Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Introductory Tutorials #4a & 4b: Boolean Functions

Boolean Functions are extremely powerful in Moment of Inspiration.  In fact, it was probably this aspect of design that first sold me on Moment of Inspiration above other 3D design products. 

I try to keep my tutorials under or around 10 minute in length.  So, even at the introductory level it took two sessions to even begin to explore the richness of Boolean functions available to designers.  These functions fall into four categories: Difference, Union, Intersection and Merge.  And, each of these functions work on both 2D and 3D features.  And, they all require at least 2 different objects to be selected.


Boolean Difference requires the selection of two or more different objects in two different categories. It subtracts material from a "Base Object(s)" based on the characteristics of the "Subtraction Object(s)".  It is typically used to cut holes or remove portions of an object using a complex shape. 


Boolean Union also requires the selection of at least two different objects.  They must be touching.  That is because they are combined into a single object. 


Boolean ISECT or INTERSECTION is a very interesting function.  It creates a NEW object by doing something that can best be described as a reverse difference.  The parts of those selected objects that do NOT intersect with each other are removed.  And, a new object is created that encompasses only the area in which both original objects intersected.


Now it REALLY gets crazy.  This command KEEPS the parts of the selected objects that did not intersect.  Generally, the result is a new object for each of the selected objects.  But, then it also creates an intersection object!  For two original objects, this generally results in 3 new objects being created.

Here is the first of our explorations into Moment of Inspiration's Boolean functionality.  In this case, we cover just UNION and DIFFERENCE to create a housing for something like an automobile thermostat.

All of the BOOLEAN Functions are explored in this second half of this tutorial.

Seeing the functions at work is worth a thousand words!

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