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More Power with the Round Tool
Adel showed me how powerful the round tools are in solidThinking. This comes into play with industrial shapes rather than architecture but you could easily imagine possible uses with buildings as well. Starting with just a regular cube (image 09) Adel transformed the edges into rounded edges with a particular radius. Now focus on the resolution of the corners. (see image 10). The various round tool controls give you options like sew tolerance, default radius, shape controls that include chamfer, smooth corners, smooth variable radius, smooth Y blends, setback corners and collars on setbacks. There are also overlap controls. (see right side of image 10).
In the third image above (image 11) setback corners was chosen and the results are different than in image 10. In the next image Adel showed me how solidThinking can handle a variable radius along one side of the cube and how the other faces resolve smoothly. (see image 12). This was quite satisfying to watch in action as the surfaces handle the transformations so gracefully. Remember, this is all NURBS still.
As Adel said, even with a simple shape, with the radius tools in solidThinking you can create really very nice and complicated forms.
There is a lot more we can go over in solidThinking Evolve 9.5. In this the first of a few special articles on solidThinking and we wanted to cover some of the basics of the program’s modeling prowess.
solidThinking includes a dynamic high-quality rendering feature that enables the designer to visualize and design at the same time. You can be in a pure modeling mode and then get curious about lighting and shadows on your product or building and quickly generate a high-quality render to evaluate your design. The interactive rendering window floats over your primary interface windows so you can position a photorealistic view to the side while you continue to iterate your model. (see image 13).
As we said at the beginning of this article solidThinking’s parent company Altair Corporation was at AIA. There’s a new story altogether evolving in that direction that deserves fuller attention. But as we approach the Fall we will continue to focus on solidThinking Evolve and Inspire specifically so that readers can fully see and understand what these programs are all about. To learn more go to solidThinking directly on the web. They have a lot of instructional videos that show you quite a bit.