Step-by-Step: Revit Tutorial / Shipping Container

This step-by-step tutorial is a brief introduction to basic modeling tools in Revit. It leads to the creation of a simplified model of a shipping container (shown below).

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1          SET UP YOUR PROJECT:

1.1       Open Revit and begin a New Project.

Under the [Application Menu] (upper left hand corner of the screen), choose New Project; use the Architectural template. See [F1] > Revit Users > Start a Project > Creating a Project from the Application Menu.

1.2       Set the East Elevation as current.

In the Project Browser (left side of screen), double-click on the East elevation view.  The Project Browser is a palette, the visibility of which is controlled by View > Windows > User Interface. By default it is docked to the left side of the screen. In Revit, one view is always current (i. e. you are always viewing your model from a certain point, direction, and projection). The behavior of certain commands is affected by the view. (For example, new Levels can only be added while viewing the project in elevation.) See [F1] > Revit Users > Introduction to Revit > User Interface > Project Browser.

1.3       Set up Levels named Floor and Roof.

Zoom in on the Level labels on the right side of the view (spin the mouse wheel, or type ZR to zoom in on a region). Double-click on the text reading “Level 2” to change it to “Roof.” When prompted to rename corresponding views, choose Yes. Repeat this procedure and change “Level 1” to “Base.” Levels are fundamental ordering devices within Revit. They can be added, deleted, renamed, and modified within Elevation views. Use Levels as references to locate floors, tops of walls, bottoms of foundations, window sills, etc. Renaming a level is usually done to make the name correspond with some desired building element (e. g., top of roof, bottom of footing, etc.). Renaming the corresponding views simply ensures that the reference will appear consistently throughout the model. See [F1] > Revit Users > Preliminary Design > Levels and Grids > Levels > Adding Levels.

1.4       Create a new Level named Ground.

Click the Modify tool. Next, on the Architecture tab, Datum panel, choose the Level tool. Zoom out to the full extents of the view (type ZE). Hover the mouse at the far left end of the Base Level line. Move the mouse slightly below the line endpoint and click to begin drawing a new Level. (The exact position of the new Level doesn’t matter at this point). Click the mouse again beneath the right endpoint of the Base Level line. Double-click on the text reading “Level 3” to change it to “Ground.” Double-click on the text indicating the height position of the Ground Level and change it to -6.5” (negative six-and-a-half inches). Click on the Modify tool to complete the task. Creating a new level doesn’t add any building elements, only a reference line and associated views (e. g., Floor Plan and Ceiling Plan). Clicking Modify on the Architecture tab is the equivalent of telling Revit that you have completed a task and are about to begin a new one. The same effect is achieved by clicking the [esc] key repeatedly (until the Modify tool highlights).

1.5       Make the Base Floor Plan current.

In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Base. See [F1] > Revit Users > Document and Present the Project > 2D Views > Plan Views.

1.6       Set up two sets of parallel gridlines, establishing a horizontally oriented rectangle.

On the Architecture tab, Datum panel, choose the Grid tool. Use this tool to draw gridlines as shown in the diagram below. (The exact position of the gridlines and the numbers in the grid bubbles do not matter at this point.) Click the Modify tool to complete the task. See [F1] > Revit Users > Preliminary Design > Levels and Grids > Grids > Adding Grids.

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2          Construct a floor and change the floor type:

2.1       Begin to construct a floor on the Base Level.

On the Architecture tab, Build panel, choose the Floor tool. Next, on the Modify|Create Floor Boundary tab, Draw panel, click the Rectangle tool. Use this to draw a rectangle aligning with the intersections of the gridlines you drew in the previous step. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Floors.

2.2       Offset the long edges of the rectangle.

On the Modify|Create Floor Boundary tab, Modify panel, choose the Offset tool. In the Options bar, set the Numerical Offset to 3.5” (three-and-a-half inches). Check the “Copy” box OFF. Next, click on the two long edges of the rectangle to offset them to the outside of the gridlines. (Note that Revit will prompt you graphically to offset to either side of the existing line; click to accept Revit’s prompt.) The Offset tool makes a parallel copy of an existing object. See [F1] > Revit Users > Tools and Techniques > Editing Elements > Moving Elements > Moving Elements with the Offset Tool.

2.3       Offset the short edges of the rectangle.

Repeat the previous step, but with a Numerical Offset of 4.5” on the short edges. Click the Modify tool to complete the task.

2.4       Lock the floor-to-gridline relationships.

On the Annotate tab, Dimension panel, choose the Aligned tool. Use this tool to create a dimension between one of the gridlines and the adjacent rectangle edge. (The dimension should equal the offset you just drew.) When you see a padlock symbol, click it to “lock” the padlock. Repeat this step on all four sides of the rectangle. Locking elements to gridlines means that if the gridline is moved, the elements will move with the gridline. This is a very important concept in Revit. See [F1] > Revit Users > Document and Present the Project > Annotating > Dimensions > Permanent Dimensions > Placing Permanent Dimensions > Aligned Dimensions.

2.5       Complete the floor.

On the Modify|Create Floor Boundary tab, Mode panel, click the green check mark to complete the floor.

2.6       Test the flexibility of the gridlines.

Use the Modify tool to select and move the gridlines. The floor edge should move together with each of the gridlines. If it does not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

2.7       Change the floor type.

Use the Modify tool to select the floor (click on the floor edge to select it). In the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button. In the resulting Type Properties dialog box, click Duplicate. Give the duplicate type the name Container – 2” and click OK. Still within the Type Properties dialog box, next to the Structure parameter, click Edit. Change the Thickness to 2” (2 inches) and click OK. Click OK again to exit the Type Properties dialog box. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Floors > Changing the Floor Type.

3          CREATE AND PLACE CORNER BLOCKS:

3.1       Make the Ground floor plan current.

In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Ground.

3.2       Begin a New Family definition.

Under the [Application Menu] (upper left hand corner of the screen), choose New Family. Choose the Generic Model two level based template file. Click Open. In Revit, Families are used to organize comment components and symbols. Revit has several system families and you can also define custom families. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Revit Families and also [F1] > Revit Users > Customize Revit > Creating Loadable Families.

3.3       Create an extrusion.

On the Create tab, Forms panel, choose the Extrusion tool. Next, on the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Draw panel, choose the Rectangle tool. Use this tool to draw a rectangle measuring 6.5” x 7”, with one of its corners at the intersection of the reference lines. On the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Mode panel, click the green check mark to complete the extrusion. See [F1] > Revit Users > Customize Revit > Creating Loadable Families > Creating Family Geometry > Constraining Family Geometry.

3.4       Lock the extrusion to the reference levels.

In the Project Browser, double-click on the Back Elevation view. In the Back Elevation view, select the extrusion (it is represented as a rectangle on the Lower Ref. Level). Drag the triangular handle at the top of the extrusion vertically until it reaches the Upper Ref. Level. Click on the padlock symbol to “lock” the padlock. Repeat this procedure for the handle on the Lower Ref. Level (you will need to drag the handle away from the level and back again). Click the Modify tool to complete the procedure. The Reference Levels refer to actual Levels in your project. Because the family component can be placed on any level, the Family Editor uses the term “Reference Level.”

3.5       Save the family.

Under the [Application Menu], choose Save. Save the family as corner_block.rfa.

3.6       Load the family into your project.

On the Modify tab, Family Editor panel, choose Load into Project (the .rvt file). See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Revit Families > Loading and Saving Families.

3.7       Check that the corner_block component is ready to place.

In the Properties palette, check that “corner_block” is visible. If it is not, choose the Place a Component tool (Architecture tab, Build Panel, Component > Place a Component). See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Components > Placing Components.

3.8       Place the corner_block component.

Zoom into the lower left-hand corner of the Ground Floor Plan. Click to place the family at the corner of the floor as shown in the diagram below.

