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 From:  angven (ANGELO)
2749.1 
Hi all (and specially Michael),

First of all congratulations for this superb software, I'm in a rush to draft some pieces for a sculpture show and I come across to MOI, a fantastic fluid CAD package. I'm working in a Mac trough Parallels in a really really smoothy way.

I need some help to what I think could be simple but I can't realize how to do. Apologize my bad English, let me try to explain what is the problem.
One of the pieces would be constructed by 160 planes equally spaced, something like a sliced bread. The "bread" in this case was the result of an MRI of a small bird skull, so... I will reconstruct this skull as a real wireframe. 160 wire boundaries equally spaced. These wires are kept physically in space by some plexiglass panels set perpendicularly to them.

My model was constructed by lines/curves imported from Ilustrator and assembled in MOI. This model was perfect to visualize the piece but... when I decided to sustain the wires in space by the help of these plexiglass surfaces could be helpfull to mark where the plexiglass have to be drilled to pass the wires trough. I imagine that a boolean subtract was the answer but I think that I have to convert the "wires" to a solid, isn't? Convert this bunch of haired lines (sweep?) one by one could be a nightmare. Have I a better alternative?

Thank you a lot.

BTW, how can I distribute objects? Something like Align/Distribute in Illustrator.

Angelo
www.angelovenosa.com
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 From:  Paolo (PAOLOLOBBIA)
2749.2 In reply to 2749.1 
Hi angven,

Select the first plexiglass box by clicking on it.
Click for the second time on the left or rightside of the box to select the surface.
Repeat that on the other boxes.
Click COPY then PASTE and then click HIDE to hide the copied surfaces.
Delete the boxes and click HIDE to show the copied surfaces.
Zoom out and select the curves and surfaces holding down the left mousebutton.
Click CURVE and then click ISECT.
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2749.3 In reply to 2749.1 
This thread maybe can help you ;)
http://moi3d.com/forum/messages.php?webtag=MOI&msg=2671.1
In fact maybe not after have seen your file sorry :)

EDITED: 4 Jul 2009 by PILOU

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 From:  angven (ANGELO)
2749.4 
Ciao Paolo (I'm a brazilian-italian : )

I was just tricking around with Curve Isect and Curve Project when I saw your post, but not yet realized that was more simple to do this with the plexiglass surfaces and not the solid boxes.
But I am stuck with a collection of points and can't go forward. Perhaps these points are so simple geometry (with no dimension applied) that is the reason that I can't really punch these holes on the plexi surface. Another problem that I'm thinking is that these holes are not always round, in a lot of them they would be a straight cut. What I'm trying to explain is that when the wire is perpendicular to the plexiglass surface there will be a round hole but when it's not perpendicular the hole will be a projection of the wire intersection, a "straight" cut. Once more apologize this horrible English.

Thanks

and thanks Pilou for the thread link, I think I read this thread when I was trying MOI a month ago.
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 From:  Paolo (PAOLOLOBBIA)
2749.5 In reply to 2749.4 
Ciao Angelo (I am Dutch-Italian),

The example below is the best i can think of.
Use the created objects to boolean subtract the boxes.
Be aware that holes smaller than 1mm(in a real phisical object),will give
you a hard time and maybe you should create more
space between the curves.

Good luck(buona fortuna),

EDITED: 4 Jul 2009 by PAOLOLOBBIA

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.6 In reply to 2749.1 
Hi Angelo, I'm glad that you like MoI and this is a very interesting project you have!

Let me answer this one first:

> BTW, how can I distribute objects? Something like Align/Distribute in Illustrator.

There isn't currently any specific tool for that in MoI, but you may get some help by using the Transform / Array / Dir tool to replicate a single object with evenly spaced copies and then you can use those copies as a snapping guide for where to place any other objects.

If you're having problems with trying to distribute some specific objects, maybe you could post an example file with just those objects?


So yes, like you saw if you want to just mark the location of where each wire intersects your slabs, the Construct / Curve / Isect command can be used to intersect your curves with the slabs to place marker points at every point of intersection.

But it sounds like you want to actually burrow a kind of path of the wire through the slab. You can't use a point as a cutting object in a boolean because the point has no volume or area to it.

So I think to get what you want you will need to thicken all your wires into tubes.

There is a shortcut available for this which should help you a lot though!

It's a plug-in called "Pipe", which you can find out about from here:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1463.9
http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/#Pipe

To install it you unzip that Pipe.zip attached to that linked message above, and copy the 2 files (Pipe.htm and Pipe.js) into the \commands sub-folder inside of MoI's main installation folder.

