile 3.

Exercise 7.4: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to correctly replace the source object with
Exercise 7.4: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to correctly replace the source object with

As you can see, the Replace operation is performed correctly, but the resulting object is not what we want. This is because there are other objects involved in this Construction History. For example, there are polar copy objects that are positioned at the center. When we replace the profile, solidThinking does not move the polar copy to the new location. In these cases, we must pay attention if other objects are involved in the History. We can place the new profile in the same location as Profile 1.

  • 5. Select the object Surf #3 in any view.

  • 6. From the Construction History, select the Lathe object, Surf #2.

  • 7. From the Lathe Modeling Tool panel, select Replace and click Profile 2.

Exercise 7.4: Replacing Objects Purpose This exercise illustrates how to correctly replace the source object with

As you can see, the result is correct.

Even if you made a mistake, you can correct it without problems.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1 using a different method

  • 1. Select the object Surf #3 in any view.

  • 2. From the Construction History, select the Lathe object Surf #2.

  • 3. From the Lathe Modeling Tool panel, select Replace and click Profile 3.

Here is the procedure to correct our mistake:

  • 4. Select the object Surf #3 in any view.

  • 5. From the Construction History, select Profile 3.

  • 6. Click the Translate icon or use the T keyboard shortcut.

  • 7. Click Grid 2 to activate it.

  • 8. Hold down the X keyboard shortcut and drag Profile 3 to the center.

As you can see, the result is correct. Even if you made a mistake, you can

Using the Construction History correctly helps you to correct errors and avoid using the Undo function.

Exercise 7.5: Collapsing a Construction History

Purpose

Sometimes, it can be useful to collapse the Construction History. To collapse a Construction Tree, unlink the selected object from the Construction History, leaving it freely editable.

Step 1: Cut and collapse a Construction History

Sometimes, it can be useful to collapse the Construction History. To collapse a Construction Tree, unlink the selected object from the Construction History, leaving it freely editable.

  • 1. Open the file C-history02.st.

2.

Select solid 2.

  • 3. Press the C keyboard shortcut or select the Edit > Collapse Construction Tree menu option. The following dialog is displayed:

2. Select solid 2 . 3. Press the C keyboard shortcut or select the Edit >

This dialog gives you the option to delete or keep hidden source objects that are not used in another Construction Tree.

  • 4. Click Yes to delete all source objects.

2. Select solid 2 . 3. Press the C keyboard shortcut or select the Edit >

Before collapsing.

2. Select solid 2 . 3. Press the C keyboard shortcut or select the Edit >

After collapsing and selecting Yes.

2. Select solid 2 . 3. Press the C keyboard shortcut or select the Edit >

After collapsing and selecting No.

As you can see in the World Browser and in the Construction History, if you select Yes (see the image above) Solid 2 does not have any more Construction History. In the World Browser, the source Curve1 is deleted.

If you select No, Solid 2 does not have any more Construction History. In the World Browser, the source Curve1 is still hidden in your scene. In this case, if you need it you can visualize it in your views and use it for your needs.

Exercise 7.6: Restoring a Step in the Construction History

Purpose

You can restore the second to last step (or any other step) in the Construction History. When you choose a tool like Boolean operation, Round, or Trim solid, solidThinking hides the object and performs the operation on a new copy. You must delete the last operation and turn on the hidden object.

Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.

Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.

How do you know what the last operation is in this Construction History?

Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.

According to the Construction Tree, the last operation is the Trim solid.

Step 1: Restore the second to last step in a Construction History

  • 1. Open the file C-history03.st.

  • 2. Select Surf #17. The Construction Tree shows that Surf #17 is the result of the Trim solid tool using two circles to trim Surf #16.

  • 3. Within the Construction History, click Surf #16.

  • 4. Click Hidden in interactive views icon to display.

Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.
Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.
  • 5. Within the Construction History, click Surf #17 and click Delete.

Below is an example. Suppose that we need to delete the two holes from this object.

Translation

Chapter 8

Transformations

In the active working mode, you can use solidThinking to translate objects or points. If you want to translate an object, the Object mode must be active. If you want to translate points, the Edit mode must be active. To toggle between the Object mode and the Edit mode, press the spacebar.

Exercise 8.1: Translation Methods

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to translate objects in three different ways.