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3.9       Change the Visual Style to Wireframe.

On the View Control Bar, click the cube icon and select Wireframe.

3.10     Check the family’s reference levels.

Make sure the component is selected. In the Properties palette, set the component’s Base Level to Ground and the Top Level to Base. Set the Top Offset to -2” (negative two inches).

3.11     Mirror the corner block around the short side of the floor.

Use the Modify tool to select the corner_block family. On the Modify | Generic Models tab, Modify panel, choose the Mirror – Draw Axis tool. To draw a mirror axis, hover the mouse over the midpoint of the short side of the floor rectangle until the Midpoint snap indicator appears. Click on this point. Next, click on a second point exactly to the right or left of this point to establish a horizontal mirror line. The corner_block family is mirrored to the opposite corner.

3.12     Mirror two corner blocks around the long side of the floor.

Repeat the previous step, but select both corner_blocks, and mirror them around the midpoint of the long side of the floor rectangle. Refer to the diagram below.

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3.13     Change the View Scale to 3” = 1’-0”.

On the View Control bar, click the text reading 1/8” = 1’-0” and change it to 3” = 1’-0”. The View Scale setting controls the display of elements and objects in a drawing (e. g., annotation, dimensions, material patterns). In this example it will make the annotations easier to read, relative to the size of the building being modeled. See [F1] > Revit Users > Document and Present the Project > Use and Manage Views > Changing the Graphics of a View > View Scale.

3.14     Zoom into the lower left-hand corner of the floor.

Spin the mouse wheel or type ZR.

3.15     Lock the block-to-gridline relationships and the overall block dimensions for each of the copied corner_blocks.

On the Annotate tab, Dimension panel, choose the Aligned tool, and use it to dimension the component-to-gridline relationships, making sure to click the padlock symbol to “lock” the padlock. Refer to the diagram below. Repeat this procedure for the instance of the corner_block component at the other corner of the floor.

revit_shipping_container_tutorial_15

3.16     Zoom out.

Spin the mouse wheel or type ZE.

3.17     Test the flexibility of the gridlines.

Use the Modify tool to select and move the gridlines. The corner blocks should move together with each of the gridlines. If they do not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

4          CREATE AND PLACE FRONT CORNER POSTS:

4.1       Make the Base floor plan current.

In the Project Browser, under Floor Plans, double-click on Base.

4.2       Begin a New Family definition.

Under the [Application Menu] (upper left hand corner of the screen), choose New Family. Choose the Generic Model two level based template file. Click Open. This takes you into the Family Editor.

4.3       Create an extrusion.

On the Create tab, Forms panel, choose the Extrusion tool. Next, on the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Draw panel, choose the Rectangle tool. Use this tool to draw a rectangle measuring 2” x 9.5”, with one of its corners at the intersection of the reference lines. On the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Mode panel, click the green check mark to complete the extrusion.

4.4       Lock the extrusion to the reference levels.

Using the same procedure you used for the corner_block family, lock the top and bottom of the extrusion to the Upper and Lower Reference Levels.

4.5       Save the family.

Under the [Application Menu], choose Save. Save the family as corner_post_front.rfa.

4.6       Load the family into your project.

On the Modify tab, Family Editor panel, choose Load into Project (the .rvt file). Zoom in to the Base Floor Plan to place the family at the corner of the floor. Once placed, mirror it to the opposite corner. Refer to the diagram below.

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4.7       Change the View Scale to 3” = 1’-0”.

On the View Control bar, click the text reading 1/8” = 1’-0” and change it to 3” = 1’-0”.

4.8       Lock the family to the gridlines.

On the Annotate tab, Dimension panel, choose the Aligned tool, and use it to dimension the component-to-gridline relationships, making sure to click the padlock symbol to “lock” the padlock. Refer to the diagram below. Repeat this procedure for the instance of the component at the other corner of the floor.

revit_shipping_container_tutorial_07

4.9       Test the flexibility of the gridlines.

Use the Modify tool to select and move the gridlines. The corner blocks should move together with each of the gridlines. If they do not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

5          CREATE AND PLACE REAR CORNER POSTS:

5.1       Begin a New Family definition.

Under the [Application Menu], choose New Family. Choose the Generic Model two level based template file. Click Open.

5.2       Create an extrusion.

On the Create tab, Forms panel, choose the Extrusion tool. Next, on the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Draw panel, choose the Line tool. On the Options bar, check “Chain” on. Use the Line tool to draw a figure corresponding with the diagram below, with the outside corner of the “L” at the intersection of the reference lines. On the Modify | Create Extrusion tab, Mode panel, click the green check mark to complete the extrusion.

revit_shipping_container_tutorial_16

5.3       Lock the extrusion to the reference levels.

Using the same procedure you used for the corner_post_front family, lock the top and bottom of the extrusion to the Upper and Lower Reference Levels.

5.4       Save the family.

Under the [Application Menu], choose Save. Save the family as corner_post_rear.rfa.

5.5       Load the family into your project.

On the Modify tab, Family Editor panel, choose Load into Project (the .rvt file). Zoom in to the Base Floor Plan to place the family at the corner of the floor. Once placed, mirror it to the opposite corner. Refer to the diagram below.

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5.6       Lock the family to the gridlines.

On the Annotate tab, Dimension panel, choose the Aligned tool, and use it to dimension the component-to-gridline relationships, making sure to click the padlock symbol to “lock” the padlock. Refer to the diagram below. Repeat this procedure for the instance of the family at the other corner of the floor.

revit_shipping_container_tutorial_09

5.7       Zoom to the extents of the model.

Type ZE.

5.8       Check the corner_post component for position and flexibility.

Use the Modify tool to select and move the gridlines. The floor edge and the family instances (the corner posts) should move together with each of the gridlines. If they do not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

6          CREATE WALLS:

6.1       Begin the construction of a side wall.

On the Architecture tab, Build Panel, choose the Wall: Architectural tool. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Walls.

6.2       Edit the wall type.

In the Properties palette, make sure the Basic Wall – Generic 8” type is current. click the Edit Type button. In the resulting Type Properties dialog box, click Duplicate. Give the duplicate type the name Container – Corrugated and click OK. Still within the Type Properties dialog box, next to the Structure parameter, click Edit. Change the Thickness to 2” (2 inches) and click OK. Click OK again to exit the Type Properties dialog box. Predefined wall types exist to facilitate the creation of models. Types and instances can be modified using the Properties palette. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Walls > Modifying Walls > Changing the Type of a Wall.

6.3       Place an instance of the wall.

On the Architecture tab, Build Panel, choose the Wall: Architectural tool. On the Options bar, set the Height to Roof. Set the Location Line to Finish Face: Exterior. Check the “Chain” box off. Click on the point marked A in the diagram below to begin placing the wall. Click on point B to complete the wall. Then click on the Modify tool to complete the command. Height is a constraint. Any change to the location of the Roof level will affect the height of the walls constrained to it. (Choosing Unconnected for Height omits the constraint.) See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Walls > Placing Walls.

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6.4       Place two more instances of the wall.

Repeat the previous step to place two additional instances of the wall. Choose the Default 3D view to check that the model corresponds with the diagram below. The Default 3D View is a quick way to get a 3D view of the project. Click on the house icon in the Quick Access Toolbar (top of screen). See [F1] > Revit Users > Introduction to Revit > User Interface > Quick Access Toolbar and [F1] > Revit Users > Document and Present the Project > 3D Views > Creating a Perspective 3D View.

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6.5       Restore the Base floor plan.

Double-click on the Base Floor Plan.

6.6       Lock the wall ends to the gridlines, and the wall centerlines to the gridlines.

On the Annotate tab, Dimension panel, choose the Aligned tool, and use it to dimension the wall-end-to-gridline relationships, making sure to click the padlock symbol to “lock” the padlock.  Repeat this procedure for the wall-centerlines-to-gridline relationships.

