During this course, we will utilize the Macbooks from IDeATe’s Virtual Cluster. The Laptops will be delivered and available for your use, during class-time. Outside of class meeting times, you can borrow a Macbook from IDeATe Lending (A29). Macbooks should be returned the same day, unless otherwise notified.

The Macbooks include dual-boot Windows & Mac operating systems, you’ll need to login to the Windows partition, in one of the following ways:

1. If your Macbook is NOT powered ON:

i. Find the OPTION & POWER Keys. While pressing & holding the OPTION key, press the POWER key once.

ii. When prompted, select the WINDOWS partition.

2. If your Macbook is powered ON, but logged into the Mac Operating System:

i. Shut-down the Macbook by selecting SHUT DOWN from the on-screen options in the login menu.

ii. Follow the instructions listed above.

**At the end of every class, you will have (5) Minutes to log-out of the Macbooks, and return them to the laptop cart. Any other items that were borrowed from the cart, must be returned in the condition (or better) than which they were received. [e.g. Wind up and wrap wired computer mice]

If you would like to borrow anything, you must visit IDeATe Lending (A29) and complete the check-out process.


Standard (in) Metric (mm)
Fractional Decimal Decimal (Actual) Decimal (Common)
1/32 0.03125 0.79375 0.80
1/16 0.0625 1.5875 1.50
3/32 0.09375 2.38125 2.50
1/8 0.125 3.175 3.00
5/32 0.15625 3.96875 4.00
3/16 0.1875 4.7625 4.75
7/32 0.21875 5.55625 5.50
1/4 0.25 6.35 6.00
9/32 0.28125 7.14375 7.00
5/16 0.3125 7.9375 8.00
11/32 0.34375 8.73125 8.75
3/8 0.375 9.525 9.50
13/32 0.40625 10.31875 10.50
7/16 0.4375 11.1125 11.00
15/32 0.46875 11.90625 12.00
1/2 0.5 12.7 12.00
17/32 0.53125 13.49375 13.50
9/16 0.5625 14.2875 14.25
19/32 0.59375 15.08125 15.00
5/8 0.625 15.875 16.00
21/32 0.65625 16.66875 16.50
11/16 0.6875 17.4625 17.50
23/32 0.71875 18.25625 18.00
3/4 0.75 19.05 19.00
25/32 0.78125 19.84375 19.75
13/16 0.8125 20.6375 20.00
27/32 0.84375 21.43125 21.50
7/8 0.875 22.225 22.00
29/32 0.90625 23.01875 23.00
15/16 0.9375 23.8125 24.00
31/32 0.96875 24.60625 24.50
1/1 1 25.4 25.50

2D Modeling


This Tutorial reviews some of the more common 2D Geometry Commands. Creating 2D Line Geometry provides a fundamental platform for 3D  Modeling and Digital Fabrication Workflows. To begin, Users should understand how Line Geometry is defined. Every Line and/or Curve, is defined by Points- there is always a Start Point, and End Point. Some Geometry requires additional defining Point Geometry- such as Curves or Arcs. Even still, some commands use Point Locations to define specific Measurements, such as a Circle’s Center Point to Radius. Regardless of the scenario, it is important to understand that Point Geometry defines Line Geometry.


Menu Location: Curve > Line > Single Line

This command creates a Single Line, by indicating a Start Point, and an End Point. The command terminates itself after both Points are defined.


Menu Location: Curve > Extend Curve > Extend Curve

Use the EXTEND Command to lengthen, or shorten a Line. Pay attention to your command prompt, this will provide you with vital information on how the command is completed. You can indicate a Boundary Curve or Point to EXTEND to; or you can EXTEND Dynamically. As a final option, you may simply type in a value for your extension length.


Menu Location: Curve > Polyline > Polyline

Polylines, simply put, are multiple line segments- strung together by their Start and End Points. Ultimately, the Command begins by defining a Start Point. Define the End Point, and this becomes the Start Point for your next Line Segment. Terminate the Command by pressing ENTER.


Menu Location: Curve > Rectangle > Corner to Corner

The RECTANGLE Command creates a closed, rectangular polyline. Begin by indicating a Corner, then define the Second Corner to terminate the command.


