Pilot3D     "3D For All"


3D Solid Modeling

Pilot3D is an important addition to your 3D solid modeling program. It will do all of your complex 3D surface shaping and smoothing. Pilot3D can also create closed, watertight, editable 3D solids that you can easily import into your solid modeler. Just think about all of those difficult sculpted surfaces you want to make. Pilot3D can do the job!

Pilot3D is a full-capability, constraint-based, trimmed NURB surface modeler with capabilities not found in any software at any price. The following is an example of what you can do.



This is a simple 2D combination curve/polyline shape that will be used to extrude 3D surfaces. This is a single entity and was created with one command in Pilot3D. Note that the edit points lie ON the NURB curve and that any of the edit points can be dragged using a coarse or fine-tune move command.

This is what the shape looks like after it has been extruded into 3D surfaces. Pilot3D extrudes the combination curve/polyline into 7 separate NURB surfaces that are bonded together. This means that you can drag or move any of the edit points on any of the surfaces without having the common edge points separate! These are "watertight" connections between surfaces. There are no gaps that will cause problems when you import the shape into a solid modeler.



This picture shows the NURB surface wireframe view of the above surfaces. Note how the edit points lie ON the surfaces. There is no clutter or confusion of floating vertex points or lines. You can grab and directly drag any of the points shown above. You can even add in additional NURB "rows" to completely change the shape from a simple extruded shape. Pilot3D also has dynamic curvature smoothing feedback.

The next step is to "shell" these surfaces into a true 3D solid. This will be done using different shelling thicknesses for each surface. If you right-click on each surface, the program will pop-up a dialog box about that surface where you can enter the thickness of the surface. [You can even specify a weight per unit area for doing weight and centers calculations, but that is another topic.]

The actual shelling is done using one 3D shelling command. The program will create all 7 different offset surfaces and automatically extend or trim off the edges so that the shelled surfaces match up exactly. In addition, Pilot3D will also "bond" the edges of the offset surfaces so that you can edit their shapes without separating the surfaces. The last step is to "skin" surfaces across the edges of the original and shelled surfaces to create a full 3D, watertight, solid model.

This is the final result of extrusion, shelling, and skinning the edges of the surfaces. This is a closed, watertight, 3D solid that can be imported into a 3D solid modeler with no changes or "fix-ups" required. Remember, this 3D solid model is still fully editable using edit points that lie ON the NURB surfaces. This model can be edited without separating its watertight surface connections. Just think about all of the complex shapes that you can create with Pilot3D that would be difficult or impossible to do in your solid modeler.

You can even transfer solids back into Pilot3D for additional work.


This is the same part transferred back into Pilot3D after it had been sent to a solid modeler and "drilled" with several holes.


Standard 3D Shapes

Pilot3D can also create a large number of 3D bonded, solid shapes using just one command. For example, you can create almost any type of straight or tapered triangle solid or "pipe" using just one command!

This is a straight triangle "pipe" with user defined dimensions and thickness. This watertight, 3D, bonded, solid is fully editable.


This view shows the bonded NURB surfaces with all of the edit points that you can drag without having the surfaces separate. Notice how Pilot3D uses edit points that lie ON the surfaces. Imagine how confusing this picture would be if it showed the NURB surface vertex points instead.



This is the same solid after moving the two top middle points of the solid. This change took just a few seconds to do - just grab and drag the two points. Remember that all of the surfaces are bonded together so that no surface separation takes place. These are "watertight" connections that allow you to transfer the results to a solid modeling program without any messy fix-ups.


This is the rendered view of the changed solid.



Pilot3D also allows you to define a rotation or twist angle for extruding the solid "pipe". You control the all of the dimensions and twist angles.

How about extruded and tapered boxes?

Like the triangle solid, this 3D solid was created using just one command. You select all of the dimensions. You can even create just a solid shape and not a "pipe" or hollow shape. 


You can also create 3D tapered cones and cylinders.


This cut, tapered cylinder with thickness is a 3D solid with all edges capped off and bonded. Just like the other 3D solids, this shape was created with just one command and is fully watertight and editable.

You can also do spheres and ellipsoids.


This is a portion of an ellipsoid shell. It also is a watertight, editable, 3D solid that was created using just one command. You have complete control over all of the dimensions. You can create a fully closed shape or just a portion, as shown above.


Use Pilot3D to create complex shapes that you want to transfer into your solid modeler or use Pilot3D to do detailed shaping on surfaces that you first create in your solid modeler.

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