6.7       Check the walls for position and flexibility.

Use the Modify tool to select and move the gridlines. The walls should move together with each of the gridlines. If they do not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

6.8       Check the walls and corner posts for height conformance.

Double-click on the North Elevation to make that view current. Use the Modify tool to select and move the Roof Level up and down. Repeat this procedure with the East Elevation. In both views, the top of the walls and corner posts should move together with the Roof Level. If they do not, or if you see an error message about constraints, redo the previous steps.

7          CONSTRUCT ROOF:

7.1       Make the Roof plan current.

Double-click on the Roof Floor Plan.

7.2       Insert a corner_block component.

On the Architecture tab, Build panel, choose the Component > Place a Component tool. At the top of the Properties panel, click the type selector (it should currently display the corner_post_rear component). Change the type selector to the corner_block component. Insert this component at the lower left-hand corner of the Roof floor plan.

7.3       Correct the component’s height.

Use the Modify tool to select the component you just placed. In the Properties palette, check that its Base Level is set to Roof. Change its Top Offset to 4.5” (four-and-a-half inches).

7.4       Mirror the component.

Using a procedure similar to the one you had used with the original set of corner_block components, mirror the component to all four corners of the Roof floor plan.

7.5       Lock the components to the gridlines.

Use the same procedure you’ve used previously (Aligned dimensions with padlock symbols).

7.6       Make the Default 3D View current.

7.7       Construct walls between corner blocks.

Using a procedure similar to the one you used earlier to construct the container’s side walls, use the Wall: Architectural tool to build four “rails” around the top edge of the container as shown in the diagram below. Note, when you begin constructing the first wall, set the Base Constraint to Roof, the Top Constraint to Unconnected, and the Unconnected Height to 4.5” (four-and-a-half inches).

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7.8       Lock the wall ends and wall centerlines to the gridlines.

Use the Aligned dimension tool.

7.9       Make the Roof floor plan current.

Double-click on the Roof floor plan.

7.10     Begin to construct a roof.

On the Architecture tab, Build panel, choose the Roof > Roof by Footprint tool. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Roofs

7.11     Edit the roof type.

In the Properties palette, make sure the Basic Roof – Generic 12” type is current. Click the Edit Type button. In the resulting Type Properties dialog box, click Duplicate. Give the duplicate type the name Container – 4.5” and click OK. Still within the Type Properties dialog box, next to the Structure parameter, click Edit. Change the Thickness to 4.5” (four-and-a-half inches) and click OK. Click OK again to exit the Type Properties dialog box.

7.12     Outline the roof.

On the Modify | Create Roof Footprint tab, Draw panel, choose the Line tool. On the Options bar, check Defines Slope off; check Chain on. Use the Line tool to outline the roof as shown in the diagram below. By checking the “Defines Slope” option off, Revit will create a flat roof.

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7.13     Lock the roof edges and corner notches to the gridlines.

Use the same procedure you’ve used previously (Aligned dimensions with padlock symbols). There will be a total of 12 dimensions: one on each roof edge, and two at each of the corner notches.

7.14     Complete the roof.

On the Modify | Create Roof Footprint tab, Mode panel, click the green check mark.

8          CREATE A DOOR:

8.1       Set the Base floor plan as current.

Double-click on the Base floor plan. See [F1] > Revit Users > Build the Model > Architectural Modeling > Doors > Placing Doors.

8.2       Adjust the gridlines to their correct positions.

Begin by using the Aligned Dimension tool to establish a dimension between any two parallel gridlines. Click the Modify tool. Then click on one of the gridlines you just dimensioned. Finally, click on the highlighted dimension to change its value. (The “long” dimension is 38’-4”, and the “short” dimension is 7’-5”.

8.3       Create a wall closing the open side.

On the Architecture tab, Build panel, choose the Wall: Architectural tool. Before placing the wall, check the Properties palette. The Base Constraint should be set to Base and the Top Constraint should be set to Up to Level: Roof.

8.4       Begin a New Family definition.

Under the [Application Menu], choose New Family. Choose the Door template file. Click Open.

8.5       Make the Exterior view current.

In the Project Browser, double-click on the Exterior Elevation view.

8.6       Modify the door frame.

In the elevation view, double-click on the extrusion representing the door frame. Double-click on the text reading Frame Width = 0’-3”. Change the frame width parameter to 1/2” (one-half inch). Click the green check mark (Modify | Edit Extrusion tab) to complete editing.

8.7       Set the door width and height as instance parameters.

Click on the text reading Width = 3’-0”. In the Options bar, check Instance Parameter on. Repeat this step for the Height.

8.8       Save the family.

Save this family as container_door.rfa.

8.9       Load the family into your project.

On the Modify tab, Family Editor panel, choose Load into Project (the .rvt file).

8.10     Place the door.

Insert the door at the midpoint of the wall you drew earlier. Click the Modify tool to complete the task.

8.11     Invoke the Default 3D view.

8.12     Modify instance properties.

Select the door. In the Properties palette, under Dimensions, change the Sill Height to 1”, the Height to 8’-3”, and the Width to 7’-0”.

8.13     The model is complete.

 

 

 

 

Step-by-Step: AutoCAD Tutorial / Shipping Container

THIS TUTORIAL is a brief introduction to basic modeling tools in AutoCAD. It leads to the creation of a simplified model of a shipping container.

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1 SET UP YOUR PROJECT:

1.1 Open AutoCAD and begin a New Project.

Under the [Application Menu] (upper left hand corner of the screen), choose New Drawing; use the acad.dwt template.

1.2 Turn off the background grid.

Type GRID at the Command prompt, then type OFF. The background grid is a legacy feature from old versions of AutoCAD. Its spacing can be changed by typing GRID. The SNAP command is related although SNAP can be set to snap to off-grid points.

1.3 Turn off the Dynamic User Coordinate System.

Click repeatedly on the DUCS button below the Command prompt until you see the indication “<Dynamic UCS off>.” The Dynamic User Coordinate System is a feature which dynamically adjusts the XYZ coordinate system while you draw. However, its results are often unpredictable.

1.4 Set the drawing units to feet and inches.

Type UNITS at the Command prompt, then set the Length type to Architectural. Click OK. This setting changes how AutoCAD interprets the numbers and dimensions you enter. “Architectural” units mean feet and inches.

1.5 Set up the drawing layers.

Type LAYER at the Command prompt. This opens the Layer Properties Manager panel. Using this panel, click the New Layer button to create layers named GRID, WALLS, FLOOR, ROOF, and DOOR. Set each layer to a unique color. These layers will store the objects you build. Layer names and colors are arbitrary. In particular, colors should not be expected to bear any relationship to the material being represented. It is conventional to choose distinct colors to make it easy to visually discern objects in different layers.

1.6 Set the GRID layer as the current layer.

Type -LA at the Command prompt, then type S, then type GRID, then click Enter twice. The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

1.7 Turn on the ORTHO function.

Click the [F8] key repeatedly until you see the note “<Ortho On>” at the Command prompt. The ORTHO function is an on-off switch, constraining many of the drawing and editing tools to moving along the X-Y axes.

1.8 Turn on the OSNAP function.

Click the [F3] key repeatedly until you see the note “<Osnap On>” at the Command prompt. The OSNAP function is an on-off switch, constraining many of the drawing and editing tools to “lock” to predefined points in the model.

1.9 Set the object snaps.

Type OS at the Command prompt. Make sure that the snaps for Intersection, Endpoint, and Midpoint are highlighted. Press OK. Object snaps are user-determined.

