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Sculpt

Learn to leverage sculpting in your designs to create freeform shapes.

Overview

To gain an understanding of how to create and edit simple primitive shapes and learn sculpting basics, start with these video demonstrations.

  • Manage the number of faces

  • Create primitive shapes

  • Use edit form to make modifications

How to's

Learn best practices and tips while working with Sculpt.

  • Delete geometry

  • Use display modes

  • Weld vertices

Hands-on Exercises

Now you’re ready to put your skills into practice.  Try these hands-on exercises to get started.

  • Creating t-spline forms

  • Modifying a t-spline form

  • Creating a t-spline using a reference image

Creating T-Spline Forms

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Goals:

Learn how to create different T-Spline Forms:

  1. Create a T-Spline Primitive Form
  2. Create a T-Spline Revolve Form
  3. Create a T-Spline Sweep Form
  4. Create a T-Spline Loft Form

Instructions:

Step 1: Go to the Sculpt workspace

  1. In the Model workspace select Create Form to enter the Sculpt workspace.
  2. A dialog box appears, telling you to click Finish Form to return to the model workspace when you are finished sculpting.
  3. Select OK.

Step 2: Select the T-Spline Box primitive

  1. Select the drop-down arrow under Create to expand the list of creation commands.
  2. Select Box to create a T-Spline box.

Step 3: Position the Box


When you create a new primitive you first need to indicate which plane you want to build on and then enter the dimensions of the primitive.


1. Select the bottom plane.

2. Select the origin to specify the center point of the box 2D profile.

3. Drag the mouse and click on the plane again to specify the initial size of the rectangle.  

 

Step 4: Set the dimensions for the box

  1. In the Box dialog window set the length to 175mm, and the width to 150mm respectively by entering these numbers.
  2. Drag the arrow pointing up from the box, and set the height equal to 75mm.

Note: When dragging a manipulator in Fusion 360 the increments for the move are tied to how close or far away the camera is to the manipulator. The closer you are the smaller the move increments, the farther you are the larger the move increments. If you find that the move is changing at too large of increments, simply zoom in to reduce the size of each step.

Step 5: Increase the number of faces to the box in Length and Width

  1. In the Box dialog window set the Length Faces to 3.
  2. To set the width faces, drag the double-headed arrow manipulator on the box primitive up to increase the number of width faces until it equals 3.
  3. Select OK to complete the Box primitive setup.

Step 6: Finish the Form


You have just created your first T-Spline body. To include this form as part of your solid model you need to indicate that you are done creating T-Spline forms for the moment and that you want to go back to the Model workspace.

  1. Select Finish Form at the end of the Sculpt workspace toolbar.

2. The T-Spline form is automatically converted to a solid body and you are brought back to the Model workspace.


Note: If you create a closed T-Spline form, it will be converted to a solid body when you select Finish Form. If you create an open T-Spline form, for example a T-Spline Plane, it will be converted to a surface body when you select Finish Form.

Step 7: Create a T-Spline Revolve Form

Let's create a T-Spline form by revolving a sketch curve. The Revolve command creates a form by rotation 2D geometry about a fixed axis.

  1. In the Browser, select the drop-down arrow next to your Bodies folder.
  2. Click the light bulb next to Body1 to turn off the visibility.

3. Select Create > Create Form.

Step 8: Turn on the visibility of the sketch curve that you will be revolving

  1. In the Browser, select the drop-down arrow next to your Sketches folder.
  2. Select the light bulb icon next to Revolve to turn on the visibility of the Revolve sketch.

Step 9: Revolve a T-Spline using the sketch curve as input

  1. Select Create > Revolve.
  2. Select on the sketch curve to identify it as the Profile curve to be revolved.
  3. In the dialog window select no selection next to Axis to show the axis selector in the workspace.

Step 10: Change the Revolve settings

Let's change the settings in the Revolve settings to change the Angle the direction that the curve is revolved.

