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Using 3D Booleans to Create Complex Models

   

3D Boolean commands can be used to add, subtract, intersect, and clip models. These are useful for making complex models out of simpler ones.

The 3D Boolean commands can only be used with certain types of objects. Due to the complex mathematics involved, the Add, Subtract, and Intersect commands can only be used with "solid" (airtight) objects from the Modeling tab -- boxes, cylinders, extrusions, and so forth. (An exception is the Clip command, which only requires that one of the objects be solid.) However, the result of a 3D Boolean command can in turn be used in subsequent 3D Boolean commands, allowing you to create models of increasing complexity.

To use these commands, you must first select two objects. The order that the two objects are selected is important when one model is subtracted or clipped from another.

Normally, a new object will be created and the original objects will be deleted. However, if you want to keep the original objects, then press and hold Ctrl while clicking the desired 3D Boolean command.

To add models:

1.   Click the first object to select it.

2.   Hold the Shift key and click on the second object to select it. (You can then release the Shift key.)

3.   Optional: If you want to keep the second object, press and hold the Ctrl key while performing the next step.

4.   Click the Add Solid Models button that appears near the top of the screen under the Modeling tab.

To subtract models:

1.   Click the first object to select it.

2.   Hold the Shift key and click on the second object to select it. The second object should be the model that you wish to subtract from the first object. (You can then release the Shift key.)

3.   Optional: If you want to keep the second object, press and hold the Ctrl key while performing the next step.

4.   Click the Subtract Solid Models button that appears near the top of the screen under the Modeling tab.

To intersect models:

1.   Click the first object to select it.

2.   Hold the Shift key and click on the second object to select it. (You can then release the Shift key.)

3.   Optional: If you want to keep the original objects, press and hold the Ctrl key while performing the next step.

4.   Click the Intersect Solid Models button that appears near the top of the screen under the Modeling tab.

To clip a model:

1.   Click the first object to select it. This is the object you want to be clipped.

2.   Hold the Shift key and click on the second object to select it. This is the object that will do the clipping. (You can then release the Shift key.)

3.   Optional: If you want to keep the original objects, press and hold the Ctrl key while performing the next step.

4.   Click the Clip Solid Model button that appears near the top of the screen under the Modeling tab.

Below is an example of the Subtract Solid Models command:

The following example shows how the Clip Model command was used to cut a hole for a sink in a custom grill island. (The box used to do the clipping is not shown.)

Tips:

      To use the Clip command with models other than Accessories (such as retaining walls or patios), first convert the object into a Custom Model.

      You can save custom models for use in other designs. See Model Creation Wizard for details.

      Normally, the second object is deleted. To keep this from happening, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the desired 3D Boolean command.

See also:

Selecting Objects
Adding a Box
Adding a Ramp
Adding a Cylinder
Adding an Extrusion
Adding a Lathe
Adding a Loft
Adding a Part
Converting to a Custom Model
Undoing and Redoing Changes
Model Creation Wizard