1.10 Draw a base rectangle.

Type REC at the Command prompt. When prompted, enter 0,0 as the start point. For the second point, enter 38’4,7’5. This base rectangle does not represent a built component. Instead, it measures the distance between alignment holes in the shipping container.

1.11 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E. At this point, the model should look like the diagram below. This keyboard command quickly zooms to show the entire model.

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2 CONSTRUCT CORNER BLOCKS:

2.1 Navigate into 3D modeling space.

Type 3DO (3D-Orbit). Use the left mouse button to pan and rotate the view in 3D space. Up until this point, you have been working in 3D space but viewing it in a 2D view (plan view). The 3DO tool allows you to navigate in 3D space.

2.2 Set FLOOR as the current layer.

Type -LA at the Command prompt, then type S, then type FLOOR, then click Enter twice. The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

2.3 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the base rectangle.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window. Zooming in gives you the ability to work with greater precision.

2.4 Begin to build a box at the intersection of the gridlines.

Type BOX. Hover the mouse over the corner of the rectangle until the Intersection indicator appears. Click the mouse button. The BOX command builds solid rectangular boxes.

2.5 Complete the box.

To complete the base of the box, type @7,-6.5. For the height, type 4.5. At this point, the model should look like the diagram below (zoomed-in view): The @ symbol tells AutoCAD to use “relative coordinates” for the base of the box.

Print

2.6 Move the box into the correct position.

Type M at the Command prompt. Select the box by clicking on its edge. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. When prompted for a base point, click anywhere in the drawing window. Move the mouse in the positive Y-direction and type 3. Click [Enter]. Repeat this procedure, moving the box 2.5 inches in the negative X-direction. This step shows that it is sometimes much easier to construct AutoCAD objects in a temporary, incorrect position, and then to move the objects into their permanent, correct position.

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2.7 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E. This causes AutoCAD to display the entire model.

2.8 Mirror the box to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Type MI at the Command prompt. Click on the box to select it. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process. When prompted to select the first point of the mirror line, hover the mouse near the midpoint of one of the sides of the base rectangle. Click on a midpoint of the side. For the second point, move the mouse and AutoCAD will preview the mirrored location of the corner box. Click to complete the command. When prompted to erase the source objects, type N. The MIRROR command reflects objects through a line.

2.9 Mirror two boxes to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Repeat the previous command, but select both corner boxes this time.

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3 CONSTRUCT THE FLOOR:

3.1 Build the floor.

Type BOX. The base of the box should coincide with the outside, top corners of the corner boxes; its height is 2”.

4 CONSTRUCT CORNER POSTS:

4.1 Set the Visual Style to Conceptual.

Type VISUALSTYLES. In the resulting panel, double-click on the Conceptual preview. Visual Styles control how AutoCAD displays objects.

4.2 Set WALLS as the current layer.

Type -LA at the Command prompt, then type S, then type WALLS, then click Enter twice. The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

4.3 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the base.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

4.4 Build the front corner post.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on the corner of the floor. Type @-9.5,2. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

4.5 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

4.6 Zoom in on the lower left-hand corner of the base.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

4.7 Draw the outline of the rear corner post.

Type PLINE. Click on the corner of the floor to begin drawing an outline of the corner post. Refer to the diagram below for dimensions. For each new point, move the mouse in the direction you want to draw, and type the distance. Press [Enter] to complete the outline. The PLINE command creates a “polyline” (a single object consisting of multiple straight or curved segments). In AutoCAD (as distinct from Rhino), a PLINE must be on a single plane. A closed polyline can be used as the base for a solid extrusion, as shown in the next step.

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4.8 Extrude the outline vertically to create the post.

Type EXTRUDE. Click on the outline of the corner post to select it. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

5 CONSTRUCT THE SIDE WALL:

5.1 Set a plan view.

Type PLAN. Press [Enter[ to select the Current option. The PLAN command will show a plan according to the currently defined coordinate system (“UCS”) – by default, showing a plan view of the xy plane.

5.2 Begin the centerline of a wall panel.

Type PLINE.

5.3 Complete the centerline.

Click on a point away from the shipping container to begin drawing an outline of the wall panel (we will move the panel into position later). Refer to the diagram below for dimensions. For the first segment, begin at the left, move the mouse to the right, and type 1.5. For the second segment, type @3<330. For the third and final segment, move the mouse to the right, and type 1.5. Again, in this step, we are creating an object in a temporary, incorrect position, so that we can move it into its permanent, correct position later.

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5.4 Offset the centerline to create the edges of the wall panel.

Type OF. Type 1/16 to set the offset distance. Click on the polyline you just drew, and then click once above it. Repeat the OF (OFFSET) command, but this time click below the line. The OFFSET command creates a copy of the original object, “offset” by a specified distance.

5.5 Erase the original polyline.

Type E. Click on the original polyline to select it. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process.

5.6 Join the edges of the wall panel.

Type L. Draw a line at each end of the panel outline to “cap” it.

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5.7 Combine the segments into a single polyline.

Type PE. Then type M for Multiple. Draw a selection window around the entire outline of the wall panel. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process. When prompted, type Y to convert the selection to polylines. Finally, type J to join the segments into a single polyline. The “fuzz distance” is 0’-0”. Press [Enter] or [Esc] to complete the command. The PE command (Polyline Edit) has several options, including the option to join previously unconnected segments into a single polyline. However, the unconnected segments must have aligned endpoints.

5.8 Navigate into 3D modeling space.

Type 3DO. Use the left mouse button to pan and rotate the view in 3D space. 3DO (three-dimensional orbit) is a fundamental command for navigating three-dimensional space in AutoCAD.

5.9 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

5.10 Extrude the outline vertically to create the wall panel.

Type EXTRUDE. Click on the outline of the wall panel to select it. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

5.11 Move the wall panel into position.

Type MOVE. Click on the wall panel to select it. For the base point, click the back corner of the panel. For the second point, click the corner of the corner post. Refer to the diagram below to see the correct position.

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5.12 Mirror the panel.

Type MI. Select the wall panel. For the first point, click a point on the end of the wall panel. For the second point, move the mouse and AutoCAD will preview the mirrored location of the wall panel. Click to complete the command. When prompted to erase the source objects, type N.

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5.13 Array the panel.

Type -AR. (Note the dash before the AR.) Select the two wall panels and press [Enter]. For the type of array, type R. For the number of rows, type 1. For the number of columns, type 40. For the distance between columns, click on points A and B in the diagram above. The -AR (Array) command is used to make multiple copies of a single object, according to defined rules.

5.14 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

5.15 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

5.16 Fill the gap in the wall.

Use the BOX command to build a box filling the gap between the final wall panel and the corner post.

6 CONSTRUCT OBJECTS AT TOP OF WALL:

6.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

6.2 Copy the corner blocks to the top of the wall.

Type COPY. Select the corner blocks (from the FLOOR layer). Copy them vertically so that they are set on top of the corner posts.

6.3 Change the layer of the copied corner blocks.

Type -CH (Note the dash before the CH). Select the two corner blocks you just copied. Type P for Properties, then LA for layer. Type WALLS to assign these objects to the WALLS layer. Finally, press [Enter] to complete the command. The -CH (Change) command enables you to change properties of an object, such as its layer, color, linetype, lineweight, and so on. (Keep in mind, however, that properties such as color and linetype are usually set as BYLAYER so that they can be controlled on a global level.)

6.4 Zoom in on the top of the left end of the wall.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

6.5 Draw a rectangle on top of the corner post.

Type REC. Refer to the diagram below to locate the rectangle correctly. (Click on the corner points marked A and B.) This rectangle will be used in the next step as a base for the top rail.

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6.6 Build a rail along the top of the wall.

Type BOX. Begin the box by clicking on the corner point marked C in the diagram above. For the second point, zoom in on the other end of the wall, and click on the point marked D in the diagram below. For the height, type 4.5.

