Archive for the ‘Shark’ Category

CAD Tip of the Month: Subdivision

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Tip Level: Intermediate

The subdivision tool, which is a part of the new quad mesh tool palette, is one of the most useful 3D modeling features in ViaCAD Pro and Shark.

Essentially, the subdivision tool is used to take the 3D objects and models you’ve created using our meshing tools and smooth out their surfaces and edges. This process gives your designs a more finished and clean look. These finished subdivided meshes are compatible with 3D printing, conversion to solids, rendering, and animation.

When using subdivision modeling, our CAD software represents a smooth surface using a simple, low polygon count defined by control points. In the image below you can see a block mesh with four points. This object is subdivided three times, each time making the edges of the mesh smoother.

A great example of this process can be found in the video below. This concept to creation of a 3D spoon, which you can find the tutorial for here, shows you how to take a cube you’ve created in ViaCAD pro or Shark and turn it into the head of a spoon using the subdivision tool.

Subdivision won’t take up a large amount of your time when you’re creating 3D designs, in fact if you know how to use it effectively it is the quickest way to take an abstract creation and turn it into a finished product.

The next video, which takes you through the process of making a coffee cup using mesh tools, shows again how easy it is to use subdivision in your projects. At around the three minute mark you can see the process of turning a 15 sided cylinder into what instantly looks like the main body of a coffee mug.


As well as being extremely useful in basic projects, subdivision is a tool used in the most complex digital worlds. Subdivision meshes are popular in film and animation where very large scenes are composed of low polygon counts that render at high resolutions using subdivision. Companies such as Pixar have successfully used subdivision meshes since 1996 and continue to play an important role in their development.

Regardless of the difficulty of your project, our subdivision modeling tool will prove to be useful and is another reason PunchCAD software is the perfect choice for your next 3D project.

CAD Tip of the Month: Push/Pull Modeling

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Tip Level: Beginner

 

One of the most useful and flexible PunchCAD features is the push/pull modeling tool. What is push Pull modeling? Push/pull allows you to take your 2D shapes and bring the faces of those shapes into 3D space.

 

Push/Pull Modeling Tool

Additionally, you can add or remove material on an existing 3D face based on your project needs. With both 2D shapes and 3D objects just click on the center of the surface you want to manipulate, and push/pull from there.

 

The video below does a wonderful job of showing you the basics of turning 2D shapes into 3D objects, then manipulating those objects using nothing but the push/ pull tool.

 

 

The video also demonstrates our CAD software’s recognition of curves and lines that have been drawn onto faces. With our 2D/3D modeling tools you can draw and manipulate additional shapes onto faces, allowing for flexible addition and subtraction in your modeling projects.

 

Push/pull always works in a direction perpendicular to the surface, and only works on surfaces (not edges).

 

A snag you might run into when using this tool is not being able to push/pull curved shapes that aren’t in the major planes. The fix to this problem is quite simple (as is demonstrated in the video). When this happens, use the ‘WorkPlane’ tab to click ‘select objects’, and once your object is selected go back into the ‘WorkPlane’ tab and click ‘Show Work Place’. From there you can go right into the Push/Pull tool easily.

There are numerous applicable uses for this tool in our CAD software, and we recommend practicing with it on one or several projects. Once you master it you’ll find uses for it all over the place. From doorframes to silverware , our push/ pull modeling tool helps you create precise and specific models with ease!

 

Tip: Select Deep Tool

Friday, July 15th, 2016

In this post we cover some of the amazing features of Select Deep, one of my favorite tools in ViaCAD.  Select Deep provides a means to access nested or embedded components of a CAD object.  With this component access you can do operations such as:

  • Delete solid faces
  • Delete mesh elements
  • Delete points from polyglines or splines
  • Delete elements from a group
  • Move faces and elements in a group
  • Change colors

In the video linked below, we demonstrate some of the many features of the Select Deep tool.