That will then make a new command called Pipe available to you, you can launch it by setting up a keyboard shortcut with Pipe as the command name for the shortcut, or in v2 by typing in <tab> Pipe <enter> which is an alternate way in v2 to launch commands.

Pipe allows you to select multiple rail curves in one batch to create tubes around, so it should help you a lot with this case.

When you run Pipe, you'll want to enter in just an "Outer radius" value and leave the "Inner radius" value alone, since you probably don't want to make hollowed out pipes.


One other note though, piped objects can be rather heavy and complex objects, and it also can cause problems if your pipe has a tight enough bend in it which causes the generated surface to fold back on itself.

So it may be a good idea to prepare your curves that will be piped to be as small as possible by drawing in some vertical lines parallel to your slabs and using Edit/Trim to cut your wires and leave only a piece large enough to produce what you need, like this:



It looks like some of your curves are made up of multiple segments and not necessarily all smooth single segment pieces, which may cause you some issues since the sweeps/pipes will be created in multiple segments as well on those curves.

But hopefully that may be useful...

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.7 In reply to 2749.1 
Hi Angelo, also be prepared that creating such a large number of tubular surfaces may eat up a large amount of memory, so that is something you may need to watch out for.

You may need to work on each slab in separate batches or something like that.

Also by default MoI is set to display objects with a dense display mesh which makes for a nice smooth looking display but also eats up quite a bit of memory.

You should probably adjust the display mesh setting to be rougher before you create a large number of tubes. To do that, go to Options / View / Meshing parameters, and change the "Mesh angle" parameter to 25 degrees, and uncheck "Add detail to inflections".

That will make for a somewhat rougher and jagged looking display of curved surfaces, but it will also reduce memory consumption by a lot.

Even with that, still be prepared to possibly run into memory / density issues with creating such a complex piped structure though.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.8 In reply to 2749.4 
Hi Angelo, just one other note - that Pipe command will be useful for making tubes around many curves but it is also not very friendly as far as being able to interrupt the process while it is chugging away.

So you probably should use it on one simple curve piece to start with so you can figure out what radius would be good to use, and then do a bigger batch after that.

It looks like many of your larger curves have tight bends and sharp corners in them in different areas, that will probably make some of them not suitable for piping directly, but if you trim things down to smaller pieces just near the slab like I showed earlier that will likely give you a much better shot.

You're still probably going to have some difficulties with some of the more complex pieces that may have many corners, segments, or tight bends in them.

It's possible that for some complex pieces you may need to make an approximation of the hole by drawing in a cylinder aligned with the tangent of the curve where it intersects the median plane of your slab.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2749.9 In reply to 2749.8 
Looks like a great project for the new Scene Browser to work in managable sections!
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 From:  angven (ANGELO)
2749.10 In reply to 2749.8 
Hi Michael, thank you for your quickly replay (on a holiday!) and let me tell you how impressed I am with the accuracy and sympathetic attention to a project strange to your "surroundings". Seems like we are sat to the same table working together with a lot of previous common experiences. I'm really impressed!

About distribute: I was doing exactly what you suggested but sometimes (when you have a big bunch of objects) a distribute command could be easier. I think this is uncommon in the CAD area, more related to 2D vector drawing apps.

I remember to see this pipe plugin somewhere in the forum when I was learning MOI, time to try!

I was a sculptor in a quite old way, I mean, I'm not a digital artist but computer is one of the tools of my toolbox, a tool I use a lot from a long time (89). Your app is fantastic as retain some freshness of the connection between mind and hand. And is so funny that a mac user like me found this beautiful tool in the Windows area.

As soon I have some good results I'll post here.

"E grazie tante a Paolo per l'amabile aiuto!"

Angelo
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2749.11 
Such fonction don't exist? Maybe must be add to the Array Transform?
(or just between 2 curves)

EDITED: 4 Jul 2009 by PILOU

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2749.12 
Seems you can yet make easily planar forms :)
Then make Shell

So possibility to intersect with your perpendicular plexiglass rectangles

But I don't very well understand what must be the final result?
A ropes skull?
Have you an example of such thing?



PS With the Browser does it possible to select only open curves (after the planar automatic function)
On the drawing above there are some open curves (for close it manually or with other method)

And there is not inverse selection inside the Browser? (Because I have found how see only the surface :)

EDITED: 4 Jul 2009 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.13 In reply to 2749.11 
Hi Pilou,

> Such fonction don't exist? Maybe must be add to the Array Transform?