Translate objects

To translate an object, the Object mode must be active. Choose one of the following methods:

  • 1. Interactive translation (without choosing the Translate tool).

  • 2. Interactive translation (using the Translate tool).

  • 3. Numerical translation (using the Translate tool).

Translation Chapter 8 Transformations In the active working mode, you can use solidThinking to translate objects

Step 1: Interactive translation (without choosing the Translate tool)

  • 1. Pick and drag one or more items in any 3D view to a new location. If you want to constrain movement along one axis, hold down the X, Y, or Z key before dragging it or enable only the X, Y, or Z axis icons on the Application toolbar. Note: When you select an object to translate, if you constrain movement along one axis, disabling X, Y or Z, the translation can be applied to the local axes or the global axes. Their orientation in the view is dependent on the orientation of the coordinate system, which can be local or global.

Step 1: Interactive translation (w ithout choosing the Translate tool) 1. Pick and drag one or

If you drag an object that has a complex construction history, it could take some time. This means that solidThinking must recalculate the entire history. Moreover, when you translate a complex object, you must select other involved objects in the same history, otherwise this could compromise the final result.

Step 2: Interactive translation (using the Translate tool)

  • 1. Pick the items you want to move.

  • 2. Click Translate or use the T keyboard shortcut. The Translation Manipulator, with 3 arrows (red, green and blue), is displayed at the center of the object. Also, a blue hotSpot is displayed at the center of the Manipulator. You can drag and place this blue hotSpot in any location to define a different reference point that could be used as a snapping point. Remember that you can use Snaps to position the center in a specific location.

  • 3. Choose one of the following methods to translate your object:

Step 1: Interactive translation (w ithout choosing the Translate tool) 1. Pick and drag one or
Step 1: Interactive translation (w ithout choosing the Translate tool) 1. Pick and drag one or

Drag the red arrow to translate the object along the X direction.

Drag the green arrow to translate along the Y direction.

Drag the blue arrow to translate along the Z direction.

Drag the blue square to translate along the XY plane.

Drag the green square to translate along the XZ plane.

Drag the red square to translate along the YZ plane.

Click and drag in an empty space outside the Manipulator to translate freely in any direction without any constraint.

If you want to perform another translation operation using the Manipulator, you must click the Translation icon again or press T.

It is better to use always the Translate tool, even if you can move objects without it, especially if there are many overlapped objects in your scene. In this case, you will avoid accidentally selecting and moving other objects.

Step 3: Numerical translation (using the Translate tool)

  • 1. Pick the items you want to move.

  • 2. Click Translate or use the T keyboard shortcut.

  • 3. Input the XYZ coordinates in the XYZ field on the Modeling Tool panel to numerically specify the new location.

• Drag the red square to translate along the YZ plane. • Click and drag in

Step 4: Translate objects in relation to a specific point

  • 1. By default, the translation reference point of an item is placed in relation to its local axes.

  • 2. Pick the item you want to move.

  • 3. Click Translate or use the T keyboard shortcut.

  • 4. Click the Pivot hotSpot (a blue point) of the item in any view and drag it to the new location.

  • 5. Choose one of the predefined Origin options from the Modeling Tool panel.

  • 6. Input the XYZ coordinates in the Pivot field of the Modeling Tool panel to specify numerically the location of an arbitrary origin point.

Step 5: Translate points

To translate points, the Edit mode must be active. Choose from one of the following methods:

  • 1. Interactive translation (without choosing the Translate tool).

  • 2. Interactive translation (using the Translate tool).

  • 3. Numerical translation (using the Translate tool). When you switch to Edit mode, not all kinds of objects display points. For example, if you select an object that has a construction history and you switch to Edit mode, no points are displayed. In this case, you can collapse the object or you can activate the Point edit tool on the Application toolbar.

Step 5: Translate points To translate points, the Edit mode must be active. Choose from one

Step 6: Interactive translation (without choosing the Translate tool)

  • 1. Select your object and switch to Edit mode.

  • 2. Select the points you need to translate and drag in any 3D view to a new location.

Step 7: Interactive translation (using the Translate tool)

  • 1. Select your object and switch to Edit mode.

  • 2. Select the points you need to translate.

  • 3. Click Translate or use the T keyboard shortcut.