  1. In the Revolve dialog window, change the Type from Full to Angle.
  2. Enter 90 degrees for the Angle field.
  3. Change the Direction from One Side to Symmetric.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Select Finish Form to return to the Model workspace. Note: The Revolve manipulator can also be used to adjust the number of faces in longitude and latitude of the revolved shape as well as the degree of the Angle.

Step 11: Create a T-Spline Form using Sweep

The Sweep command uses two sketch curves to define a shape. One curve is selected as the Profile, which is swept along a Path curve to create the shape.

  1. In the Model workspace hide the previously created Body 2 (1).
  2. In the Browser in the Sketches section select the light bulb icon next to Revolve Sketch to turn off the sketch visibility.
  3. Turn on the visibility for the Sweep Path and Sweep Profile sketches.

4. Select the Blue axis. A T-Spline form is revolved 360 degrees around the Blue axis.  

 

Step 12: Start the Sweep command

  1. Select Create Form in the Model workspace to change to the Sculpt Workspace.
  2. Select Create > Sweep to launch the Sweep dialog window.

3. Select the Sweep Profile sketch to identify this sketch as the Profile.

4. Select no selection next to Path.

5. Select the Sweep Path sketch to identify this sketch as the Path. The swept T-Spline Form is generated.  

Step 13: Add faces to the swept surface

In order to match our rounded-square profile, we need to increase the number of faces for the profile.

  1. In the dialog window, set the number of faces for the Profile equal to 24.

Note: The greater number of faces, the closer the body matches the path.

Step 14: Change the sweep orientation

There may be instances where the orientation of the profile as it moves along the path will give you a more desirable result. Use the Orientation option to change the sweep behavior.

  1. In the dialog window, change the Orientation from Perpendicular to Parallel. Observe how the sweep behavior drastically changes.
  2. Change the Orientation back to Perpendicular.

Step 15: Change the sweep distance

The Sweep command allows you to alter the amount of the path curve that is used to create the T-Spline form.

  1. Drag the arrow at the end of the Path to alter the sweep distance. In addition to using this arrow, we can set the distance in the dialog window.
  2. In the dialog window, set the distance equal to 0.5.
  3. The sweep now travels half the length of our Path curve.
  4. Select OK.
  5. Select Finish Form.

Step 16: Create a T-Spline Form with Loft

We will use three sketch profiles as input to create a lofted shape.

  1. Turn off visibility of Body 3 (1).
  2. Turn off visibility of the two Sweep sketches.
  3. Turn on visibility for sketches labeled Loft CenterlineCircle, and Triangle.
  4. Select Create > Create Form to change to the Sculpt workspace.

Step 17: Select the profiles to create the loft form

  1. Select Create > Loft.

2. Click the Circular profile in the canvas.

3. Click the Triangular profile in the canvas. This creates a straight lofted shape that transitions between the circle and the triangle.


Note: You can have multiple profile shapes to loft between.

Step 18: Change the Loft shape by defining a centerline

By default the loft will always create straight transitional surfaces between profiles. To control the direction of the surface between the profiles you can add a sketch curve a centerline.

  1. In the dialog window click the + icon in the centerline section.
  2. Click the centerline curve.

Step 19: Increase the number of faces to improve the match

The T-Spline surface is not matching well to the triangle profile. Let's increase the number of faces to improve the match.

  1. In the dialog window, set the number of faces for the Width equal to 16.
  2. Click OK.
  3. Select Finish Form.

Wrap up

Congratulations! You've learned how to create a T-Spline Form in Fusion 360! In this lesson, you accomplished the following:

  1. Created a T-Spline Primitive Form
  2. Created a T-Spline Revolve Form
  3. Created a T-Spline Sweep Form
  4. Created a T-Spline Loft Form

 

Modifying a T-Spline Form

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Goals:

Learn how to move, rotate and scale T-Spline geometry with Edit Form.

The real power of T-Splines is that it allows for freeform shape manipulation of shapes by
moving, rotating and scaling vertices, edges and faces of a T-Spline surface. The most common command you will use to do this is Edit Form. You can also add and remove faces in your forms to get detail where you need it without making the entire form overly complex.

