Paneling Techniques.

 From:  Michael Gibson
3859.2 In reply to 3859.1 
Hi Andy, so if you want that particular kind of rounded edge shape on your panel then probably the technique you already used by doing Shell + edge fillets would be the best way to go.

Or possibly instead of using Shell you might want to just cut the solid into multiple solids by doing a Boolean with a curve as the cutting object, then fillet the edges of those individual solids.

So for example if you have a sphere, you can have a cutting 2D curve like this:

Then if you select the sphere and do a Boolean difference and use the curve as the cutting object, it will divide the solid into 2 solid pieces like this: (shown slightly separated for illustration):

Then you would be able to fillet those edges:

> The only other solution that I could think of was to sweep a
> circle along the panel lines and boolean them out.

Yup, that would also be a typical way to do it, and depending on what you want this way can give a slightly different more distinct groove shape.

See here for an example:

One tip though - if you have tubes that are going to criss-cross over top of each other that can be more difficult for the surface/surface intersector to resolve, but if you make crossing ones slightly different diameters that can help to avoid intersection problems.

Sometimes things that just barely touch or barely graze each other can run into boolean problems.

> That seemed like it would create more problems to me, but
> that might be anti-boolean mentality that comes from years of
> subpatch modeling.

This is one of the big differences between sub-d and NURBS modeling - with NURBS modeling you normally want to incorporate booleans as a primary way of working rather than as something to avoid.

For some kind of similar things where you want to have recessed or protruding bits you might use a technique where you slice the surface up and then use Shell or Extrude to make the protrusion or indentation in a localized area, like this:

And also in other circumstances the Inset command can help:
That's similar to shell in that it produces a new face that is created from an existing one by offsetting, but Inset also kind of shrinks the offset face inwards as well.

- Michael