Menu Location: Curve > Polygon > Center, Radius

Creating a Polygon, will require some additional input within the Command Prompt. Begin the Command by indicating a Center Point; within the Command Prompt, you may change the Number of Sides by providing a numeric value. The Command terminates after defining a Radius.


Menu Location: Curve > Circle

By default, the CIRCLE Command operates similarly to that of the POLYGON Command- in which the User defines the Center Point first, then the option of defining the CIRCLE by Radius, or Diameter , is provided within the Command Prompt.


Menu Location: Curve > Ellipse

Ellipses are defined by a Center Point, then two additional values define the measurement of the Ellipse’s ‘X’ Axis, and ‘Y’ Axis.


Menu Location: Curve > Offset > Offset Curves

Offsetting Curve Geometry duplicates a curve so that all locations on the copied curve are a specified distance from the original curve. You have the option of defining the distance, and the side to which the Curve Offsets- but you can also OFFSET a Curve to Both Sides, by selecting the ‘Both Sides’ Option (during your operation) within your Command Prompt


Menu Location: Curve > Fillet Curves

A Fillet (pronounced FILL – IT) requires two Curves to be completed successfully. This will create a tangential arc between the two curves- simply put, you will have a rounded corner. The Command requires input for the Radius of the Arc- but be careful, too small or too large of a Radius will result in a Fillet that won’t work.


Menu Location: Curve > Fillet Corners

In the event that you have a Polyline or a Polygon with multiple Corners, you can call the FILLETCORNERS Command. This will function exactly as the Fillet Command, but will process a Fillet on all existing Corners of your Line Geometry.


Menu Location: Curve > Chamfer Curves

Chamfering is similar to a Fillet, however, it creates a Line Segment between two Curves, instead of an Arc. This will leave you with an Angled Corner- and the Command requires (2) Distance Values to successfully complete. This Command is best experienced, rather than explained.


Edit & Analyze


This Tutorial reviews some of the more common Editing, Analyzing, Measuring and Transforming Commands for Rhinoceros 3D. Each Command will apply universally to any Geometry within the Rhino Interface- thus, these Commands are typically utilized most often throughout your Modeling Workflow.


Menu Location: COMMAND ONLY

This Command will prove most useful, and most frequently relevant throughout any Modeling Workflow. Calling this command will provide you with detailed information on any selected object properties. Primarily, this Command will indicate whether or not an object is Closed, or Open- extremely useful when preparing files for any Digital Fabrication Post Process!


Menu Location: NONE

Typing ‘SEL’ into the Command Prompt will provide you with multiple selection options. The Auto-Complete will create a drop-down list of all available Selection Commands. There are various methods in which you can SELECT your geometry. Getting to know these options sooner, rather than later, will save you a lot of time.


Menu Location: Edit  > Control Points >

Control Points, are the Points that define your Geometry. This is extremely useful for quick/minor edits to line geometry, but gets more difficult as you transition into 3D Modeling. Turning your POINTSON, allows you to edit the location of your defining Control Points. Line Segments will typically be controlled by their Start and End Points- whereas Curve Geometry will usually have multiple defining points available for editing. You will have trouble navigating around your geometry with Control  POINTSON, so turn them POINTSOFF when you are finished editing.


Menu Location: Edit  > Visibility >

During the Modeling Process, there will be several instances where Geometry complicates completing a separate task. You can select the Geometry, and HIDE it to complete your task. It is recommended, however, that you place the Geometry on a separate Layer, and HIDE it by toggling your Layer Visibility. It is a common mistake to constantly HIDE items- when the moment arises in which you require the Geometry to be visible once more, typing the command SHOW will make ALL hidden Geometry Visible again. You can imagine hiding multiple items, forgetting about them, and then calling the SHOW Command. A surprising ‘mess’ will ensue.


Menu Location: Edit  > Visibility >

You can LOCK selected Geometry with the LOCK Command. The item will remain Visible, and you can still Object Snap to defined points. The Geometry cannot be deleted, or edited until the UNLOCK Command is called. Similar to HIDE/SHOW, it is recommended that Users place their Geometry on a Layer, and Lock it, if they have multiple items requiring this setting.


