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HOW to MAP a 2D / 3D line onto a 3D surface?

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The need to do this keeps coming up and I have been unable to figure out how to map a line to a surface thereby creating a new 3D shape. I am not referring to mapping a texture but literally having one line follow the contour of a 3D object. Considering that walls can be instantly fit perfectly into an irregular roof for example, I suspect there is a way to do this with any 2D or 3D object?

Specifically, a simple example would be to lay a circle onto a sphere so that the circle follows the contour of the surface of the sphere. I am aware of the SEND to SURFACE tool for topography, but this only works when you are using site modifiers.

Any ideas fellow VW users?

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I think the Project tool in the 3D modeling toolset can help with this.

Simple project:

Create a sphere

Draw a nurbs circle and position it so it intersects the top portion of the sphere. (Check it in a few views) (The circle does not have the follow the curve of the sphere - it can be flat)

Use the Project tool, project and split mode.

This will use the nurbs circle as a cutting blade to cut around the sphere where the circle intersects the sphere surface.

You'll end up with a group. Once ungrouped, you'll end up with two nurbs surfaces.

If you need to retain the whole original sphere, you could duplicate it, use the project tool, delete the body of the sphere you don't need. Use the split piece at the top to be the circle projected onto the sphere (or whatever other shape you are using)

I could see using this to create a trash can with the lid you can press in to dispose of trash (typical kitchen trash cans)

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Katie thanks for the response. No success as yet.

First, the Project tool does not give you and heads up that it works. i clicked and clicked and clicked waiting for some signs of life and then realize that the nurb has slit the sphere and became a group with three nurbs surfaces actually. From here I deleted the lower part of the sphere.

I created a rectangle and extruded it 1" and placed it below that truncated sphere. Using the same Project tool in all three modes, I got no result selecting the extrusion first and the nurbs surface second. I am not sure what to expect as I am having a hard time relating to this approach.

Let me ask a dumb question. When and why would you use a nurb for a regular geometric shape as opposed to creating 2D shapes and converting them to the appropriate 3D type?

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Use a nurbs curve or 2D shape rather than an extrude for the project tool.

When you use the project tool, you'll notice the object type changes to group in the OIP, and, depending on your shape, the object may visually change representation.

You may want to read the help files about using the Project tool to get a better understanding of how it works. My steps above work every time.

When and why would you use a nurb for a regular geometric shape as opposed to creating 2D shapes and converting them to the appropriate 3D type?

That's not a dumb question.

It's really up to user choice. Sometimes, one method works better than another based on the objects you might need to snap to, or draw in reference to.

Personally, I tend to draw a 2D shape and then extrude it rather than using the extrude tools. This usually ends up in a need to then move the object. But there are situations where the extrude tools provide you the flexibility to create the object without having to later move it. Other situations arise, especially in product design and machine design, where you have to draw a 3D object relative to another 3D object, and you simply cannot achieve the results without using an extrude tool.

Other times, it's simply easier to draw the 2D shape and morph it rather than trying to construct a complex object in the first place.

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