Copies can be made along a straight line (Linear) or along a pre-defined curve. In the
Linear option, the number of copies is specified and the direction along which to put the
copied objects, i.e. x, y or z, by specifying a number in the Step X, Step Y and Step Z
boxes. This number is the spacing of the resulting objects which can either be
defined in terms of the object size (tick Times X Size or whichever direction you want)
or in absolute units (leave boxes unticked). For example, specifying 1 in the Step X
box and ticking the Times X Size box will produce copies running along the x-axis that
will just be touching. Copies running along any vector can be defined by
specifying steps in more than one Step X/Y/Z box as shown below:
Using the From Curve option allows the copied objects to be created along a path defined
by an existing curve which can be selected from the pull down menu. Copies are spaced
evenly along the curve and the number is either explicitly specified or calculated from
the specified Step Size (in units). The orientation of the copied objects can
either follow that of the curve or be fixed at that of the original (untick Orientation
Follows Curve). In addition, the original position and orientation can be used to form
the basis for the position and orientation of the copies.
In the example on the right, the Array tool has been used to create some wheel spokes. In this case a approximating smoothing polygon was used to produce a circular path. The original cylinder was positioned as shown and its orientation and position were used and 'Orientation Follows Curve' was ticked.
Note that the Array tool can be used on arrays. This example shows an array of an array of an array and shows how quickly a large number of copies could be made.
Orientation follows curve
Curve used in lathe example
|In this case, you will need to play around with the radius to get the required
The number of segments controls how many points are created in the resulting spline mesh as shown on the right. Having more points means having more control on the resulting object.
Note that to create a vase/glass etc. with some actual thickness, you will need to create a closed curve like the following:
|Highlighting all 3 curves in the Object List and
selecting Tools -> Skin brings up the dialogue box on the right:
The curve order can be rearranged as required by selecting on a curve in the left hand list and moving it up or down. The direction in which the points are joined can also be reversed.
Clicking on OK produces the result below:
A more complicated example gives an idea of what the Boolean tool is capable of.
We start off with a Boolean made from a difference of two cylinders, one inside another
(but taller). The Union image shows the 2 objects clearly. Selecting the First-Second
operation gives the desired effect.
Clicking OK gives the first stage of the turret. Now we add a cube scaled so that it extends beyond the newly-created 'crater' as below left. Copy and pasting ( or using the Array tool with a suitable curve) produces copies of this cube around the top of the soon-to-be turret (bottom right). These cubes are Unioned successively with the Boolean tool until they form one Boolean object (delete the original objects and the intermediate Booleans as you go).
Select the main turret boolean and the combined cube boolean and create a difference.
Again the image on the left shows the objects clearly. Selecting First-Second produces the
turret we are after on the right. Clearly through further use of the Boolean tool,
a more complicated and realistic model can be built up.
Bear in mind also that, like other geometric objects, the resulting Boolean object can be converted to a triangle mesh which allows more detailed refinements and the application of the various smoothing methods.