  • 4. Use the Manipulator to move it or click an area of the view that is clear of any items and drag to the new location. If you want to constrain movement along one axis, hold down the X, Y, or Z key before dragging it.

Step 8: Numerical translation (using the Translate tool)

  • 1. Select your object and switch to Edit mode.

  • 2. Select the points you need to translate.

  • 3. Click Translate or use the T keyboard shortcut.

  • 4. Input the XYZ coordinates in XYZ field on the Modeling Tool panel to specify numerically the new location.

Rotate With the active working modes, you can use solidThinking to rotate objects or points. To

Rotate

With the active working modes, you can use solidThinking to rotate objects or points. To rotate objects, be sure that the Object mode is active. To rotate points, you must switch to Edit mode. To toggle between Object mode and Edit mode, press the spacebar.

By default, rotation is view dependent. This means that the rotation is performed according to the two-dimensional plane of the window view where you have selected the item to rotate.

Exercise 8.2: Rotation Methods

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to rotate objects.

Step 1: Rotate objects in a specific view

  • 1. Click the Top view to activate the XY plane.

  • 2. Select one or more objects that you want to rotate.

  • 3. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut. The Rotation Manipulator, with 3 arcs (red, green and blue) and a yellow circle, is displayed at the center of the object. Also, a blue hotSpot is displayed at the center of the Manipulator. You can drag and place this blue hotSpot in any location to define a different rotation center. Remember that you can use Snaps to position the center in a specific location.

4. Choose one of the following methods to translate your object: • Drag and rotate the
  • 4. Choose one of the following methods to translate your object:

Drag and rotate the yellow circle to rotate the object according the plane of the window view where you have selected the item to rotate.

Drag and rotate the blue arc to rotate the object on the XY plane.

Drag and rotate the green arc to rotate the object on the XZ plane.

Drag and rotate the red arc to rotate the object on the YZ plane.

If you want to perform another rotation operation using the Manipulator, you must click the Rotation icon again or press R.

Step 2: Rotate objects in a specific plane (non-view dependent)

  • 1. Select one or more objects that you want to rotate.

  • 2. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut.

  • 3. From the Modeling Tool panel, under Pred. rot. Axes, select Y.

  • 4. Click directly on the object or an area of the view that is clear of any items and drag it to rotate.

Step 3: Rotate objects numerically

  • 1. Click the Front view to activate the XZ plane.

  • 2. Select one or more objects that you want to rotate.

  • 3. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut.

  • 4. Input the value in the Angle field of the Modeling Tool panel to specify the degree numerically or move the Angle slider of the Modeling Tool panel.

Step 4: Rotate an object in relation to a specific point

By default, the center of rotation of an object is placed in relation to the center of its bounding box.

  • 1. Click the Front view to activate the XZ plane.

  • 2. Select the object that you want to rotate.

  • 3. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut.

The views display the center of rotation with a blue hotSpot.

  • 4. Click and drag the center (the blue hotSpot displayed at the center of its bounding box) to the new location.

  • 5. Click the object or an area of the view that is clear of any items and drag it to rotate. If you want to constrain Rotation with a definite degree, just activate the Snap to rotate icon.

Step 5: Rotate an object in relation to its origin

  • 1. Select the object that you want to rotate.

  • 2. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut. The views display the center of rotation with a blue hotSpot.

  • 3. From the Modeling Tool panel, select one of the predefined Origin options.

  • 4. Click and drag it to rotate.

Step 6: Rotate points of an object

  • 1. Click the Top view to activate the XY plane.

  • 2. Select a curve or a surface and press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. Select the points that you want to rotate.

  • 4. Click the Rotate icon or use the R keyboard shortcut. The views display the center of rotation with a blue hotSpot.

  • 5. Use the Manipulator to rotate.

Scale

Similar to Translation and Rotation tools, the Scale command is used to scale objects or points. To scale objects, the Object mode must be active. To scale points, you must switch to Edit mode. To toggle between Object mode and Edit mode, press the spacebar.

Exercise 8.3: Scaling Methods

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to scale objects.

Step 1: Scale an object

  • 1. In any view, select one or more objects that you want to scale.

2.

Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The Scale Manipulator, with three arrows and a small cube at the end of each line (red, green and blue), will appear at the center of the object. Also, a blue hotSpot is displayed at the center of the Manipulator. You can drag and place this blue hotSpot in any location to define a different scaling point.

2. Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The Scale Manipulator , with
  • 3. Choose one of the following methods to translate your object:

Drag the red arrow to scale the object along the X direction.

Drag the green arrow to scale along the Y direction.

Drag the blue arrow to scale along the Z direction.

Drag the blue square (near the center) to scale along the XY plane.

Drag the green square (near the center) to scale along the XZ plane.

Drag the red square (near the center) to scale along the YZ plane.

Click and drag in an empty space outside the Manipulator to scale freely in any direction without any constraint.

If you want to perform another translation operation using the Manipulator, you must click the Translation icon again or press T.

Important note: When scaling an object, if an object has a Construction History, you cannot scale the object in one direction only. You can only scale the object proportionally. The Manipulator indicates that an object has a Construction History by displaying yellow cubes at the ends of the XYZ arrows and at the plane points. If you remove the Construction History of an object or select an object without a history, the Manipulator displays red, green and blue cubes instead of the yellow cubes. This indicates that you can now scale the object in a non-proportional way, moving in the X, Y or Z direction.

Step 2: Scale an object along a specific axes

  • 1. From the Top view, select an object you want to scale.

  • 2. Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The views display the center of scale with a blue hotSpot.

  • 3. From the Application toolbar, leave the X axis activated.

4.

Click directly on the object or an area of the view that is clear of any items and drag the mouse to scale. If you want to constrain scaling by a specific step, activate the Snap to scale icon.

Remember to reactivate the Y and Z axis on the Application toolbar, otherwise you will not be able to draw or move objects on these axes.

You cannot scale along a single axis, a primitive, or an object that is involved in a construction history. In this case, the scale is performed always in XYZ. To scale it along one axis, you need to collapse it. See Construction Tree, Chapter 8.

Step 3: Scale an object numerically

  • 1. In any view, select one or more objects that you want to scale.

  • 2. Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The views display the center of scale with a blue hotSpot.

  • 3. Input the value in the Scale field of the Modeling Tool panel to specify the scale factor numerically or move the Scale slider on the Modeling Tool panel.

Step 4: Scale an object in relation to a specific point

By default, the center of scaling of an object is placed in relation to the center of its bounding box.

  • 1. Select the object that you want to scale.

  • 2. Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The views display the center of rotation with a blue hotSpot.

  • 3. Click and drag the center (the blue hotSpot displayed at the center of its bounding box) to the new location to define the origin (center) of the scaling.

  • 4. Use the Manipulator to scale. Or, input the value in the Scale field of the Modeling Tool panel to specify the scale factor numerically, or move the Scale slider of the Modeling Tool panel. Remember that you can use Snaps to position the center in a specific location.

Step 5: Scale points of an object

  • 1. Select a curve or a surface and press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 2. Select the points that you want to scale.

  • 3. Click the Scale icon or use the S keyboard shortcut. The view displays the center of rotation with a blue hotSpot.

  • 4. Use the Manipulator to scale.

If you need to change the size of a primitive or an object that is involved in a construction history, it is better to modify its parameters from the Modeling Tool panel instead of using the Scale tool. This helps you avoid scaling its matrix.

Bounding Box Fitting

Scales a given object to fit it into a user-defined box. Scaling transformation can be non- uniform so that you can define exact dimensions for each direction (X, Y, Z) of the box.

You cannot use the Bounding box fitting with primitives or objects that are involved in a construction history without collapsing them. If you don’t need to collapse an object, just modify its parameter in the Modeling Tool panel instead. (See Chapter 7, Construction Tree).

Exercise 8.4: Using the Bounding Box Fitting

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to resize an object by entering precise values.

Step 1: Size an object

  • 1. Select an object. If the object has a Construction Tree, the program displays an alert message informing you that a copy of the object will be created.

  • 2. Click the Bounding box fitting icon.

If you need to change the size of a primitive or an object that is involved
  • 3. Pick and drag a hotSpot to change the dimension of your bounding box or insert the new value in the Width field on the Modeling Tool panel. You can deactivate the Constrain Proportions on the Modeling Tool panel to set different values in Width, Depth and Height. You can also set a custom scaling center. Non-uniform scaling transformations do not maintain geometric properties like tangency and curvature continuity between adjacent surfaces.