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7 MIRROR OBJECTS:

7.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

7.2 Draw a temporary mirror line.

Type L. Draw a line from the midpoint of one of the short sides of the floor, away from the shipping container. (We will erase this line later.)

7.3 Isolate the WALLS layer.

Type -LA. Then type OF. Then type * (asterisk). When prompted to turn off the current layer, type N. Press [Enter] to complete the command. Isolating a layer sometimes makes it easier to work.

7.4 Mirror the objects in the WALLS layer.

Type MI. Draw a window around all of the objects in the WALLS layer. For the first point, click a point on the end of the temporary line you just drew. For the second point, move the mouse and AutoCAD will preview the mirrored location of the objects. Click to complete the command. When prompted to erase the source objects, type N.

7.5 Restore the previous layer settings.

Type LAYERP. LAYERP (Layer Previous) restores the previous layer settings.

7.6 Erase the temporary mirror line.

Type E to erase the temporary mirror line.

8 CONSTRUCT THE REAR WALL:

8.1 Zoom in on the left side of the shipping container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

8.2 Rotate the view so you are looking at the back of the container.

(Refer to the picture below.) Type 3DO. Use the left mouse button to pan and rotate the view in 3D space.

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8.3 Build a rear wall.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on a point away from the shipping container (we will move the box into its correct position later). For the other corner of the box base, type @1,-6’6. For the height, type 7’7.

8.4 Move the wall into its correct position.

Type M. Select the rear wall and set it in place, so that its outer face aligns with the midpoint of the corner post as shown in the figure below.

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8.5 Zoom in on the top of the rear wall.

(See the diagram below.) Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

15

8.6 Draw a rectangle on top of the corner post.

(See the diagram above.) Type REC. Refer to the diagram above to locate the rectangle correctly. (Click on the corner points marked A and This rectangle will be used in the next step as a base for the top rail.

8.7 Build a rail along the top of the rear wall.

Type BOX. Begin the box by clicking on the corner point marked C in the diagram above. For the second point, zoom in on the other end of the wall, and click on the point marked D in the diagram below. For the height, type 4.5.

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9 CONSTRUCT THE ROOF:

9.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

9.2 Zoom in on the right side (the front) of the shipping container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

9.3 Build a rail across the top of the door opening.

Type BOX. Use the points on the corner boxes to set the dimensions of the box base. If you use the points at the top of the corner boxes, you can set the height as -4.5 (negative 4.5) and the box will fit between the corner boxes as shown in the diagram below.

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9.4 Set ROOF as the current layer.

Type -LA, then type S, then type ROOF, then click Enter twice. The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

9.5 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

9.6 Outline the roof.

Type PL. Trace the outline of the roof opening between the top rails on all four walls. Press [Enter] to complete the outline.

9.7 Isolate the ROOF layer.

Type -LA. Then type OF. Then type * (asterisk). When prompted to turn off the current layer, type N. Press [Enter] to complete the command.

9.8 Extrude the roof.

Type EXTRUDE. Select the outline you just drew and use -1 (negative 1) as the height.

10 CONSTRUCT THE DOOR:

10.1 Restore the previous layer settings.

Type LAYERP.

10.2 Set DOOR as the current layer.

Type -LA, then type S, then type DOOR, then click Enter twice. The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

10.3 Rotate the view so you are looking at the front of the container.

(Refer to the picture below.) Type 3DO. Use the left mouse button to pan and rotate the view in 3D space.

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10.4 Build the first door.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on a point away from the shipping container (we will move the box into its correct position later). For the other corner of the box base, type @1,3’9-1/2”. For the height, type 7’7.

10.5 Move the door into its correct position.

Type M. Select the door and set it in place, so that its inner face aligns with the point marked A in the figure below.

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10.6 Mirror the door.

Type MI. Select the door and mirror it around the midpoint of the shipping container floor. The model is complete.

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Step-by-Step: Aligning Images in InDesign

TO ALIGN IMAGES OR ELEMENTS INTO A SINGLE ROW:

1. Set each image or element to a fixed height.

2. Open the Object & Layout > Align window. Align the objects to a common baseline.

3. Use the Distribute Spacing tool (in the Align window) to equalize the spaces between images: choose a number for the Use Spacing setting.

4. Set the width of the group to a desired size, or stretch the group to fit a desired width.

Step-by-Step: A Simple Grasshopper Definition

Creating Grasshopper definitions is rarely a straightforward, linear process. It usually involves having a general idea of what one wants to accomplish, and a sense of which components will be necessary; however, the process almost always involves extensive testing, false starts, discoveries, and iterations along the way.

As an example, consider creating a Grasshopper definition which can create elliptical towers:

elliptical

One way of creating this definition is shown in the following step-by-step procedure.


1. Start Rhino; type GRASSHOPPER to start Grasshopper.


2. Double-click in the Grasshopper canvas to search for and insert the Ellipse component (or Curve > Primitive > Ellipse).

ellipse_01

Notice that when the component is placed on the Grasshopper canvas, it is automatically previewed in Rhino, on the basis of its default values:

ellipse_02

To see the component’s default values, hover the mouse over the input labels (P, R1, and R2). P, the base plane, is by default the XY plane and is previewed as a red grid in Rhino. R1 and R2, the ellipse’s two radii, are be default both set to one (1.0). Their result is previewed as a red circle in Rhino.

However, we want the component to produce variable-sized ellipses. Therefore, we need to introduce variable input in the form of number sliders.


3. Double-click in the Grasshopper canvas to search for and insert the Number slider component (or Params > Input > Number Slider).

ellipse_03

 


4. Double-click on the label of the number slider (“Slider”) to adjust its values as shown below:

ellipse_04

This will allow the slider to generate values between 0 and 50, with a precision rounded to three decimal points. Its initial value is set to 10, but that value is variable.


5. Copy and paste the first slider to create another slider. Double-click on this slider and change its name to Radius 2.

ellipse_05


6. Connect the two sliders to the Ellipse component by dragging wires between them. Begin by clicking on the slider output node, hold down the mouse button, and release it on the input node of the Ellipse component.

ellipse_06

Notice how this affects the Rhino preview:

ellipse_07

The ellipse is now shown with radii of 10 units. Adjust the number sliders to see how the preview is affected.


7. Having created a base ellipse of variable size, we now need to begin stacking multiple copies of the ellipse. We’ll do this by copying the ellipse vertically. Grasshopper does not have a Copy component; instead, we use the Move component — with the knowledge that the original ellipse will still preview in its original location.

Double-click in the Grasshopper canvas to search for and insert the Move component (or Transform > Euclidean > Move):

ellipse_08

The Move component requires two forms of input, which you can see by hovering the mouse over the input labels (G and T). Input G (Geometry) requires a drawn or modeled object — such as an ellipse. Input T (Motion, or Translate) requires a direction/magnitude in the form of a vector. Notice that by default, input T is set to a vector 10 units long in the Z-direction (0.0,0.0,10.0).


8. Connect the E output on the Ellipse component to the G input on the Move component:

ellipse_09

Notice how this affects the Rhino preview:

ellipse_10

A new ellipse is previewed 10 units vertically above the original ellipse.

However, we need multiple ellipses, placed at a variable distance (i. e., floor-to-floor height) above the original ellipse. We will need to do something different for the T input on the Move component. Specifically, we will need to provide to this component as input a list of numbers corresponding to the vertical positions of the floors.


9. Double-click in the Grasshopper canvas to search for and insert the Series component (or Sets > Sequence > Series):

ellipse_11

The Series component generates a list of numbers according to input parameters. Hover the mouse over the input labels (S, N, and C) to find out what is required for input.

The S input requires a single number, the start of the list. Assuming we want the first floor of our tower to be on the XY plane, S can be set to 0 (zero). The simplest way to do this is to right-click on the S label and choose Set Number from the dropdown menu. (Note that by default, S is already set to zero.)

