Rhino Tutorial: Surface and Solid Basics

Approx Completion Time: 30 min
Goal: Learn many of the available 3D surface and solid tools + Learn about Gumball

What you will draw:

Mac Instructions

Windows Instructions

Open Rhino and click Show Templates on the right

Open Rhino and click the New Tab at the top

Scroll down in the template menu and choose

Small Objects - Millimeters

Scroll down in the template menu and choose Small Objects - Millimeters

Let’s turn on a modeling aid.

Now you will see some information next to your cursor as you use most tools.

From the menu at the top, choose:

FILE > PROPERTIES

Under modeling aids select Cursor Tool Tips

Check the boxes above and click OK.

Osnap    Distance   Point

This entire tutorial will be created in PERSPECTIVE view.

Double click the word PERSPECTIVE to focus on that viewport.

STEP 1: Each tool has many variations. Click and hold the box tool on the left-hand tool palette

Other places to find the same tools: You can type into the command line

or you can find them from them in the Solid menus at the top of the screen.

STEP 2: Before we start drawing, let’s talk about Gumball.

The Gumball is a tool that allows you to move, rotate, or scale any selected object

on the X (red), Y (green) or Z (blue axis).

Turn Gumball on:

 Mac: at top of screen Windows: at bottom of screen

STEP 3:For now, let’s disable all Osnaps and enable Grid Snap (at the top of the screen)

Turn off all other buttons at the top of the window.

STEP 3:For now, let’s disable all Osnaps and enable Grid Snap (also at the bottom of the screen)

Turn off all other buttons at the bottom of the window.

STEP 4: Surface Choose:

Draw a 10mm x 10mm shape starting on the origin point (0, 0) the first point is x and 2nd is y and then clicking again at (0, 10) and (10,10) and (10,0).

STEP 5:Because we are in viewing the object in WireFrame it does not look like a surface.

Right click on the word “Perspective” in the  viewport and choose: Shaded

You can also go to the application menu at the top and choose Shaded from the view menu.

STEP 6: Surface Choose:

(20,0)  to  (30,10)

Remember: if you make a mistake in the middle of a tool, hit ESC.

STEP 7: You can make surfaces from many types of closed curves:

Curve Choose:

Draw a circle from (45,5) to (45,0)

Surface Choose:

Select your circle and hit ENTER:

STEP 8: Surface Choose:

Draw a 3-point surface starting at (60,0) and then clicking again at (70, 0) and (70,10).

Hit ENTER

STEP 9: Choose Curve:

Draw a small organic shape with 4 or 5 points that fall near the grid sector 80,0 and 90,10
(connecting the last point to your first point)

Surface Choose:

Select your circle and hit ENTER:

STEP 10: Surface Choose:

Draw a 10mm x 10mm shape starting at(100,0)

and then clicking again at (100, 10) and (110,10) and (110,0).

Oh no!!! We’re out of grid!!! No big deal.You don’t have to have grid. We’ll add grid anyway.

STEP 11:Right-click anywhere on the viewport grid and choose:

In the option window, change:

Then, close the window

This will only affect this document.

STEP 11:Choose FILE>PROPERTIES

Then click on GRID

Under Grid Properties:

Then, close the window

This will only affect this document.

STEP 12: Surface Choose:

Draw one 10mm x 10mm vertical plane that intersects the top of your previous plane and one that intersects the right side of the plane. You now have three touching planes.

Let’s join them to be one object: Grab the arrow

With the shift key down, click on all three planes.

Click the Join button          OR        type JOIN into the command line and ENTER.

STEP 13: Choose Solid:

Draw a box from (0,20) to (10,30) to (10,30,10)

Notice: The third coordinate has a Z value.

STEP 14: Choose Solid:

Draw a box from (25,25) to (20,20) to (20,20,10)

STEP 15: Choose Solid:

Draw a cylinder from

(45,25) to (45,20) to (45,25,10)

Before setting the third point:

Make sure this option is not checked:

STEP 15: Choose Solid:

Draw a cylinder from

(45,25) to (45,20) to (45,25,10)

STEP 16: Choose Solid:

Draw a sphere from (65,25) to (65,20)

Your sphere will be partially below the grid.

This sphere will also be partially below the grid.

Line it up with the other shapes using the GUMBALL.

1. Select the shape
2. Click on the blue arrowhead
3. Type 5
4. Hit ENTER

STEP 17: Choose Solid:

Draw a Sphere from (85,30) to (85,20)

Line it up with the other shapes using the exact method you used on the last shape.

STEP 18: Choose Solid:

Ellipsoid requires 4 points (center, length, width, height)

Draw an ellipsoid from (110,25) to (100,25) to (110,30) to (110,25,5)

Your ellipsoid will also be partially below the grid.

Line it up with the other shapes using the exact method you used on the last two shapes.

STEP 19: Hold Command and Shift + Press E

Here’s what you have so far….right?

STEP 19: Hold CTRL and Shift + Press E

Here’s what you have so far….right?

STEP 20: Choose Solid:

Tube requires 4 points (base, radius, wall thickness, height)

Draw the tube from (5,45) to (5,49) to (5,50) to (5,45,10)

STEP 21: Choose Solid:

Make sure this option is set (on windows you set this in command line)

Draw the pyramid from (25,45) to (25,52) to (25,45,10)

Select the pyramid so that you can see the gumball.

Click on the Gumball’s Blue Rotation Arc to rotate around the Z axis.