Background Image

Chapter 9

Construction Aids

Background images are useful when you need to draw real objects without spending a lot of time measuring those using rulers, gauges, or other precision measuring tools. This is where images or photos become useful.

Exercise 9.1: Using Reference Images as a Background

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to set a background image in an active view.

Background Image Chapter 9 Construction Aids Background images are useful when you need to draw real

You will need some images or sketches like these below.

You must prepare one sketch for each view. The top sketch in the Top view, the

You must prepare one sketch for each view. The top sketch in the Top view, the left sketch in the Left view, and so on.

Once you prepare the images, you can set them as backgrounds.

Step 1: Set a background image in the Top view

  • 1. Activate the Top view.

  • 2. From the View menu, select the Background image command.

  • 3. Click Browse to choose the image audi-tt_Top.tif.

  • 4. Set the Horizontal dimension to 404 and click Apply.

  • 5. Activate the Center position.

  • 6. Set Transparency to 0.4 and click OK.

  • 7. Zoom your Top view to see the entire image.

  • 8. Your Top view should look like this:

Step 2: Set a background image in the Front view If you trim your images exactly

Step 2: Set a background image in the Front view

If you trim your images exactly at the edge of your sketch, you can define the real dimension of your 3D model.

  • 1. Activate the Front view.

  • 2. From the View menu, select Background image.

  • 3. Click Browse and choose the audi-tt_Front.tif.

  • 4. Set the Horizontal size dimension to 404 and click Apply.

  • 5. Activate the Center position and click Apply.

  • 6. Set the Vertical Origin to 68 (more or less half of the car’s height).

  • 7. Set Transparency to 0.4 and click OK. Your Front view should look like this:

Step 2: Set a background image in the Front view If you trim your images exactly

Step 3: Set a background image in the Right view

  • 1. Activate the Right view.

  • 2. From the View menu, select Background image.

3.

Click Browse and choose the audi-tt_Right.tif.

  • 4. Set the Horizontal size dimension to 186 and click Apply.

  • 5. Activate the Center position and click Apply.

  • 6. Set the Vertical Origin to 68 and click Apply.

  • 7. Set Transparency to 0.4 and press OK.

Step 4: Set a background image in the Left view

  • 1. Click the Right view to activate it. Click the name of the Right view on the left of the title bar and select the Left view.

  • 2. Repeat the same procedure as the Right view and choose the Left image. Your views should look like this:

3. Click Browse and choose the audi-tt_Right.tif . 4. Set the Horizontal size dimension to 186
  • 3. Click the Ortho adjust icon from the Application toolbar.

3. Click Browse and choose the audi-tt_Right.tif . 4. Set the Horizontal size dimension to 186

The Ortho adjust forces all the orthographic views to have the same zoom and view point as the selected one.

Step 5: Draw curves and surfaces to model the car

  • 1. Now you can use these reference images to draw curves and surfaces to model your car.

Step 5: Draw curves and surfaces to model the car 1. Now you can use these
  • 2. Background images are not used for the final rendering, in which case you should use the Image shaders from the Background shader class.

  • 3. If you want to remove an image as the background of a view, deactivate Visibility from the Background image panel.

Exercise 10.1: Setting Preferences

Purpose

Chapter 10

Preferences

Before starting any project, you must modify some default settings in solidThinking for your personal preferences.

Step 1: Set your preferred unit

  • 1. From the Help menu, select Preferences.

  • 2. Once opened, five tabs are displayed: General, Units, Tolerances, Dimensions and View.

  • 3. Click the Units tab and select your preferred unit. The Units section allows you to specify the units of your scene. solidThinking allows you to choose among various standard units (Standard units) as well as to specify your own unit (Custom units).

  • 4. If you need to set the new unit as your default unit, click Save as default. Otherwise, solidThinking opens a new file with the default unit that can be different than the unit you choose.

  • 5. Setting a different unit will not scale your scene to the new unit.

Step 2: Set your preferred modeling tolerance

  • 1. Click the Tolerance tab and select your preferred unit.