The N input refers to the step size — the floor-to-floor height. And the C input refers to the count of items in the list — simply, the number of floors in the tower. Both N and C can be controlled with number sliders.


10. Insert two number sliders with the following values (note that Number of Floors is set to Integer rounding):

ellipse_12

And then connect the sliders to the Series component as shown below:

ellipse_13


11. Hover the mouse over the S output on the Series component. You should see the list of numbers generated in accordance with the input values. Now, it would seem that we could simply connect the S output from Series to the T input on Move — but if we do this, Grasshopper will generate an error message at the Move component:

ellipse_14

The problem is that the Move component expects vectors as input at T; we have given a list of numbers, not vectors. To fix this, we need to insert a Unit Vector component between the Series and Move components.


12. Double-click in the Grasshopper canvas to search for and insert the Unit Z component (or Vector > Vector > Unit Z):

ellipse_15


13. Reconnect wires as shown below (note: you can manually disconnect wires by right-clicking on input or output nodes and selecting Disconnect):

ellipse_16

Once again, notice how this affects the Rhino preview:

ellipse_17

Adjust all four number sliders to see the effect on the Rhino preview.


14. That completes the basic definition. Additional steps might include:

Extruding the floors to a specified or variable thickness (as shown in the image at the beginning of this post);

Varying the elliptical radii along the height of the tower;

Constructing a “skin” on the tower.

 

Step-by-Step: Building a Simple House in Rhino

1.    Start Rhino, using the Large Objects – Feet template.

2.    Double-click on the Perspective viewport label to maximize the viewport.

3.    Type OSNAP and make sure only Endpoint and Intersection snaps are “On.”

4.    Type LAYER to bring up the Layers palette. Double-click on Layer 01 to rename it Floor. Click in the check-mark column to make the Floor layer current.

5.    Type BOX. For the First corner of base, type 0,0 (zero comma zero) [enter].

6.    For the Other corner of base, type @14’,22’ (at fourteen feet comma twenty-two feet) [enter].

7.    For Height, type 1’ (one foot) [enter].

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8.    In the Layers palette, double-click on Layer 02 to rename it Walls. Click in the check-mark column to make the Walls layer current.

9.    Type BOX. For the First corner of base, click on the near corner of the floor. This point represents the outside corner of the bottom of the first wall. (END and INT will highlight to let you know you are snapping to the endpoint/intersection at the corner of the existing box.)

10.    For the Other corner of base, type @-6”,22’ (at negative six inches comma twenty-two feet) [enter].

11.    For Height, type 8’ (eight feet) [enter].

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12.    Type COPY. Select the wall you just built. For Point to copy from, choose the inside corner of the base of the wall you just built. For Point to copy to, choose the outside corner of the opposite side of the floor.

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13.    Type COPY. Select the original wall again. For Point to copy from, choose 0,0. For Point to copy to, choose 0,0. (This is known as copying in place.)

14.    Type ROTATE. Select the original wall. Rhino will prompt you to select one of two walls in the same place; choose either one.

15.    For the Center of rotation, click on the outside corner of the base of the wall.

16.    For the Angle or first reference point, type 90.

17.    Type MOVE. Select the copied wall. Move the wall so its corner aligns properly with the first wall you built. (OK if walls overlap.)

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18.    Type SCALE1D. Select the copied wall. For the Origin point, click on the near corner of the base of the wall. For the Scale factor or first reference point, click on the far corner (same side) of the base of the wall. For the Second reference point, click on the inside corner of the second wall you built. (Again, OK if walls overlap.)

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19.    Use the COPY command to copy the new wall to the opposite side of the floor.

06

20.    Type BOOLEANUNION. Select the four walls you just built and press [enter].

21.    Type SETDISPLAYMODE. Set the display mode to Rendered.

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22.    Type OSNAP and check the Nearest snap “On.” (This will allow Rhino to lock to lines and edges.)

23.    Type BOX. For the First corner of base, click on an inside edge of the short wall already built. (This point will correspond to the corner of the front door.) For Other corner of base, type @3’,-6” (at three feet comma negative six inches). For Height, type 6’8” (six feet eight inches).

24.    Type BOOLEANDIFFERENCE. Select the walls [enter], then the door [enter].

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25.    In the Layers palette, double-click on Layer 03 to rename it Roof. Click in the check-mark column to make the Walls layer current.

26.    Type BOX. For the First corner of base, click on the near outside corner of the top of the walls. For the Other corner, click on the far outside corner of the walls. For the Height, type 6’ (six feet).

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27.    Type CPLANE. Invoke the 3Point option either by clicking on 3Point in the Command line, or by typing I [enter]. Click any three non-colinear points on the front surface of the “roof box” you just drew. (This changes the orientation of the base grid.)

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28.    Type OSNAP and check the Midpoint snap “On.”

29.    Type POLYLINE and draw a triangle on the front face of the “roof box” corresponding to the roof gable. Make sure to “close” the polyline by clicking on the first point to complete the triangle (a total of four clicks).

30.    Click on the “roof box” and press [delete].

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31.    Type EXTRUDECRV. Select the triangle you just drew. Click on the back of the house to “extrude” the triangle into a gable.

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32.    Type CAP. Select the extruded triangle.

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33.    Type CPLANE. Invoke the World option [w] and the Top plane [t].
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Step-by-Step: Rhino Tutorial / Shipping Container

This step-by-step tutorial is a brief introduction to basic modeling tools in Rhino. It leads to the creation of a simplified model of a shipping container (shown below).

container-12

1 SET UP YOUR PROJECT:

1.1 Start Rhino and begin a New File.

File > New. Select the Small Objects — Inches template and click Open. Note: The template affects how Rhino interprets the numbers and dimensions you enter. This template assumes that numbers represent inches, unless accompanied by a foot symbol (e. g., 3 = 3 inches; 3’ = 3 feet; 3’3 = 3 feet 3 inches). Drawing units can be changed later using the DocumentProperties command.

1.2 Set up the drawing layers.

Type LAYER at the Command prompt. This opens the Layers panel. Using this panel, click the New Layer button to create layers named GRID, WALLS, FLOOR, ROOF, and DOOR. Set each layer to a unique color. Note: These layers will store the objects you build. Layer names and colors are arbitrary. In particular, colors should not be expected to bear any relationship to the material being represented. It is conventional to choose distinct colors to make it easy to visually discern objects in different layers.

1.3 Set the GRID layer as the current layer.

In the Layers palette, click the radio button next to the GRID layer. Note: The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

1.4 Turn on the ORTHO function.

Click the [F8] key repeatedly until you see the note “Ortho is on” at the Command prompt. Note: The ORTHO function is an on-off switch, constraining many of the drawing and editing tools to moving along the X-Y axes.

1.5 Turn off the base grid.

Type GRID at the Command prompt. Then type H (for “ShowGrid”. Press [Enter] to return to the Command prompt.

1.6 Set the object snaps.

In the Object Snaps bar (bottom of the Rhino screen), make sure that the snaps for Intersection, Endpoint, and Midpoint are checked. Note: Object snaps are user-determined.

1.7 Maximize the Perspective viewport.

Double-click on the word “Perspective” at the top left corner of the Perspective viewport.

1.8 Draw a base rectangle.

Type RECTANGLE at the Command prompt. When prompted, enter 0,0 as the start point. For the second point, enter 38’4,7’5. Note: This base rectangle does not represent a built component. Instead, it measures the distance between alignment holes in the shipping container.

1.9 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E. At this point, the model should look like the diagram below. Note: This keyboard command quickly zooms to show the entire model.