In this section, we will accomplish the following:

  1. Move, Rotate and Scale T-Spline geometry with Edit Form
  2. Add geometry to a T-Spline body with Edit Form
  3. Change the display mode
  4. Insert Edges

Instructions:

Step 1: Turn off the visibility of the Loft body

  1. Turn off visibility of the previously created Body 4 (1) from the last lesson.
  2. Turn off visibility for any visible sketches.

Step 2: Edit the T-Spline shape in the Timeline

  1. In the parametric timeline at the bottom of the Model window, located the 4 T-Spline form icons.
  2. Hover your pointer over the first form icon and you will notice that the primitive box is highlighted on the screen.
  3. Right-click on the form icon in the timeline and select Edit.


Note: When using Fusion 360 with history turned on, T-Spline operations do not have history in the same way that the operations in the Model and Patch workspaces do. However you can go back in history and make adjustments to your T-Spline shapes and those changes will be recomputed in the history of your model when you exit the Sculpt workspace.

Step 3: Start the Edit Form command


When you create a new primitive you first need to indicate which plane you want to build on and then enter the dimensions of the primitive.


1. Click Modify > Edit Form. The Edit Form command can be used to directly manipulate FacesEdges, and Vertices.

2. Click on a top face located at one of the corners of the box.

3. The manipulator displays on the face with an assortment of tools.


Note: Directly manipulating a face creates the greatest changes in your form, while manipulating a single vertex will result in smaller changes.

Step 4: Move a face in a single axis direction

  1. Click and drag on the arrow pointing up to translate (move) the selected face up by 30 mm.

Note: When you move a face on a surface the surrounding faces move to maintain continuity.

Step 5: Move a face in a planar direction

  1. Click and drag on one of the white squares to translate the selected face on a plane parallel to a given plane in world space.

Note: By default the Edit Form manipulator uses the World Space coordinates, you can also use View space (based on the camera view) and Local space (based on the normal direction of the surface). These can be changed in the Coordinate options in Edit Form.

Step 6: Move a T-Spline edge and vertex

  1. Select a single edge.
  2. Use any of the translate manipulators to compare the effect.

3. Select a single vertex.

4. Translate this vertex to see how this creates more subtle changes.  

Step 7: Rotation with Edit Form

  1. Make sure that at least one face is selected.
  2. Click and drag one of the circular arcs to rotate the selected geometry about a single axis.

Note: Be careful not to rotate geometry too far, as self-intersecting faces, or geometry that twists through itself will result in not being able to convert it in to a solid body.

Step 8: Single direction scaling

  1. Make sure that at least one face is selected.
  2. Click and drag one of the straight lines to scale the selected face in one direction.

Step 9: Planar scaling

  1. Make sure that at least one face is selected.
  2. Click and drag one of the small corner manipulators to scale the selected face along a plane - or in two directions.

Step 10: Universal scaling

  1. Make sure that at least one face is selected.
  2. Click and drag the circular manipulator at the center of the manipulator.
  3. Dragging left or right will scale the geometry in all directions up or down.

Step 11: Extrude a face to add geometry

  1. Select a single face of your T-Spline form.
  2. With the Edit Form command still active, hold the alt-option on Mac or alt key on Windows.
  3. Click and drag the single arrow to add geometry outward from the selected face.
  4. Let go of the alt-option/alt key as well as the left-mouse button.
  5. Select OK to close Edit Form.

Note: You can use this hotkey function to extrude any edge(s) or face(s) that are selected on a T-Spline form.

Step 12: Change display mode

When modeling with T-Splines you have 3 different display modes to choose from. Changing the display mode can help you find problem areas on your model and increase performance by not having to constantly smooth the T-Spline shape. For this example we will switch the display to Box Mode - a polygon version of the T-Spline form.

  1. Select Utilities > Display Mode to bring up the Display Mode window.
  2. In the Display Mode window select Display Mode > Box Display to show an unsmoothed version of the T-Spline form.

3. Select Display Mode > Control Frame Display to see a combination of the unsmoothed and smoothed versions of the T-Spline.