  • 2. In the Positional 3D tolerance field, enter the value 0.001 to set your accuracy 3D model. This ensures that surfaces you create do not deviate from the theoretical result more than the specified tolerance. The lower the tolerance, the higher the precision, but also the slower the computation. The 0.001 value should be appropriate for small objects, while the 0.01 value should be appropriate for most cases. Angular tolerance and Curvature tolerance work with the same approach.

Step 3: Increase performance with complex scenes

  • 1. With some complex scenes, you might need to increase performance. In this instance, you can disable the Undo buffer.

  • 2. Click the General tab and change the Undo buffer value from 10 to 0, which causes solidThinking to not save any temporary file. This increases dramatically the performance and reliability within solidThinking. However, you will not be able to undo operations and solidThinking does not recover the scene if your session terminates abnormally.

Grid Setup

Chapter 11

Grids

Grids help you place points and objects into the scene with precision. They are extremely useful for placing and aligning objects in an accurate manner.

solidThinking lets you adjust grid settings through the Grid setup panel, which can be accessed by selecting the Edit > Grid setup command or by using the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+G.

From the Grid setup panel, you can define up to four different grids, each with its own origin, spacing, grid type, and color.

Grid Setup Chapter 11 Grids Grids help you place points and objects into the scene with

Changing Your Grid Size

You can set the spacing of the grids to match the scale of your scene. For instance, if your unit is millimeters and your object is small (between 0 - 50 mm), you can use small grid spacing:

Grid 1 - Spacing 0.1, 0.1, 0.1 Grid 2 - Spacing 1, 1, 1 Grid 3 - Spacing 5, 5, 5 Grid 4 - Spacing 10, 10, 10

If your unit is centimeters and your object is between 100 - 1000 mm, you can use larger grid spacing:

Grid 1 - Spacing 1, 1, 1 Grid 2 - Spacing 10, 10, 10 Grid 3 - Spacing 50, 50, 50 Grid 4 - Spacing 100, 100, 100

Similarly, for building the basic grid spacing, you can decrease the size for additional grids. If you set all spacing values to zero, the grid will not be drawn.

Exercise 11.1: Activating and Inactivating a Grid

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to activate and inactivate a grid.

Step 1: Activating and inactivating Grid 1

  • 1. To activate Grid number 1, click on its icon:

Changing Your Grid Size You can set the spacing of the grids to match the scale
  • 2. To inactivate Grid number 1, click again on its icon:

Changing Your Grid Size You can set the spacing of the grids to match the scale
  • 3. You can also activate and inactivate grids in the Grid setup dialog in the Active snap section.

  • 4. You can toggle between grids while you are drawing any curve or inserting primitives. In this way, you can increase the modeling precision process.

Step 2: Hide one or more grids from view

  • 1. Open the Grid setup dialog.

  • 2. Click the grid you want to hide under Visible grids.

Step 2: Hide one or more grids from view 1. Open the Grid setup dialog. 2.

Step 3: Hide all grids in the 3D view

  • 1. From the Help menu, select Preferences and click the View tab.

  • 2. Select Grid in ortho views to activate or inactivate all visible grids in all orthogonal views. Or, click Grid in 3D views to activate or inactivate grids in all Perspective views.

Step 2: Hide one or more grids from view 1. Open the Grid setup dialog. 2.

NURBS Curve

Chapter 12

Curves

A NURBS curve (Non-uniform rational B-spline) is a mathematical model used for generating and representing curves.

A NURBS curve is defined by its order, a set of weighted control points, and knots (see below). NURBS curves are generalizations of both B-splines and Bézier curves, the primary difference being the weighting of the control points which makes NURBS curves rational (non-rational B- splines are a special case of rational B-splines).

solidThinking lets you draw curves by placing control points. You can use these tools to draw free form curves.

NURBS Curve Chapter 12 Curves A NURBS curve (Non-uniform rational B-spline) is a mathematical model used

Exercise 12.1: Drawing Curves

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to draw a NURBS curve.

Step 1: Draw a NURBS curve

  • 1. Click the NURBS curve icon.

2. Click in any view to add points. 3. Press the spacebar to end. Do not
  • 2. Click in any view to add points.

  • 3. Press the spacebar to end. Do not press ENTER to end a curve. If you press ENTER, you add a new point in the same location of the preceding point. This may cause problems with your geometry.