No, there's not any function for what you are showing there.

That's basically a 2-rail sweep.

In the future here at some point I'll have an "extract isoparm" command which would make it possible to build a 2-rail sweep surface and then extract some curves from that surface.

That will probably be the way to achieve that in the future.

But I don't believe what you are showing there is related to Angelo's problem though.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.14 In reply to 2749.12 
Hi Pilou,

> PS With the Browser does it possible to select only open
> curves (after the planar automatic function)

No, not currently. I do have some ideas for making additional kinds
of "filters" to allow for things like that.

But it is possible to select all open curves by use of a keyboard shortcut
script, put the following on a shortcut key for that:
code:
script:var curves = moi.geometryDatabase.getObjects().getCurves(); for ( var i = 0; i < curves.length; ++i ) if ( !curves.item(i).isClosed ) curves.item(i).selected = true;


> And there is not inverse selection inside the Browser? (Because I
> have found how see only the surface :)

It's possible to deselect the objects for a browser item by holding
down Ctrl and clicking on the browser item's text.

Also right-clicking on a browser item's text will do an
"isolate selection", where that item becomes the only selected
item and everything else is deselected. This can be useful if you
want to set one item as the only selected object with a single click.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2749.15 In reply to 2749.13 
< But I don't believe what you are showing there is related to Angelo's problem though.
If a "multi sweep array"(?) exist it will very easy to have the all quadrangular mesh with the parallel curves given
Then make some intersections after with the Plexi rectangles

But i don't visualize what must be the final result :)
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.16 In reply to 2749.15 
Hi Pilou,

> If a "multi sweep"(?) exist it will very easy to have the all
> quadrangular mesh with the parallel curves given
> Then make some intersections after with the Plexi rectangles

Sorry, I don't understand this one...

If you want to do a "multi-sweep" as a method of creating a surface, you can use the Network command for that kind of thing, it allows for a crossing network of curves and is not limited to only 1 or 2 rails like sweep is.

But if you are talking about replicating curves across an area, I don't think that will help for this particular case. As far as I understand the problem, Angelo is trying to create holes similar to this:




But instead of straight holes, the hole should actually follow the contour and angle of the wire. So to do that surfaces must be created to intersect with the slabs.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2749.17 In reply to 2749.1 
I was wondering if you had considered this type of plane layout?



since you know the spacing, you could put a temporary grid on the plexy then use MoI to cut your curves down the middle and place each side seperatly. It didnt sound like you were going to automate the task of drilling?

There would be a couple smaller inner horizontal planes to accomodate the upper and lower pieces but seems like it would work. Trying to visualize though.

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.18 In reply to 2749.10 
Hi Angelo, it's always fun for me to see interesting things being done with MoI!


> About distribute: I was doing exactly what you suggested
> but sometimes (when you have a big bunch of objects) a
> distribute command could be easier. I think this is uncommon
> in the CAD area, more related to 2D vector drawing apps.

Yeah, this is not commonly found in CAD programs.

But I do like to have elements from 2D vector apps combined into MoI as well, and I have been gradually adding some things from that area into MoI over time.

One pretty big one for MoI v2 was the inclusion of a bounding edit frame so that you could quickly scale or rotate objects by grabbing grips on the bounding box around the selected objects, similar to how 2D vector drawing apps work.

Some kinds of 2D vector operations can be more difficult to fit in to function with 3D objects though, and also it can be difficult to add in the element of accurate placement which is usually a focus for MoI.

Were you looking for a distribute function as way to arrange parallel planar objects?

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
2749.19 
Ok I see :)
You can easily have the result but with "box hole" against "cylinder hole" ;)

Replace Rectangular "Plexiglass box" by rectangular Plan

Close all curves

Select all curves lines closed, Extrude them on the longitudinal side by the measure that you want hole (so a little measure)

Select all volumes result and make a Copie /Size

Make boolean Diff between them

Make Boolean Diff Plexi Glass with result above

Extrude Plexi Glass = you have your result wanted : just Fillet if you want a more smooth result ;)



EDITED: 4 Jul 2009 by PILOU

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.20 In reply to 2749.19 
Hi Pilou, sorry that previous image I showed was simplified to get the idea across.

If I understand correctly, the other problem is that some pieces will be coming in to the slab at an angle, like this for example:



So it is desired to have an angled hole for those cases, like this:



That seems to be what Angelo was looking for.

- Michael

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