Menu Location: Edit  > Join/Explode

There are several instances, in which Objects are made up from multiple parts. This could be a Polyline, or a Polysurface- by calling the EXPLODE Command, your Object will separate into each specific part. Polylines become Line Segments, and Polysurfaces become Surfaces. JOINing an Object back together, proves a little more difficult, as all disjointed items must be re-selected beforehand.


Menu Location: Edit  > Trim

Performing a TRIM is exactly what it sounds like. To successfully TRIM any Geometry, however, you require an intersecting object. The TRIM Command requires that you select the Object you would like to TRIM, first; then you select the intersecting object. From this point forward, within the Operation, whichever parts you select with your mouse, will be deleted/removed.


Menu Location: Edit  > Split

SPLITting an object is similar to TRIMming- however, your Object retains any TRIMmings- instead of deleting them. This Command required that you select the intersecting object first; then you select the Geometry to be SPLIT.


Menu Location: Transform > Move

The MOVE Command is helpful when you need an Object MOVEd from specific point to specific point. You can use Distance Values, or (X,Y,Z) Location Values to define Starting Position and End


Menu Location: Transform > Scale > Scale 3D

SCALE an Object by selecting an Origin Point, first. Next, define the Object’s first reference point- preferably, this is a distance, length, or value you already know. Finally, enter the new value into the Command Prompt. This will re-size your Object to the Size you’ve indicated. Origin Point-to-Reference Point #1 = New Value. You can also Scale 1 or 2 Dimensional by using SCALE1D or SCALE2D.


Menu Location: Transform > Copy

The COPY Command allows you to create multiple copies of an Object. Alternately, you can use the MOVE Command, and set the ‘COPY’ option to ‘YES’ within your Command Prompt. Think of the COPY Command, as a MOVE Command- only you are now creating duplicates.


Menu Location: Transform > Mirror

MIRROR Objects by selecting the Geometry, first. Second, indicate a Center Line, this is called your ‘Mirror Plane’, and by default defined by (2) points. You also have the option of creating copies, by activating the ‘Copy’ Option within the MIRROR Command Prompt.


Menu Location: Transform > Rotate

ROTATE an Object by selecting the item, first. Second, indicate an Origin Point, this is called your ‘Center of Rotation’. Next, indicate your first ‘Angle Reference Point’- your object will ROTATE about the ‘Center of Rotation’, dynamically, or by a defined angle value input into the Command Prompt. You also have the option of creating copies, by activating the ‘Copy’ Option within the Command Prompt.


Menu Location: Analyze > Length

The LENGTH Command is great for Line Geometry. Simply select the Geometry, and use the LENGTH Command. The LENGTH of the Line can be referenced in the Command Prompt’s History at the top of your screen.


Menu Location: Analyze > Dimension

Use the DISTANCE Command to get DISTANCE Values between two points. The DISTANCE Value can be referenced in the Command Prompt’s History at the top of your screen.


Menu Location: Dimension > Linear Dimension

There are various DIMENSION Commands- however, specifically using the DIMENSION Command will allow you to create a LINEAR DIMENSION. This is more commonly used when providing reference to outside project members- but useful for ‘quick’ measurements on an as needed basis.


Menu Location: Dimension > Text Block

Using the TEXT Command, will allow you to insert TEXT Objects into your Layout. You may choose the Font, and Font Style- and you can re-edit the TEXT by double-clicking the Text Object after creation. By default, the TEXT will appear with a Fill- meaning, the object is filled with a solid color (dependent on the Layer on which the Object was created). You can eliminate this fill, by using the EXPLODE Command. However, re-joining the object won’t re-fill the TEXT. See HATCH (next paragraph) for information on how to re-fill a Closed Object.


Menu Location: Dimension > Hatch

The HATCH Command, will create a pop-up prompt, for you to select what type of fill, a Closed Object should receive. Note, that the object must be completely closed, before performing a HATCH. Typically, HATCHing is a Computer Aided Drafting Command, used to distinguish between different materials or processes for a Project. However, the command is also utilized for various Digital Fabrication Processes, such as Laser Engraving.