2. Click in any view to add points. 3. Press the spacebar to end. Do not
2. Click in any view to add points. 3. Press the spacebar to end. Do not

In object mode, you can notice a small arrow displayed at the starting point of each curve showing the direction of the curve.

Exercise 12.2: Modifying Curves

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to modify control points.

Step 1: Modify a NURBS curve

  • 1. Open the file Curves.st.

  • 2. Select the NURBS curve (Curve #1) in the Top view.

  • 3. Press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 4. Click and drag any point to a new location.

2. Click in any view to add points. 3. Press the spacebar to end. Do not

5.

When you switch to Edit mode, solidThinking displays points in blue.

  • 6. When you select a point, solidThinking displays points in yellow.

  • 7. When you place the mouse over a point, solidThinking displays a text box that indicates the number of the point. This information is helpful to know the direction of the curve.

Step 2: Multiple selection

For multiple selections, press the CTRL key and pick points to select.

For consecutive selection, press the SHIFT key.

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve (Curve #1) in the Top view.

  • 2. Press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. Pick Point #1.

  • 4. Press the SHIFT key and click on point 4. solidThinking selects all points between 1 and 4.

  • 5. To deselect a point, press the CTRL key and click the point to deselect it.

  • 6. To deselect all points, click in an empty space in any view.

Step 3: Add a point between 2 points

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve

  • 2. If Object mode is active, press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. Pick Point #2, press the CTRL key and pick Point #3.

  • 4. From the Modeling Tool panel, activate the Insert check box.

  • 5. From the Top view, click between point #2 and point #3 to insert a point and press the spacebar to end, otherwise you will continue to insert a point.

Step 4: Add more points between two points

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve.

  • 2. If Object mode is active, press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. Pick Point #4, hold down the CTRL key, and pick Point #5.

  • 4. From the Modeling Tool panel, activate the Insert check box.

  • 5. In the Top view, click between point #4 and point #5 to insert a point and press the spacebar to end. Be sure to insert points in the right direction of the curve.

Step 5: Continue a NURBS curve – part one

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve.

  • 2. If Object mode is active, press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. Select the last point of your curve.

  • 4. From the Modeling Tool panel, activate the Insert check box.

  • 5. In the Top view, continue your curve by inserting points in the correct direction.

  • 6. Press the spacebar to end or click the Insert check box in the Modeling Tool panel to deactivate it.

Step 6: Continue a NURBS curve – part two

You cannot insert more then one point at the start of the curve, because curves have only one direction in space. This direction is called U. The direction is determined by the start and end points. If you need to insert more points at the start of your curve, you must invert its direction.

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve.

  • 2. If Object mode is active, press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. From the Modeling Tool panel, click Invert.

  • 4. Select point 1.

  • 5. In the Top view, continue your curve by inserting points in the correct direction.

  • 6. Press the spacebar to end or activate the Insert check box from the Modeling Tool panel to deactivate it.

Order

The order of a NURBS curve defines the number of nearby control points that influence any given point on the curve. The order is the maximum number of bends you can get in each span. The order is determined by the number on points. Remember that the number of control points

must be greater than or equal to the order of the curve. A curve that has three points cannot have more than an order of 3. It can have order 2 and order 3. A curve that has four points

cannot have more than an order of 4. and so on.

It can have an order of 2, 3, and 4, but not an order of 5,

solidThinking lets you work with NURBS curves that have orders from two to seven. The default order is 4. It is better not to exceed an order of 5. Higher orders are practically never used because they lead to internal numerical problems and tend to require disproportionately large calculation times.

Exercise 12.3: Modifying the Continuity of a NURBS Curve

Purpose

This exercise illustrates how to modify the order of a NURBS curve.

Step 1: Modify the order of a NURBS curve

  • 1. Select the NURBS curve.

  • 2. If Object mode is active, press the spacebar to switch to Edit mode.

  • 3. In the Modeling Tool panel, insert the value 5 in the Order field.

Exercise 12.3: Modifying the Continuity of a NURBS Curve Purpose This exercise illustrates how to modify

When you increase the order, the curve moves away from the points and its shape changes. It is not possible to reduce a NURBS curve’s order without changing its shape. Moreover,