Have you ever shot a bullseye with a bow and arrow? Well, I haven’t. Last month, I adventured to the range to take a shot at a target, but it saddens me to say I sailed the arrow into the grass patch 20 yards behind the target. I quickly learned that it was not going to be easy to get as precise as the archers you see on TV. Precision and ease are two variables that typically do not go together. Improving one of these variables is usually at the expense of the other.
This relationship is equally as true while designing a product. Creating surfaces for a product is a time consuming and a difficult process to get the exact blend or transition that meets the intended design intent. Prior to control point splines, I used a variety of tricks, hacks, and time consuming workarounds to get the exact shape I needed in my design. When I read the announcement that we were implementing control point splines in Fusion 360, I almost high-fived my monitor. Back in my days of using SOLIDWORKS, I would default to using the control point spline (known as the style spline) anytime I needed a precise shape for my design. This type of spline gives a precise level of control while being able to achieve it with out any “wonky” workflows. Most importantly, this type of spline is more reliable and repeatable when trying create a complex surface.
Make sure to check out the Control Point Splines blog post on a complete rundown on how control point splines really work. But if you don’t like reading, watch this quick tip to see control point splines in action: