Novice Attempting Belt Buckle Design...have ?'s.

 From:  Michael Gibson
2349.4 In reply to 2349.1 
Hi Paul, welcome to the forum!

Burr gave you some great advice, I will just fill in a few links.

> Is there any way to see the steps of how I got to this point
> in the design. History doesn't seem to work.

Yeah like Burr mentions History in MoI is currently mostly focused on tweaking the result of a surfacing command. Like if you do a Loft or Revolve you can edit the curves that were input into the Revolve and see the revolved result surface update with your edits.

That Pod video that shows the history in action is available on this page:

The history makes some records that are attached to objects that you create, but it is kind of an internal record currently, there isn't any way right now to view the sequence of actions like it sounds like you are looking for. But I do want to add something like that in the future though.

There are some other modeling systems called "Parameteric solid modelers" (for example SollidWorks and Alibre are a couple of these) which are much more focused on that kind of history list stuff than MoI currently is. You may be interested in checking them out if you want to focus on history editing type methods of work.

> Also, when I extruded the 3 letters, it seems that they would
> always start on the plane when working on the Front window

Basically the extrude works off of a curve, and the extruded surface will begin from where your curve is currently placed. If you want it to start from a different location you can move the source curve to that location first before extruding it.

> and I'm afraid if I attempt to cut them there won't be any
> material holding them to the base of the belt buckle.

I'm not really following this part, sorry - I may need some additional explanation of what you were worried about here.

> Is there any way to probe the surfaces to see
> their height from another surface.

There is a Distance plug-in that Burr mentioned that you can get, and also another way is to draw a line. When you draw a line, as you move the second point of the line around, the length of the line will be displayed in this area on the bottom area of the window:

Also in the v2 beta release there is a new size readout which gives the bounding dimensions of the currently selected object, which may be useful for this:

But generally if you want something of a very specific size it is easiest to type in that value when initially creating it to make sure that you have it specified exactly right from the start.

So for instance if you want something to be 1/4 inch tall, then make sure to enter 0.25 as the extrusion height and it will be created at that specific height. In the v2 beta you can also use feet and inches units and type in 1/4" instead 0.25 .

> Also, I see a bunch of terms...any book recommendations that would help?

Like Burr mentions, probably the best thing is the help file documentation, you can browse that online here:
or if you want to make a printout there is a PDF version here:

If you go through the reference section there are usually some images shown for the result of a particular command so that can make it easier to see what some specific terms like "Sweep" or "Fillet" will do.

If there are some particular terms that you still find confusing, just ask about them here and I will try to explain them.

But actually with your buckle is looking pretty good, so it looks like you are off to a good start already!

- Michael