4. Select Display Mode > Smooth Display to go back to the smoothed version.

5. Select Display Mode > Box Display

6. Select OK to close the window


Note: Display mode can also be switched by using the combination of Control + 1 for Box, Control +2 for Control Frame and Control + 3 for Smooth on a Mac. Or Alt +1, Alt +2, Alt +3 respectively on a PC. You can also find these controls in the Selection Options section of the Edit Form window.

Step 13: Working in Box Display Mode

  1. Hold down the right mouse button to bring up the radial menu.
  2. Select Edit Form in the radial menu.
  3. Select a face and hold alt-option/alt while dragging the blue arrow up to extrude the face. You will notice that the performance is faster in Box mode than in Smooth mode.
  4. Hold control/alt +3 to return to smooth mode.
  5. Hold down the right mouse button and select OK from the radial menu to close the Edit Form window.
  6. Select Finish Form from the menu bar to go back to the Model workspace.

Step 14: Add edges to a T-Spline form

  1. Enter the Sculpt workspace by selecting Create > Create Form.
  2. Create another Box primitive whose length, width, and height are 100mm, 100mm, and 200mm.

3. Set the number of length, width, and height faces equal to 4, 2, and 2.

4. Click OK.

5. Click Modify Insert Edge.  

6. Double-click on one of the middle edges to select the entire middle loop.  

Note: Double clicking on an edge will select the complete edge loop. Selecting a single edge inserts an edge to a face on either side of the selected edge. Selecting an edge loop adds a second loop.

Step 15: Adjust the insert location

  1. Click and drag the double arrow to adjust the position of the inserted edge.
  2. By hand, or with the text field, set the Insert Location equal to 0.75.
  3. Change the Insert Side from Single to Both.
  4. Click OK.


Note: You probably noticed that the shape of the T-Spline form changed after you inserted additional edges. The top and the bottom of the box became sharper by adding more edges near the existing top and bottom edges. If you want to insert an edge(s) and not change the shape of the T-Spline form, change the Insertion Mode to Exact.

Step 16: Delete and edge

  1. Select the recently added upper edge loop.
  2. Select Modify > Delete or press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  3. Select Finish Form.

Wrap up

Congratulations! You've learned how to modify a T-Spline Form in Fusion 360! In this lesson, you accomplished the following:

  1. Moved, Rotated, and Scaled T-Spline geometry with Edit Form
  2. Added geometry to a T-Spline body with Edit Form
  3. Changed the display mode
  4. Inserted Edges

Creating a T-Spline using a Reference Image

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Goals:

Learn how to create a T-Spline using a Reference Image.

  1. Insert an image into the workspace using Attach Canvas.
  2. Use Calibrate to set the proper scale for the reference image.
  3. Invoke symmetry when modeling a T-Spline box.
  4. Use Insert Point to draw edges on a T-Spline face.

Instructions:

Step 1: Download the Image
Let's start by saving the image you will use as a reference image to your computer.

  1. Use the image to the right.
  2. Right-click the image.
  3. Save as 03_UtilityKnife.
  4. Place the file in a location where you can easily find it. Your desktop for example.

Step 2: Attach a canvas

  1. Select Insert > Attached Canvas.
  2. Select the YZ Plane (between the green and blue axis) to indicate which plane the image should be attached to.
  3. In the dialog window, click the Select Image button and navigate to the 03_UtilityKnife.jpg file.

Step 3: Adjust canvas settings

  1. If necessary, rotate the canvas 90 degrees to orient it properly.
  2. Lower the opacity to 85.
  3. Check the box for Display Through to ensure that the canvas can be seen through your T-Spline form.
  4. Click OK.

Note: You don't need to be concerned about the size and scale of the image at this point. We will adjust the scale using the Calibrate tool. Calibrating the image ensures that you are modeling in the correct scale in the workspace.

Step 4: Calibrate the image

  1. In the Browser, click the drop-down arrow next to the Canvases folder.
  2. Right-click on UtilityKnife and select Calibrate.

