Orca3D News

Friday, December 17, 2010

Adding a new button on a toolbar

In a previous post we discussed a useful plug-in, ScaleByPlane (which has become a function in the Rhino 5 WIP). If you find yourself using this function frequently, you'll get tired of typing the command and may want to put it on a toolbar. Rhino makes it easy to create new buttons on a toolbar, and even whole new toolbars, so that you can customize the interface and work more efficiently.

One of the toolbars that Orca3D installs is called "Rhino Functions Icons," and it contains Rhino functions that we think are useful in marine design but are not found on the Rhino toolbars that are normally turned on. Let's look at how you would add a button to this toolbar for the ScaleByPlane function.

The first step is to undock the toolbar, and then right-click in the header portion of the toolbar and select "Add Button."
You'll see a new, blank button on the toolbar. Now, hold down Shift and right-click on the new button. This will bring up Rhino's Edit Toolbar Button dialog:

If you are artistically inclined, you can choose "Edit Bitmap" and draw a bitmap for the button. If you'd rather not, you can simply enter text. First, enter text in the Tooltip entry field, so that when you hover your mouse over the button you'll remember what it's for. Next, select "Show Text Only" (unless you're drawing a bitmap for the icon), and finally, enter the command for the Left mouse button. Click OK, and you'll see the new button. Now you can dock the toolbar again:

Note that you can edit any toolbar button this way, not just ones that you have created. For example, you might want to add a frequently used command to the Right-click field of an existing toolbar button (if it doesn't already have one). You can also enter a series of commands in the Left or Right button command field, such as a macro.

More detailed help is available in the Rhino Help file, in the Toolbar Layout chapter.

A nice image for a rendering background

One of our users, Hunter Gall, has kindly made this image available to anyone who would like to use it as a rendering background. The full image resolution is 5487x1263. If nothing else, it will make you want to visit Maine in the summer! Right-click on the image below to download the full image.

If you have images that you'd like to share (or even 3dm models of objects such as winches, hatches, etc.), please send them to support@orca3d.com and we'll create a repository where everyone will have access to them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2D Scaling and Moving Control Points, using ScaleByPlane

For those of you who used FastShip, you may remember that it had the ability to scale a patch of control points about a local origin, stretching the patch in two dimensions as you moved your mouse. This could be very useful when you wanted to edit an entire column in your control net. This capability has been replicated in Rhino 4 (as a plug-in), and is a native command in Rhino 5.
For example, say you wanted to increase the slope of the stem of your boat. You could move each control point individually, but this would be cumbersome, and if you wanted to maintain a straight stem, you'd have to snap each point into a line. You could rotate the stem, but that would have the effect of lowering the tip of the stem. With Scale2D, you can only scale along a line.
With ScaleByPlane, you can simultaneously stretch and move a group of control points in 2 dimensions.
To use ScaleByPlane, begin by selecting control points to be scaled, then select an origin about which things will be scaled. Then select the reference point and begin stretching.
If you want to use this command in Rhino 4, you'll need to download the scalebyplane.rhp plug-in, and then install it using the PlugInManager command. It's a built-in function in Rhino 5, so you can use it by just typing the command.
In the following example, we have the default hull from the sailboat assistant, but we'd like more slope to the stem.
Turn on the Orca control points:
Run ScaleByPlane, and follow the prompts; first, select all of the control points on the stem column. Then select the forefoot corner point as the origin, then select the control point at the top of the column as the first reference point, and drag to the new location.
Here are the control points in the new location. In one step, we've moved all of the points up and forward.
And here is the modified hull.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Training Class: Ship Hull Design with T-Splines for Rhino

Gerard Petersen of the RhinoCentre in the Netherlands will give a 2-day training class on ship hull design using Rhino and the T-Splines plug-in, including the integration of Orca3D in the design process.

"T-Splines modeling technology makes it possible to design ship hulls, yachts and free form superstructures in Rhino like never before. In the marine industry there's no comparable modeling tool as powerful as the T-Splines/Orca3d/ Rhino combination.

Both high quality as fast results make it possible to model fair ship hulls in little time. The tight integration with Orca3d offers even more functionality for analysis and modeling power.

T-Splines can be applied in preliminary design as well as preparing ship hulls for production."

For more information, visit the RhinoCentre website.