Untitled

2 CONSTRUCT CORNER BLOCKS:

2.1 Set FLOOR as the current layer.

In the Layers palette, click the radio button next to the FLOOR layer. Note: The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

2.2 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the base rectangle.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window. Note: Zooming in gives you the ability to work with greater precision.

2.3 Begin to build a box at the intersection of the gridlines.

Type BOX. Hover the mouse over the corner of the rectangle until the Intersection indicator appears. Click the mouse button. Note: The BOX command builds solid rectangular boxes.

2.4 Complete the box.

To complete the base of the box, type @7,-6.5. For the height, type 4.5. At this point, the model should look like the diagram below (zoomed-in view): Note: The @ symbol tells Rhino to use “relative coordinates” for the base of the box.

02

2.5 Move the box into the correct position.

Type MOVE at the Command prompt. Select the box by clicking on its edge. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. When prompted for a Point to move from, click anywhere in the drawing window. When prompted for a Point to move to, type @-2.5,3. Click [Enter]. Note: This step shows that it is sometimes much easier to construct Rhino objects in a temporary, incorrect position, and then to move the objects into their permanent, correct position.

03

2.6 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E. Note: This causes Rhino to display the entire model.

2.7 Mirror the box to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Type MIRROR at the Command prompt. Click on the box to select it. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process. When prompted to select the Start of mirror plane, hover the mouse near the midpoint of one of the sides of the base rectangle. Click on a midpoint of the side. When prompted to set the End of mirror plane, move the mouse and Rhino will preview the mirrored location of the corner box. Click to complete the command. Note: The MIRROR command reflects objects through a line.

2.8 Mirror two boxes to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Repeat the previous command, but select both corner boxes this time, and mirror them around the other axis (see diagram below).

04

3 CONSTRUCT THE FLOOR:

3.1 Build the floor.

Type BOX. The base of the box should coincide with the outside, top corners of the corner boxes; its height is 2”.

4 CONSTRUCT CORNER POSTS:

4.1 Set the Display Mode to Shaded.

Choose View > Shaded. Note: The Display Mode controls how Rhino displays objects.

4.2 Set WALLS as the current layer.

In the Layers palette, click the radio button next to the WALLS layer. Note: The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

4.3 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the base.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

4.4 Build the front corner post.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on the corner of the floor. Type @-9.5,2. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

4.5 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

4.6 Zoom in on the lower left-hand corner of the base.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

4.7 Draw the outline of the rear corner post.

Type POLYLINE. Click on the lower left-hand corner of the floor to begin drawing an outline of the corner post. Refer to the diagram below for dimensions. Starting at the lower left-hand corner, continue clockwise around the outline. For each new point, type the numbers as written. Note: The POLYLINE command creates a “polyline” (a single object consisting of multiple straight or curved segments). In Rhino (as distinct from AutoCAD), a POLYLINE need not be on a single plane. A closed polyline can be used as the base for a solid extrusion, as shown in the next step.

rhino_tutorial_02

4.8 Extrude the outline vertically to create the post.

Type EXTRUDECRV. Click on the outline of the corner post (the “curve”) to select it. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

4.9 Cap the extrusion.

Type CAP. Select the extrusion that you just created. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process. Note: The CAP command converts the extruded curve from an open to a closed polysurface.

5 CONSTRUCT THE SIDE WALL:

5.1 Set a plan view and set its Display Mode to Shaded.

Click on the Top tab (bottom of the drawing window). Choose View > Shaded.

5.2 Draw the centerline of a wall panel.

Type POLYLINE. Click on a point away from the shipping container to begin drawing an outline of the wall panel (we will move the panel into position later). Refer to the diagram below for dimensions. For the first segment, begin at the left, type @1.5<0. For the second segment, type @3<330. For the third and final segment, move the mouse to the right, and type @1.5<0. Press [Enter] to complete the polyline. Note: Again, in this step, we are creating an object in a temporary, incorrect position, so that we can move it into its permanent, correct position later.

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5.3 Offset the centerline to create the edges of the wall panel.

Type OFFSET. Then type D (for Distance). Type 1/16 to set the offset distance. Next, click on the polyline you just drew, and then click once above it. Repeat the OFFSET command, but this time click below the line. Note: The OFFSET command creates a copy of the original object, “offset” by a specified distance.

5.4 Erase the original polyline.

Click on the original polyline to select it and press [Delete].

5.5 Join the edges of the wall panel.

Type LINE. Draw a line at each end of the panel outline to “cap” it. Refer to the diagram below.

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5.6 Combine the segments into a single polyline.

Type CONNECT. Type J (for Join) to set the Join option to Yes. Click on one of the polyline segments, then click on one of the cap segments. Press [Enter] to repeat the command, then click on the same cap segment, and then on the next polyline segment. Press [Enter] again, click on the polyline segment, and finally [Enter] again, and click on the final cap segment. Note: The CONNECT command has the ability to join previously unconnected segments into a single polyline. However, the unconnected segments must have aligned endpoints.

5.7 Return to 3D modeling space.

Click on the Perspective tab (bottom of the drawing window).

5.8 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

5.9 Extrude the outline vertically to create the wall panel.

Type EXTRUDECRV. Click on the outline of the wall panel to select it. Click [Enter] to complete the selection process. For the height, type 7’7” (seven feet, seven inches).

5.10 Move the wall panel into position.

Type MOVE. Click on the wall panel to select it. For the base point, click the back corner of the panel. For the second point, click the corner of the corner post. Refer to the diagram below to see the correct position.

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5.11 Erase the original polyline representing the base of the wall panel.

Click on the original polyline and press [Delete].

5.12 Mirror the panel.

Type MIRROR. Select the wall panel. Press [Enter] to complete the selection process. For the Start of mirror plane, click a point on the end of the wall panel. For the End of mirror plane, move the mouse and Rhino will preview the mirrored location of the wall panel. Click to complete the command. (Refer to the diagram below.)

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5.13 Array the panel.

Type ARRAY. Select the two wall panels and press [Enter]. For the Number in X direction, type 40. For the Number in Y direction, type 1. For the Number in Z direction, type 1. For the X spacing or first reference point, click on point A in the diagram above. For the Second reference point, click on point B. Press [Enter] to accept the result and complete the command. Note: The ARRAY command is used to make multiple copies of a single object, according to defined rules.

5.14 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

5.15 Zoom in on the lower right-hand corner of the container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and click two points to define a zoom window.

5.16 Fill the gap in the wall.

Use the BOX command to build a box filling the gap between the final wall panel and the corner post.

6 CONSTRUCT OBJECTS AT TOP OF WALL:

6.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

6.2 Copy the corner blocks to the top of the wall.

Type COPY. Select the corner blocks (from the FLOOR layer). Copy them vertically so that they are set on top of the corner posts. Press [Esc] to complete the command.

6.3 Change the layer of the copied corner blocks.

Type CHANGELAYER. Select the two corner blocks you just copied. Assign these objects to the WALLS layer.

6.4 Zoom in on the top of the left end of the wall.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

6.5 Build a rail along the top of the wall.

Type BOX. Begin the box by clicking on the corner point marked C in the upper diagram below. For the second point, zoom in on the other end of the wall, and click on the point marked D in the lower diagram below. For the height, type 4.5.

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7 MIRROR OBJECTS:

7.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

7.2 Draw a temporary mirror line.

Type LINE. Draw a line from the midpoint of one of the short sides of the floor, away from the shipping container. (We will erase this line later.)

7.3 Isolate the WALLS layer.

In the Layers palette, turn off all layers except the WALLS layer. Note: Isolating a layer sometimes makes it easier to work.

7.4 Mirror the objects in the WALLS layer.

Type MIRROR. Draw a window around all of the objects in the WALLS layer. Press [Enter] to complete the selection. For the Start of mirror plane, click a point on the end of the temporary line you just drew. For the End of mirror plane, move the mouse and Rhino will preview the mirrored location of the objects. Click to complete the command.