3. Click Right on the ViewCube to view the utility knife from the side.

4. Click once at the front of the utility knife.

5. Click once at the back of the utility knife.

6. Enter 180 mm in the length field and hit enter.

7. The canvas will scale up accordingly.

Step 5: Create a box primitive

  1. Click the Create > Create Form icon to enter the Sculpt workspace.
  2. Click Create > Box.
  3. Select the same side plane (YZ) as the canvas to specify the plane that the Box is placed on.
  4. Click once at the origin to specify the Box's center point.
  5. Move the mouse and click again at the outer edge of the reference image to draw its 2D profile.

Note: By default the Edit Form manipulator uses the World Space coordinates, you can also use View space (based on the camera view) and Local space (based on the normal direction of the surface). These can be changed in the Coordinate options in Edit Form.

Step 6: Set box dimensions and add symmetry

  1. Set the Box's Length, Width, and Height equal to 175, 35, and 25 mm, respectively.
  2. Set the number of Length Face equal to 5, and the width and height faces equal to 2.
  3. In the dialog window, change the Symmetry from None to Mirror.
  4. Check the box for Height Symmetry.
  5. Select OK.

Step 7: Move faces to the top of the knife image

  1. If you are not in the right side view still, click on the Right side of the View Cube.
  2. Select Modify > Edit Form.
  3. Select the middle set of faces by holding the left mouse button and dragging to the lower right over top of the faces you want to select.
  4. Using the Planar Translation manipulator, move the selected faces to align the top of the T-spline body with the top of the utility knife image.

Step 8: Move faces to the top of the knife image

  1. To align the bottom in this section, select the bottom face and use the planar translation and rotate manipulators.
  2. Repeat the previous 2 steps for the rest of the T-spline form. It will also be helpful to use the single-direction scale manipulator in some cases.
  3. For more controlled editing, try modifying individual edges.

Step 9: Insert edges to get closer to the knife shape


Our T-Spline form is starting to resemble our reference image but there aren't enough edges in the T-Spline to capture all the detail of the Knife.

  1. Hold Shift then select the edges shown at the front of the knife.
  2. Click Modify > Insert Edge.

3. Drag the direct manipulator to the right to position the new edges at an Insert Location around -0.5.

4. Click OK.

 

Note: With Symmetry enabled you only need to select the edges on one side of the symmetry plane, the matching ones on the other side will be automatically selected also and will be displayed in yellow.

Step 10: Insert additional edges with Insert Edge

  1. Holding Shift then select the edges shown at the back of the knife.
  2. Select Modify > Insert Edge.
  3. Drag the direct manipulator to the right to position the new edges at an Insert Location around -0.5.
  4. Click OK.

Step 11: Move the inserted edges with Edit Form

  1. Use the Edit Form command to manipulate the recently inserted edges to achieve the result shown in the image.

Note: The planar translation manipulator will be extremely useful.

Step 12: Use Insert Point to draw edges on a face

To insert the final two edges we need, we'll use the Insert Point command. Slightly different from Insert Edge, the Insert Pointcommand will easily insert an edge by connecting two points together.

  1. Click Modify > Insert Point.

2. Hover over the middle of the top edge shown until a red circle appears - this indicates the midpoint.

3. Click and repeat for the edge directly beneath, located along the line of symmetry.

4. Ensure the Insert Mode set to Simple.

5. Click OK.  

Step 13: Use Edit Form to move faces and edges

Use Edit Form to move faces and edges until you have matched the T-Spline body to the profile of the Knife image.

  1. Use the Edit Form command to manipulate the recently inserted edges (as well as the surrounding geometry) to get the T-Spline primitive to match as closely as possible.
  2. When you are satisfied with the shape of the T-Spline body select Finish Form from the Sculpt Menu bar.

Wrap up

Congratulations! You've learned how to create a T-Spline Form using a reference image in Fusion 360! In this lesson, you accomplished the following:

  1. Inserted and image in to the workspace using Attach Canvas.
  2. Used Calibrate to set the proper scale for the reference image.
  3. Invoked symmetry when modeling a T-Spline box.
  4. Used Insert Point to draw edges on a T-Spline face(s).