Type 45 and hit ENTER

STEP 22: Choose Solid:

Draw the cone from (45,45) to (45,50) to (45,45,10)

STEP 23: Choose Solid:

Draw the truncated cone from (65,45) to (65,50) to (65,45,10) to (63,43,10)

STEP 24: Choose Solid:

Draw the paraboloid from (85,40) to (85,50) to (90,50)

Select the paraboloid so that you can see the gumball.

Click on the Gumball’s Red Rotation Arc to rotate around the X axis.

Type 270 (or -90) and hit ENTER

Click on the Gumball’s Green Direction Arrow

Type -5 and hit ENTER

Question: Why do you think we are using the green arrow to move up instead of the blue one?

STEP 25: Choose Solid:

This time we’re going to use the gumball to create an ellipsoid from a sphere.

Draw the sphere from (115,50) to (105,50) to (105,45)

Move the sphere up to be level with the other shapes.

Next, use the gumball to elongate the sphere into an ellipsoid.

Click inside the gumball’s small red square to scale in the X direction.

You are entering a SCALE FACTOR not a distance.

Make the shape 2 times wider in the X direction by typing 2 and pressing ENTER.

STEP 26: Hold Command and Shift + Press E

Here’s what you have so far….right?

STEP 26: Hold CTRL and Shift + Press E

Here’s what you have so far….right?

STEP 27: Choose Solid:

Draw the torus from (20,70) to (10,70) to (5,70).

Use the gumball to raise the torus to the level of the other shapes.

Choose Curve:

Draw the curve from (40,60) to (50,80) to (60,80) to (70,60)

Choose Solid:

1. Select the curve you just created.

1. Make the Start Radius 2 and press ENTER

3. Make the End Radius 2 and press ENTER

4. Leave the next radius empty and press ENTER

Using the Gumball, move the shape 1mm upon the Z axis to be in line with the other shapes.

STEP 28: Choose Circle:

Draw the circle from (90,70) to (80,70).

Choose Polygon:

Set sides to 5

Draw the star from (90,70) to (77,74) to (83,72)

Select the star and, using the gumball, move it up on the Z axis 10mm.

Make both the star and the circle into planar surfaces by selecting them and

typing PlanarSrf into the command line. Hit ENTER to set a planar surface.

Type LOFT into the command line.

Select the curves to loft: The curves from both shapes

Rhino will prompt you to be specific about what you want to select (see below):

 Select the star curve Select the circle curve

STEP 29: Hit ENTER through both the next two steps. Make sure your parameters match the ones below:

And press the Loft button (OK on Windows)

The Loft command fits a surface through selected profile curves that define the surface shape.

STEP 30: Choose Ellipse:

Draw the ellipse from (50,100) to (70,100) to (50,90).

STEP 31: Choose Curve Circle:

Select the ellipse you just created.

Draw a circle that intersects your ellipse at location (50,90).

Choose Curve Circle (or hit SPACEBAR):

Select the ellipse you just created.

STEP 32: Draw a circle that intersects your ellipse at location (50,110).

STEP 33: In the command line type Sweep 1.

 The rail will be the ellipse, Select ----> The cross section will be the circles ---->Select and hit ENTER

STEP 33:

Depending on how you drew your shapes you may now see this: One arrow up and one down

We need adjust the seam points to point in the same direction or we will end up with two twists:

Press this button in the options (on Windows Select in command line) to fix this:

Press ENTER

Make sure these options are selected:

Style: Freeform AND Closed sweep checked.

click Sweep

STEP 34: Now lets put each row of shapes on its own layer. Select the layer panel on the right by clicking the icon below.

STEP 34: Now lets put each row of shapes on its own layer. Select the layer panel on the right by clicking the tab below.

STEP 35: Double click each layer name and rename as shown below:

STEP 36: Drag the cursor

around the bottom row to select all the shapes.

While the shapes are selected,

right-click (or control click) on Row 1

in the layer palette.

STEP 36:Drag the cursor

around the bottom row to select all the shapes.

While the shapes are selected,

right-click (or control click) on Row 1

in the layer palette.

STEP 37: Repeat this process and put each row of shapes on the corresponding layer.
Move the largest shape at the top to the MY SHAPES layer

The object will take on the preview color for the layer. This can be changed by double clicking the color box next to the layer name.  Pick whatever colors you like as long as they are easily visible and look good together : )

STEP 38:Did you get something like this?

The lofted shape is on one layer but the original planar surfaces (both the circle and the star) are still on the default layer! Often you would want to keep these but for this tutorial, let’s delete them.

But wait!!! When you delete one surface, there’s another underneath!

This is because, when we did the loft, we did not join the shapes.

Delete both surfaces on the top and bottom to get this:

Now type CAP into the command line.

Select the lofted shape and hit ENTER.

Now select the “my shapes” layer by clicking inside the radio button and highlighting the layer.

On this layer, create a 2 or more shapes using loft and/or Sweep.

STEP 40: Final touches:

Hold Command and Shift + Press E

Right-click anywhere on the viewport grid and choose:

In the option window, uncheck these properties:

Then, close the window

This will only affect this document, but will make the drawing easier to see.

STEP 40:Final touches:

Hold CTRL and Shift + Press E

Choose FILE>PROPERTIES

Then click on GRID

In the option window, uncheck these properties:

Then, close the window

This will only affect this document, but will make the drawing easier to see.

 You’ve completed this tutorial!!! (You will have two more shapes)Save your Rhino file as SolidsYourName.3dm and a screenshot as SolidsYourName.png and put both to your shared folder.