7.5 Restore the previous layer settings.

In the Layers palette, turn on all layers.

7.6 Erase the temporary mirror line.

Click on the temporary mirror line and press [Delete].

8 CONSTRUCT THE REAR WALL:

8.1 Zoom in on the left side of the shipping container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

8.2 Rotate the view so you are looking at the back of the container. (Refer to the picture below.)

Press and drag the right mouse button to rotate the view.

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8.3 Build a rear wall.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on a point away from the shipping container (we will move the box into its correct position later). For the other corner of the box base, type @1,-6’6. For the height, type 7’7.

8.4 Move the wall into its correct position.

Type MOVE. Select the rear wall and set it in place, so that its outer face aligns with the midpoint of the corner post as shown in the figure below.

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8.5 Zoom in on the top of the rear wall. (See the diagram below.)

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

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8.6 Build a rail along the top of the rear wall.

Type BOX. Begin the box by clicking on the corner point marked C in the diagram above. For the second point, zoom in on the other end of the wall, and click on the point marked D in the diagram below. For the height, type 4.5.

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9 CONSTRUCT THE ROOF:

9.1 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

9.2 Zoom in on the right side (the front) of the shipping container.

Spin the center wheel on the mouse, or type Z at the Command prompt and drag the mouse to define a zoom window.

9.3 Build a rail across the top of the door opening.

Type BOX. Use the points on the corner boxes to set the dimensions of the box base. If you use the points at the top of the corner boxes, you can set the height as -4.5 (negative 4.5) and the box will fit between the corner boxes as shown in the diagram below.

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9.4 Set ROOF as the current layer.

In the Layers palette, click the radio button next to the ROOF layer. Note: The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

9.5 Zoom out.

Type Z at the Command prompt, then type E.

9.6 Outline the roof.

Type POLYLINE. Trace the outline of the roof opening between the top rails on all four walls.

9.7 Isolate the ROOF layer.

In the Layers palette, turn off all layers except the ROOF layer.

9.8 Extrude the roof.

Type EXTRUDECRV. Select the outline you just drew and use -1 (negative 1) as the height.

9.9 Cap the extrusion.

Type CAP. Select the extrusion you just created. Press [Enter] to complete the command.

10 CONSTRUCT THE DOOR:

10.1 Restore the previous layer settings.

In the Layers palette, turn on all layers.

10.2 Set DOOR as the current layer.

In the Layers palette, click the radio button next to the DOOR layer. Note: The current layer will receive any newly created objects.

10.3 Rotate the view so you are looking at the front of the container. (Refer to the picture below.)

Press and drag the right mouse button to rotate the view.

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10.4 Build the first door.

Type BOX. For the first corner, click on a point away from the shipping container (we will move the box into its correct position later). For the other corner of the box base, type @1,3’9-1/2”. For the height, type 7’7.

10.5 Move the door into its correct position.

Type MOVE. Select the door and set it in place, so that its inner face aligns with the point marked A in the figure below.

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10.6 Mirror the door.

Type MIRROR. Select the door and mirror it around the midpoint of the shipping container floor. This completes the model.

container-12

Step-by-Step: Image Trace in Illustrator

Illustrator’s Object > Image Trace commands are used to automatically trace a raster image, creating vector geometry. These commands are especially useful as a step in constructing digital contour models from scanned topographical maps, and other similar tasks.


AN IMAGE TRACE WORKFLOW:

1.  Open a raster image (e. g., a scan or a photograph) in Photoshop.

2.  Using Photoshop, convert the image to a bitmap figure-ground. You will probably need to experiment with the right combination of options to achieve good results. Try using Photoshop’s Filter > Gaussian Blur command to blur the image before converting it to a bitmap (Image > Mode > Bitmap). When converting the image, the 50% Threshold option will usually give the best results. After converting it, change the image mode to Grayscale, and try blurring it again. (The right combination of commands will depend on the resolution and composition of the image.) Save the bitmap image as a TIF file.

3.  Open or Place the image in Illustrator.

4. Use the Selection tool (the arrow tool) to select the image.

5.  Choose Window > Image Trace. This brings up the Image Trace options panel.

6. In the Image Trace options panel, set the Preset to Line Art.

7. Experiment with other settings (including the Advanced settings) to achieve optimal results, depending again on the resolution and composition of your original image.

8. After completing the trace, click on the resulting object and choose Object > Image Trace > Expand.

9. Copy the resulting object into a new Illustrator file. You can also save it as a .DWG or .DXF file, which you can open, import, or link to Rhino, AutoCAD, SketchUp, or Revit.

Step-by-Step: 2D Projections in Rhino

Rhino models can be “projected” into 2D line drawings for use in presentations or construction documentation.

A 2D PROJECTION WORKFLOW:

1.  Open a Rhino model.

2.  Set the view you wish to project (e. g., a perspective view or an orthogonal projection like a plan or elevation).

3.  Enable a clipping plane if required. (See information on CLIPPINGPLANE.)

4.  Type MAKE2D [Enter].

5.  Select the objects you wish to project. Press [Enter] when done.

6.  In the 2-D Drawing Options dialog box, select Current View. Choose other options as appropriate for your situation. (For example, if you check Maintain Source Layers, the resulting 2D drawing will be organized according to the same layering scheme as your Rhino model.)

7.  Click OK.

8.  Although you may or may not see the result of the MAKE2D command on your screen, Rhino has created new objects representing a 2D vector projection of the objects you selected above. Before doing anything else, immediately choose File > Export Selected.

9.  Select the .dwg file format and save the drawing.

10.  After the drawing is saved, immediately click Delete. (This erases the projected geometry in Rhino and allows you to proceed with modeling.)

11.  The resulting .dwg file can be opened in AutoCAD and checked for scale, layers, etc. It can be dimensioned and saved in AutoCAD and/or opened in Illustrator for further editing and annotation.

Step-by-Step: 2D AutoCAD to Rhino

Two step-by-step methods for moving from 2D AutoCAD drawings to Rhino:


IMPORT/EXTRUDE METHOD:

This method begins with a set of pre-drawn AutoCAD plans, although the plans could also be drawn directly in Rhino using 2D drawing commands.

1.  Import the AutoCAD drawings to Rhino. [Type IMPORT.]

2.  Create a new layer for the plan drawings. Group the imported drawings into this new layer. [Type LAYER; create a new layer; select objects; type CHANGELAYER.]

3.  Create another new layer for new walls.

4.  Make sure OSNAP is turned on (toolbar at the bottom of the screen). Check END to lock to endpoints.

5.  Invoke the POLYLINE command to trace the wall surfaces from the AutoCAD drawings. (Alternatively, create the wall surfaces as polylines in AutoCAD prior to import.)

6.  Invoke the EXTRUDECRV (“Extrude Curve”) command to extrude the walls to their proper height.

7.  Invoke the CAP command to close the top and bottom of the extruded walls.

8.  Use the BOOLEANDIFFERENCE command to “subtract” openings from the walls.


IMPORT/CONSTRUCT METHOD:

This method begins with a set of pre-drawn AutoCAD plans, although the plans could also be drawn directly in Rhino using 2D drawing commands.

1.  Import the AutoCAD drawings to Rhino. [Type IMPORT.]

2.  Create a new layer for the plan drawings. Group the imported drawings into this new layer. [Type LAYER; create a new layer; select objects; type CHANGELAYER.]

3.  Create another new layer for new walls.

4.  Make sure OSNAP is turned on (toolbar at the bottom of the screen). Check END to lock to endpoints.

5.  Use the BOX command to construct boxes of correct height and size on the AutoCAD drawings.

6.  Use the BOOLEANUNION command to join separate walls together.

7.  Use the BOOLEANDIFFERENCE command to “subtract” openings from the walls.